If you didn't already know, we've got a great new venue in town, which, in fact, is not new at all. It's been around for years, actually, but only recently has it become a haven for some of the best live music around. This place is Warsaw, better known as the Polish National Home, which is now being used by the former owner of Tramp's (and the current owner of The Village Underground) to book live acts. Tramp's was one of the best places to see shows before it was abruptly shut down due to a massive rent increase, right around the same time Coney Island High was also shut down, another great venue, and for the same reason. The music community mourned these losses, but now that mourning can be lessened; Warsaw is here. Recently hosting such acts as , , , , it is not only carrying on the tradition of great live music, it's doing it right here in Williamsburg.

I went there recently to catch the Sparklehorse show, and while the show itself wasn't amazing—incredibly subdued and lackluster, much more suited to private listening than to a live event— the space made up for this. First of all, Warsaw is huge. The main space rivals Bowery Ballroom or Irving Plaza, while the back space acts as a cafeteria serving Polish delicacies. Adjacent to this is a nicely-sized bar area, serving cheap drinks. I don't know how many people the space can hold, but it can hold quite a lot, and despite the large crowd at the show, there was plenty of wiggle room.

Warsaw resembles an upscale gymnasium or lowscale opera house (take your pick), and everyone I talked to about it felt like they were back in higschool, when you first started going to shows, when you first realized the importance of live music and first got a sense of what it means to be a part of a certain community, one made-up of like-minded people with like-minded goals. And this is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

-- Russ Josephs



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