Update: What the eff is up with Williamsburg’s Rough Trade?

We check in with the indie record store and music venue, which has been forced to cancel most of its scheduled shows since it opened in November

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Rough Trade

Rough Trade Photograph: Jennifer Arnow

It’s been a rough road for Rough Trade NYC, the record store and music venue that opened in November. After hosting shows by iconic rock outfit Television and ever-rising popster Sky Ferreira (and booking some similarly awesome all-over-the-map acts), the spot was forced to stop having gigs. Why? Noise complaints. Yes, noise complaints in Williamsburg. The home of Glasslands, Death by Audio and Shea Stadium, and arguably still the best ’hood in NYC for catching bands before they break big. People were bummed. Many a joke about complaining condo dwellers was launched into the Twittersphere. And the 250-person-capacity venue closed shop, promising to return in January.


But that didn’t happen. Shows last month, by back-to-basics indie-rockers Cloud Nothings, young Leeds, U.K., punks Eagulls and others, were nixed and moved to nearby places such as Baby’s All Right, the Music Hall of Williamsburg and the Knitting Factory. “Our NYC store has a lot of growing up to do,” e-mails Rough Trade co-owner Stephen Godfroy. “Live shows will return as soon as possible. We’re beholden to timelines out of our hands right now,” he adds, referring to Rough Trade’s continued efforts to better soundproof the concert space, which butts up against a residential building.


Godfroy expects to announce an official reopening date any day now, noting that “there’s lots, lots more to come”—not just live shows but other in-store events and a wider vinyl selection. “Be patient with us, as we’re working as hard as possible to resume.” If Rough Trade continues to nab ace acts in its second coming, we’re assuming New York concertgoers will forgive and forget. ’Cause if there’s one thing that lot hates, it’s missing out.



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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