A ton has changed in the last few years in NYC. It used to be that with few exceptions, most of the really cool activities in NYC took place in the East Village and Lower East Side. This is the area east of Broadway and below 14th Street.
Now a lot of that has changed with things moving over to Bushwick, Williamsburg, Park Slope and more. The East Village has a few joints still worth your trouble and seems to be getting cool again. Crowds sometimes get out of control with fair weather folks overcrowding things on Friday and Saturday.
The only Trashy Travel approved Bars in the East Village/LES are:
Ottos Shrunken Head-538 East 14th Street, at Avenue B with live music
Beauty Bar-231 East 14th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
Niagara-12 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009, who may have a band on a super rare occasion.
Bowery Electric-327 Bowery, New York, NY 10003-live music, the new home of many punk legends but pricey drinks sometimes.
Clockwork Bar-21 Essex Street at Hester
Other bars that some folks enjoy for a relaxing evening of getting wasted are East Village Social (good food too), Monas, Parkside Lounge, Hi Fi, 169 Bar, the York, Dream baby.
Some exceptions to this rule:
Art Bar-52 8th Ave , New York, (212) 727-0244-If you can actually secure a spot in the back, this is one of the best makeout places in the city. Plush chairs, fireplace, dark. They even have a menu with great hamburgers and the like.
One of the best venues in the city is Ottos Shrunken Head, 538 East 14th Street, NYC at Avenue B. The reason is it is the only venue left with good bands and no cover charge ever. Parties range from the Trashy Travel sponsored all cover song Copycat night to hardcore psychobilly parties and more. Lots of famous old time punk rockers show up and perform too.
Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food – 1629 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 upper east side, lots of DJs and go go dancers.
Decent Music Venues:
Arlene Grocery-cheap shows on Stanton St. in the East Village. The sound is okay here, though band quality is questionable of late, with a handful of exceptions.
The Delancey-Delancey and Clinton Streets. The “scene” bar right now. Bands are still decent but the crowd can be awful.
Mercury Lounge (217 Houston St.@ Essex, 212-260-4700)
The Knitting Factory (now relocated to Brooklyn).
Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street at Stanton, One Block below Houston. Everyone complains about Pianos, but they have decent sound for their small show space. They often book conflicting parties so things get kind of crazy, but the drinks are reasonable. The crowds up front and upstairs can be dreadful.
Gee, Mr. Trashy Travel guy, now we have all the venues, but who should we SEE since we don’t know anything about these local acts.
Well, since you asked, consider yourself in good hands when you see any of the following top New York Bands from Hipster/Trashy Travel:
The Mystery Lights
The Memphis Morticians (Psychobilly)
Love Pirates (Rock a la Stones)
The Electric Mess (garage)
Thee Borders (garage)
The Savants (Garage)
Les Sans Culottes (fake french)
I recommend you check out Brooklynvegan.com and Ohmyrockness.com. MyFreeConcert.com has exactly that. Artcards.cc lists art openings. Time Out NY is okay also and has a physical magazine, but its no longer as complete as it once was.
There is a lot more in Brooklyn, so it now has its own page. Click here!