Monday, September 8, 2008

Knitting Factory leaves the island: Buys tight-fitting jeans and moves to BillyBurg

(picture: me the last time i played the Old Office at The Knitting Factory Leonard St. location with GhostMeat! Halloween 06)

So the Knitting factory is officially closing up shop on all 3 of its Manhattan stages this January.

Some of my fondest concert memories are from the various stages on Leonard St. (even if the place was a bitch to get to) The Knitting Factory was a diamond in a rough of high end residential development. I remember hanging outside the club and having the neighbors screaming at all the kids below. "Keep it down!" "Get out of my neighborhood!" "Hey you Punk! Y'Know People LIVE here!" I always found those people to be such hypocrites. There they were, shouting out the window of their brand new condo, at the patrons of a club that had been there for over 10 years.

My favorite part about the venue was that I could go see my favorite artists on the Main stage one night, and then take my buddies down to the Office or Tap Bar stage and play a set or put on a whole night later that week. It gave a great community vibe to the whole place. It's something the Brooklyn spot will lack. The venue is moving from being a 3 stage, 4 bar establishment to 1 bar, 1 stage.

Even though I love the fact that Brooklyn's Music scene is growing, I am sad to see the place go. In a sense, its not even a growing music scene in Brooklyn, it just Manhattan's being transplanted. It's hard to complain though. New York artists are in a constant state of flux and homelessness. They move to neighborhoods that are cheap and spacious. They make that cheap run down neighborhood cool and trendy. (and paint cool things on public walls) Wealthier people want to be cool and trendy and build condos in run down neighborhood. (and paint over cool things on the walls)

It's kind of ironic that the space the Knitting Factory plans on vacating is the de facto Luna Lounge. (another club that closed in Manhattan and moved to Williamsburg) The Knitting Factory is going to have to offer something the Luna did not, and I don't think a sheik name will suffice. (Hipsters hate lame shit like that)

It's worth noting that literally right next to the new Knitting Factory are brand spankin' new condos on BOTH SIDES. I actually used to live 2 doors down from the space Luna Lounge was, and it's amazing how much the neighborhood has changed in just 3 years. Imagine what it will be like in another 5. Good Luck Knitting Factory!

Below are some good tunes played from the soon-to-be-condo-ized stages.

Kaki King

Click here for a video of Elliot Smith playing there in '96.

Sufjan Stevens

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