On Ludlow just north of Stanton in the Lower East Side sits a hidden gem: No Fun Bar. It’s surrounded by several venues with a longer pedigree for live music, yet it’s quickly gaining a reputation as the place to not only hang out for a drink, but to see live music and comedy in the back room. Part of the reason for this is because of the recent work by a booking group called NYC Open Stage and their Monday night open mic. It’s headed by Danyul Kostin along with help from Idalja Temmer, but their roster includes of many more artists, and the team heavily owes its origins to No Fun, and specifically to Jonny Pierce and Victor Luke.

Danyul comes to NYC via North Carolina and brings with him songs crafted and honed by his many experiences around the country. They are full of heartbreak and sorrow and trouble, but also of hope and striving for more. And while he’s definitely worth checking out on his own merits, he is also building a community of musicians, comedians, and artists from all over the greater NYC metro area and beyond. Along with the help from some others, he has created a safe place to play and work and be heard, to share songs, old woes, and make new friends.

NYC Open Stage has since evolved from just the open mic at No Fun and now book 3 nights in the city and in Brooklyn, and they are always on the search for more places to play. If you’re interested, definitely check out their website and get in touch with Danyul. An easier way is to show up at No Fun bar in the LES on Monday night, meet him in person, play a song and have your picture taken by the talented Idalja. It gets crowded so get there early. This should not need to be said, but also stay for as long as you can (it goes late!) not only to hear other musicians, but to make good contacts among your peers and potential new fans. We all sometimes have other expectations in this life, but frankly we at In Your Earhole find it sad when people show up, play, then immediately bail. You’re not doing yourself any favors. Relax, have a drink if that’s your thing, and really listen to some great music. Your earholes will thank you, even if you’re a bit tired the next day.

But don’t take our word for it. Go to the NYC Open Stage link and check out some live videos. Even better: put down the bong, get off the couch, and go see some live music from artists with a hard to describe breadth of styles. If you play or write poetry or do stand up comedy, even better! Come out to the bar, do a short set in the backroom, and make the contacts you need to make in this city. Danyul even will graciously let you use his guitar if need be. 

Stick that In Your Earhole!

NYC Open Stage: http://www.nycopenstage.com/

No Fun: 161 Ludlow St http://nofun-nyc.com/

Yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/no-fun-new-york

Philip Lynch Music interview with Danyul Kostin http://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/07/01/nyc-open-stage-an-interview-with-danyul-kostin/