Now a decade ago, a few friends and I descended to Brooklyn for a special performance featuring performances from a ridiculous bill of The Morning Benders (who now operate as POP ETC), Surfer Blood, Beach Fossils and Turbo Fruits. This was back when the buzz on all of these bands was rising at a sweltering pace and The Morning Benders were on the rise and about to release their game-changing album Big Echo.
The show took place at a tiny Bushwick venue Market Hotel that we had never ventured out to previously. We didn’t know quite what to expect upon arrival when we realized they were operating a bit more on their own, to the point where the venue had you line up across the street not to attract any unwanted attention. But this DIY set up and atmosphere was a part of its charm, as was getting to see a bunch of great bands on the rise play in a sweltering hot room packed to the brim with fans who are truly there because of the music and for the music.
Miraculously after Vice killed half of the remaining DIY venues in New York City, Market Hotel is still around ten years later. That’s not to say that it had an easy journey. It was gone for a good chunk of the decade as they gave it renovations and got the necessary permits and such to do it more “officially” this time around.
But it’s back and still around, although COVID-19 sure hasn’t helped any matters. But since its return, it’s been a staple of the underground music scene once again, providing local artists and musicians a chance to share their art with an all ages audience, allowing the importance of the arts to be shared with not only those who are able to chug a few beers along the way.
As great as it is to see some fresh bands with an unsuspecting audience, there’s also plenty of wild underplays that have taken place there such as Sleater Kinney celebrating their return with a now legendary performance there, as well as Car Seat Headrest the night before they wrecked all kinds of havoc on Jimmy Fallon.
It just takes a few seconds upon arrival at the venue and seeing your favorite band rocking out while seeing a subway train pass by in the back window, giving you one of the most natural New York moments you’ll ever find at a concert in this great city of ours.
Like so many venues, Market Hotel and their staff can use some help during this scary and troubling time. They’ve made it this far an offer us so much positivity in a world that needs it now more than ever. We can’t afford to lose them in a time where independent music and venues are constantly being threatened. As one of the last remaining true DIY venues in the city, it’s importance is laid out in plain sight for all of us.
If you have the means to do so, please consider donating to their GoFundMe Page here.