Thursday, May 27, 2010
On April 3, police raided Market Hotel, a scrappy D.I.Y. music venue in Bushwick, shutting down the space and displacing dozens of bands who were scheduled to play over the next few months. For some, it was another death knell for truly independent music in a city bloated by gentrification. The loft, which also serves as an artists’ commune, with its grimy walls and notoriously crazy parties, was an icon for what passes for the Internet age’s counterculture.
“The Market Hotel was not a secret to New York law enforcement,” says Alaina Stamatis, one of Market’s residents. “Our Internet presence is phenomenally large, and our music can be heard clearly from the adjacent sidewalks of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway. Many of us have held for a very long time that there are New York authorities who, to some extent, want us to be here. For them we conjure the cultural significance of New York staples - the Ramones, CBGB, Andy Warhol - that have fastened the city into position as best in the world.”
It’s unclear what instigated the raid - some speculated that the venue didn’t have a liquor license, while others characterized it as a routine police inspection. But the residents’ organization, Body Actualized Control, along with promoter Todd Patrick, known as Todd P, plan to transform the space into a legal community center, renovating its facilities and obtaining the proper paperwork. At the same time, they hope to maintain the independent spirit that makes the space unique.
“Music is the main art form that comes from the bottom - from basements and garages and bedrooms,” says Stamatis. “Unfortunately, music can get you in trouble.”
Saturday, May 08, 2010
It's almost that time of year again. I figured the easiest way to share various intriguing shows this summer was in Facebook format, and I've just set up a group that will be updated daily with free, cheap and occasionally expensive concerts, as well as other cultural events. I'll also be on Twitter, @UberDrivel.
And, who knows, I might revive this here blog. Watch this space.