The Cooler NYC- A Look Back

Royal Trux: Live at the Cooler, NYC 1998 from Kimosabbe on Vimeo.

Venues in NYC come and go. But only occasionally do they live on far after their close, in the hearts of their patrons years later. In the mid 90’s, when the meat-packing district of NYC was a barren outpost lightly peppered with bodegas and the occasional dive bar there existed a club unlike any other. Descending a steep metal staircase tucked closely behind an unmarked metal door was The Cooler, an airtight meat locker turned music venue. The space was gritty – functional meat hooks dangled from the ceiling, Brion Gysin projections flickered on the sticky walls flanked by smutty photos from Warhol affiliate Gerard Malanga. The music was a mix of free jazz legends like Cecil Taylor, the alluring indie-rock of early Blonde Redhead and NYC original modernists like Suicide. On the right night you’d even find Sonic Youth taking the stage unannounced to test out new material after a set by Japanese noise duo The Ruins. There existed little separation between audience and artists – an intimacy that compounded the intensity of the performances. continue reading "The Cooler NYC- A Look Back"

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 1/21/2014 in Features, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,