Back in 2012, I penned a quick post based around a photograph I’d stumbled across of some gig flyers in the East Village in the early 80’s, specifically ones advertising gigs by Sonic Youth and SWANS. The SWANS gig (see detail above) was going down at a long-since vanished venue on Avenue C called The Sin Club. Information on same was pretty sparse, although some readers weighed in with recollections.
Today, fantastic music site The Quietus featured a great article about the history of New York City loft spaces as reimagined as places for art and music, and one of the key figures they interviewed was Michael Gira of SWANS. In discussing how his band’s performance at The Kitchen prompted the police to show up (“because we were so loud”), Gira goes into some greater detail about the Sin Club. Here’s what he had to say.
But there were other spaces, a little further off the radar. "There was something called the Sin Club that was on Avenue C and Second Street or something, which was at the time just total apocalypse. Gunfire all over the place, burnt out cars everywhere. I remember that the PA there got heisted by the local police." Inside the Sin Club "was just a graffitied dry wall space. There were no amenities really. Some sort of laughable PA." Similar sorts of spaces would regularly "pop up and happen for a year or six months."
Today, the space the Sin Club occupied looks like this…