No Frills, Just Music at The Stone
Like most cool things in NYC, The Stone is hard to find. Not because it’s the next super swanky “knock three times and wink suggestively while purring like a cat” to get in hot spot (do those really exist, by the way? I haven’t been invited yet…), but because the only thing that distinguishes this experimental music haven from the graffiti-clad corner on Ave C and 2nd Street is a very small door sign. Basically, it looks closed.
This seems to have been working OK, though, since its open by avant-garde composer and sax legend John Zorn in 2005, because what’s inside The Stone is worth 10 minutes of confused wandering. Each month, a new Zorn-appointed musician curates the programing for this all-ages, not-for-profit performance space, giving opportunity for newcomers like NOW Ensemble to strut their musical stuff as much as downtown icons like Lou Reed and Marc Ribot. All ticket sales go 100% back to the artists ($10 unless otherwise noted, students 13-19 half price, children 12 and under free); the space itself is funded through limited edition CDs and benefit concerts throughout the year.
As such, the space sticks to the straightforward: folding chair seating, no booze or food, cash only ticket sales at the door and mostly plain white walls. The people inside are strictly there for the music–not to catch up over a Blue Moon–and ohmygawd is that awesome. Sets are at 8PM and 10PM Tuesday-Sunday, so take a chance and mosey in sometime. You might hear someone play their instrument with a comb and you might hear a rare performance by a music icon, but no matter what you won’t hear some d-bag from Murray Hill talk about what he did last night.
Corner of Ave C and 2nd Street [Lower East Side]