11/23/15 10:20am
The Way Station is one of the city's best free venues to book and has room for your giant stand up bass. via Flickr user The All-Nite Images

The Way Station is one of the city’s best free venues to book and has room for your giant stand up bass. via Flickr user The All-Nite Images

Imagine that you’re a musician in New York City, home of 8,000 bands trying to play the same venues, and someone approaches YOU on the Internet, saying they like YOUR music and want YOU to play a show. How cool is that?! Pretty cool. But you look again at the email. It’s actually a booking company that expects you to sell a certain amount of tickets. They are unclear about what will happen if you don’t sell enough tickets, but they ask that you sign an “e-contract” stating that you WILL sell tickets AND YOU’LL LIKE IT!

There are some venues in New York City that host what are known as pay-to-play gigs: a venue will say to an artist, “you can play here, but only if you agree to sell X number of tickets. Plus, you’ll be on the hook for whatever money you don’t make if you DON’T sell X number of tickets.” But there is an alternative. There are tons of places in the city where you can play a show for free. We’ve put together a list of NYC’s best venues for local musicians that won’t make you pay just to get on the stage, along with some tips on booking a show. (more…)

08/17/15 9:47am

Reclamation’s Love Shack Shandy beer cocktail will have you singing after you’ve had a couple.

Beer. Cocktails. Combining the two almost seems crazy, but here at Brokelyn we’re willing to experiment with ways to get a good buzz going. Turns out, when beer cocktails are done right, they’re pretty darn good, and even worth venturing out of your usual for (after enjoying your Brooklyn Beer Book beer on the house, of course).

Rather then send you out just asking the bartender to dump some tequila into a Tecate tallboy, we’ve got 9 bars for you to check out that are perfecting the art of the beer cocktail. Beyond the classics like the michelada, more inventive beer cocktails are being thrown together by booze mad scientsts around Brooklyn, like an award-winning gin-and-saison combo that took home “Best Beer Cocktail in NYC” at Brooklyn Brewery’s beer cocktail competition, to a lemon-infused vodka drink topped off with a Budweiser. (more…)

07/10/15 12:42pm
Pine Box Rock Shop. Via Bitch Cakes.

Pine Box Rock Shop. Via Bitch Cakes.

Pine Box Rock Shop
12 Grattan Street (off Morgan Avenue)

What it is: A bar and music venue located steps from the Morgan L stop in an old casket factory.

Why we love it: Owners/oft-bartenders Jeff and Heather are awesome people, encouraging a laid back, dog-friendly vibe where a good conversation isn’t hard to find. It’s also the best place in the area to catch some football while tipping back a local microbrew like Alphabet City Dizzy Brewnette or the latest Brooklyn Brewmaster’s Reserve. You can look over the old show stubs that are scattered as part of the bar top and wonder how many thousands of dollars of concert money are represented beneath your beverage. Live music in a sectioned-off venue, karaoke, Walking Dead watching parties…what’s not to love? Bring good talkers, rockers, groups, zombie-enthusiasts, dog-lovers, and that vegan friend of yours

What to order: Along with a completely domestic, badass beer list with ABV range of 3.8 to a walloping 10.0%, you can try one of their seasonal cocktails like the Dig For Fire (Espolon muddled with jalapenos and simple syrup) or the Phyllis Diller (Jim Beam, apple juice and fresh lemon, served on the rocks with a crisp apple slice).

Regular tip: Pine Box’s beer and cocktails are 100% vegan. If you didn’t know it, everything from bone meal to beetle extract can be found in many adult beverages. Pine Box gets around using certain bar staples like Baileys by making their own vegan cream, using Kahlua and vanilla soy milk. People rave about their vegan empanadas and sometimes vegan food trucks park out front.

02/23/15 9:06am
No, we're fine, someone's just chopping onions

No, we’re fine, someone’s just chopping onions

1. It’s New York Beer Week, so check out the cheap events brewing around town. (Monday-Friday)

2. Hear about Eric Walrond, a black writer who introduced Americans to the literary Caribbean, at Greenlight Bookstore. (Monday)

3. Catch Janeane Garofalo, Anna Drezen and a host of other comics performing for free in the back of Muchmore’s at Fresh Perspectives. (Monday) (more…)

10/06/14 10:21am
drink and draw macri park

The drinks will enhance your skills immensely. via Facebook

1. Kick off autumn with free skee ball and a funniest flannel contest at Full Circle Bar. (Monday)

2. Macri Park Bar brings in a model for you to sketch at Drink and Draw. (Tuesday)

3. Manifesto is taking over the People’s Republic of Brooklyn with laughter for the people. (Tuesday) (more…)

08/18/14 7:00am

With a speech this good, you can celebrate Independence Day all year

1. Spike Hill’s Game Night is celebrating the Brooklyn Comedy Festival with jokes from Josh Gondelamn, musical duo The Reformed Whores and more good clean fun (Monday)

2. Vanessa Manko drops her debut novel, The Invention of Exile at powerHouse Arena, with a reading and a chat with the former Mr. Padma Laskshmi, Salman Rushdie  (Monday)

3. It’s audience choice night at Coney Island Flicks and Grease was the one that they want, ooh ooh ooh  (Monday) (more…)

06/12/14 7:00am
smallest penis in brooklyn pageant

So yeah, this is gonna be happening again. You probably wanna be here. Photo by Mary Dorn

1. Brooklyn Art Library brings you free art and free wine. Libraries of the world, take note. (Friday)

2. You’re fearless and frugal, so get a Friday the 13th deal on that black cat tattoo at one of these tattoo parlors. (Friday)

3. It could be nice to spend your Friday at an opera instead of a bar for once. Luckily, Opera on Tap lets beerless opera remain a horrible theory. (Friday)

4. If you’re looking for a way to tell that special but clueless someone to work on their technique, just say you totally thought Babeland happy hour was a dive bar special. (Friday) (more…)

05/28/14 12:56pm

You know how in our weekly roundups we’re always telling you to go to Late Night Basement at the Pine Box Rock Shop? It’s because they do things like ask H. Jon Benjamin to live-dub HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, resulting in something that sounds like Archer taking the place of the creepy calm computer voice. We mean, sure, you’re seeing it now in this video, but imagine the magic of seeing it live, in a bar, while you drink beer. (more…)

05/05/14 9:15am
opera on tap

Opera on Tap takes center stage at Freddy’s Thursday night. via Facebook

1. It’s the end of South 4th Bar’s Cinco de Derby weekend, and they’re moving on to the Cinco de Mayo portion of it. Go celebrate with your amigos and drink some cheap margaritas (Monday)

2. Or celebrate it playing the traditional Mexican game of pinball. OK look, even if that isn’t totally true, who are you to pass up free pinball at Sunshine Laundry? You could even win a lawnmower (Monday)

3. See new Daily Show correspondent Michael Che in his natural habitat, NYC Broken Comedy at Matchless. As long as you see him before his first segment, you can tell people you saw him before he was famous (Monday) (more…)

05/05/14 9:10am
sunshine laundry

You’d never know it, but these people are celebrating Cinco de Mayo

This has to be one of the happiest Mondays as it’s also Cinco de Mayo. Tuesday hangover likely to ensue be damned! While many of us have taken the holiday as a reason to get crunk it was originally celebrated by Mexicans to commemorate the day the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862. (Oh yeah, putting a little history on dat ass.) Here are some places in Brooklyn, with the kind of margarita and taco deals (oh and free pinball too) that will make you grateful in your heart for that fateful day.

Careful about overcelebrating though. One of the great things about being a blogger and working from home is that pants are optional, especially after Cinco de Mayo. But for the rest of you who are office-bound tomorrow, pace yourself. You’ll still need a job come Tuesday. (more…)