Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

How the Other Half Lives, Part 2

Earlier this week we set off on a mission to determine whether rock in this town is really dead, or if it’s just lurking in random dark corners. As an experiment, we chose two of New York’s best rock clubs, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, both being places with a good reputation for booking quality acts. We then looked up each and every act scheduled to play there in April to determine if we were missing out on anything, and if so, what.

The first part of the experiment yielded decidedly depressing results. Only 4 of the 57 acts on the bill at the first club were worth seeing. If this was baseball, that would translate to a puny .070 batting average, so bad that it’s almost impossible to achieve over 57 trips to the plate: you’d be dismissed to the minors, or, more likely, you’d be taken off the roster and put on irrevocable waivers long before you ever got that far.

Across the river, things took a more optimistic turn. Out of 114 bands on the bill for April, there were 12 who were solid hits. That works out to a pathetic .105 average, but the bright side is that there’s a good band playing at this place every three days, which is pretty good, especially compared to the competition. Moral of the story: we should stop being so cynical. Next step of the experiment: to dig even deeper at some of the more obscure places where bands who are just starting out, or who don’t have much of a following for one reason or another (which doesn’t mean that they’re bad) can be found.

All this digging uncovered a few other things. Both clubs, though small by comparison to, say, Bowery Ballroom, book an awful lot of out-of-town acts (who virtually always suck). The first club turned out to be primarily a gay bar catering to the trust-fund crowd; the second has much more of a ROCKNROLL!!! vibe and books a lot of theme nights featuring various corporate styles, from metal to Weezer-style nerd-rock. Check our NYC live music calendar (to your right, under Categories) to find out what we discovered – since bad press is better than no press, it doesn’t make any sense to identify any of the endless parade of eunuchs and posers who didn’t make the grade.

March 30, 2008 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, New York City

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