Thursday, September 3, 2009

Knitting Factory's new Brooklyn home

Les Savy Fav kick things off at Knitting Factory September 9

By Aaron Short

Nine months after they announced they first announced closure of their charmingly cozy TriBeca space, the Knitting Factory is moving to Williamsburg, joining a growing list of music venues clustering in the neighborhood.

On September 9, the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) will open its doors in the former space of the now-defunct Luna Lounge, with a grand opening concert featuring Les Savy Fav and Hannibal Burress.

According to Chris White, the Knitting Factory’s talent buyer, the entertainment company is just following their audience, which is increasingly living in North Brooklyn.

“We were looking for spaces all over town, and this was the space that suited us the best,” said White. “A lot of the core audience for the shows lives right here. Hopefully people will want to come to Brooklyn. There’s enough going on out here.”

This past summer, the space has undergone a complete renovation, which will include a front room with a bar, open until 4 a.m., and a main concert room with a capacity of about 300.

It is smaller than the three-room, 700 capacity Tribeca venue, but White hopes the space will bring about a more relaxed but professional experience.

“The space will have its own ambiance and serves as the next chapter in Knitting Factory clubs,” said White. “We’ll leave the experience up to the bands and showgoers.”

So far, the venue has booked a diverse group of acts including Boss Hogg (9/10), The Spits (9/11), Rasputina (9/13), Dub Trio (9/26), Mayer Hawthore’s Loney Hearts Club Tour (10/1), Titus Andronicus (10/15) and playing host to the Brooklyn Fashion Festival (9/18-19) and the Royal Flush Festival (10/17), as well as a number of indie rock, hip-hop and electronic acts.

“There’s no mandate to do any one genre or any kind of music,” said White. “Pop punk stuff may take a hit. We’re not sure if kids from the suburbs are willing to come to Brooklyn.”

White and his colleagues want the Knitting Factory to be the most well-curated music space in the city.

It is a lofty goal, even to be the most professional venue in Williamsburg, where the likes of the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Northsix, Brooklyn Bowl and Glasslands are only a few blocks away.

“There’s a healthy competition and a good working relationship between all promoters,” said White. “We all go to the same shows and get beers together. We’re all friendly. There’s no other way to be. That’s rock and roll, man.”

Though promoters have noticed that attendance at venues has been down across the board, and spaces such as the Luna Lounge, which the Knitting Factory is replacing, shut down because they weren’t making enough money, White is confident that the Knitting Factory will retain and expand its audience. People still want to see live music for affordable prices, despite the recession, and live music serves as an escape with unemployment in Brooklyn hovering over 10 percent.

To that end, the Knitting Factory wants to keep its bar and main room open seven days a week, not only with music but with literary readings, acoustic performances, DJ nights and even comedy.

“The goal is to have shows every night of the week if possible,” said White. “There’s no reason to be dark.”

Knitting Factory, located at 361 Metropolitan Avenue, will be open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Its grand opening is on September 9, headlined by Les Savy Fav. For more information call 347-529-6696.


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