The news began to circulate on Tuesday--Ariel Panero, the audacious NYC promoter behind Less Artists More Condos, had passed away suddenly, at the age of 25. Two days later, the details of what exactly happened are still in part unknown. But the farewells have already begun. (A service, set for Sunday, will be held at the Montauk Club in Park Slope.) The Brooklyn-born Panero, young as he was, had fashioned himself into a New York institution, a bold promoter and a hard worker, a guy who in life earned the trust of both former Roc-a-Fella mogul Damon Dash and Brooklyn DIY institutions ranging from Death By Audio to Showpaper to Jelly NYC.
|Ariel Panero, doing what he did. Photo via Facebook.|
I didn't know him well, but I did know him--every once in while my phone would ring and it would be Ariel, calling either to castigate me for getting another outlandish show of his inadvertently shut down, or, more frequently, to tell me about the next one. The last time we spoke it was when he phoned to tell me that he had somehow persuaded Dipset's Jim Jones to make the trek over the East River to perform at Death By Audio with Philly art-rockers Snakes Say Hisss and Panero's own band, Tough Knuckles.
It was this kind of spectacle that he was best at. He managed the band Grooms. He helped out with the label Famous Class. He booked shows in Damon Dash's Tribeca basement, in parking lots and on boats, in churches, under bridges, and in condos in the West Village. Sometimes, his parents would come to his events. "If you told me two years ago that I would be doing this," he told Ben Westhoff last year. "I wouldn't have believed you." But he did it, and did it well, and over the past couple years, few in the DIY community have done more memorable things in New York City. Below, we've asked some friends of his--Dame Dash, members of These Are Powers, Cyrus from Famous Class, and others--to remember him. Their recollections of Ariel are below:More »