289 Kent Ave.
On the industrial edge of Williamsburg, Glasslands is a divey art and performance venue known for hosting bands before they go big, like Passion Pit. With a capacity of only 275, this club gets packed quickly, so expect a steamy scene. The sound system might not be the best, but with cheap beer and a cover charge usually just $10, the crowd seems willing to let it slide. A night here will most definitely earn you your hipster badge.
Zebulon Cafe Concert
258 Wythe Ave.
A dimly lit French cafe/bar, on any given night, the scene here jumps, jives and wails. Bands can range from jazz to electro to funk, and there’s usually no cover charge. The small crowd here is refreshingly unpretentious, and most likely prefers Miles Davis over
162 Ave. B
New York, NY
This bar might be full of kitsch, but it is so serious about music, it has its own record label. One band a night performs in the “Aloha Room,” and they tend to fall into the blues, rockabilly and garage punk categories. Likewise, the jukebox here spins Jerry Lee Lewis and Howlin’ Wolf. And if the band playing isn’t a crowd-pleaser, head to the vintage photobooth or Ms. PacMan game while you drink your cheap beer.
168 Delancey St.
New York, NY
Better known for its lush, all-weather rooftop patio, The Delancey hosts a regular rotation of indie and punk rock bands in its basement. The long narrow bar space leads to a small stage equipped with high quality sound equipment (don’t forget your earplugs) and refreshingly functional AC.
622 Degraw St.
A converted warehouse on the Carroll Gardens-Park Slope border (otherwise known as Gowanus), Littlefield is an eco-minded performance space equipped with a state-of-the-art soundsystem. Live music runs the gamut, from rock to hip-hop to experimental, while film screenings and comedy are regularly thrown into the mix. Sip old-school cocktails from a bar made from a salvaged bowling alley and soak all the arty-ness in.
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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.