Show Review: The Last Weekend at Death by Audio

Categories: Live

Lightning Bolt photo by Lindsey Rhoades
In 2007, a small Brooklyn-based effects pedal manufacturer opened its warehouse doors and began inviting bands to play shows in the space. Around the corner from the newly opened Glasslands, the block was otherwise uninhabited, the abandoned hulk of the Domino Sugar Factory the only thing obstructing quiet, twinkling views of the New York City skyline as seen from Kent Avenue. Death by Audio was not the first venue of its kind; its operations blueprint was drawn from the DIY model upon which basement parties and loft shows flourished, but did it on a scale that was slightly more accessible, and grown straight out of a community of bands that already practiced there, already used DBA pedals. The all-inclusive domain name for the space's events page said it best: entertainment for everyone.

See also: Photos: The Final Show at Death by Audio

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Photos: The Final Show at Death by Audio

All photos by Rob Menzer for the Village Voice
Crowd-surfing on Saturday night at Death by Audio. See all the Death by Audio final show photos.
The DIY music scene in north Brooklyn continues to see its venues close. On Saturday, Death by Audio (49 S. 2nd Street) hosted its last show in a seven-year run as a DIY space in Williamsburg. Grooms, JEFF the Brotherhood, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Lightning Bolt performed for a packed house. A few people threw issues of Vice magazine around the space as Lightning Bolt played. (Vice is moving in.) Photos by Rob Menzer for the Village Voice.

See also: With the Coming Closing of Death by Audio, Many NYC DIYs Are Going Legit

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Sing About It: New York's 10 Best Karaoke Bars

Categories: Best of NYC

Karaoke brings people together like few other activities: You either sequester yourself into a windowless room with a group of friends where you bond over a shared knowledge of Gin Blossoms songs, or you work up the nerve to sing those songs in front of a room of strangers. Either way, it's hard to have a forgettable night of karaoke. With all the karaoke options available in New York, you run the risk of spending all night scrolling through your phone, looking for the *perfect* karaoke bar -- valuable minutes that could be spent singing. We're here to help with this guide to the best karaoke bars in New York, from the Voice's crack team of karaoke enthusiasts.

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Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson Have a Total Blast on SNL

And just like that, the internet was a-floodin' with hearts, stars, enamored emojis, and compliments, and for one brief moment, we were all united in the warm embrace of Hooliganism after Bruno Mars took Saturday Night Live by storm (and in flamingo pink at that). We can bicker about pop stars. We can fight about Adam Levine's falsetto. We may fall down in fisticuffs over lip-syncing or awkward choreography, but we can also get giddy about a solid showing from a talent who's been staying out of the headlines lately, and we can get real, real excited for their return. That's exactly the kind of good cheer Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson brought to Saturday Night Live.

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What We Lose With the Closing of Death by Audio

Categories: Waste Of Paint

All illustrations Debbie Allen
From spring of 2011 through spring of 2012, my illustrator pal Debbie Allen and I produced a live music column for Sound of the City called Waste of Paint. On the suggestion of former Voice music editor Maura Johnston, we arranged our words and pictures into comic-strip-like dispatches on the music we saw each weekend (and later, every other weekend). Although we covered some big names like Slick Rick and Santigold, we devoted a substantial number of column inches (pages?) to music that wasn't getting covered by many other outlets, both in deference to the Voice's history of hyper-local coverage and because that was simply our favorite stuff to go to.

The trio of clubs at S. 2nd and Kent -- Glasslands, 285 Kent, and Death by Audio -- played an important role in the column, enabling us to hop back and forth and see a bunch of music in one night. More than any of them, DBA felt like home, even if we sometimes had to pay a cover charge, as Edan cared more about paying the bands than getting press for his venue. With its boisterous all-ages crowds, muraled walls, and strong DIY ethos, it was a haven for an extended family of local and touring acts, even as the neighborhood around it grew fancier and fancier.

As we officially close the book on DBA and Williamsburg in general as destinations for grassroots culture, let's mark their passing with some colorful memories. Rest in peace, Death by Audio! I might not remember every night I spent in you, but I'm pretty sure they were the best.

Below you'll find many illustrations of the bands we saw at DBA over the course of Waste of Paint.

See also: With the Coming Closing of Death by Audio, Many NYC DIYs Are Going Legit

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The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 11/21/14

Categories: Weekend

Waka Flocka Flame via

For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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Why Julian Casablancas Is Better Off Without the Strokes

Categories: The Strokes

Photo By Colin Lane
Julian Casablancas + the Voidz
For Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, the time is right to leave his old group behind completely.

While the platinum-selling, festival-headlining Strokes played a significant part in the turn-of-the-century resurgence of the New York rock 'n' roll scene, their last three albums have been mostly devoid of both passion and ingenuity. Whatever inspiration and creativity Casablancas has left in him should be directed toward his own projects, and not the moribund remains of his once great band.

Lighting out alone, without the cachet and drawing power of the previous group, can derail an artist's career (while also damaging the commercial appeal of the bandmates he left behind) -- but sometimes sticking around can do just as much damage.

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Steel Tipped Dove's Do's And Don'ts to Making an Instrumental Hip-Hop Album

Categories: Lists

The elusive Steel Tipped Dove
Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer Steel Tipped Dove dropped his new album this week. Titled Nothing Touches the Ground Here, the 15-track project showcases the beatsmith's talent for crafting instrumental rap soundscapes that veer in a contemplative and celestial direction. In honor of the album's release, we got Steel Tipped Dove to run through a list of do's and don'ts to consider when creating an instrumental hip-hop listening experience.

See also12 Important Life Lessons Gleaned From Kool Keith's Twitter Account

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The Real Story About Why Non-Phixion Broke Up, and Why They Reunited

DJ Eclipse
Non-Phixion in 2014
The night before Halloween, commonly referred to as Devil's Night, is known as an evening of mischief and tricks. But it was no trick at Best Buy Theater when a wholly unsuspecting New York hip-hop audience, there to see Cypress Hill, caught the most unlikely reunion in rap history.

It's official. Non-Phixion have reunited.

See also: Non Phixion: Diggin' in the Vault With the Underground Rap Heroes

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Jeopardy's Five Best Music Moments

Sure, selling almost 180 million records worldwide is pretty special. As is winning 17 Grammy Awards. But last week, Beyoncé's legacy was bestowed with arguably the highest of all honors: She got her own category on Jeopardy. Personally, our favorite part was Alex Trebek's delivery of the phrase "Jay-Z is featured on this Beyoncé song that mentions 'that liquor get into me.' "

In case you missed this glorious moment, you can see it here:

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