“Ball so hard, this shit crazy”
It was a money-draining party and I had a blast.
Heart Of Douche-ness or “The Imperialism Of Young Assholes”
Take up the White Mans Burden, Hipsters. Conquer the middle class with your bougie contempt and self-loathing fashion. But don’t complain when you’re branded the enemy.
EULA, Life Size Maps & More at Shea Stadium
Five great bands at a Friday show in Shea Stadium.
Silent Barn Public Meeting Tomorrow
Panelists gather to discuss All Ages venues, with some necessary rocking out.
alt-J at Glasslands
Lead singer Joe Newman asked us to sweat with him and we did.
Interview: Joe Ahearn on Silent Barn’s Return
HD: You’ve mentioned a lot of improvements on that site. What are the biggest things you think will change Silent Barn?
JA: We’re gonna change buildings.
HD: You’re going to move? Do you know where yet?
Unfortunately there’s a certain decision we have to make before we know where it goes, but a lot of this stuff on that Kickstarter page is describing that we want to be legal. And this isn’t exciting or flashy. We need to be legal, we need to be safe, and we need to be secure. And these are three things that we never really had an opportunity to do on our own, because they cost a lot of money. And we just didn’t have the money.
HD: Like permits?
JA: Yes, that, and there are certain renovations that are necessary to increase fire safety, to increase security… all these things. Basic renovations. I’m not really that worried about the Silent Barn’s model. I really look at the one thing that we’re getting right now as a one-time thing. I don’t want to be a charity. I don’t want to change to some sort of non-profit art grant model. I want to bulletproof ourselves against the authorities so we don’t have to deal with this bullshit in the future. I don’t need anything fancy… just give us a room and leave us the fuck alone. That’s what we need. If you give us an empty room, we will make that amazing, with zero money. I don’t need any money to make an amazing community. None of us need any money. We never had any money to begin with, and we had seven years of doing incredible events. So, I’m not worried about, you know, trying to do something big with the money, that’s not what’s important. What’s important to me is that we create an infrastructure that makes the space sustainable and prepared to deal with authorities.
HD: Why do you think so many people are willing to give up their time and money to this cause?
JA: This is the main catalyst for why we’re moving… If we stayed in the location that we’re at, we’d need to become a venue; not a home. I don’t think we would ever have been able to legally zone it so that we could live there, and we never had problems with doing events there… With less effort, we could turn into a venue, and all of us would have to leave. We’d have to totally change how the events were being run.
This ties into what I was saying about other venues in New York, and how it’s economics that changes the vibes in the space. If it’s a venue, it needs to be run like a venue. It needs to make money like a venue… that’s a very different space than the space that’s someone’s home. And the fact that it was my home certainly highlights my own involvement in the space, but the fact that it’s a home, in general, was incredibly apparent … there’s no way to be involved in that space and not be aware of the fact that it was someone’s home. You may be like, “Man, this is fucked up!” but you know. The fact that it was a home was palpable to everybody that came through. And that’s really why there’s been so much support for this space. It’s because it wasn’t just our home, it wasn’t our place, it was everybody’s. I’m not trying to be like so grandiose that, you know, any dude that came in for fives minutes thinks, “This place is amazing,” but there were so many musicians and artists you just knew what was going on.
New York City is a hard place for people to try and pull through. It’s a harsh place just for people who live here, who come here ’cause they want to meet a lot of people. They go from their job to their shoebox apartment, every single night. And you know, I’m living with my girlfriend, who I love, but she lives in a little shoebox apartment in Williamsburg. There’s no strangers in there, ever. It’s bizarre. I go home every single day, and I’m by myself. That’s not what home is for me. Home is about support, and community. I think that people living in New York found that in the Silent Barn, and bands touring from around the country and around the world found that in the Silent Barn. They found a place that was for them, to take care of them. In a way that wasn’t just providing a PA system and a stage.
HD: What can supporters do to help you guys out?
JA: Three very simple ways. One would be, just to tell people what’s going on. Obviously we’ve had a lot of press, but the world is a big complicated place, not everyone saw what happened on Twitter or Facebook. It’s great just to let people know what’s going on, what we’re trying to do. Who we were, who we want to be. This is incredibly valuable — and it means a lot.
The second thing would be, if you could give us some money for our Kickstarter, that would be amazing. It’s not about money, but some of it requires money.
The third thing, which is the most important thing, the reason I’m putting it in this order, is sign up for the volunteer group. We are going to be doing a lot of work and none of it’s happened yet. We’re wading through a lot of bureaucracy. This is the boring shit… if you’re out there, and you’re a lawyer, or you are an architect, or you do non-profit arts organizing — people in those fields, I need your advice right now. I’ve been talking to as many people as I possibly can, every single day, to make sure I’m making the right decisions in the legal/architectural/zoning arena. Pretty soon we’ll get a stamp of approval, and they’ll let us start doing shit again, and when that happens, we’re going to need everybody’s help.
One of the most invaluable things you can do right now, is write to us: “This is what I do, I’d love to lend my hand. I’ve got these skills, and these tools. Or, I just have these hands, and I don’t have much else, but let me know what I can do to help.” And that is unbelievably helpful. Because pretty soon we’ll be able to open our doors again, and we want to make it an incredible place. It’s up to everyone to decide what that means.
Silent Barn isn’t totally gone yet. Hosted inside there is still an appointment-only installation by Peter Edwards, dubbed “Specter,” a set of aurally-stimulated luminescent spheres (pictured on the first page behind Ahearn). Visit the Kickstarter page for more information.
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