New Heathens
1Mar/10Off

Sweethearts of the Satellite

My good friend Mike Storey, of The Izzys, and I had the small honor last night of being the first musical act to play Williamsburg's new Satellite Lounge on Havermeyer Street. Not knowing what to call ourselves, we tentatively decided on, "Sons of the Wild West Sweethearts," taking a cue from this guitar of Mike's which I think is both extra cool and very fun to play.

NYC music folks might not know the Satellite Lounge yet, but they certainly know owner Rob Sacher's previous venture, the famous Luna Lounge.

Luna opened up on the Lower East Side in the mid-1990's and hosted scores of local, unsigned bands and a few beloved artists including Elliott Smith and Joey Ramone. It was fun, relaxed and a great place to play original music. Luna's welcoming vibe was a pleasant change from the seedy hustle of Continental and the snobby ripoff of the late CBGB's, two other Manhattan clubs that also hosted unsigned bands. I used to gig at Luna with a band called "Blame Hound."

I'm happy to hear that Rob is writing a book about his experiences running the Luna Lounge, as it was a vital part of NYC's music scene during an interesting decade.

From 2005 to 2007 the Luna Lounge moved to Williamsburg into an aircraft-carrier sized venue on the corner of Metropolitan and Havermeyer. The stage and sound were great, but the space was just too monstrous for most baby bands to fill.

When Rob moved down the block and opened up Satellite -- a cozy, neighborhood bar with bartenders that spin vinyl and a half-dozen pinball machines -- he brought with him enough show posters from the Luna Lounge to paper one of Satellite's walls. I was very gratified to see, upon my first visit, that one of those posters is from the Gram Parsons tribute we put on there in 2007. Rob, who actually saw Gram Parsons perform in the early 1970s, graciously said that was one of his favorite shows.
Wall of Fame

That gig was a fun 'un. Here's the New Heathens, with Charlene McPherson, doing Gram's "100 Years" at the Billyburg Luna. This was the first gig we did with Brandy Wood.

Back to last night, Mike and I sat on Satellite's bite-sized stage and passed his guitar back and forth. We took turns singing harmonies on tunes by Hank Williams, Jimmy Reed, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, and, yes, Gram Parsons.

Here's to many more nights of music under Rob's watch.

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Kensuke in Hyogo, Japan, your copy of Hello Disaster is on its way.

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