Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Music Hall of Williamsburg: Ready to Rock in a Week?

music hall of williamsburg
New York's newest live music venue, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, is in the final throes of construction, with opening night one week from tonight. The newly gut-renovated theater at 66 North 6th Street in Williamsburg - formerly the 400-cap indie-rock standby Northsix - is just seven days out from its debut show, a sold-out performance by punk rock's venerable poet Patti Smith on September 4th. And we're no construction manager, but from the looks of the interior and exterior, it might take a minor miracle (and gallons of Red Bull) to get the club ready in time.

The 550-person performance space, which we hereby dub the MOW (rhymes with cow...silent H and all...), is being developed by upstart NYC promoter Bowery Presents. In the past couple of years, Bowery has challenged industry giants Live Nation and A.E.G., opening several small and midsize clubs, booking acts in others including Madison Square Garden, and in the process have grabbed an impressive chunk of the city's A-list and breaking artist shows. Bowery, whose principal partners are Michael Swier, John Moore and Jim Glancy, also owns the Bowery Ballroom, and Mercury Lounge, and books shows for Webster Hall. The Times ran a pretty fascinating piece esplaining it all back in June.

The MOW's fall schedule is an impressive lineup of acts more mainstream than the typical underground and garage-band fare that filled Northsix's bill. Announced shows include Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Apples in Stereo, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Voxtrot, Rasputina, and the Drive-By Truckers. MOW's opening comes as neighboring art space Galapagos plans to end its 12-year run, moving to DUMBO in 2008.


New Rock Concert Hall Coming to Williamsburg [brooklyneagle.com]

A Small Strategy for Selling Concerts [NY Times]

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

dust to dust

We predicted back in May that this local landmark's days were numbered, and (joining death and taxes in the "just a matter of when" category), yet another vestige of Williamsburg's industrial heritage is about to be demolished to make way for a (say it with me)...six story condo (collective yawn).

As we passed the site on North 6th and Wythe Monday morning, for the first time we recall in three years, the big plywood doors were swung open, revealing the former sawdust factory's interior. (When closed, the doors double as the fabled Faile wall, the site of several prominent Splasher manifestos, and a number of Splashings - a bit of a Wailing Wall for street art fans that's been wheat-pasted photographed countless times in recent years). A Bobcat sat ready to remove debris, and a Bay Crane sidewalk sign pretty much sealed the deal.

A well-informed bystander agreed that the complex is about to be leveled, and also clued us in to the building's history. National Sawdust operated for years on the site, producing (drumroll, please)...yep, sawdust. It seems the biodegradable, non-toxic, renewable stuff was used as a packing material for industries who shipped glass and other fragile goods, before the better living through chemistry folks cooked up things like bubble wrap, Styrofoam, and our all-time favorite, those polystyrene packing peanuts we spend hours cleaning up after we've given up diving for the object they're protecting and pour the damn things all over the living room floor.

Anyway, according to the gentleman, the plant used to mill several different grades of sawdust, and store them in huge bins in the large brick warehouse across the street at 78 North 6th, where nearby manufacturers could come and purchase the stuff in bulk. As recently as five years ago the mill was used to manufacture aquarium gravel. A company called National Sawdust - upstate in Monsey, NY - is listed in an online Blue Book, but a call to their number for more history led to a very ambiguous and soft-spoken answering machine message.

A fresh demolition permit was issued in early August for 71 North 6th (part of the complex of three or four structures that occupy the corner of Wythe Avenue and end at the iconic milling towers on North 6th), but nothing has been filed so far for the alleged condo. When If it does get built, we'll recommend the place to heavy sleepers and live music fans; the building is smack-dab across the street from Galapagos night club, and the impending 550-seat Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Monday, August 13, 2007

We Shall Return!

renew dome, virgin festival: august 4, 2007, baltimore, md

We realize that lately we've taken the "i'm not sayin" thing to a bit of an extreme - truly not sayin' anything on the blog for weeks at a time.

Blame it on the day job, which gets particularly hectic this time of year. We were privileged to have had a hand (along with our wonderful business partner and indispensable staff) in producing a number of the elements seen at the McCarren Pool Parties, Siren Music Festival, various Pride Parades, Pitchfork Music in Chicago and most recently, Virgin Festival in Baltimore (photo above). Its been a fantastic whirlwind that's finally beginning to calm a bit.

That said, we'll be off the air one more week (getting in touch with nature), and then return to our normal schedule of snarky posts about Northside Williamsburg, New York City (and especially Brooklyn, yo) history and architecture, street art, eye candy photos, and well, whatever else we can't keep our big mouth shut about.

If you're reading this post, you're probably one of the terrific regulars who's been hitting us up for over a year now...thank you so much for your dedication and patience! Have a great August week!

Meanwhile, for your recommended daily allowance of fantastic Brooklyn-centric blog posts, check out our friends over at Gowanus Lounge.