But the team behind Elsewhere—a 24,000 square foot club and live music venue that opened last week in Bushwick—are not big-time impresarios or nightlife moguls. They got their start in the mid-'00s, during the Williamsburg indie rock boom, with an intimate and ramshackle venue called Glasslands, which closed in 2014 and was replaced by VICE Media's shiny new HQ. There was no air conditioning for most of its existence and, up until they finally renovated, the doors on the plywood bathroom stalls only went up to chest height. But what it lacked in glamour—and climate control—it made up for in moxie, and after the closure of neighboring venue 285 Kent, it was one of the last DIY spots to buckle under the weight of gentrification. Now, the Glasslands team is going for round two, but this time they've got all their paperwork in check.
Elsewhere is a sprawling industrial building on the edge of what is fast becoming a new nightlife district in Bushwick. It has a 700-capacity main room with a rock club layout, a 200-capacity side room and a cozy upstairs cafe lined with booths and small tables. There's a wide courtyard for smoking and chatting. Being able to drift freely between zones made the space feel relaxed and dynamic.
Though it had already hosted two rock shows earlier in the week, Thursday was the venue's first electronic music event. Opening duties went to Further Reductions, the duo of Shawn O'Sullivan and Rose E Kross, whose austere industrial sounds made for a spooky ambience in the main hall. They stuck to sparse rhythms and otherworldly synth textures, squeezing a thick tension out of slow, chugging grooves.
Plack Blague, a one-man noise techno act from Nebraska, stepped onstage wearing a black balaclava, ass-less chaps and a studded leather codpiece. (Imagine if Marilyn Manson, Merzbow and Skinny Puppy had a child who was also a leather fetishist.) His harsh sounds were a nice palate cleanser for ADULT., who hit a sweet spot between throwback electro, new wave and grueling, high-speed techno. Singer Nicola Kuperus joked with the audience when the smoke machines set the fire alarms to blinking, though you could barely tell the difference through all the strobes.
Overall, it was an adventurous and impactful night of music, with clear sound and plenty of room to dance. The club has some exciting bookings lined up for next month or two—Jlin, Total Freedom, Marcellus Pittman and Beautiful Swimmers among them. If the team can keep taking risks with the lineups, while selling enough tickets to keep the lights on, then Elsewhere is positioned to become an important thread in the city's musical fabric.
Photo credit /
Luis Nieto Dickins