New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 3 - Page 131

On April 14 in a basement space that can’t be named for fear of it being shut down, that history re- freshingly was mingled with New Brunswick’s maligned and misun- derstood hip-hop scene. Any oth- er city in the country that had so much rock and rap, plus more than 30,000 undergraduates at a flag- ship state university, would em- brace those scenes warmly, such as in Raleigh, N.C., and Boston. In interviews, both Lifetime and Screaming Females have told me that they don’t think New Bruns- wick is an artist-friendly town. That’s an absurd thing to say about a city spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on a new performing arts center. But from the standpoint of art that ap- peals to cash-strapped students and starving artists, that observa- tion is spot-on. If city and Rutgers leaders came to an amazing show like the one performed by Hodera, dollys, Green Knuckle Material, Secret Mountain and Offkey Lifestyle on April 14, they would have found an extremely well-designed and comfortable basement venue that even had a bathroom! More than 100 customers seemed thorough- ly satisfied. Customers! Isn’t that what New Brunswick businesses need? A city that prides itself on utilizing the arts as an economic driver should realize that even the smallest ven- ue with the least affluent consumer base still can contribute to that mis- sion. The New Brunswick basement scene has artistic value and finan- Americana • Indie • Classic Rock • 80s Rock and artists from Jersey. There’s no station in the world like AsburyMusic.com NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 3 INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 131