Cake Shop, the hydra-headed LES enclave that, over the last seven years, has served as a rite of passage for local and visiting bands on their way to the big leagues—Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart ring a bell?—is nearing the end of an online fundraiser campaign, in which we have five days to get our acts together and seal this deal. The alternative may be eviction, cofounder Nick Bodor told The Times. Compounding the usual trials and tribulations that come with running a music venue, nevermind a record store and cafe, Nick and brother Andy, along with longtime partner Greg Curley, have been faced with an overhaul of fees thanks to a recently enacted tax bill and a change in the regulation of IDs, which led to a hefty fine from New York State Liquor Authority.
When all said and done, they’re looking at a $78,000 tab to the state and are currently left with a 65 percent gap in their target money-making goal (which includes funds for expanding the venue’s Capeshok record label and web presence). As a general rule, if you bring up Cake Shop in conversation with a local band, they light up. It’s hard to come by someone who’s had a negative experience playing the space or working with the Bodors, who, in my personal experience, seem like really nice guys with a deep love for what they do and a pride in supporting bands they believe in. A dying breed, as bookers feel pressure to rope in whatever band will bring a big enough crowd to cover ever-mounting expenses.
So back to the part about you giving money. Following in line with how these things typically work, there are a series of perks in exchange for donations—anything from an exclusive mixtape curated by Cake Shop’s owners for $10, to a lifetime supply of free drink tickets for $20,000. Or you can, which we highly suggest, make your way over there this weekend and hand over a door cover to help the cause. Maybe buy a few drinks while you’re at it? Tonight sees perennial L Mag favorites Shark? and Grand Rapids with special just-announced guests Surfer Blood, who’ve come a long way since playing their first NYC show at the space during CMJ in 2009; Friday welcomes Columbus trio Mount Carmel, melodically indebted to 70s Zeppelin.
If for nothing else, do it for Manhattan. I’m starting to feel sorta bad for it.