New York used to be the redeeming modicum of American culture but it has slowly turned into a haven for fratty Murray Hill stockbrokers and their female counterparts. Every year the city becomes increasingly less affordable and therefore less culturally significant and productive.
2016’s been a steaming pile of hot shit so the blows New York’s music scene continues to endure are not exactly surprising. In preparation for the end of the world we’re commemorating all of the venues we’ve lost this year. Underground bands and DIY venues will continue to fight for their existence, for their music and for their art.
“Where were you the day Elvis died?” — the article I was reading on the train the day that Elvis Guesthouse announced it’s impending closure on December 31st. The article I was reading was in a book by Lester Bangs and Elvis Guesthouse’s closure announcement happened via Instagram. Initially I thought that the two occurrences were related (the anniversary of Elvis’ death?) but eventually realized it was just a bleak marker of the end of one the East Village’s few remaining music bars. Who knows what the space will end up as but bets are on a millionth dumpling place as the East Village continues to transform into a glorified food court.
The Manhattan Inn always seemed too good to be true and turns out, it was. The warmth from the wood, the piano and the lighting made it feel like some ethereal and mystical woodland treehouse. It was a unique space for a lot of artists and musicians who are likely feeling a little displaced with nothing remotely like it to fill the void.
New York’s music scene tends to cater to an older (over 21) crowd. That’s part of what made the Palisades such an important space, it was one of the only venues that regularly hosted all ages shows in the city. Growing up in New York City, having a venue that didn’t require a fake ID or benevolent bouncer was a godsend.
By August it was pretty clear that 2016 is unredeemable, especially when another important space — Aviv announced that it was closing. When they first shared the news there were talks of relocating but it’s December now and there’s been no news on that so we’re going to chalk this up to another one taken from us by 2016.
Acheron’s fate is less bleak and hopeless than the other venues. The show space is technically closed with no hopes of reopening but it’s still owned and run by the team behind the Acheron and the Anchored Inn. They’ve held onto the venue and converted it into a hangout spot for neighborhood kids and artists.