As the days start to get shorter, and Brooklyn residents start thinking about indoor activities that will keep them warm and cozy, live music at a memorable venue such as Barclays Center or Bellhouse stands out as the perfect fall pastime, not least because Park Slope is full of places to catch a great performance without having to travel far from home. Here, we look ahead at the fall listings for live music at three prime indie gems near Baltic:
Barbès |376 9th Street
There's more than a touch of Paris to this self-proclaimed neighborhood community center. Maybe it's the name. (Barbès is indeed a neighborhood of the French capital.) Maybe it's the $6 servings of Ricard. (This place does a mean Pastis cocktail too.) Maybe it's because Barbès is owned by two French musicians. It's probably a combination of all the above. The performances, meanwhile, are as international as they come: in the autumn months, you can treat your ears to Guinean jazz guitarist Mamady Kouyate, The Erik Satie Quartet (taking classical music to a whole new dimension), and a Slavic soul party. In fact, at Barbès you can learn about pretty much every musical genre under the sun, from pretty much every country. And the mixologists in residence will ensure that your taste buds are treated as well as your ears.
ShapeShifter Lab |18 Whitwell Place
As the name suggests, ShapeShifter Lab excels in creating the right atmosphere for one of music's most experimental genres, jazz. This fall’s must see performance is Rob Reddy's Bechet: Our Contemporary, an ensemble who doff their caps to the great Sidney Bechet. Or broaden your horizons with “A Night of Jazz and Hip-Hop Chamber Music for Strings.” (We're intrigued, to say the least.) Beyond performances, ShapeShifter Lab also holds workshops and events that draw both professionals and hobbyists to the former garage space, which has enjoyed several acoustical upgrades. For example, on November 20th, aspiring musical technologists can hone their live music software skills in ShapeShifter’s latest Digital & Acoustic Sessions class, free of charge.
Littlefield NYC |622 Degraw Street
Littlefield is one fascinating place. This former textile warehouse has been sustainably transformed into a cult Park Slope venue: when you're listening to music here, it's bouncing off recycled rubber and cork. The music is as diverse as the material used to build Littlefield. In the coming weeks, you may find yourself dancing away to everything from a night of Bowie and Prince classics to the “Fake Chapter Records 20th Anniversary Show.” Beyond the music, Littlefield regularly draws top comedic talent; Wyatt Cenac and Kristen Schaal (both of Daily Show fame) have played here recently.