posted Apr 19, 2012, 10:29 PM by Alison Sirico   [ updated Apr 23, 2012, 12:40 PM by Robin Enrico ]

Ok here are the big questions: 

1. Its almost been a year. Why isn't there a new silent barn yet? 
2. What are you guys doing? 
3. Where is my shirt? 

1. Why isn't there a new Silent Barn yet? What's going on with that? 

The Saga of The Sweet Spot: Silent Barn Ice-cream Shop that Wasn't: Live and Learn
By G. Lucas Crane, Keeper of the Lore

The search for a new silent barn has taken us many different strange places. On the whole, it's been very psychedelically educational. We've looked at churches and carpet stores, contemplated bunkers with no windows and considered gigantic triangles occupied by BBQ vendors. This New York City real estate search undertaken with much passion and enthusiasm for is the end  for the result, a space of our own.
It's the same but different in every way, and reminds us that we are learning about all aspects of city life, not simply the throwing of shows. The shows will come, and we are learning how to place our art and culture stew in the rich panoply of spaces and neighborhood. We keep getting closer and closer, but we have never come as close to a new concept of what the silent barn could be as we did with the Sweet Spot.

"The Sweet Spot" is an old ice-cream shop on the corner of Forest and Putnam in the heart of strange, beautiful Ridgewood Queens, not too far from the husk of our former space. After the first silent barn public meeting at Gottscheer hall -where we all looked broadly at the bigger picture of the deep lore of underground arts organizations and jammed out to Ava Luna and friends- Brandon was walking home and discovered a "for rent- shop and apartment" sign at the ol' ice-cream shop. Contact with the realtor, Lisa, seemed to confirm that the stars were aligning in our favor. This place had both commercial and residential zoning! This is what we had been looking for! 


One of the realities we discovered on our search is that every
space we find that seems workable, but sooner or later is reviled to have only some of the qualities we are looking for. For instance, the right zoning is the wrong size or it's the right size but the wrong price... Big and broken, small and too quiet. Our former location wasn't perfect either, but was turned into both a home and a venue over years and years of amazing focused vibes. It stands that the process of rebuilding the Silent Barn will be a similar paesthetic endeavor of rollicking jams. Right now, We are searching for a solid base to start this project anew. This time, we got involved in a space, and delved deep into the actual process of closing a long-term lease.

Last week, I honestly thought I'd be announcing the new Silent Barn Ice-cream venue living space. Inside, the commercial space wrapped around a grand but awkward staircase, leading up to two large apartments split down the middle of the second floor by a sky-lit hallway. There was a large basement with slightly-too-low ceilings full of heavy metal records and piles of dirt, with a rickety door leading to a weird courtyard. It's was weirdly beautiful. I looked around and could imagine the ceiling covered in Mylar with a band playing in the corner. Upstairs the large storefront windows, and the industrial kitchen, echoed the old space, but smaller and more attached to the street. Rather than being hidden behind a warehouse door, this new vision of the barn would have the bands and performances and video games visible from the fucking street. It was, in retrospect, an intoxicating concept.

  Lisa the realtor, wearing a jean jacket and business pants, handed me notes on loose-leaf paper with lease revisions on it. "Here, this is pretty standard, we ran out of lease paperwork at the office, it's been a crazy day!" she had arrived from deeper in queens, driven by a man with a puppy named "Sonic", after conferring with the landlord, Golem. "Oh and I'm pretty sure the couple who live in the other apartment upstairs are moving out" We had a lot to talk about at the next meeting. Big Decisions.

A gigantic exploding fountain of questions needed answering. "Is it too small?” "Is the neighborhood too quiet?" " How do we make Ice-cream?" "Can we build structures in the hallway?" "Can we legally have people in this basement?” "Are we allowed to talk to the people upstairs?” should we soundproof the windows?" "Is that a load bearing wall?” "Will this place work?” "Is this the new barn?"

Just standing in the place and downloading the memory of a thousand shows and inserting them over the cracked red and white walls and the old menus everywhere, gave me the chill of strange possibilities. Once you know something is going to be different, it begs the question of "how different?" Our dreams of having a living public stew of performances melding in legal ways,  seemed like a reality that could work in this crazy Ice-cream shop.

We did sound tests. We interviewed the neighbors. We attended community board meetings. We spoke to the Kings of Ridgewood.

Golem the landlord seemed to be a stand up kind of golem. He seemed to be not adverse to the silent barn we were proposing! Then it turned out into a week of back and forth conversations with Lisa over the property specifics.... Lease rewrites.... Provisions.... Cover our ass bullet points.... "Lisa, where is the C of O"..... "we have it, we have it".... "He wouldn't have been able to buy the building if there wasn't a c of o"

Then she seemed to insist that we couldn't speak to the couple upstairs. Strange.

We forged ahead.

On good advice, we finally tried to slip the people upstairs,  deemed the "Totebags", a note introducing us, and what we were wanted to do. we were going ahead with it. This was it, the Barn resurrected in a more residential sense. We mentally prepared to move in.

Then on the last try, a little girl opened the door. It was not a couple; it was an entire tote bag family. We realized that this changes things. But how much does it change things?

Its funny. If they say, " a building delivered vacant" it isn't. And if they tell you that someone is moving out, they may not be. They might be another story all together.

Ultimately we decided against this particular Silent Barn, out of many Silent Barns. But we learned a lot about the lease closing process.

Everyone who has helped out, taken the barn exam, volunteered time and advised us deserves a hearty thank you. The last place was laid on a bed of not knowing, passion for blurry stewy nonstop show and pure crazy luck. The new Barn will be built to last, a bedrock in NYC for years of uncontrollable frenzy.

The search continues! These are crazy times, and we are working constantly to make this dream happen, at the same time we encounter the greater intricacies of this dream.

More shocking real estate stories are coming very soon!

G Lucas Crane


Paesthetics LLC (the legal entity managing Silent Barn's rebuilding budget) has filed an extension for figuring out our tax situation for the money we raised last summer, and so now we're trying to spend the next few months figuring out how to deal with this whole new accounting, write-off, etc branch of arts admin operations for Silent Barn. This the sort of thing you're into? Me and Kunal could sure use some help! Thanks :)

Game shown at Babycastles Manhattan, January 2011

      BARN EXAM       

Project Idea of the Week:::::::TEMPORARY MAZE



Have an idea? Take the the Barn Exam!!

Thank you!

Huge thanks to Paul Haney for dropping off over $600 for Rebuilding The Silent Barn with me from his amazing Benefit Comp off Obsolete Units. There are still a bunch of copies left, if you haven't had a chance to peep this massive noise collection yet!



2. What are you doing?

      PUBLIC MEETINGS       

“Actually, it's Ridgewood”

is happening soon, in May.
It'sorganized by The Queens Museum of Art. 

Silent Barn will be participating by organizing our Public Meeting #2 around that day. Here's some investigations about Ridgewood that the QMA's Director of Public Events, Prerana Reddy, dug up last month

They spoke with Joe about Gotscheer Hall at the Silent Barn's last Public Meeting, the video for which is at the bottom of Prerana Reddy's Ridgewood investigation. Here's some more info on the first Public Meeting

Brandon Zwaggerman will be the chef for the evening, helping organize the panel around Ridgewood Arts Organizations and how they've engaged with the surrounding community. His email is Feel free to reach out to him directly with questions or to brainstorm on this thread here on ideas for Silent Barn's Public Meeting #2!


We are knighting new project leaders!


B the Artist is a full-service artist consulting and management company dedicated to providing the highest quality support and advice for independent artists. 

B The Artist is founded on the principle of DIY and encourages artists to take control of their career and create the business with minimal work and maximum performance.

Educated in Music Business and Management at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Chris is both an accomplished musician and a dedicated audio/ visual artist. 

His work has been heard by thousands throughout the US and Europe, where his reputation took a quantum leap in the Greek Summer Festivals of 2010, with the Dub-Electro outfit Direct Connection. In the US, Chris plays bass on a regular basis with the international touring act The Mike Scala Band and Brooklyn's own, The Bottom Dollars.

I have put out several mini-comics, and been published in anthologies such as True Porn 2 and I Saw You. And was co-editor on the Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff. I am also a co-founder of the Nerdlinger Awards.


3. Where is my shirt?


We have not forgotten about our wonderful kickstarter supporters and we promise your donation rewards are in process. We've hit a bit of an road block in the production, but we're back on track and appreciate your patience! We're working hard to get them in your hands as soon as possible. If you would like to volunteer to assist in production, coordination, distribution, etc. please contact us!

We finished the sticker designs thanks to the skills of Rob!


The Gang Font feat. Interloper @ Silent Barn, Brooklyn/Queens NY, 21 Apr 2007

Have pictures from old silent barn shows? Email or post them on SHHHbarn and we'll all talk about the good old days!

      MONDAY MEETINGS       

For more in depth info. Read our minutes: 


Reg Bloor is a member of the Glenn Branca Ensemble and of THE PARANOID CRITICAL REVOLUTION, the latter of which performed at The SIlent Barn in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

To make the next Silent Barn newsletter logo, please email me at!

Alison Sirico