Knitting Factory

The venue largely known for its punk and indie rock scene is scheduled to move out of the trendy (and expensive) downtown NYC area and into a smaller spot located in the (equally as trendy but slightly cheaper) Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. For a long stretch of time, the Knitting Factory was dead as an indie hip-hop venue. I remember when cats like Sage Francis, Atmosphere and Anticon would rock there on the regular. But as their fan base grew, there came the need for larger capacity venues like Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza and SOBs. The Knitting Factory was essentially left out in the dust.

Fortunately, KF made some good moves and has been experiencing a hip-hop revival of sorts over the past year. Artists that normally command huge audiences rocked the intimate Knitting Factory stage. Cats like Schoolly D, Kurious, Brand Nubian, Gza, The Beatnuts, Prince Paul and Cormega among others killed it night after night. It was quite an amazing turnaround. Hopefully, moving to a one-subway-line neighborhood in Brooklyn doesn’t mean a downgrade in the quality of their hip-hop shows. Big ups to GRANDGOOD friend and talent buyer, Peter Agoston, for all the hard work. Link

For 21 years the nightclub has been a symbol of downtown New York music, gaining an international reputation for an eclectic, finger-on-the-pulse aesthetic. At the Knitting Factory’s original location on East Houston Street on the Lower East Side, and at 74 Leonard Street in TriBeCa, where it moved 14 years ago, jazz has mingled with punk, avant-garde rock, hip-hop and underground sounds of all types.

This week the New York club, the headquarters of a company that also includes a club in Los Angeles, won community board approval to begin moving into 361 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the former site of the Luna Lounge. In TriBeCa the Knitting Factory has three performances spaces, the largest holding 400 people, but in Brooklyn it will have only one room, for 300 or fewer.

The survival of the Knitting Factory may depend on a big change. The Leonard Street building was recently sold, and while the club’s lease runs through next July, Mr. Hoffman said it has no future in increasingly upscale TriBeCa. And though its once-renowned bookings have remained strong in niches like hardcore punk, noise-rock and independent hip-hop, the club has slipped down the status ladder as newer, sleeker rooms like the Bowery Ballroom have become popular.