New York Music Daily

No New Abnormal

Tag: politics

Important, Scary News for All New Yorkers – Please Share

Unfortunately, this is not some wacko conspiracy theory. It’s a real bill which has been introduced in the New York State Assembly which gives Andrew Cuomo unlimited authority to detain any individual, or any group, indefinitely for any reason.

The bill is #A416, introduced by Assemblyman N. Nick Perry of Brooklyn. The pretext, as you may have guessed, is any health situation that the Governor believes is an emergency. What’s scariest is that the bill bypasses the legislature and puts enforcement exclusively in the hands of the Governor’s office.

The wording is extremely vague, which is just as troubling. Beyond indefinite detention (read the fine print), it mandates forcible vaccination and any other “treatment” the Governor deems necessary, for anyone “suspected” of having contact with an individual presumed infected with any disease.

Lots of crazy bills get introduced in the Assembly every year and almost all of them die before they get to committee. But we need to nip this one in the bud before it gets any further – and it’s already gone to committee. This New York State Assembly page will direct you to your representative. Please contact them immediately. If you don’t live in New York State, it couldn’t hurt to contact Perry himself and show him how much opposition to this insanity there is around the world. Most importantly, please share this with everyone you know. The New York State Assembly works for us. We elected them. They know we can vote them out of office and if they see a huge groundswell against this, they’ll get the message loud and clear.

Help Save a Beloved NYU Professor’s Job

Mark Crispin Miller is a tenured professor at New York University, where he teaches about film and propaganda. And he needs our help, for all of us to raise our voices for academic freedom and freedom of speech. There’s a petition that you should sign on his behalf. Here’s why.

In addition to his work in academia, Miller publishes an invaluable news feed, News From Underground, which for years has successfully and colorfully debunked corporate media propaganda on innumerable topics, from the environment, to medicine, to the lockdown. For the last several months, News From Underground has been a primary source of information for this blog, and, one suspects, scores of others. Miller also serves as series editor for the Forbidden Bookshelf, which brings banned or censored books about history or politics back into print.

Miller is currently under fire for an incident during an online class earlier this fall where he suggested that students might want to question the effectiveness of wearing muzzles to combat COVID-19. Most of us who’ve looked into the science behind the current pandemic of muzzling are aware, at the very least, that surgical masks are too porous to keep out the tiny COVID-19 virions.

A single student in Miller’s class, Julia Jackson, took exception to Miller’s encouragement to his students to question the corporate media narrative about muzzles. In an egregious act of cowardice, she didn’t engage with her professor during class or afterward; instead, she took to Twitter to demand his resignation. A small handful of corporate media outlets picked up the thread; two sided with the student. Miller’s ability to continue to teach his wildly popular propaganda course next semester is now in jeopardy since the school administration has asked him to cancel it and replace it with a second course on film.

If Miller were to lose his job, or the ability to teach, because of a single student’s complaint about the curriculum of a class, it would be a devastating blow to academic freedom in this country, never mind to one of the most reliably inquisitive and articulate minds currently questioning the scientific validity and justifications behind the lockdown. At such a pivotal point in history, we can’t afford to lose Professor Miller. Please sign the petition – and if you’re interested in the latest on the lockdown, and the growing tidal wave of resistance, sign up for News From Underground while you’re at it. 

Prominent Physician Arrested For Reciting Depeche Mode Lyrics in London Park

On September 26, Dr. Heiko Schoning, a founding member of ACU, the German consortium of pro-freedom scientists and doctors, was reciting the lyrics to the Depeche Mode song Where’s the Revolution at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park, where he was handcuffed and taken away in a police van.

In an interview, which you can watch here, Dr. Schoning explains that the violation the police eventually charged him with – after hustling him away to a precinct house at high speed, with lights and siren on – didn’t relate specifically to the lyrics. The doctor was addressing a crowd of more than thirty people – which is against the law under UK lockdown rules – at a pro-freedom demonstration. The demonstration had moved from Trafalgar Square, as Dr. Schoning relates, after police cut off electric power to the PA system through which he was speaking to the protestors there.

Dr. Schoning was held for almost 24 hours before being released. He alleges that both his laptop and phone were confiscated, as well as a copy of Karina Reiss and Sucharit Bhakdi’s bestselling book Corona, False Alarm, which has just been translated into English and is available from Chelsea Green Publishing. Dr. Schoning also asserts that his wrists were injured during the arrest and plans to sue.

One thing the cops missed was the memory stick containing his address to the crowd, which will be posted at the ACU site – Depeche Mode lyrics included.

How to Remove the New Trace-and-Track Spyware From Your Phone

You may have heard about the trojan horse tracking device hidden inside current updates for iphone and Android. It’s Bluetooth-enabled: it picks up and stores the identity of every other Bluetooth device which comes within six feet, and the other devices do the same with your phone’s info.

Here’s how to get rid of it:

FOR IPHONE

1. Go to Settings

2. PRIVACY

3. Click on the HEALTH icon (❤️)

4. Make sure to deactivate the Covid 19 function.

FOR ANDROID

1. Go to Settings

2. Select Google

3. Click on the 3 dots at the top right

4. Click use / diagnosis

5, Make sure to deactivate the function

Insructions for Galaxy are here.

For other phones, using airplane mode deactivates Bluetooth. If you have more than one phone, consider using one as a landline – or, OMG, consider getting a landline. If you’re using a cellphone as a landline, make sure you keep it at least six feet from the walls of adjoining apartments, and six feet from outside hallways so your neighbors don’t register on it.

Choose one phone for personal use (the landline or “landline” is preferable) and the other for business. That way, if the lockdowners want to trace someone at your workplace for any reason, your friends won’t get caught in the trap.

Please share this far and wide!

Please Help Stop the Unconstitutional and Dangerous HR6666

The greatest threat to our society is not a mysterious virus. It’s a seemingly innocuous bill, titled HR6666, introduced into the US House of Representatives on May 1. This is not a joke or some kind of heavy metal numerological Beavis and Butthead hocus-pocus. That’s really the number, sponsored oddly enough by a Democrat, Bobby Rush of Illinois.

Dubbed the TRACE Act, it authorizes funding for tracking and tracing people who may (or may not) have been exposed to the coronavirus. The devil is in the lack of details. The most egregiously obvious omission is who actually gets the proposed, annual hundred billion dollar budget. The Centers for Disease Control, under the direction of the Secretary of Health and Human Services are in charge, but the bill is otherwise vague on who might be an “eligible entity.”

Just the sheer amount of money involved means that this is going to be a vast enterprise. The firestorm of fear that has spread across the web in response to this reflects the possibility that the bill will be used as a pretext for separating families in the case where someone tests postitive and can’t isolate sufficiently. Without specific conditions, and a sunset clause – which it doesn’t include – there is too much room for potential abuses to let this go to the Senate.

Tracing and tracking diseases is actually old news. It’s standard operating procedure when someone contracts something rare and deadly like the plague or ebola, and it was employed throughout the AIDS crisis. But this bill could easily be used, for example, to deputize private companies as a germ gestapo. Constitutionally, the Federal government is barred from doing home invasions – but private contractors, deputized under an emergency, could act with impunity.

Never mind who they might sell your data to….or what those unnamed entitities might do with it. You do the math.

Considering the notorious unreliability of coronavirus testing (the common cold is a coronavirus, for example), it’s hardly a stretch to imagine the nightmare this could create, especially as far as urban dwellers are concerned. Even the richest New Yorkers seldom have more than a single bathroom in their apartments, eliminating a person’s ability to self-quarantine if there are other people living there (regardless of the fact that if someone in a household has coronavirus, the odds of the others already being infected are about 99%). Please share this far and wide and contact your Representative TODAY to stop HR6666.

Celebrating Resistance and Triumph Over Tyranny at Lincoln Center

For three years now, Lincoln Center has been partnering with Manhattan’s  Maxine Greene High School for Imaginative Inquiry in an annual celebration of freedom fighters from across the decades. Inspired by Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Thursday night’s annual performance featured “a stellar cast,” as Lincoln Center’s Viviana Benitez put it, playing some powerfully relevant music and reading insightful, inspiring, sometimes incendiary works by activists and authors from the sixteenth century to the present day.

Brianna Thomas raised the bar dauntingly high with the Civil Rights-era Sam Cooke hit A Change Is Gonna Come, guitarist Marvin Sewell playing bottleneck style on the intro for a ringing, rustic, deep blues feel. “I go downtown, and somebody’s always telling me, don’t hang around,” Thomas intoned somberly over Sewell’s terse icepick soul chords. In an era when Eric Garner was murdered because he got too close to a new luxury condo building, that resounded just as mightily as it did in Birmingham in 1964. She picked it up again with a ferociously gritty insistence, the audience adding a final, spontaneous “Yeah!” at the very end.

Later in the performance the duo played a hauntingly hazy, utterly Lynchian take of Strange Fruit. Thomas’ slow, surreal swoops and dives raised the macabre factor through the roof: If there’s any one song for Halloween month, 2017, this was it.

In between, a parade of speakers brought to life a series of fiery condemnations of tyrants and oppression, and widely diverse opinions on how to get rid of them. Staceyann Chin bookended all this with an understatedly sardonic excerpt from Bartolome de las Casas’ grisly account of early conquistadorial genocide, closing with a rousing Marge Piercy piece on how to build a grassroots movement.

Shantel French matter-of-factly voiced Henry George’s insight into how poverty is criminalized, but is actually a form of discrimination. Michael Ealy’s most memorable moment onstage was his emphatic delivery of the irony and ironclad logic in Jermain Wesley Loguen’s famous letter to the slaveowner he escaped during the Civil War: ‘You say you raised me as you raised your own children…did you raise them for the whipping post?”

Geoffrey Arend read Eugene Debs’ address for his 1918 sedition sentencing, optimism in the face of a prison sentence and a corrupt system doomed to collapse  Laura Gomez voiced the anguish and indignity of a longtime resident of Vieques, Puerto Rico who’d seen his neighbors harassed and killed by drunken marines and errant bombs dropped in practice runs (this was in 1979, before the island was rendered uninhabitable by the same depleted uranium dropped on Afghanistan and Iraq). Considering that the President of the United States has castigated the people of this disaster-stricken part of the world for being a drain on the Federal budget, this packed a real wallop. We can only hope this latest incident helps the wheels of impeachment move a little faster.

Brian Jones read from a witheringly cynical pre-Emancipation Frederick Douglass speech on what the Fourth of July means to a slave, and also Martin Luther King’s emphatically commonsensical analysis of the racism and injustice inherent in the Vietnam War draft. Aasif Mandvi brought out all the black humor in Brooklyn College professor Moustafa Bayoumi’s account of being besieged by off-campus rightwing nutjobs. And joined by incisive, puristically bluesy guitarist Giancarlo Castillo, songwriter Ani Cordero sang a venomous take of Dylan’s Masters of War and an understatedly passionate, articulate version of Lydia Mendoza’s 1934 border ballad Mal Hombre, sad testimony to the fact that Mexican immigrants have been demonized long before Trump.

The next free performance at Lincoln Center’s Broadway atrium space just north of 62nd St. is on Oct 19 at 7:30 PM featuring artsy Mexican trip-hop band Ampsersan. Getting to the space a little early is a good way to make sure you get a seat, since these events tend to sell out.

A Corrosively Hilarious New Spoken-Word Album from Anthony Haden-Guest

Back in the early 80s, legendary journalist and gadfly Anthony Haden-Guest ran into Island Records honcho Chris Blackwell at a party in Cannes. Haden-Guest asserted that the hip-hop fad, as he called it, had run its course. That opinion might have been colored by having missed the opportunity to run up to the South Bronx with his buddy Malcolm McLaren to witness the birth of what McLaren called “scratch.”

Whatever the case, Blackwell’s response was, “Anthony, you are absolutely mad.” Thirty-five years later, Haden-Guest has released his debut hip-hop song,.“I always assumed you had to be in a studio up to your neck in hi-tech to do this,” he explains, over a wry faux Wu-Tang synth backdrop assembled by film composer Keith Patchel. “If this won’t kill hip-hop, nothing will.”

That number appears on Haden-Guest’s hilarious new spoken-word album The Further Chronicles of Now, streaming at Bandcamp. When he’s at the top of his game, his relentless, spot-on skewering of the ruling classes ranks with Michael M. Thomas’ Midas Watch, in its glory days in the pre-Jared Kushner era New York Observer. With a total of 24 tracks, a handful of them set to spare, surreal, quietly carnivalesque 80s synthesized organ or piano, Haden-Guest’s commentary is as grim as it is funny.

The apocalypse is a recurrent theme, as is art-world skullduggery. Haden-Guest doesn’t suffer fools gladly and has a bullshit detector set to stun. “So I’m siting in a Starbucks, listening to the blues, sound peculiar enough for you?” he poses early on, in his proper blueblood London accent.

A handful of tracks here were released earlier on Rudely Interrupted, Haden-Guest’s 2012 collaboration with darkly eclectic songwriter Lorraine Leckie. The Everywhere Man revisits the “strangely nihilistic bunch” who made it their job to get past the “clipboard Nazis from outer space” to crash Manhattan parties in the 1970s. Happy City, as Haden-Guest puts it, is his requisite drug song, a step out of character for a guy who “got a bit tipsy at age seven as a kilted pageboy at a wedding, which…unfortunately prefigured much of what was to come.” And Bliss,. the most plainspoken but possibly most harrowing piece here, is as poignant as Leckie’s glimmering remake.

The art world is where Haden-Guest really gets on a roll. The Secret History of Modern Art begins with Gustave Courbet,  “A slap in the face with a fat girl’s bush.” Haden-Guest saves his most venomous critique for Picasso:

Pablo switched styles like a man possessed
As if in some eerie way he’d guessed
The needs and the greed
The hunger he’d feed
Of collectors to come, a predator breed
From Picasso we got the shopping cart
And create a supermarket of art

A Song for Andy, a Seven Days of Christmas rewrite, is just as funny. Even the critics get what’s coming to them here, although “Viveros-Faune cannot be counted on and Roberta Smith should not be tangled with.” The rest are available at the right price – and Haden-Guest names names. And The New Avant-Garde are “the shock troops for developers now.”

The best of the apocalypse scenarios, Yesterday’s Snow is an update on Francois Villon’s famous, elegiac poem:

This may take a little while!
J. Edgar Hoover’s curdled bile
Lee Harvey Oswald’s bulging file
Jayne Mansfield in a speeding motor
Vic Morrow underneath a rotor
Mark Chapman outside the Dakota
Robert Maxwell got a floater…
The way that Enron made that pile
Bernie Madoff’s tiny smile

Frenemies, ex-girlfriends and old colleagues each get what’s coming to them here as well. The Tame Frontier draws its inspiration from a drive back to Manhattan from “an extremely aggressive Hamptons weekend”  where “nobody walks, they cross the street by car, where the city’s a bridge too faraway.” There’s also An Ordinary Day, whose implication is how endless terrorism alerts cry wolf to the point where they’re useless, and A Hymn to Intellectual Property Rights, with its wry allusions to a jazz standard. Now eighty, Haden-Guest shows no sign of slowing down. If there’s anybody who deserves to stay in the game long enough to chronicle the end of the world as it happens, it’s this guy.

Haden-Guest and Leckie celebrate the release of the album tonight, June 8 at around 7 at Anderson Contemporary Art at 180 Maiden Lane in the financial district.

Know Your Rights Session and Free Legal Clinic for Immigrant Artists in New York

At the South Oxford Space Great Room, 138 South Oxford Street, 2nd Floor, Saturday, December 17th, 4pm-7pm FREE! Please RSVP today, seating is limited. Additional events of this kind are being planned to accommodate the response. Admission is free.

New York Folklore Society, in partnership with New York City’s Immigrant Justice Corps, invites you to a “Know Your Rights” session followed by a Free Legal Clinic for Immigrant Artists, on Saturday, December 17th, from 4-7pm, in the Great Room (2nd floor) at South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The venue is about a ten minute walk from the Jay St A/C/F/R and Borough Hall 2/3/4/5 subway stop and the space is ADA accessible. 

The event has been developed especially for immigrant artists in the New York City region and for arts and culture workers who wish to become more deeply informed about human rights issues affecting immigrant communities. Please consider inviting colleagues with whom you wish to build coalitions.

Schedule:

4-5pm – Refreshments, coalition-building, legal information packets distributed

5-6pm – “Know Your Rights” Session with Harold Solis, Supervising Attorney, Immigrant Justice Corps

6-7pm – Legal Clinic (Free One-on-One Preliminary Legal Consultation for Immigrant Artists)

Jamie Kilstein Brings His Hilarious, Spot-On Spoofs and Fearless Political Rock to the East Village

Jamie Kilstein is the Jello Biafra of jamband rock. He’s fearless, he’s funny, and he calls bullshit on just about every every corporate-sponsored lie and right-wing myth out there. On one hand, making fun of Republicans is like shooting fish in a barrel. On the other, Kilstein’s critique goes far deeper than simply the horror-stricken thought that barring the unforeseen, Donald Trump will be our next President. Together with his Citizen Radio co-founder Allison Kilkenny, Kilstein has a new book, Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Fun Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will. He’s also got a LMFAO debut album, A Bit Much – with his band the Agenda, streaming at Spotify – and a weekly Wednesday 6 PM residency this month at Sidewalk.

The greatest pitfall in writing political songs is that it’s easy to let yourself get strident, or doctrinaire, to start believing your own bullshit. Preaching to the converted never did anything to change the world: it’s the people beyond the amen choir that you have to reach, and Kilstein does it with the kind of machinegunning barrage of one-liners that he honed in standup comedy. He leaves no stone unturned, no target standing: the NRA, the banksters, racists dressed in both Klan garb and business suits all get the bozack. On one hand, Kilstein hardly sugarcoats anything: his jokes can be awfully grim. On the other hand, this isn’t just the funniest album of the year, it might be the funniest album of the last few years. And is it ever relevant. And even the music is good! Kilstein distinguishes himself as as funky and fluent guitarist, with a solid band – guitarist Nick Phaneuf, bassist Greg Glasson, drummer Joe Magistro and cellist Jane Scarpantoni – behind him.

There’s an amusing video of the album’s opening track, Fuck the NRA, up on the front page of Kilstein’s site.  Over a purposeful hard funk backdrop, Kilstein speedraps both sides of a hilarious if sadly accurate dialogue about gun violence: “The Constitution didn’t say shit about your using Glocks to mow down Black teenagers ‘cause you’re afraid of anything not wearing a Klan outfit…you’re Steven Segall in real life, have you ever seen that guy run in real life, it’s terrible!”

Tiny Humans is closer to Matthew Grimm doing a spoof of early 90s open-chord indie rock. On one level, it’s a black-humor response in defense of those of us who’ve chosen not to have kids. On the other hand, the subtext is that if we don’t get global warming under control, those of us of childrearing age will be the last old people on the planet…if we make it that far.

With the next track, War, Kilstein goes back to mile-a-minute spoken word over a blisteringly noisy psych-punk-metal backdrop, akin to Jello Biafra right after the Dead Kennedys got finished off by the PMRC. It’s a spot-on, sarcastic look at American exceptionalism and the demonization of Muslims. Like the two guys who, after the Boston bombing, got fingered by some idiot and subsequently pulled off a plane for speaking Arabic, which, as Kilstein puts it, “doesn’t sound like Blake Shelton lyrics.”

Every Country Song Ever makes fun of New Nashville warmongering: “I found freedom on 9/11, when the Iraqis flew into Tower 7 – I read it!” Kilstein’s befuddled narrator crows. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell takes a shot at homophobia, from the opposition to gay marriage, to Bible-bangers quoting scripture: it’s Kilstein at his quotable best, and there’s even a good bluesmetal guitar solo at the end.

The surprisingly subtle Nerd Love takes a poke at both cliched corporate singer-songwriters and film geeks. Scared White Boy Blues is even funnier as both anti-racist broadside and parody of lame white funk: the backing vocals are priceless. Kilstein returns to rapidfire spoken word over slinky no wave guitar with This Is NYC, which connects the dots between the sweatshop economy, gentrification and homelessness, among other issues. Then, with the swaying, Hendrix-inspired JFC, he goes after the anti-choice mob.

Catcall is pretty hilarious, a funky tune that offers karmic payback for would-be macho dudes who harass women. Kilstein ramps up the jokes about male insecurity with the savagely funny How Not to Be a Dick: “Male Presidents have bombed the shit out of the Middle East and don’t have their periods as an excuse – they’re just fucking sociopaths.” The final track is the suspiciously low-key Maniac, possibly a spoof of PC hippie pop.  Most comedy albums you hear once and that’s all you really need: this one stands up to repeated listening. It’s a good bet that Kilstein is twice as funny live.

Death By Audio or Vice? Not a Hard Choice

If a venue doesn’t book good music, should it exist?

No.

Why should we care if Death by Audio or Glasslands bit the dust? To castigate Vice Media – who are taking over the Williamsburg space that housed both clubs – is absurd. Vice has a reputation for brave reportage well beyond the scope of corporate media. Aside from that free jazz night once a month at Death by Audio, neither of those two venues ever took any chances, or showed any real balls, when it came to booking music.

And isn’t it funny that far less ink has been spilled over the closure of Rodeo Bar, Spike Hill and the Ding Dong Lounge, venues that actually served a useful purpose and at least to some extent supported viable scenes?

The general perception these days whenever a club closes is that gentrification is to blame. While that’s usually the case, there’s a misunderstanding of how that pathology works. To use a gentrifier buzzword, a lot of these closures are a market correction. Much as extreme rent increases killed off the Rodeo, Spike Hill, the Ding Dong Lounge and others, there’s an elephant in the room that’s just as responsible. That elephant is the overproliferation of outer-borough bars, itself a toxic by-product of gentrification.

The obvious question is how a surplus of venues could possibly be bad for New York. Why should a musician have shlep all of his or her gear into Manhattan when they could just walk to a gig at their local? Why deal with the endless hassle of the trains when there’s a place just down the block that has music that’s probably better than what you could find in Manhattan? And isn’t all this just a return to an earlier period in New York history, when music was more of a local phenomenon, with neighborhoods more defined along ethnic lines?

And aren’t all these bars a boon to the economy as well? Think of the tax dollars. And don’t people actually spend more at their neighborhood bar than they would if they were hanging in Manhattan? If you’re taking the train home, you have to watch your back. But you can get as pie-eyed as you want at your local and then stumble straight to bed.

The result of all this is less serendipitous than the corporate media and their imitators in the blogosphere want you to believe. For one, all these new Brooklyn quasi-venues, most of them without any kind of decent sound system, have balkanized the music scene, which makes it exponentially more difficult for a band or an artist to gain traction and build an audience. Nobody is going to come see you play in Red Hook or Ditmas Park except for people who live there. But if you play Manhattan, pretty much everybody can get there.

Except that nobody does. Nobody wants to leave their neighborhood anymore – and this blog is just as guilty on that score as the rest of you are. And even if you were willing to grapple with finding a way home on the train in the wee hours, the real estate bubble has made it all but impossible to open new venues in Manhattan. Is the city so strapped for cash (yes) that we have to turn every neighborhood into a vomitorium for the sons and daughters of New Jersey Wall Street money? Ten years ago, the idea of Santacon invading Bushwick would have been just as laughable as it is now – for completely different reasons.

What economy do these bars benefit? It’s Robin Hood in reverse. Gentrifiers own them, and gentrifiers work there. And none of those people really need to work for a living: they’re just picking up beer money. Unless you count the Mexican guy slaving away in the kitchen sixty hours a week, off the books, for minimum wage.

Rodeo Bar, on the other hand, drew a diverse crowd. Yeah, a lot of those people were Baruch College kids who wanted to get as trashed as possible and just yelled louder and louder once the band started. As the neighborhood became overrun with yuppies, the din went up another notch. But much as classic country music is a niche subgenre now, there’s money in niche audiences, and the Rodeo folks were keenly aware of that. It might be a stretch to call the Rodeo the equivalent of CBGB for country music in New York, but it was home to a genuine scene, even if that scene went into decline in the past few years. Ridiculous as it might seem to say that Hill Country Brooklyn put the Rodeo out of business, there’s more than a grain of truth to that.

The Ding Dong Lounge was a local Harlem bar and also a spot for punk rock shows, off and on, for more than two decades. If you didn’t live in the neighborhood or didn’t have friends who played there, you probably didn’t know it existed. It was dark and dingy and cheap and back in the day had a good jukebox: sort of a Harlem counterpart to O’Connor’s in Park Slope, another legendary neighborhood spot priced out of existence.

The great loss here is Spike Hill. It was an ideal place to play, just steps from the Bedford Avenue subway. Sure, the club went through a down phase a couple of years ago, trying to sell tickets and compete with the trendoid venues, and making a dubious deal with an online booking scam didn’t help. But they learned from those mistakes, and booking was on the upswing again. They had a backline, the sound there was surprisingly good and the crowds were a lot more diverse than you typically see in that neighborhood, just like the music. And it’s not like the venue wasn’t raking in the dough. When a busy bar on the Bedford strip can’t make enough to survive there, that’s more than a canary in a coal mine: that’s a screaming eagle.

For a gentrifier venue, Death by Audio drew a surprisingly mixed crowd, if only because ownership was cool enough to let neighborhood kids and local stoners in to smoke weed. Which isn’t to say that those crowds mixed. And ultimately the venue was better than the music there. Sure, some good bands passed through, but pound for pound, Death by Audio was no more important to the New York music scene than Arlene’s is now.

As far as Glasslands is concerned, there are plenty of gay bars and loft spaces where newcomers from Laguna Beach and Lake Wayzata can get their fill of being “in a band” until their trust funds kick in and they move to Beacon or Provincetown. They won’t be missed. If the owners choose not to reopen the venue elsewhere – which ostensibly they plan to – they can always repurpose their Greenpoint piano bar the Manhattan Inn.