Dear Musicians, Fans and Friends:
After more than 9 years as a home for avant-garde, creative, and experimental music, Tonic will reluctantly close its doors on Friday, April 13th, 2007. We simply can no longer afford the rent and all of the other costs associated with doing business on the Lower East Side.
The neighborhood around us has been increasingly consumed by “luxury condominiums”, boutique hotels and glass towers, all making the value of our salvaged space worth more then our business could ever realistically support. We have also been repeatedly harassed by the city’s Quality of Life Task Force which resulted in the debilitating closing of the ))sub((tonic lounge in January. Coincidentally, this campaign began as our immediate neighbor, the Blue Condominium building – a symbol of the new Lower East Side – prepared to open its doors.
As a business, we take responsibility for mistakes made along the way. If profit had been our chief motivation we could have changed our programming to something more mainstream and financially lucrative. Instead we were more committed to a certain type of music and loyal to the community that supported us. As a result, we’ve always just survived but never really prospered. It is, however, unfortunate that it is so difficult for small businesses to operate in this city and that a chain store that can afford a high rent is more desirable than a place like Tonic that has a different kind of value.
While this is certainly the end of Tonic at 107 Norfolk Street, we remain committed to what Tonic represents and plan to try again in some form as soon as possible. In the interim, Tonic will make efforts to present new music in existing venues such as the Abron’s Arts Center located just a few blocks away.
We invite you to join us as often as you can over our remaining days to help us celebrate Tonic and more importantly the amazing artists, our unwavering staff, and the nurturing community that made Tonic possible. Itâ€™s because of you that weâ€™ve stayed open as long as we have. Thank you!
Sincerely, Melissa and John
Contact: tonic [at] tonicnyc.com
Please stay in touch by joining our email list:
Quick poll: Which NYC borough or neighborhood would you most like Tonic to reopen in?
Top 5 Results:
Brooklyn – Gowanus (187 votes)
Manhattan – Downtown (47 votes)
Brooklyn – Williamsburg (23 votes)
Manhattan – Washington Heights (20 votes)
Brooklyn – Park Slope (14 votes)
1pm Tonic Alumni Festival Matinee: Loren Connors & Steve Dalachinsky plus Ben Perowsky & Sylvie Courvoisier plus Erik Friedlander & Ikue Mori plus Jane Ira bloom, Bobby Previte & Mark Helias plus Barbez
Loren Connors & Steve Dalachinsky:
Ben Perowsky & Sylvie Courvoisier: With Ben Perowsky (drums) & Sylvie Courvoisier (piano).
Erik Friedlander & Ikue Mori:
Jane Ira bloom, Bobby Previte & Mark Helias: With Bobby Previte (drums), Mark Helias (bass) & Jane Ira Bloom (soprano sax / electronics).
Barbez: Gorgeous Old world Slavic cabaret collides with Schnittke and the Residents in this Brooklyn-based punk chamber ensemble. With Dan Kaufman (guitar, vocals), Danny Tunick (marimba, vibes), Peter Hess (clarinets), Peter Lettre (bass), John Bollinger (drums).
8pm Tonic Alumni Festival: Samara Lubelski plus White Magic plus T.K. Webb
Samara Lubelski: Samara Lubelski steps outside the context of long time collaborators Hall Of Fame & Tower Recordings to deliver a solo vision from an alternate psychedelic folk universe.
White Magic: With Mira Billotte at the piano leading an electrified band through a pride of new songs with players Sleepy Dough Shaw on Guitar, Jim White of Dirty 3 on Drums and Brad Truax JÃ¤h Division, Soliders Of Fortune and Home on bass. The music of White Magic has expanded both in realm and recital as finish work on their first full length album which steeps dark ragas into buried torch songs.
T.K. Webb: TK lays down the truth as it comes to him with just guitar and suitcase drum. This gritty troubadour takes you down the forgotten lanes and creek sides where life is not wrapped up with a bow. Blues with the grist and gristle still intact.”The undiscovered blues genius of the lower east side”-The Fader
Sun, Apr 08
7pm Tonic Alumni Festival Part 2: Burnt Sugar plus Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi plus Okkyung Lee plus Marty Ehrlich Trio plus Yuka Honda & Sean Lennon plus White Out plus Blind Idiot God plus Big Lazy plus Smokey Hormel, Alan Licht & Anton Fier plus Forro In The Dark
Suggested Donation With special guest DJ MIKE WOLF (TIME OUT NY, POLAR BEAR CLUB)
Burnt Sugar: Burnt Sugar has been modeled after Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew ensembles and employs an ersatz version of the conduction system of improvisation developed by Butch Morris.
Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi: With Brandon Ross (guitar) & Stomu Takeishi (bass). Harriet Tubman’s guitarist plays with bassist Stomu Takeishi and special guest Tyshawn Sorey.
Okkyung Lee: With Okkyung Lee (cello).
Marty Ehrlich Trio: With Marty Ehrlich (saxophone), Gerald Cleaver (drums) & mario pavone (bass).
Yuka Honda & Sean Lennon:
White Out: With Tom Surgal (drums) & Lin Culbertson (synthesizer).
Blind Idiot God: Blind Idiot God first formed in St. Louis, MO in 1982 with Andy Hawkins, guitar-Gabe Katz, bass-Ted Epstein, drums. As an instrumental band, they were free to move between genres and map out new territory. Using volume, repetition and dynamics, B.I.G. were able to define a new sound which utilized the heft of hardcore, the push-pull of funk, the spaciousness of dub and a willingness to expand genre vocabularies. The current lineup features Tim Wyskida-also of Khanate-on drums.
Big Lazy: Twangy, lurid, primeval instrumentals.
Smokey Hormel, Alan Licht & Anton Fier:
Forro In The Dark: With Mauro Refosco(zabumba), Rob Curto (accordion) and Smokey Hormel (guitar), plus some guests. “We play forro music. It’s a style from the northeast of Brasil. The most well known composer and the one we play most of the songs of is Luis Gonzaga (The King of Baiao).”–Mauro Refosco.
Mon, Apr 09
8pm Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra
The singular Bernstein leads his troops into the future while dragging the past kicking and swinging behind.
10pm Pure Fire Farewell Party
Pure Fire and Broklyn Beats Records invite you to a SubTonic Farewell Party commemorating all the good times we have had playing in SubTonic. With SubTonic previously closed, this party will be hosted upstairs at Tonic, but SubTonic will be listening! There will be a DJ set-up, extra tables and a mackie mixer provided.
Tue, Apr 10
8pm Floriculture plus Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman Duo
Floriculture: Floricultureâ€™s (Chris Mannigan, saxophone, Stephanie Griffin, viola, Carl Maguire, piano, John Herbert, bass, Dan Weiss, drums) recent release on Between The Lines was proclaimed by Glenn Astarita â€œone of the true modern jazz surprises of 2006â€ and summed up by Bruce Gallanter as â€œExcellent work from some of my favorite local heroes.â€
Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman Duo: With Mark Feldman (violin) & Sylvie Courvoisier (piano). Violinist Mark Feldman (John Zorn, John Abercrombie, and Loretta Lynn) and pianist Sylvie (John Zorn, Yusef Lateef and Mephista)return Home after a 21 gig European Tour for a night of New Music at Tonic.(www.markfeldmanviolin.com) (www.sylviecourvoisier.com) Tonight’s performance is a benefit for TONIC.
10pm Vernon Reid plus Groove Collective
Vernon Reid: Both a guitarist and a composer Vernon is a true artist, one whose work is forever in progress, from his formative years on the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene with the Decoding Society, to his leadership of the pioneering platinum rock band Living Colour, to his collaborations with creative spirits ranging from guitarist Carlos Santana, to African singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd.
Groove Collective: Long before the term “jam band” hit the scene, this crew of New York City-based stylistic adventurers was laying down grooves that buzzed with funk, jazz, house, Latin and every party-inducing sound in between. “Groove Collective’s identity lies not in one fixed style but in its capable hospitality to whatever might keep hips swaying.” –Jon Pareles, The New York Times
Wed, Apr 11
8pm Peter Brotzmann, Marino Pliakas & Michael Wertmueller
With Peter Brotzmann (saxophone), MARINO PLIAKAS & Michael Wertmueller (drums). Peter Brotzmann (Germany, reeds) – the living legend of the European new jazz. A founder of European Free Jazz movement, his work includes collaborations and recordings with Last Exit (with Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock and Ronald Shannon Jackson), Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, and Borah Bergman. Recent projects include Die Like a Dog (with William Parker, Hamid Drake and Toshinori Kondo), his homage to Albert Ayler, the Chicago-based Brotzmann Tentet and many more.
10pm Charles Curtis & Raha Raissnia
Thu, Apr 12
Tabla artist, composer, and producer, Suphala, is a protÃ©gÃ© of the great tabla master and Ustad Zakir Hussain. She has collaborated with artists including Sean Lennon, Edie Brickell, Norah Jones, Perry Ferrell (Janeâ€™s Addiction), hip- hop producer Timbaland, Lady Ms. Kier (Dee-Lite), 4Hero, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), and Yoko Ono. In January 2005, Suphala was the first artist and first female to perform in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.
9:30pm Alex Delivery plus Other Passengers
Other Passengers: Other Passengers first emerged on the underground NYC music scene in March 2004 and quickly grabbed attention with their moody and dramatic sound: at times loud and jarring and in an instant moving to the realm of eerie and ethereal space creating a collage of post-punk psychedelia that reflects the dichotomy of the city: isolation among millions. They released their debut EP, Is It Nothing to You, All Those Who Pass By? in October 2004.
Fri, Apr 13
7:30pm & 9pm John Zorn Improv Night PARTY – Last TONIC show!!
Suggested Donation $20 – A portion of tonight’s proceeds will benefit The Stone
Come celebrate Tonic’s final night at 107 Norfolk Street with this John Zorn Improv featuring dozens of special guests.
10pm The Bunker
With DJ Spinoza & Derek Plaslaiko. A wild dance party with dark techno, house, and electro with the occasional aural curveball. Now in it’s 4th year! [ details ]
Sat, Apr 14
8pm Tonic presents at Abrons Arts Center: Jandek
$20, $20 in advance
Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand St. (at Pitt), just a few blocks from Tonic on the lower east side. Tickets still available at Tonic’s box office and at Other Music, 15th E. 4th St. at Lafayette http://www.othermusic.com
With a representative from Corwood Industries, guitar & vocal; Tim Foljahn (of Two Dollar Guitar, Int’l Shades, Boredoms, etc.) on bass, and Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power, etc.) on drums. We are very pleased to present Jandek in the wonderful and comfortable theatre setting, in only his second ever New York live appearance, despite a 30 year recording career which has yielded nearly 50 full-length releases.