janet_harvey (janet_harvey) wrote,
  • Music:

Viva Los Cubanos Prostizos!

I haven't been keeping up with my NYC club closings as of late but this made me smile:

After Tonic, a plea to aid music scene
BY JUSTIN ROCKET SILVERMAN
April 18, 2007


"Ribot and another musician were arrested at a demonstration Saturday at the 9-year-old Tonic on Norfolk Street when they refused to stop playing and vacate the stage. The club had officially closed the night before, and workers were dismantling the stage as Ribot played."

Ok well, they didn't mention the other musician was the awesome Rebecca Moore, but still. Check out Ribot's wonderfully articulate interview in NY Magazine, too:



So do you see a future Tonic as subsidized or even city-owned?
A lot of musicians are basically libertarian in their outlook and opposed to subsidies. The irony is, though, that the golden era of private club ownership was subsidized in a half-dozen ways. For example, CBGB existed in the context of stabilized rents, and the record labels that — imagine — used to invest in less-commercial acts to improve their reputation. These subsidies are now drying up. I couldn't afford to do any of my bands just in New York. The real venue for jazz and experimental music is European touring, where rooms are provided rent-free by the city or region... We have to ask why the community is in crisis structurally.

Why is it?
The discrepancy in funding for different forms of music in the city. Why does the Lincoln Center get $75 million for renovation? The opera is not New York's contribution to the world culture. CBGB, and Tonic, is. If Europeans want to hear Mozart, there are great orchestras in Salzburg and Vienna. But, on any given night, New York jazz and avant-garde musicians are playing in every city in the world. This is important economically. It's a major factor in tourism. People come to New York to hear these musicians in their natural habitat. There needs to be that habitat.



It looks like CB's, the Cocteau Theater and the wonderful alt.coffee are all gone, as well. So sad - especially about our friends at alt.coffee who took such good care of us when we were shooting up the street at Accidental CDs (which is also gone). Manhattan continues its slow march toward becoming a pedestrian park for lawyers. I hope all those sterile "investment properties" are worth living in when there's no culture left.
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