Saturday, June 27, 2009

Studio B is closing (as of right now)

After nearly a year of equivocation and voiciferous community opposition, it appears that venerable Greenpoint nightspot Studio B is finally closing after July 12th; according to BrooklynVegan, a 2 Live Crew soiree planned for July 25th is currently looking for a new home. This would account for the venue's leviathan of a 4th of July bash, which some commentators are already describing as a final kiss-off to the venue's ornery neighbors. This is by no means the first time that the proprietors of Studio B have nearly pulled the plug -- shortly after a Lindstrom concert that was billed as the club's penultimate event in January, they began to resume full operations after a month of diminished programming. But the recent Sunset Rubdown farrago at the Northside Festival, where frontman Spencer Krug enjoyed a Mexican standoff with the sound crew that lasted for nearly a half hour, didn't endear the venue to its remaining indie constituents, while no self-respecting househead would pay a $20 cover -- the standard in recent weeks -- just to dance for 3 or 4 hours. (That figure is the norm at quasi-illicit, after-hours shindigs like Refuge and Danger in Bushwick, but such events usually extend well past 4 AM and feature less homogenous music.)

Although Studio B was a nightclub before its mid-2000s rebranding, there is only an infinitesimal chance of new ownership taking the space after the current owners installed an illegal roof garden last year (see my coverage in the Eagle archives), much to the consternation of nearby residents. That was on top of the overly boorish behavior of its patrons, who seemed confused about the layout of the neighborhood and quickly became pariahs of the local community board. The club, incidentially, straddles the border between the seemingly deserted remnants of the Williamsburg industrial zone and a working-class block of Cayler Street.

Even though Studio ultimately overstayed its shelf life, for a brief glimmering moment in 2007, it ably demonstrated that a legal dance club could thrive in Brooklyn and arguably make -- to quote Todd P. in a contemporaneous Gothamist profile -- "the most intelligent electronic curatorial choices in this country." While the closure of the club offers renewal for a scene all too readily condemned to verbal flagellations of rock snobs, the reopening of the Knitting Factory and the ascendancy of indie into the mainstream are harbingers of the future that is to come.

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