NYPress Music Survey

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Posts.




New York City has always been a Mecca for great music. We’ve had Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, the Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth. No matter how many great bands are being produced in Montreal, Atlanta, Chicago or any other second-rate burg, NYC has always produced a higher quantity of quality bands with a huge range of styles. In recent years we’ve seen a variety of great bands come up and shake the music world; From The Strokes to LCD Soundsystem to TV on the Radio, New York is still producing great music in the 21st century. Many of our best bands become insanely popular, and at times it’s been easy to forget that there’s still a slew of untapped talent playing bars and backrooms all over town. No one knows this better than the bands, which is why we asked dozens of them 10 questions each about the local music scene. We’re surprised and thrilled by the volume and variety of the answers, and we hope you are, too.—Jonny Leather

Best Local Venue
From United Palace Theater in Washington Heights to the bars below Delancey, for every band in town there’s a venue somewhere that will book them. Here’s the breakdown of what New York’s rock ‘n’ roll tastemakers think the best stage in town is.

Album of the Year
We’ve heard the Mp3s, the singles, the mixed CDs and the rooftop party playlists, but these are actual albums—you know, the things you had to buy at a store until downloading came along.

Best Unknown Band
These days, all it takes is one show for any act to become the next big thing. There are groups, however, that toil away, playing opening slots anywhere they can, hoping to make it big. Here’s where our experts sound off on the best of the lot.

Band You Wish Would Reunite
Some folks long to see The Ramones in their prime, Dylan at a Bleecker Street coffee shop or Yum-Yum Tree at ABC No Rio, and each of them has a good reason. NYC has produced thousands of bands that somebody out there loves.

Best Record Store
You know, the place you go to buy the music that you don’t download, or to flirt with the smart record nerds. Either/or.

Best Live Band
Depending on how excited or drunk she was, every showgoer in town thinks they’ve seen the best band around. Was it Sonic Youth at McCarren Park Pool or Hercules and Love Affair at Studio B? Opinions are like assholes—everyone’s stood behind one in line for beer.

Most Uncomfortable Music Venue
Most shows aren’t comfortable. There’s always the tall dude in front blocking your view, the canoodling couple making everyone uncomfortable or the dreaded fan boy jumping up and down to no one’s amusement. And if you’re playing the show, well, let’s just say things aren’t always better on stage.

Best Local Music Blog
If you want to stay in the know about local music, going out every night isn’t enough. You’ve got to spend your days trolling the music blogs to find out who, what, when, where and why. Whether you’re grabbing tracks from the hottest bands or checking out photos from a sold-out show, everyone has a favorite website site for the latest in rock gossip.

Best Local Record Label
In a world where more and more bands are self-releasing, we’re lucky to live in a town with plenty of independent record labels devoted to the vision of a more rocking and rollicking New York. When anyone can slap together a CD, though, who’s doing the best job of keeping vital music on the record store shelves?

The Hardest Part of Working in the Music Industry
Nobody—er, most people—aren’t getting rich making music. They’re doing it because they love to. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a total pain in the ass. Our experts sound off on the worst parts of living the dream.




Jonny Leather, New York Press/jonnyleather.com

1. Best Local Venue – Union Hall
2. Album of the Year (by local band) – You & Me by The Walkmen
3. Favorite NYC Record Store – Sound Fix
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – Motel Motel
5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

6. Best Live Band in NYC -  Gogol Bordello
7. Best Local Record Label – French Kiss
8. Best Local Music Blog – Stereogum
9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – Studio B

10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – Hearing loss


Justin Russo, Silent League

1. Best Local Venue – Union Hall
2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Love is the best con in town by Grand Mal
3. Favorite NYC Record Store – Kims
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – Grand Mal

5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Rollerskate Skinny
6. Best Live Band in NYC – Hopewell
7. Best Local Record Label – Friendly Fire
8. Best Local Music Blog -  I hate blogs
9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – Southpaw

10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – Nothing and everything


Ian Bullett, The King Left

1. Best Local Venue – Bowery Ballroom
2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Blood Moon by Apes & Androids

3. Favorite NYC Record Store – Generation Records
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – The Kiss Off
5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Wu-Tang Clan
6. Best Live Band in NYC – Apes & Androids
7. Best Local Record Label – Achord Recordings
8. Best Local Music Blog – BrooklynVegan

9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – The Charleston
10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – Paying our managers


Mike Barron, Tropic of Nelson

1. Best Local Venue – Mercury Lounge (Manhattan), Death by Audio (Brooklyn)

2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Motel Motel’s New Denver
3. Favorite NYC Record Store – Etherea for new shit, Academy for old shit
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – Cutter
5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Gospel
6. Best Live Band in NYC – Les Savy Fav
7. Best Local Record Label – Temporary Residence
8. Best Local Music Blog – BrooklynVegan

9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – Webster Hall
10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – New York snobs

Clark Westfield, The Gay Blades
1. Best Local Venue – Mercury Lounge
2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Sikamor Rooney’s Self Titled

3. Favorite NYC Record Store – that little shop on 5th and A [Etherea –Ed.]
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – The Press
5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Television (ha)
6. Best Live Band in NYC – Apes and Androids
7. Best Local Record Label – Ernest Jennings
8. Best Local Music Blog – Not obvious answer – The Music Slut. Real answer – BrooklynVegan

9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – Knitting Factory and Tap Bar
10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – Monetizing cool


Scott McCloud, Paramount Styles

1. Best Local Venue – Bowery Ballroom, still

2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Dear Science  by TV on the Radio. It’s meant to be really good.
3. Favorite NYC Record Store – Other Music
4. Best Unknown NYC Band – Obits
5. Local Band You Wish Would Reunite – Talking Heads?
6. Best Live Band in NYC – TV on the Radio
7. Best Local Record Label – Matador, still?
8. Best Local Music Blog – BrooklynVegan

9. Most Uncomfortable Music Venue To Perform/See Shows – Moving subway cars
10. Hardest Thing About Working in Music Industry – Keeping track of reality

Alex Tween, The Forms
1. Best Local Venue – Since it’s comparing apples and oranges, I’ll call a tie between Music Hall of Williamsburg and Union Hall (Park Slope MICHELE ADDED PARK SLOPE (?)).

2. Album of the Year (by local band) – Marnie Stern’s This Is It and I Am It and You Ar

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