Tue-Sun, shows at 8pm and 10pm; Mon, seminars, check the website calendar
F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.
$10 (unless otherwise listed on website); half price for students 13 to 19; children 12 and under free
When the Knitting Factory grew too big for its britches, avant-garde sax legend John Zorn famously boycotted it to help start Tonic. No one who saw him berate chatty smokers and drinkers at the latter space was surprised when in spring 2005 he opened this still smaller, more austere performance space which he’s named after author Irving Stone (Lust for Life, The Agony and the Ecstasy). In keeping with his ever-higher calling, Zorn has promised that all door money will go to the artists and that operating expenses will be covered through the sale of limited edition CD’s and a monthly benefit concert. Since there’s no signage, no liquor license, no promotional push, and no décor beyond the photos of jazz legends, the sixty or so folding chairs parked on the concrete floor of this white box are occupied primarily by die-hards obsessed with that experimental music genre known as “downtown.” Each month, the performance schedule is curated by a member of Zorn’s posse: noise-guitar god Thurston Moore, drum machine diva Ikue Mori, avant-garde brass master Roy Campbell, Jr., etc. The resulting free-form improvisations can be hair-raising to the uninitiated and may leave even the devotees craving a stiff drink— and some fresh air— at a nearby bar.Contact Info
The venue doesn't have a phone, but Downtown Music Gallery, where many of the artists' CDs are sold, sometimes fields calls at 212-473-0043.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.