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Southpaw owner to take over Galapagos space


TONY has it that Southpaw owner Matthew Roff, currently involved in the final stages of opening new Prospect Heights beer garden Franklin Park, plans to sign a lease tomorrow on the Galapagos space in Williamsburg.
The name: Natural Selection. “We’re all fans of Darwin, obviously,” says Roff, who will partner with the owners of popular South Slope watering hole Bar Four. “We were originally going to call it Madagascar but we thought that might be too much of a slap in the face.”

Roff plans to retain the location as a performance space, and tells us the transformation could be “weeks away.” Galapagos, as has been widely reported, will relocate to Dumbo sometime in 2009.


Just something I've noticed when reading a lot of these kind of blogs. The amount of subtle and not-so-subtle racist/classist attitudes held by supposedly progressive-minded people is staggering, and is really going largely unchecked.

Southpaw has some employees of color, and they are referred to as "low class" and "ghetto".

You moved to brooklyn. This is brooklyn. Just because you are young and white with a college degree does not mean you understand everything and everyone.

Amen to the last comment. One correction though, the rub party is monthly, not every Saturday. Been to plenty of good weekend shows.

ghetto employees??? just how often do you visit southpaw, dexter? i've lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, i.e. am a music junkie who has attended countless shows there, hence wouldn't refer to any one of the employees at southpaw as 'ghetto'. in fact i'd be happier if park slope seemed to be retaining MORE 'ghetto' at this point, what with obnoxious venues like union hall with its yuppie upper west side baseball cap wearing date rape imports and tiny claustrophobic stage area (which i'm sure has stymied many a misled band and manager expecting a far larger, more professional stage area post-booking) invading what is quickly becoming a more gentrified area than i’d hoped park slope would ever become.

most southpaw employees, on the other hand, and its owners have also lived if not grown up in the neighborhood...having seen 5th avenue morph from a wasteland of 99-cent joints and empty weekend night sidewalks and decrepit storefronts, to what you see today. in my opinion southpaw should be counted as one of the neighborhood’s major transformational forces, and cheeseball as it sounds, the fact that it welcomes diversity and offers hip-hip and world and electronica as well as indie rock has been great. the wonderbread whitie cooler-than-thou crowd otherwise known as williamsburg isn’t the only legit listening audience.

as for ghetto? the only genuine ghetto event you're going to find at southpaw is 'the rub' whose entire weekly sold-out draw IS ghetto. and the grillz and booty butts which attend the rub obviously do so for this very reason! i.e. avoid saturday nights at all costs unless you dig sweat, sequined tube tops and unwelcome hard-ons rubbing up against your thighs. otherwise snicker at the atypical velvet rope line from a distance.

as for “rotton" treatment? maybe. if you treat the staff like a major DICK. as for door guys and musicians? since when have door guys played a major role with regards to talent? do door guys distribute drinks? do they write checks? do they check sound? do they rig equipment? the tech guys at southpaw, on the other hand, are major sweethearts and definitely know their shit. i too am friends with lots of musicians (who extend the boundaries of mere cooler-than-thou-land) of all experience levels, and have never heard similar complaints. in fact i can think of at least one tech guy whom bands revere. give the staff a Fucking break.

as for confusing layout? you sound like a drunk dumbass. top floor = one long room with an epic bar, the stage and a tiered seating area. bottom floor = big lounge + second bar for extra busy nights, large CLEAN bathrooms with short lines, a coatcheck, offices and a greenroom. and hell if i've ever seen a so-called 'bathroom hallway pass'. my one complaint, to be fair, is that the stage is too close to the bar...which means that obnoxious people who choose to yap their traps during gigs tend to do so even more audibly and closer to the stage. but live and learn i guess. i’m sure the owners would have designed the upstairs slightly differently today, if given the choice, since cell phone culture has altered peoples so-called common courtesy manners forever. and THIS i have heard bands complain about with good reason, though loud mouths are a blight which pervade most venues now.

as for “mongering off of ” down to earth artists? you are so full of shit, bro. you have no idea what you’re talking about. did you know that there are several amazing artists on staff at southpaw who have worked there since southpaw’s inception? now ask yourself why would an artist work for an establishment which craps on art? it’s Live Nation cousins such as Bowery Presents (despite the caliber of its bookings + the fact that the bowery is still one of my favorite places to see a show) which are growing too quickly to have the time to treat anything with much individuality that brooklynites ought to worry about. not independent proprietors who treat their staff and walls like family. at least southpaw’s owners won’t be dividing their time and resources between a zillion different locations. and i don’t blame them for reaching out anyhow, since ratner’s imminent stadium is going to change the area for the fucking worse, forever.

(my only other stab is southpaw’s website. it ought to revamp and include artist profiles, url links and band photos. it’s a little dull and outdated.)

as for galapagos moving to dumbo? i love dumbo because it’s so isolated, though it would be sad to see G move away from the burg. but face it. the LES....Willie B....the york is becoming more and more like disneyland. and there’s not much that anyone can do about it.


fyi i'm a girl, i’m young, you’d probably consider me a hipster if you met me, idiots piss me off, i’m not dating any of the employees and i don't work for the venue.

If there were as many problems as you seem to think at Southpaw, why would acts still be coming to play there? Who are these bands that were treated so badly and if they feel so strongly why must they hide? Why not just say who they are? If it's tru, what's there to be afraid of?

If I had a name like Dexter I would be a hater as well.

sucks, first north6 got bought out by bowery now galapagos gets ravaged by south paw. i hope glasslands never goes!

I just hope there is not going to be a barrage of power tripped low class unorganized door guys like at South Paw. There are good bands to be heard there and seemingly good charity events held there but the uber-cool mixed with getto employees reflect badly on the kind of people coming to see shows there. I personally will never go to South Paw again. I've talked to many local Williamsburg musicians who have also complained of the rotton treatment one gets from the door guys at South Paw. Really- save it for the meat packing district! This is Brooklyn. rant-(The layout of South Paw is also confusing for those who have never been. Also, Do you really need a hall pass to use the toilet? Oh also, don't touch your costumers when trying to talk to them.)
We'll see if the old Galopogos scene will carry on but if its being bought by someone who runs such a crappy place like South Paw I doubt it will be worth going to. Trickle down effects are in full view at a place trying to monger off of mostly down to earth artists.

W'burg's loss. Southpaw is a great venue, but we've got a lot of rock/music clubs here already. Galapagos is unique in programming and asthetic. I thought Galapagos' move was about rent? Can Southpaw afford the new super-expensive rents on North 6th? Will the cover charges/drink prices be through the roof?

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