Living Room Moving From 154 Ludlow; Piano’s Looks to Take Over Space (Updated 5 p.m.)

Image via Piano’s web site.

Along Ludlow Street’s music club row, Piano’s is already the biggest player, and now it looks like their empire is growing.  Documents filed with Community Board 3 show the owners are planning to take over the Living Room space next door at 154 Ludlow Street.

Jennifer Gilson and Steve Rosenthal opened the Living Room more than a decade ago.  Last month Gilson was interviewed for a Columbia University student publication about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, saying that the storm was a big blow.  They lost at least $15,000 and were in the process of applying for a small business grant through the LES Business Improvement District.

The decision to call it quits on Ludlow was likely in the works long before Sandy.  The names listed on the application are Dave Gelbard, Yoav Kipnes and Fumiko Kobayashi.   In addition to Piano’s, the team runs 7A and Virage in the East Village. It doesn’t appear that big changes are planned. “There will be scheduled performances of live/world music similar to the current method of operation,” the applicants note.  They do not intend to bring in outside promoters.

The proposal will be considered by CB3’s SLA Committee January 7 at 6:30 p.m., at the JASA/Green building, 200 East 5th Street.

UPDATED 5 p.m. Here’s an email blast just received from the Living Room:

Hi Friends of The Living Room. After 15 years in business and 10 years in our current space, The Living Room will be closing the doors at 154 Ludlow St at the end of January.  We will relocate to a new space next spring. We have truly loved having you over these last years. You are a huge part of our history and you made our time here special. Though it saddens us to leave, this is not the end of The Living Room. Although the skyrocketing cost of rent has made it impossible for us to keep our current location, we are actively negotiating a new space. We want nothing more than to keep the music going!  The cost of building a club from scratch is considerably higher than it was when we moved from our first space on Stanton St. 10 years ago,  and so we could use your help to fund the move and construction and be a part of the new Living Room. There are some cool items available with more being added weekly.  Thanks, Jennifer and Steve.

If you would like to support the Living Room, here’s the link.


Ken’s Pick: Balthrop Alabama & The Bandana Splits

Balthrop Alabama

We Have Electricity.  That’s the name of Balthrop Alabama’s latest full-length album. In fact, with a series of lovely EPs, and their debut being a double album, it could be considered their only full-length outing (technically speaking). And true to its name, it does pulse with some power.

In the mid-2000s’, brother & sister co-founders Pascal & Lauren Balthrop moved to Brooklyn and soon formed a band. But the forming of their band was also the forming of a town – a fictitious, self-named town — where every resident is the ‘wacky neighbor’ and they’re all awesome musicians.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

Outer Child and Six Stories Told at the Living Room this Saturday.

Take the kids to see Outer Child and Six Stories Told this Saturday at The Living Room. The show, from 3 to 5 p.m., features music for and with young children. The band’s founder, Emilie Cardinaux, lives in the East Village and teaches music workshops to students age 4 and up. Tickets are $10 per person.

For more family-friendly events, please visit our kids page.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

Andy Roo & The AndyRooniverse performs at The Living Room this Saturday.

On Saturday, September 10, Andy Roo & the AndyRooniverse is performing a kid’s show at The Living Room, 154 Ludlow. The 1pm show is a musical journey to a town of animals, including Silly Sal the Salamander, monkeys climbing trees, and a platypus. AndyRoo & the AndyRooniverse is the children’s music project of singer-songwriter Andrew Karnavas. Tickets are $5. Find more information for LES kids on our kids page.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

In One Wind

IN ONE WIND – Fri, Aug 12 | 11PM at Rockwood Music Hall

The Brooklyn sextet In One Wind creates pop/jazz songs that sound country, and indie rock songs that sound like cinematic scores. With melodic storytelling at the core of In One Wind’s sound, founder/songwriter Angelo Spagnolo submits his compositions in raw from and lets the band, as a collective, shape it into the finished product. The result is a thoughtful mix of musical talent and heartfelt sincerity. FREE// 196 Allen St.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Air Traffic Controller

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER – Fri, July 29 | 7PM at The Living Room

While most pop-rock bands are content to pick a key, strum 4 chords, and repeat a chorus 2.5 times, Air Traffic Controller compellingly thinks a little more before taking the plunge. The heart of Air Traffic Controller beats within the chest of songwriter Dave Munro, who was indeed at one time, an honest to goodness air traffic controller. The Boston native has since traded his radar for a guitar, and now travels the country playing songs made as much for the listening room as they are for the radio. FREE// 196 Allen St.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

The Little Farm Show performs on Sunday, July 31 at The Living Room. The all-ages musical theatre performance explores the history of agriculture, from 10,000 BC to the present time. Focusing on farming, food and the environment, the show asks kids to consider where their food comes from.

The show starts at 1pm, tickets are $5 for kids, $10 for adults, $25 for groups of 4. The Living Room, 154 Ludlow.

For more information on this and other kids events, please visit our kids page.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Indian Rebound

INDIAN REBOUND – Fri, July 1 | 8PM at Cake Shop

Talk about starting them young! Ethan Levenson & John Kallen of Indian Rebound are in High School, yet they’ve already come up with a winning formula and are a year into rocking up and down the NYC circuit. Levenson plays guitar and sings, and Kallen manages the drums.

Weekend Kid’s Pick

Brooklyn Kids Rock at the Living Room this Saturday

Graduates from the Brooklyn Kids Rock school will be performing this Saturday, June 18 at The Living Room (154 Ludlow). The kids of BKR have spent 10 weeks writing original material and covering bands like the Romones and the White Stripes, and now will have the opportunity to perform on stage at one of the Lower East Side’s esteemed live music venues. Doors open at 2 and the show starts at 2:30. Kids are $3, adults $4.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this week:

Katy Gunn

KATY GUNN –  Fri. Apr 8 | 9PM at The Living Room

Brooklyn singer/songwriter Katy Gunn plays the Living Room this Friday, behind the release of her self-titled debut CD. An energetic offering of jazz/pop fusion, Gunn sings tunes reminiscent of Adele or Fiona Apple – adding bouncy string arrangements and danceable beats to her uniquely soulful vocals . FREE//154 Ludlow St.

Weekend Kid’s Pick

Kid's Concert and Japan Fundraiser at the Living Room this Sunday

This Sunday take the kids to a fundraiser concert for Japan at The Living Room (154 Ludlow). Performances by Outer Child Kids’ Choir, Outer Child Kids’ Band, Bill Sims, Richard Barone, Sasha Dobson, Chiara Civello, Doug Wamble and more. Concert is from 3pm-5pm, $10 suggested donation.

For more info, visit or call 212-533-7237.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

Chris Riffle

CHRIS RIFFLE – Thursday, Dec. 09 | 8PM at The Living Room

West-Coaster Chris Riffle, has made the big move, and set up shop in the East Village. The multi-instrumentalist has also capitalized on momentum brought on by opening for bands like Death Cab For Cutie, and recently being nominated for a Grammy for his 2nd album, “Introducing…”

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

Richard Bruckner

RICHARD BUCKNER – Friday, 12/03 | 7:30PM at The Mercury Lounge

Richard Buckner doesn’t mess around with stage theatrics, vocal flourishes, or blazing fast guitar runs. He is a songwriter – a very good one, and that is clearly where he’s chosen to sink all his talents.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

Harper Blynn will play Rockwood Music Hall

HARPER BLYNN – Friday, October 1 | 10:30pm at Rockwood Music Hall

Brooklyn’s Harper Blynn produce an extremely potent form of catchy power-pop. Their album “Loneliest Generation,” produced by David Kahne, has so many layers of harmonies, organs, and percussion toys that every listen has your head bopping to a new discovery every time.