Zebulon, which has for the last ten years been a small and comfy bastion for music untied to any newfangled buzzy sub-genre, will be putting on its last shows this weekend before closing for good. Opened by French brothers Joce and Jef Soubiran with co-founder Guillaume Blestel, when the neighborhood had more abandoned industrial spaces than swanky hotels, Zebulon became a Williamsburg hotspot by doggedly sticking to a mission of offering free nightly shows from accomplished jazz players, eclectic world music stylists, and folky locals. The club’s last week of operation will feature appearances by Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld and experimental saxophonist Colin Stetson, among others. Longtime club staple Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio plays the room’s final show this Sunday the 9th.
In a press release concerning the closing, venue owners cited harsh realities for live venues who don’t factor in to the dominant scenes and trends of an increasingly expensive neighborhood and an increasingly monetized live music environment:
Williamsburg has changed significantly since we opened, and unfortunately it is no longer possible today to continue the business in the manner in which it was conceived. Nevertheless, it’s been a great run. We are proud to have given many celebrated artists a chance to play in an intimate setting or develop their sound in readiness for a larger audience. Zebulon has employed and supported struggling artists and their families, connected them to a wider musical community in New York and given them a stage on which to experiment.
As proof of their success in that goal, we dug up a spellbinding set from local star Sharon Van Etten. Five years to the day before what we now know will be Zebulon’s last day of business, she played this gentle half-hour on her way to wider acclaim. Van Etten, who has previously attributed her rise in the intimidating New York City music world at least in part to early support she received from the club, was just announced as the supporting act for rock legends Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on their 2013 North American tour.
Sharon Van Etten @ Zebulon, Dec. 9, 2007