I've been going to some shows at different clubs here in Manhattan in order to get a sense of what venues will be best for my type of music. There are lots of places to see live music in and near our neighborhood. I went to six different clubs this past Tuesday. For all of you who already live in New York, I'm sure you're most likely familiar with most of these places. But I'll go through my experience at each one for anyone not overly acquainted with the New York music scene (and I suppose that includes myself too).

The first club I visited was the Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street. It's a relatively small place with room for about 50-60 people. Whereas the stage is in the back right corner, the sound booth is perched precariously above the front door, requiring the soundman to climb a ladder to access it. It was extremely crowded when I was there, so I stayed for about 30 minutes. Altogether, it was a seemingly nice place to watch a performance (if you can find a place to stand).

Next, I walked around the corner to Ludlow Street to a club called the Living Room. Earlier this month, I sold a LS-2 Line Selector Pedal on craig's list to a guy who turned out to the sound guy there, so I figured I would go check it out. I knew that this place caters to acoustic acts, so I thought it could be a good fit for what I've been doing lately. The front of the club has a bar that leads into the back where the performance space is located. Tables take up most of the back area, with a small bar to the left and the sound booth elevated and to the right. I found a table near the center of the room for the 9pm show of Dana Falconberry from Austin, Texas. I really enjoyed her songs and how they were arranged by her band.

Next, I walked next door to the two venues that flank the Living Room on either side. One door north is Pianos, a rock club with a small performance space in the back and a larger bar area out front. It seemed like a solid place, but unfortunately I missed the last band by about 30 minutes. Therefore, I went two doors south to Cake Shop, another rock club. There's a bar in the front and a used record store in the back. The club is actually down a staircase through a door on the left. The last band of the night was just finishing their set when I walked in, so I guess my timing was off at this point in the evening.

After leaving Cake-Shop, I walked around the corner to Arlene's Grocery on Stanton Street. Much like the three venues I had just visited, Arlene's Grocery has a sizeable bar area as one first enters the club, then a separate entrance for the performance space. The doorman said there was a cover I would pay inside at the entrance to the club. However, no one inside asked me for any money, so I walked in a grabbed a beer at the bar. Maybe no one was taking a cover because there were approximately seven people there. I watched 3 songs from the last band and decided that I wasn't really enjoying the music; so I finished my beer and left.

I walked up to Houston Street and turned left across Allen to get to the last venue of the evening, the National Underground. This club is owned by Gavin Degraw and his brother Joey. There are two stages here, one upstairs and one down. I watched the end of a set by a guy named John Foti and then walked upstairs to catch a little jazz by a band whose name I was unable to ascertain. At this point, both my ears and my body were tired. So I went home. It was definitely great to visit all these places. Even though I felt a stronger connection to some places over others, it was assuring to search for and discover places where I want to perform. I'll write more soon with an update...