Hoodie Allen Will Perform For a Full House at Webster Hall Next Week

August 11, 2011

Hoodie Allen Will Perform For a Full House at Webster Hall Next Week


When my team was in the middle of refurbishing of that grand old club, Webster Hall, on East 11th Street, a great deal of internal buzz was focused on the creation of the Studio. It was meant to be a hot bed of musical creativity, a place where up and coming talent could grow on their way to the Ballroom upstairs, and beyond. Since its creation in 1886, Webster Hall has seen just about every bold face name in the musical business use its facilities either to record or perform. One reference even called it the city’s “first modern nightclub.”


During its heyday, Webster Hall was an RCA recording studio and therefore had the acoustic chops to make musicians salivate. The Ballroom has hosted shows with performers such as Tina Turner Eric Clapton, Prince, Metallica, Sting, Aerosmith, U2, Book of Love, Cro-Mags, Kiss, B.B. King, The Ramones and Guns N’ Roses break to big. The stage is considered one of the best in the city.

The Ballinger Brothers have been operating the space since 1992.They have a respectful eye towards the history of the venue and club, with a keen eye on the future and emerging music. The Studio is the creative cauldron at the heart of the place. In a city where a joints’ run is a miracle at 5 years, Webster Hall is over 125 years old. That’s old, but not tired. A few years back, before the world was going goo goo over Gaga, Webster booked her for New Year’s Eve. She was virtually unknown then, but by the time the end of year celebration had arrived she was the sensation we know today. Webster’s booking team had boldly committed to her for the biggest night of the year and they were rewarded for being so right.

Another example of the vibrancy of Webster’s bookings is the story of Hoodie Allen, an unsigned artist who was booked for The Studio, but as the gig got closer it was realized that fan interest needed the Grand Ballroom. This coming Tuesday, Hoodie Allen will move on up from the basement Studio to the Grand Ballroom where legends like Bob Dylan, Tito Puente, Tony Bennet, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra and Elvis have treaded before—yeah, that Frank Sinatra and that Elvis. I caught up with Heath Miller who is the VP of Live Music over there and asked him about this upcoming gig.

Who is Hoodie Allen and why did you try to book him for the studio?
Heath Miller: Hoodie Allen is an unsigned hip-hop artist, who was working at Google and performing on the side.  He recently left Google to pursue his music career full time, and has seeing a huge uptick in his fan base since then. We’ve had Hoodie Allen perform here before, opening up for Chris Webby last October.  I’ve kept in touch with his management since then, and when the opportunity came up to have him back in the Studio at Webster Hall, we booked him to headline here.

So the show sold out the Studio. When did you realize that it had to be moved to the Ballroom to accommodate the demand for tickets?
We sold a good amount of tickets the first day we went on sale, enough to know that the show would sellout by day of show. We didn’t expect it to sell out over a week in advance, and then all of a sudden get a ton of emails and calls from fans freaking out that they couldn’t get tickets. The manager and I decided to roll the dice and move the show to the Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall, and so far it looks like a good move as we’re well on our way to a packed Webster Hall!

What’s going on with the Studio these days and what notable musicians have played the room?
Everything is going very well at the Studio. We’ve been making many improvements and repairs and we recently moved our ticketing to Ticketweb, which has helped increase our advance sales. We just had The Horrors, Foster the People, Never Shout Never, CJ Ramone and The Knux play here, and in the past we’ve had everyone from The National and Odd Future to Spacehog and Fishbone. We try to book a diverse range of acts here to match the diversity of New York City, which is a challenging but very fun way to treat the venue. The constant influx of different music helps keep things exciting.

I asked for Hoodie Allen’s bio and was sent the following. I think this is a very worthwhile show and I plan to attend.

Make every word count. This has long been the mantra of Hoodie Allen, the New York based rapper and songwriter. With a penchant for candid storytelling and witty punchlines, Hoodie has always been an emcee who understood the importance of connecting with the audience through his lyrics. A purveyor of summertime anthems, Hoodie Allen has gained notable buzz on the internet for his unique genre-blending style, unafraid to sample from the unconventional norms of hip hop.

His most recent work samples a diverse array of artists and sounds from UK pop singers (Marina & The Diamonds) to indie rock staples and upstarts (Death Cab for Cutie). The idiosyncrasy of the music is very fitting as Hoodie Allen is not your typical rapper. A self-described “college educated music nerd”, Hoodie Allen embraces his individuality and promotes it as the main message in his hype-machine breakout “You Are Not A Robot” (2010). The future is bright for Hoodie Allen. He plans to continue providing the masses with feel-good music for a long time



50 Ways to Listen to Paul Simon at Webster Hall

Posted by Josh Kurp on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM



1. Paul Simon’s key demographics at this point are people in their mid-20s who grew up listening to their parents’ copy of Graceland and worked backwards, and adults in their 50s, who originally made Simon & Garfunkel one of the most successful musical duos of all-time. 

2. The majority of those 50-year-olds wear New York Yankees paraphernalia.

3. I saw at least four people, all male, call or text their mom before the show, possibly as a thank you for introducing them to Paul Simon in the first place.

4. Graceland is a perfect album, “The Boy in the Bubble,” which began the set, is a perfect song, and the teeny, tiny Webster Hall is about as perfect a venue to see Simon as any.

5. Wearing blue jeans and a leather jacket over a tucked-in blue t-shirt, Simon now gives “Bubble” a funkier edge, his voice bouncing around the lyrics.

6. He’s not able to hit the same notes as he used to—the songs are now in a slightly lower register—but Simon’s voice is still unmistakably his and, unlike, say, Bob Dylan’s rasp, still totally comprehensible.

7. So Beautiful, or So What is Simon’s best album in 25 years, since Graceland in 1986.

8. It’s not a particularly good album.

9. But “Dazzling Blue” is better on the record than it is live. Its exotic flavor is washed away, and all that’s left is a bland slab of pop.

10. That would be an overarching theme: the great songs are still really great, and the boring songs are really boring. What you think you’ll like is what you’ll remember the next day—the rest is just sweet-sounding mediocrity.

11. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is now accompanied by a sexy blues lick, courtesy of guitarist Mark Stewart. The way Simon sings it is like a human version of Follow the Bouncing Ball; he moves his body up and down with the name rhymes. (It bugs me that Simon doesn’t list the complete 50 ways—instead, we only get one tenth of the number.)

12. When Simon holds an electric guitar, it completely dwarfs him.

13. “It’s great to be playing a club in New York City. Last time I did that was Gerde’s Folk City.”

14. Four songs in, after the new album’s title track, accompanied by a bevy of exotic wooden instruments, it’s clear that Simon knows how to expertly arrange a set list, seamlessly fitting in new material alongside the classics, appeasing both the crowd, who want to hear “The Sounds of Silence,” and him and his band, who want to try out the new stuff.

15. Cover Song, Vol. I: when Paul Simon sings Jimmy Cliff’s “Vietnam,” which he introduces as the song that inspired him to write “Mother and Child Reunion,” he really sounds like a white Jew from Queens.

16. “Mother and Child Reunion,” fittingly, follows, and it’s much better. The original’s playful touch has been softened, possibly because he’s been singing the damn thing since 1972, but it’s still an absolutely gorgeous song.

17. Simon and his band are now at their best when they’re playing zydeco music, with horns and an accordion and a washboard pad and wailing sax solo, which makes “That Was Your Mother,” one of the weaker Graceland songs, one of the evening’s highlights.

18. It was an old fashioned, clap-assisted stomp, and proved why Simon was one of the headliners at last year’s New Orleans Jazz Fest.

19. A must see: Simon’s dancing. Picture someone trying to air-draw a voluptuous, curvy woman like they used to do in old Looney Tunes cartoons, but messing up midway through and trying to erase the hand-drawn image while they’re swaying back and forth.

20. That’s Paul Simon dancing. His air guitar stroke, both meanings, is pretty good, too.

21. “Hearts and Bones,” while a wonderful song, suffers in its live version.

22. Simon is one of the most personal artists of all-time, with some of the most diary-lifted lyrics ever, so it feels weird being surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of people. It’s as if, during the smooth jazz sax solo of “Hearts and Bones,” everyone was thinking of the first time they heard Simon, or the time they were kissed while one of his songs was playing in the background, and the crowd, myself included, drifts away.

23. But not in a good way. We’re remembering what we want to hear, rather than what’s being performed.

24. Then everyone snaps back to reality when “Mystery Train” begins.

25. Cover Song, Vol. II: Simon’s soft chugging version of the song is no comparison to the exhilarating and dangerous (Simon is many things, but “dangerous” is not one of them) renditions by Junior Parker and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

26. Cover Song, Vol. III: The corny-and-goofy-yet-utterly-charming “Wheels,” original by Chet Atkins, was much more in Simon’s wheelhouse.

27. I honestly can’t think of anything to say about “Slip Slidin’ Away,” other than: it was fine.

28. So Beautiful’s whistle-heavy “Rewrite” could have been on The Wild Thornberrys Movie soundtrack. It’s a kids song trying to disguise itself as something adult.

29. “The Obvious Child” is one of Simon’s more obscure gems, and like “That Was Your Mother,” it’s a floor-shaking jam, a phrase not used often when it comes to the man who wrote The Capeman.

30. When Simon faithfully sings that here he is, “the only living boy in New York,” half of the crowd cheers while the other half shushes the first half up. I’m in the second half, because in a discography full of excellent songs, “Living Boy” is the most excellent.

31. “The Afterlife,” which quotes the Everly Brothers’ “Be Bop a Lula,” and “Questions for the Angels,” are both awful, awful songs.

32. In a recent Rolling Stone profile, Simon says, “One of my deficiencies is my voice sounds sincere. I’ve tried to sound ironic. I don’t. I can’t. Dylan, everything he sings has two meanings. He’s telling you the truth and making fun of you at the same time. I sound sincere every time.” Lines like “If you shop for love in a bargain store/And you don’t get what you bargained for/Can you get your money back?” only proves his point.

33. The line mentioning a Jay-Z billboard is just confusing, too.

34. To make up for the two songs’ nine-minute lull, a particularly tongue-twisting version of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” is stretched over seven minutes plus, the last song before the first encore.

35. “The Sound of Silence,” solo. I might not have loved the show, but I’m not heartless, either, although the song is now less paranoid, and more like a lullaby. Really the only time the entire venue went small, minus one guy in the back who quickly screamed out something incomprehensible.

36. “Kodachrome,” which will soon grace the high school yearbook quote page of thousands of graduating seniors who think back on all the crap they learned and are wondering how they can think at all, is just as fun and jaunty as ever.

37. Possibly in tribute to Phoebe Snow, who passed away earlier this year, Simon dusts off “Gone at Last,” giving it a nice gospel feel.

38. Cover Song, Vol. IV: “Here Comes the Sun” is one of the Beatles’ most overrated tunes, and Simon’s sickly sweet version, featuring an accordion, does it no favors.

39. Seriously, the original isn’t very good.

40. “Late in the Evening” showcases one of Simon’s best talents: merging a variety of genres, from Afropop to the blues to gospel music, and blending them together into a wonderfully cohesive song.

41. In the wait between the first and second encore, a tech guy places another microphone stand next to Simon’s, and raises it for someone tall. The crowd anxiously chatters to itself, wondering who the special guest could be (the concert was being filmed, after all).

42. For a second, I thought, “…Garfunkel?”

43. Even better, it’s David Byrne, and he’s dressed as a gay cruise ship retiree, decked out in pink and white stripes and all-white sneakers, his hair in a shock as always.

44. Simon lets Byrne own the stage, staying off to the side to play harmonica, while Byrne sings “Road to Nowhere,” his voice as full as ever. The 11-year age difference between the two is all too obvious.

45. They both dance like fish flopping on a beach, though. Half the fun is the Old Man Dance-Off, especially when, during the next song, Byrne, doing some kind of backwards strut, trips over a speaker and immediately gets back, laughing it off. Later, in one of Simon’s lighter moments, he jokes about suing Webster Hall.

46. The two world-music greats traded verses for “You Can Call Me Al,” the only surprise of the night (Simon’s been going pretty much the same set list throughout his current tour). Byrne tripped over some of the lyrics, but that’s OK: the height differential between the Talking Heads’ frontman and Simon was reminiscent of Chevy Chase and Simon in the “Al” music video, which is still amusing…after all these years.

47-50. Like Simon, I’m cheating with my numbers, too. The concert ends with a Lite-FM version of “Still Crazy After All These Years” and a wonderful “Crazy Love, Vol. II.” It’s a strong ending to an uneven concert, from a man who’s made as much as great music as he has absolute mush. Honestly, unless it’s a small venue, it’s probably better to listen to your Paul Simon (and Garfunkel) albums in your bedroom, protected by your books and poetry, than it is to pay to see him live.



Portugal. The Man Wow Webster Hall

New York City was invaded with residents of Wasilla, Alaska last week. As Donald Trump ate pizza with a fork with the Palin’s in Times Square, the real treasure of Wasilla, Portugal. The Man, invaded the Lower East Side (and probably ate real pizza too) and wowed a sold-out audience Friday night at the legendary Webster Hall. The Alaskan band, which is now based in Portland, Oregon, or in a tour bus, really, due to their constant tour schedule, returned to New York, where they last sold out the 500 capacity Highline Ballroom in March 2010, after over a year. Performing to their biggest headline crowd to date, Portugal. The Man displayed and proved that they are the most interesting, creative, organic and original band in America right now. As they ready the release of their sixth album and Atlantic Records debut, In the Mountain, In the Cloud next month, they have been touring (as they normally do) to generate a buzz for the forthcoming record.

Before they arrived on stage, it was apparent that this was going to be a full-on multimedia experience rather than a concert. A backdrop of psychedelic images that represented the artwork to In the Mountain, In the Cloud covered the back wall, while a projector screen was erected to display a short film which featured new music from the band and was clearly shot in their native Alaska. While the ten-minute short film, created by the band, of a man hunting in Alaska and accidentally taking his own life, played, smoke filled the stage and the band walked on to a thunderous applause and began cranking away to a bewildered yet excited audience. With a thunderous jam that drove them right into “Guns and Dogs,” “Do You,” and “Dead Dog,” Portugal. The Man were displaying something so strong and so powerful it was as if they were taking the audience to another planet and showing them something new.

The band can be classified as psychedelic and/or prog rock but they are so much more than that; they are students of great music, as singer John Baldwin Gourley told me in a 2009 interview he is influenced by “The Beatles, Wu-Tang Clan and Oasis.” They are a band that does not sound like anyone around; you can say they are reminiscent of Radiohead or the Flaming Lips but they then alter that theory immediately. They take sounds and bend them, they take their own songs and change them, they take what you know about them and throw it out the window and rewrite their songs and book live on stage. You can see Portugal. The Man 100 nights in a row, with the same setlist each night, and it will be 100 different concerts. This is the band America needs to put great American music back on the map.

Accompanied by a brilliant light show to go in accordance with the feast for the eyes they were already giving the audience, they hardly spoke or took a break and just kept on performing. In many ways it is a microcosm to what the band has become, a non-stop touring and working outfit; they have released an album a year since 2006 and each record keeps outdoing the other. After nearly ninety minutes on stage, they said goodbye with smiles on their faces and their heads held high. It is rare that I am at a loss for words at the end of a concert, but my jaw is still on the ground. This is a band that needs to be seen in order to gain the full experience.

There is a reason why they are now signed to the great and legendary Atlantic Records. The label’s late, forward-thinking founder Ahmet Ertegün wanted new artists that rewrote the rules to conventional music. I firmly believe Ahmet is smiling down on his staff for signing this band and seeing his legacy live on in the music and shows of Portugal. The Man.

Follow Salvatore Bono on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yuppieblog





Against Me! at Webster Hall

Against Me! at Webster Hall


Posted By: Jon Reiss


-As a band, Against Me! is, above all, provocative. For new and long time fans, from critics, record execs and from the press, Against Me! always provokes an emotional response which tends cover the entire love/ hate spectrum. Looking at the band’s existence as a narrative, Against Me! mirrors a sort of archetypal young rebel’s timeline of self exploration: beginning as a two piece consisting of an acoustic guitarist/singer and pickle bucket playing drummer that sung about the Seattle WTO protests and the tribulations of a being a young radical, to growing into a full band that sought to reinvent the Axl Rose rock star phenomenon.


Tuesday night, Against Me! played at Webster Hall a far different band.


The stage was shrouded with large banners sporting the band’s most recent album art, which pictured a busty blonde haired woman sitting in bathroom looking not unlike a piece of actual Guns N Roses album art. Having now cycled through drummers like a regular Motley Crue, Against Me!’s newest drummer sported a large set of shiny black drums with a fucking GONG behind him. New Wave, the band’s most critically acclaimed record, was released after the group inked a deal with Sire in 2007 and resulted in a major backlash from many fans. After the release of a second major-label effort, White Crosses, the band announced that it was leaving Sire for mainly undisclosed reasons. Last night was the band’s first show in New York since.


Still dressed in a black-jeans-and-T-shirt uniform, lifted from the Black Block anarchist protestor look, Against Me! took the stage confidently facing an almost sold out crowd. Scanning the sea of people, it was clear that the last few years of major label exposure had affected the band’s fan base, the punks few and far between. Band leader Tom Gabel struck the opening chords to “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” and the crowd swirled into a mass off dancing, and crowd surfing. The band’s new drummer, looking like a young Fisher Stevens kept up for the duration. Gabel and company jammed through a set of equally new and old songs, including “Walking Is Still Honest,” “Rice and Bread” and “Miami” as highlights. Against Me! played an energetic, expert set and one would have to be seething with resentment toward the group to have not enjoyed the show.


Not that there wasn’t disappointment. People screaming along to songs at the top of their lungs is a staple at Against Me! Shows—often clusters of show goers will sing passionately to one another, with their arms raised in a sort of serenading romantic punk rock bond with another. However, watching kids shout the lyrics to “Those Anarhco Punks Are Mysterious,” it was hard to ignore the lack of context to their passion. Most of all, as kids shouted along to the band’s most recent single, “I Was A Teenage Anarchist,” there was something terribly disconcerting about hearing a crowd of young people shout, “The revolution was a lie!”


Towards the end of the set, Gabel, with his handsome Howdy Doody-style mug and long hair separated into thick sweaty locks, said one of the few words he spoke that night. “Fuck it up,” he murmured into the mic, barely over his breath. Against Me! Is still comprised of capable performers, but watching the band on stage, there’s a palpable sense that playing has become a job. Fortunately, also palpable was a sense of hope, that the kids are growing into themselves, that Against Me! is becoming comfortable enough in its own skin to reconcile passion, politics and art. This time, the band stopped just short of a massacre.



Live: Ghost Keep People Guessing At The Studio At Webster Hall

Live: Ghost Keep People Guessing At The Studio At Webster Hall


By Christopher Weingarten Thu., Jun. 2 2011 at 10:00 AM




The Studio at Webster Hall
Wednesday, June 1


Better than: Ping-pong and Hawaiian Punch at youth group.

So who the fuck are these guys?

I mean, that’s what we’re supposed to be asking, right? The six members of Swedish bubblegum-metal séance Ghost go through great pains to shield their identity. It’s not because of all the spooky Satanic ritual shit they ramble about in their interviews; it’s because their members are moonlighting from some Swedish extreme metal band, and they don’t want to be spotted playing this gloriously campy stuff. Ghost’s sound is like heavy metal trapped in a state of suspended animation since 1973—think Blue Öyster Cult, the tape deck of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, the cuddle-goth of the film Spider Baby—shot through with a Satanic streak that would send Polanski running to confession.

The real truth is pretty obviously the boring answer “some guys”—or worse, “the members of some band you never heard of.” And when the truth comes out (hell, it might have already; they’re impossible to Google), it will be as dull as eyeing unmasked pictures of Buckethead. But still, watching Ghost parade out on stage at the intimate Studio at Webster Hall makes it impossible not to play along, to spend their brief set looking for clues.

They were so thorough that I was reeling with conspiracy theories. Are these guys actually profitable enough to afford roadies, or are the members just savvy enough to wear FENDER and MANNY’S MUSIC t-shirts when they sound check? Those leather elbow-to-wrist sheaths imply some of them have tattoo sleeves, right? I was ready to go off on some MF Doom-themed rant about how the lead singer was just masking his identity because he’s not traditionally handsome or young–his black-metal makeup did its best to hide a Jimmy Durante beak, an endlessly stoic scowl and some flabby old-man jowls. And then about two songs in I realized he was wearing a rubber mask.

Might as well obsess about their identity since their live show itself wasn’t much to look at–a lot of lurching and menacing and slowly emoting in big robes. Plus all the harmonies (their best feature) were provided via computer assistance. They played the entirety of their debut album, Opus Eponymous, with a taut precision, but the most uplifting part was a sludgy, beaming, krauty cover of the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun,” which needs to be appended to the American version of the album as soon as humanly possible.

Critical bias: I always thought it was totally dick when CMJ outed the anonymous members of Music Go Music.

Overheard: “We know it’s you!”

Random notebook dump: Never thought I would see a kid stagedive onto two lit pieces of incense, but here we are.

Set list:
Con Clavi Con Dio
Death Knell
Satan Prayer
Stand By Him
Prime Mover
Here Comes The Sun




Nightclub & Bar Announces the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards Winner

Nightclub & Bar Announces the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards Winners

By: Nightclub and Bar February 2, 2011

Nightclub & Bar is pleased to announce the Winners in the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards. These 21 winners were selec ted from the more than 290 entries submitted by bars, clubs, restaurants, DJs and industry professionals.

The Nightclub & Bar Awards program is unique in its credibility as the premier industry recognition program. Venue owners, operators and managers, as well as suppliers, vendors and other industry members eager to recognize excellence in on-premise concepts, programs, talent and professionalism are invited to submit entries vianightclubandbarawards.com. Qualifying entries are then put before an expert judging panel composed of top consultants, developers, educators, writers, editors and trainers in the industry. The judges rank their first, second and third choices for each category they judge, and a calculation is applied to identify the Finalists, and ultimately, the Winners, based on the ballots.

Now in its second year, the Nightclub & Bar Awards once again honors outstanding operators across the industry from venues large and small, located in diverse markets. New this year is a segment specifically for Las Vegas Nightclubs, created to reflect the unique nature of that market. Las Vegas Nightclubs join the Bar and Nightclub categories. Modern Line Furniture is the sponsor of the Nightclub category.

“This year’s Winners are a diverse group, reflecting the range of concepts and innovation on today’s nightlife scene,” said Donna Hood Crecca, Publisher and Editorial Director of Nightclub & Bar. “Each of these Winners combines innovation with great execution, which is the secret to success, especially in the recent challenging economy. These bars and clubs won the respect of our judges and of the entire industry, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in Las Vegas.”

Finalists and Winners will be highlighted in Nightclub & Bar media properties, and Winners will be celebrated at the Welcome Kick-off Party at Caesars Palace on Monday, March 7 during the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.

Presented by category, the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards Winners are:

Nightclub Category Winners 

Mega-club of the Year

• The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City, N.J.

New Club of the Year

• FLUXX, San Diego

Nightclub of the Year 

• Webster Hall, New York

Ongoing Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

• Fashion Industry Nights at Baja Sharkeez, Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Resident DJ of the Year

• Chris Garcia at Playhouse Hollywood, Los Angeles

Single Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

• Moulin Rouge Anniversary Party at Kiss & Fly, Austin, Texas

Ultralounge of the Year

• SL, New York

Las Vegas Nightclub Award Winners

Las Vegas Dayclub of the Year

• Liquid Pool Lounge, Aria Resort & Casino

Las Vegas Mega-club of the Year

• Pure, Caesars Palace

Las Vegas New Club of the Year

• Haze Nightclub, Aria Resort & Casino

Las Vegas Nightclub of the Year

• Tryst, Wynn Las Vegas

Las Vegas Ongoing Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

• Vice Sundays, Lavo Las Vegas

Las Vegas Resident DJ of the Year

• Kaskade at Encore Beach Club

Las Vegas Single Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

• Erick Morillo Labor Day Weekend at Tao

Bar Award Winners

Bartender of the Year

• Jackson Cannon, Eastern Standard, Boston

Beer Bar of the Year

• ChurchKey, Washington, D.C.

Cocktail Lounge of the Year

• Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco

Hotel Bar of the Year

• Eastern Standard, Hotel Commonwealth, Boston

Small Wonder Bar of the Year

• Embury, Pittsburgh

Sports Bar of the Year

• The Tavern Downtown, Denver

Wine Bar of the Year

• Mercy Wine Bar, Dallas


Webster Hall earns 2010 BEST CLUB award

New York, NY, October 21, 2010 – Webster Hall won the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Club at Paper Magazine’s sixth annual Nightlife Awards. The event was held at the Hudson Hotel, where legends and luminaries from throughout the nightlife world gathered to pay respect to the venues, events and people that that provide the pulse of New York City.

Celebrating its 125th year in the heart of Greenwich Village, Webster Hall literally invented NYC nightlife, and is again hitting its stride with the world’s biggest artists and record-setting attendance. On this memorable evening, Webster Hall’s weekly “Girls & Boys” Friday night celebration was named runner-up for Best Party.

Upcoming events at Webster Hall include the official NYC Halloween parade after-party and the legendary New Year’s Eve spectacle and after-hours show – this year featuring Bloody Beetroots.

For more information please visit www.websterhall.com. For press inquiries and further information please contact: press@websterhall.com

WEBSTER HALL & MTV – Two Music Icons Unite

WEBSTER HALL & MTV – Two Music Icons Unite

New York, NY, July 19, 2010 – MTV – the leading broadcaster of music in America for the last 30 years, and Webster Hall – the landmarked NYC live music destination and birthplace of stereophonic music, are pleased to announce their digital webcast partnership which will showcase the vibrant indie rock acts now headlining “THE STUDIO”- the state of the art music venue and recording studio located in the lower level of the legendary venue.

MTV.com will broadcast the “Live From The Studio” shows with a cutting edge, guerilla-style broadcasting technique that features 3 permanent cameras and 2 handhelds.  The first broadcast is Tuesday, July 20th at 9:00pm featuring THE DRUMS.

Co-Founder of The Studio Trevor Silmser says that “partnering with MTV, one of the world’s busiest and most successful internet portals, will help establish opportunities for young bands to monetize their music.  The internet is obviously the future of music revenue, and the MTV-Webster Hall connection can help that process flourish.”  The webcasts will take place several times a month on mtv.com, and will include unsigned bands as well as established acts.

Webster Hall is the venerable music building that was RCA’s live recording studio in the 1950s and 60s, and was well-known as the Ritz in the 1970s and 80s.  Built in 1886, is the last original dance hall standing in New York City.  The MTV venture is part of Webster Hall’s larger music initiatives, which includes their “Live at Webster Hall” releases.

For press inquiries and further information please contact: press@websterhall.com

For more information on Live From The Studio with The Drums on July 20th, click here

WEBSTER HALL & WRXP unite for Sessions series in the Studio at Webster Hall

WEBSTER HALL & WRXP unite for Sessions series in the Studio at Webster Hall

New York, NY, July 5, 2010: WRXP 101.9, NYC’s true rock station, and Webster Hall, the landmarked NYC live music destination and birthplace of stereophonic music, are pleased to forge a partnership to showcase the world’s most compelling bands in The Studio at Webster Hall – the state of the art music venue and recording studio located in the lower level of the legendary venue.

WRXP program director and morning co-host Leslie Fram states that “The Studio at Webster Hall is the perfect venue for the WRXP Sessions! We’ve held intimate acoustic sessions from Vampire Weekend, Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons to full blown private concerts like The Bravery, Against Me and Gogol Bordello, and artists love the acoustics!”

Webster Hall C.E.O. Lon Ballinger adds that “Webster Hall presents the biggest, most important artists in the world on all 4 floors, and the WRXP Sessions allow these artists to get up close and personal with their most loyal fans.”

Webster Hall is the venerable music building that was RCA’s live recording studio in the 1950s and 60s, and was well-known as the Ritz in the 1970s and 80s. Built in 1886, is the last original dance hall standing in New York City.

NEW YORK TIMES : Adding Bands to the Beat

Evan Sung for The New York Times

GOING LIVE After a renovation, Webster Hall is hosting more live music. More Photos >


Published: March 6, 2009

Library of Congress

OLD NEIGHBOR Garment workers at the building in the early 1900s. More Photos »

IT was back in 1953, when RCA Victor set up a studio in the Grand Ballroom of Webster Hall in Manhattan to achieve a level of reverberation that would help the label compete with Columbia Records. Perry Como recorded his “Como Swings” there in 1959, which displayed Como in slacks and a blue shirt on a golf course.

As the world changed, and music with it, so did the acts the venue attracted: in 1967, Jefferson Airplane staged its first concert in New York inside. On Dec. 6, 1980, U2 ushered in the post-punk era here — it was called the Ritz at the time — when it pounded out “I Will Follow” in its first gig in the United States. And on Feb. 2, 1988, Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, standing on the same stage, before screeching “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” inflated a condom like a balloon.

Since then, live music has been a rarity in the aging building on East 11th Street in Greenwich Village. Instead, the sound most often heard has been electronica, like house music, whose turntable-fueled beats scored popular dance parties where glow-stick necklaces were the accessory of choice.

Now, Webster Hall has finished a $3 million, yearlong renovation of its four-level space and live music has returned in force. D. J. booths have been removed to make way for new stages, and a new venue within the venue, called the Studio, has been added. House music will still throb, but the owners are betting that rock fans can be lured inside, too.

If the plan succeeds — and in this economy, nothing is guaranteed — Webster Hall may solve a problem that has plagued club owners since people started venturing out of their homes to shimmy at night: how do you make extra money from rooms that basically sit unused between 6 a.m., when crowds file out, and 11 p.m., when the doors reopen for business? Some have tried restaurants, to mixed success.

And will everyone get along? After all, rockers and club kids have traditionally gone their separate ways on weekends.

Take Chris Steele, who came to see the band Southeast Engine in the Studio recently. He planned to leave right after the band’s last song, even though his $8 ticket would have covered him for the night at a place where the vinyl crowd shelled out $35.

“Personally this is more my thing,” he said. “I’m more into live music than dancing.”

In a city where fewer people party than they used to, according to club owners, the club’s everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach is one way to try to increase attendance. It could also serve as a hedge against the recession, which has sent some bar business plunging 40 percent. Finally, a paradigm shift in musical tastes could play to Webster Hall’s advantage.

For a generation raised on iPods that can pack thousands of disparate songs, and who attend music festivals with increasingly eclectic lineups — in June, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., will feature Nine Inch NailsSnoop Dogg and Phish — putting an eclectic mix of styles under one roof might seem in sync with the times.

“This is a different world, where you can easily access everything under the sun with the quick push of a button,” said Craig Inciardi, an associate curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland who helped set up its New York annex last fall. “Webster Hall is trying to appeal to these people who have varied musical tastes.”

Charles Goldstein, a cigarmaker, built Webster Hall in 1886 for $75,000, with a design by Charles Rentz Jr., an architect and beer vendor, for “balls, receptions, Hebrew weddings and sociables,” according to a December 1886 article in The New York Times.

But it soon came to be known for rowdy parties, many of which featured live music, like the fund-raiser for General Grant’s memorial in September 1887, or the fete for the French Revolution centennial in May 1889.

In the early 1900s, Webster Hall’s guest lists featured artists of all sorts, including F. Scott FitzgeraldMan Ray and Marcel Duchamp. Around the same time, Greenwich Village became a center of gay and lesbian life, and the club was frequently a gathering place.

Unity Gallega of the United States, which later bought the building, and which still owns it, put on a klezmer concert there in 1978. But in 1980, with the downtown music scene thriving, the company leased out the space to the Ritz, which tended to be more New Wave-focused than CBGB, its more famous, and more punk, downtown neighbor.

Legs McNeil, the author and longtime East Village resident who’s credited with popularizing the term “punk,” recalls seeing Public Image Limited and the Ramones there, but an even more memorable moment was sitting in the club’s balcony listening to someone have loud sex in a bathroom. That same balcony would also shake noticeably when the crowd started dancing, “and you wondered if the whole thing was going to collapse,” he said.

Of course, that was nighttime. Finding a way to fill clubs before sunset has long been a puzzlement to those who run them.

Lotus, a 10,000-square-foot meatpacking district club that closed in 2008 after eight years, filled some of that gap with a restaurant. David Rabin, a Lotus owner who also serves as president of the New York Nightlife Association, a trade group, said that if Webster Hall could lure patrons inside in the early evening, for performances that often kick off at 7 p.m., it, too, might benefit. Any extra revenue, he added, is important during the downturn.

“It’s not an easy transition to become a rock club, and they’re not necessarily going after the same audience, so it won’t be an easy message to get across,” Mr. Rabin said. “But they have a great location, and if they program intelligently, at an appropriate price point, they should do fine.”

Although late-night noise from cars did result in the temporary closing of the club’s block to car traffic in the 1990s — and despite those rowdy parties for General Grant — Webster Hall has not gotten into much trouble over the decades, unlike so many other New York City clubs. It had only six official noise complaints in 2008, said Deputy Inspector Dennis De Quatro, commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct in Manhattan.

Webster Hall’s renovation was handled by Steve Lewis, a New York night life mainstay who’s managed the Palladium, Life and Spa. He and his partner, Marc Dizon, added banquettes, tables, and a small likeness of Michelangelo’s David, covered in green stripes. And though they also put in three dozen flat-screen TVs in a rear hallway that show mind-bending geometric patterns, they kept a lot of what made Webster Hall so unusual in the first place: its mazelike layout, which recalls that of aHalloween-theme suburban haunted house.

Past a pinkish facade, with its bearded-men carvings and griffin light-fixtures, marble stairs descend to checkerboard-tile floors bathed in red lights. Oddly placed thick-frame mirrors line dim hallways. Doors lead from rooms into other rooms, each smaller than the first, like a walk-through take on a Russian nesting doll.

And surprises aren’t surprising, as anyone who used to visit the old Ritz in the early ’80s discovered, when a screen dropped from the ceiling showing grainy early music videos (“Video Killed the Radio Star” was often one) before the evening’s band took the stage.

“The old girl’s always had good bones, always a wonderful piece of architecture,” said Lon Ballinger, the club’s owner. “Our goal was to make her look beautiful again.”

The ultimate judges of whether he succeeded will obviously be patrons, who seem skeptical but willing to keep an open mind. Before a December performance in the ballroom by Cansei de Ser Sexy, a Brazilian band, Sunny Cover, 39, of Peekskill, N.Y., reminisced about dancing at Webster Hall a decade ago.

“It’s insane that this place lasted as long as it has,” Ms. Cover said. “I can’t believe I’m back.”

Nearby, Amanda Cobell, 22, of Kinnelon, N.J., also admitted that she associated the place with “cheesy dance tunes,” an impression reinforced by the preconcert musical selections blaring from overhead speakers, like Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations,” a 1990s club staple.

“Wow, this song reminds me of when I was 10 and listening to Z100 and they would keep saying, ‘Come hear the beats at Webster Hall,’ ” Ms. Cobell said. “I guess I finally did.”

Originaly from : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/fashion/08webster.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

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