There’s no place to lose yourself in the indie music scene than New York City. The sheer amount of people squashed into this metropolis means you’ll have all kinds of talent, levels of creativity, and perhaps some truly revolutionary acts scratching around the underground.
NYC’s small music venues make for a veritable treasure trove of indie music of all genres. Many of these places on our list of the top five indie music venues hold nothing back in hosting all kinds of acts.
See below our list of the five best indie music venues to discover your next favorite local indie band creating on their own terms.
This divey restaurant and bar is the epitome of indie music venue. Crusty, vulgar, and set up with a great sound system, shows in the backroom here have become a mainstay of the Brooklyn indie music scene.
Bands that play here are truly local. Many of them play the local circuit endlessly, and the venue has created a following because of that. Throw in some of the cheapest drinks you can find in NYC, and you have yourself a true blue indie music venue.
2. Silent Barn
An increasingly popular music venue for all kinds of underground artists, Silent Barn is more than a place for live music.
Taking up a three-story building, you can also browse an art gallery of local makers, as well as buy vinyl records in their record shop. In terms of being an all-inclusive art space, Silent barn is a one-stop-shop for the musically-inclined localvore.
3. Secret Project Robot
An indoor and outdoor venue right off the L train, Secret Project Robot is a work in progress that is proving that it works.
Featuring a bar as well as indoor and outdoor live music spaces, Secret Project Robot is a place where you can rock out to great underground music, ride down a slide, and grab a fresh brew all in one spot.
4. 538 Johnson
Essentially a warehouse of performance spaces, 538 Johnson is the truest form of underground music venue you can find. With shows being promoted mainly by word-of-mouth, you have to know somebody who knows somebody to find this spot.
One of the incubators of the infamous NYC noise music scene, you’ll have a chance to catch some truly novel underground performances. If you’re looking for something different, do not sleep on 538 Johnson.
5. The Ho_se
Small, literally underground, and known for its high-energy shows, The Ho_se is not a place to take a date.
Featuring everything from psych rock to punk, to noise, hardcore, and everything else under and over the sun, the Ho_se has become one of the best kept secrets of the DIY underground music scene. Bring your earplugs – this place tends to get loud and packed real quick.
6. The Stone
If what you’re looking for is avant-garde music, then look no further than the spot legendary avant-garde musician John Zorn opened up.
Perhaps one of the last Brooklyn DIY spaces, the scene at The Stone is insular, singular, and altogether out there. But don’t let that scare you – come with an open mind and you’re sure to feel the exhilaration of this defining establishment in underground music.