The music lover in Queens is as at a loss. There are no decent establishments anymore that are taking the time to book shows. Not that there were countless places before to catch your favorite artist or band. Your best bet is sadly, to find an old man bar with a functioning jukebox, hoping it has Internet access so you can download the music you actually like. If I am the one playing songs it may be terrible for business since I may cause patrons to leave. You have to be able to enjoy yourself, right? The odds of finding any of the bands that I might select on the jukebox playing here in Queens is slim, virtually impossible today. Why is it there are no more places to see bands anymore in Queens? It is not the end of the world to venture out to Manhattan or Brooklyn (Two places that have innumerable venues for all genres), I find myself gravitating towards those places more so than my own native borough.
Music is a big part of my personality, and I know I am not alone. I believe if there was more availability for musicians to play, we could have some more life breathing into Queens, from an artistic and creative vantage point. It would be cool to have something exciting in our own backyard. Two places stand out for me, sadly, both are long gone. Castle Heights and Voodoo Lounge were not spectacular places, but they were awesome in the sense it gave a band a place to play and gave a music enthusiast a place to observe, a place to worship. Castle Heights was located on 83rd Street and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights. It had memorable moments with a very large range of musical talent performing there. Bands like Mastodon, Cave-In, Get The Drill, Most Precious Blood played there, the list is too long to name. These particular bands stood out in my head, no disrespect, it is not a comprehensive list. Castle Heights was referred to by a reporter in the New York Newsday as "a bar considered by many to be Queens' answer to CBGB's". That statement certainly has validity. The other venue was Voodoo Lounge, situated on Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Head down the stairs, and into the murky basement to find a decent floor for moshing and a knee-high stage. Two shows that stick out in my memory is I saw Madball and 25 Ta Life, the latter I had seen a few times there. It was always fun to go to Hard-core shows, rush the stage at the first riff and sing-a-long to every word.
In plain English it was fun. Now the only alternatives are places that are not built for live music. It doesn't help that I feel my days in the moshpit have expired, lately I have found myself in the center of a few regardless, my self-consciousness withheld completely. I understand this post has become a nostalgic piece for me, but do you agree? Where are the indie-rockers supposed to rock in Queens? There is no place to bang your head. I am not talking about a scene, those die and resurrect, and evolve into who knows what. I just feel there is no shortage of true music fans in our borough, so why isn't there a venue? It makes no difference whether it is Metal, Rock, Punk, Hardcore, or any other form of music. Not to mention the sub-categorization or merging of genres. I just want a place that could have Converge on Monday, Rocky Votolato on Wednesday, The Black Dahlia Murder on Friday and PJ Harvey on Saturday. With local bands making up the difference. Something to that effect right here, in Queens would be magnificent. Tall orders, I know. Why do you do think there is nothing like this in Queens when there are places in other boroughs? Quelle Dommage! If you do have a story about Castle Heights or Voodoo Lounge, please share as well as your thoughts on this query. I would love to hear about who you saw perform and the if the experience was momentous or not. There is a possibility I was standing right beside you. I was rocking out, of course.