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Sin-e Ends With a Show Stopper
Written by Kristina Weise

Theo Kogan of Theo and the Skyscrapers

Is Sin-e really closing? Because based on the sold-out show on Thursday, March 29th featuring Theo & The Skyscrapers, I would say that the venue was doing pretty well for itself. I arrived around 9:30 p.m. foolishly thinking I was getting there early, only to find that I had to wait in line because the venue was literally puking with people. I need only reference Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome to give you the visual.

Yet the 225-capacity musical epicenter on Attorney Street is closing its doors forever on April 2nd. In 1989 Sin-e opened on St. Mark’s Place and was a crucial vein into the heart of New York City’s music scene. A few years later it moved to the Lower East Side and hosted renowned musical artists, bands, and poets. Damien Rice, Iggy Pop, Citizen Cope, Ben Fold’s to PJ Harvey have graced Sin-e’s humble stage. One of the most defining moments was when Jeff Buckley performed “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. A few of my friends still talk about that one night as if it happened yesterday. The late Allen Ginsberg also was known to appear and give impromptu performances.

Sin-e only served wine and beer placing the spotlight on the artists rather than the alcohol. The establishment always exposed people to some of the most energetic, emerging talent and in March 2003 it was named “Best New Venue” by New York Magazine.

Yet one cannot help, but feel that the closing of Sin-e only highlights a much larger concern in the area of performing arts in New York City. CBGB closed its doors in October 2006, Tonic is closing in a few months, and now Sin-e has taken the final curtain call. In speaking with management, they sited that the neighborhood is becoming very residential and it’s too hard to find a place in a non-residential neighborhood at an affordable rent. Theo Kogan, lead singer of Theo & The Skyscrapers, weighed in the on the issue. “It’s sad that money and greed are affecting venues, but I think some cool underground happenings are going to emerge (or might have already). Or at least I hope so.” She continued, “It sucks that the city is really being destroyed in this way. CBGB's should have been made a landmark, but it closed and it has yet to be rented. I hope it takes them forever to rent the space. What we have to do now is embrace what there is and a lot of that seems to be in (or popping up in) Brooklyn. Get ready to ride the train city slickers!”

Miss Guy

The line-up on March 29th was a stellar New York City moment featuring Miss Guy, Pretty Boys, Theo & The Skyscrapers and Glass Hand. Sin-e’s show-stopper, stellar performance was Theo & The Skyscrapers, who debuted their new sound and sight. It was one of the craziest performances that featured lights, smoke, blood and sound, with lyrical credibility. Are you a bit confused by that description? Well it’s best to check this band out to see for yourself. It was a theatrical, fierce power that radiated off the stage and pounced on the patrons.

People were crawling on top of the bar to get a better view and suddenly Sin-e seemed too small to hold this band’s power. “We took a short break and that’s when the inspiration came. The creative process cannot be pushed. As an artist, you have ups and downs with your ‘flow,’ but suddenly it can come pouring out. As a musician, you do not have control over it. It’s a nameless force going though you - an energy. Once that door is opened, it cannot be stopped,” Kogan stated. TATS’s new album is slated for release in early spring.

Just as Debbie Harry gave tribute to CBGB before it closed, people will always remember the local musicians who performed on March 29th to give tribute and respect to a venue always focused on the music. In Gaelic, Sin-e means “that’s it” and I suppose it’s an ironic conclusion to one of New York City’s most omnipresent establishments.

Guitarist Sean Pierce of
Theo and the Skyscrapers

Drummer Chris Kling of Theo and the Skyscrapers

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