Thursday, October 18, 2012

Like The Virgins, practicing for the very first time...

So, as you may have heard, some residents have been annoyed about The Virgins practicing in the lead singer's apartment on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and East Seventh Street. (DNAinfo had the story yesterday; the Post followed-up later.)

Per DNA's Serena Solomon:

"I think they are so full of themselves they keep their window open," said the resident, who declined to provide her name, at a meeting of the Ninth Precinct Community Council Tuesday night.

Though she admitted that the band's sound is polished, the 25-year resident of the block said the regular racket has been going for three weeks straight.

Perhaps it was all prep work for their CMJ show last night at Brooklyn Bowl. (And they have a new record coming out early next year.)

But some people like that this happens!

Kirk Villalobos, 33, who works at the popular French fry eatery Pommes Frites, said he can also hear the band playing from the restaurant and that patrons often step out of the spot to start dancing on the sidewalk.

"I like their music," Villalobos said, adding that he's heard the band rehearsing in the space for months. "Especially the guitarist when he plays a good solo."

(Will the city fine Pommes Frites for not having a cabaret license?)

Funny, though, that any bands actually still live around here.

To the Post!

"It's an odd choice for them to be right there," said the neighbor who admitted that she actually owns some of their albums. "Most bands are in a garage in Brooklyn."

(By the way, The Virgins have only released one EP and one album.)

And, finally, back to DNA for the classic "If you don't like/want" quote:

Andrew Mitchell, 34, who said he lives next door to The Virgins' practice space, has heard the band playing on numerous occasions, but always during "reasonable hours" of the day.

"A lot of people would say, if you don't want a band rehearsal near you," he said, "don't live in the East Village."

[H/t Madonna for that dreadful headline inspiration]


Ena Paul Kostabi said...

Please turn it up.. Love it.. They do sound super tight lately..

glamma said...

Rock on dudes

Anonymous said...

So basically from this article I gather that one person (the complainant) is bothered by the noise and that pretty much everyone else loves it. OK. I don't see how this is a like/don't like issue-- I thought there were city ordinances to prevent things like oh I don't know, full rock bands rehearsing in apartments. I love rock music probably more than all of you combined but I don't see anything cute about this. About this band, they have been at it for a long time. I used to live next door and I would see them all the time, looking like shit, taking cabs everywhere. Pretty sure they are trust funders.

Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous! I never could quite wrap my head around the "this is NEW YORK" argument. Because it is New York, where we are stacked up on one another, all the more reason to be aware of how your behavior effects your neighbors! A good rule of thumb it to try to put yourself in your neighbors' shoes. Same goes for the neighbor complaining. I wonder if they ever tried to knock on the door and let them know (even though you shouldn't HAVE to)that their band practice is too loud.

editrrix said...

And to think that I almost went all the way to Brooklyn last night when I could have just walked a few blocks away to St. Marks. I actually love the Virgins and would be happy to share space near them. That woman should be thanking them for all the free tunes. Play it louder guys!

Anonymous said...

As obnoxious as the Virgins are there is an indie rock band that rehearses in an apt on A near 11th who are just truly dreadful. Crappier than the Virgins.
It's NYC, respect your neighbors and get a practice room that's not in a residential building where people have babies, scared pets, or work from home quietly while you pound away with your no talent self indulgent junk.

Anonymous said...

I'd be happy to have more bands playing and practicing in the neighborhood. I often hear a jazz band practicing in the neighboring building and I enjoy it. Still, there must be some mutual consideration about hours, volume levels, etc.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, musicians do have a legal right to practice instruments in their apartments, and those complaints that go to court usually decide in favor of the musician. However, there can be legal limits on the level of noise transmitted to neighboring apartments, and courts can impose limitations to daytime hours and such.

Also, not sure how this applies to full bands as opposed to individuals rehearsing.

- East Villager

Crazy Eddie said...

George Carlin once said in a rant about religion that he worships Joe Pesci as God. So regarding this issue, instead of the bible, I will quote Joe: Be nice.BE NICE!

"A lot of people would say, if you don't want a band rehearsal near you," he said, "don't live in the East Village." I know he fine tunes it by saying “reasonable hours” but still haven’t we all heard enough of the similar hick/rube mantra: “If you don’t like noise, move back to Suburbia.”

Anonymous said...

This band is successful enough to be known by many people- then they should have the knowledge and funds to rent space. It is totally inconsiderate to practice in an apartment especially if it is amplified music.
I have several co-workers in bands and though we make modest wages, they put some of their money aside to rent space. So should this band-it is not cute or amusing to hear blaring music if you have to go to work or are relaxing at home.

Anonymous said...

I have literally heard them practice their for 2 years now. Not sure why all of a sudden it's such a big deal. They play for maybe an hour at the most. People outside seem to all really love it and it's during the day.

Isn't there bigger issues on that block like gutter punks leaving syringes everywhere and harassing pedestrians?

This is a good band playing some music for free for an hour.

Anonymous said...

Not to rain on this party but a few years ago I read a Richard Hell-Virgins cross-interview and man alive did they ever come across as the biggest bunch of pretentious, self-impressed, rich-kid douchebags. Although I love hearing bands rehearse, I want to tell the Virgins to fuck themselves.

Anonymous said...

Music is an art form and a form of FREE expression. These guys are trying to make a living, too, just like everyone else. All the complainers need to get their facts straight.
These guys practice in the afternoon/early evening out of consideration for their neighbors and also keep their amps down and drums muffled. Most people are awake from 4-7 including kids. As their manager stated, they practice at those hours out of sensitivity to their neighbors. It gets hot when a band practices/performs. Ever notice how sweaty a band is when they leave the stage from a performance, especially for the drummer? An open window is not arrogance, it fresh air! So, would it appease the complainers more if 4 musicians were in proximate apartments and practicing their instruments individually at the same time? At least these guys are all playing the same song.
Yes, they are young, but they are responsible guys that also have a work ethic - it is why they routinely practice. It is their job! They work at home for part of their job, too. Just because a band released an album 4 years ago, it does not assure wealth, besides, only one of the original members is with the band now. They are not all trust funders! Plus for the one with secure finances, he is not living off it, he is working. Some of the band members also work to augment their income. Rental space is pricey, and their instruments/gear are more secure when they have their eyes on it.
It obviously makes people feel good if they are dancing in the streets. We all need a break from the stress during these times and if these 4 guys can help people have some fun, then they providing a service. So for all the complainers out there, you will be bragging about being their neighbors when they are making their acceptance speeches on award shows. Lighten up and dance, too. It just might make you feel better, get your endorphins flowing, and help you be more productive yourself (research supports that).

Anonymous said...

Oh jesus, the Virgins groupies are here. "Acceptance speeches on awards shows" impresses exactly no one. You must be twelve, or on dope.

Please do not respond to me with five solid wall-to-wall text paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

you know what? -- this is Anonymous 10:38 and 1:48 -- I would like to retract my statement about the Virgins being douches, or rich, or whatever. It wasn't very nice at all, and I don't want to put that kind of negativity into the world. I don't know them, and they could be lovely people for all I know.

I would like to apologize for being judgmental and mean (and snippy to Anon 2:21) and hope that people can enjoy their rehearsals for a long time to come. Peace.

Anonymous said...

People have jobs so they can make money to pay rent and rent studio practice space. Your apartment is not a suitable place- even if you are doing the amazingly generous "free music is free art!" martyrdom. I am sure they are a rockin' band but that does not excuse the fact that it is totally inconsiderate and rude to your neighbors.
4-7pm might be a great time for them to practice but maybe others have just come home from work, or work nights or just don't feel like having a free concert in their building every week in perpetuity.
How arrogant to think pissed off neighbors will be gushing with thanks about being graced by the band practicing in their apartment building "when they get awards".
I think it is similar to people who drive around with their windows down blasting loud music- "Look at me! Marvel at my musical taste!" Imagine if people were dancing as you stopped at a red light?! "Even better- I am sooo cool!"