New York Music Scene
New York State has always been an exciting place to live and work. Those who choose to live here live fast. Not everyone can make it here, but New Yorkers who thrive in this atmosphere reap the benefits of being the first to see the latest in fashion and art. Not every city in New York runs at a breakneck pace, though. Residents of Buffalo and Rochester can live a little more peacefully and still be within driving distance of The Big Apple.
The city of New York has always served as a musical beacon in the United States. Its finest school, Juilliard School of Music, is so prestigious that it claims the lowest acceptance rate of any elite status university. New York’s Greenwich Village served as the breeding grounds for folk artists Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel. The clubs CBGB’s and Studio 5 had a monumental impact on music. CBGB’s produced many punk and avant-garde acts like The Ramones and The Talking Heads, while Studio 54 became synonymous with disco and debauchery in the 70s.
The Brooklyn music scene has been growing steadily since the 90s, when undercover cops started citing bar owners for not enforcing cabaret laws. The result was a musical movement that catapulted The Strokes and The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs into the limelight. Their kind of music represented a rebirth of sophisticated New York style rock in the mainstream. Bands like Blondie had once relied on underground avenues and word-of-mouth to gain attention, but the new guard used MTV and VH1 as a path to stardom.
In Rochester, the Eastman School of Music has the best music graduate program in the country and also has concerts in Eastman Theatre to showcase their students. There is also a very respectable jazz scene in Rochester. The Rochester International Jazz Festival drew approximately 65,000 listeners during the summer of `07.
Buffalo is home to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, honoring those who have made an impact on western New York music. Buffalo is also subject of the popular Billy Joel song “Allentown”, a section of Buffalo with a distinctly laid-back feel to it.
Best Venues in New York
New York - The Beacon Theater is a smaller medium-sized solution for concertgoers. Its cozy atmosphere places the attention firmly on the performers.
Brooklyn - The Brooklyn Academy of Music houses performances of the avant-garde and
progressive genres. It is the home of elite music in Brooklyn.
Rochester - Two venues called The Club and The Hall combine local artists and more
accomplished acts. Bands like Saves the Day have played The Hall, giving less established bands
the opportunity to rub elbows with the big boys.
Buffalo - Shea’s Performing Arts Center has great sound, unique design, and Ted Nugent has
played there. It was built in 1926 as a movie palace, but eventually converted into a venue.