New York’s 5 Best New Music Venues (and Where to Eat Beforehand)

Some people don’t need to be reminded of the life-affirming nature of live music.

For the rest of us, it’s like yoga: you’re always happy you went, but sometimes you need a hand getting out the door.

Consider this that hand: the five best new(ish) live-music venues in New York City.

It’s a mix worthy of our fair burg, from a throwback to the best of ‘70s nightlife to “respectable dives” to psychedelic club nights.

Plus: where to eat before or after. Listen up.

C’mon Everybody (2 images)

C’mon Everybody
Clinton Hill

The vibe: A revival of the underground music and nightlife scene of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Good for people who always bang on about “the way New York used to be.”
Best night to go: Wednesdays and Fridays typically carry the big-hitters.
Dinner pairing: Barboncino Pizza has Neapolitan-style pies, cozy feels and very creative cocktails to loosen you up. The Cremini and Hot Sausage pie will serve you well.
Upcoming acts worth seeing: NanaBCool (9/26), Reginald Chapman (10/10)

Gold Sounds Bar

The vibe: A respectable dive with a bangin’ jukebox serving up local acts and “High Fives”: Miller High Life and a shot for five bones.
Best night to go: Not surprisingly, Thursdays and Fridays — though Sundays are the real deal if you have it in you and want to beat the pre-work blues.
Dinner pairing: Millie’s Cuban Café, a Miami food truck-turned-BK staple with locally sourced fare. The signature Mojo Chicken will certainly get you goin’.
Upcoming acts worth seeing: Cool Side Release Party (9/21), Patternist (9/25)

Wonders of Nature

The vibe: Comes from a former Cake Shop booker with his sights set on more poppy and experimental acts. Small but potent, a bit like going to your friend’s basement circa the distortion explosion of the early 2000s.
Best night to go: Mondays and Tuesdays. A true blue locale for music enthusiasts, not weekend warriors.
Dinner pairing: Birds of a Feather is a fairly new Chinese eatery with an open layout, and nary a napkin has escaped their meticulous attention to detail. Share everything, except for the Sesame Noodles. You’re going to want those all to yourself.
Upcoming acts worth seeing: Blush (9/20), Toebow + Xander Naylor Sound Machine (10/2)

Elswhere (2 images)


The vibe: From the folks previously responsible for the Glasslands Gallery (RIP), a loud, trippy performance-meets-music venue with two separate music spaces, an open rooftop, gallery and art bar. Safe to say, it’s wonderfully weird.
Best night to go: Tough to go wrong here, but Wednesdays and Fridays are certain to pop off. And if you like shimmying en plein air, try the weekend parties on the rooftop.
Dinner pairing: The airy Sea Wolf serves up oysters and frozen drinks that will sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Take it from one who knows.
Upcoming acts worth seeing: Hercules & The Love Affair (9/20), The Drums (9/21)

Rose Gold

The vibe: A psychedelic underground haunt with sparse neon lighting and a black-and-white floor. It’s the Bushwick warehouse party your most sleep-averse friend raves about, but slightly more civilized.
Best night to go: Saturdays for the “Love Terrace” parties, with rotating musical guests and DJs.
Dinner pairing: If you’re near El Cortez and you don’t stop in — shame on you. One part tiki bar and one part Tex-Mex, with the best damn nachos around and a Michelada that hits the spot no matter the hour.
Upcoming acts worth seeing: Drowned (9/21), Minimal Disco (9/27)