Anyone who wants to can play a show at Goodbye Blue Monday. No matter your personal brand of musical or artistic weirdness, no matter how small your fanbase, how few shows you’ve played before, just email founder and booker Steve Trimboli with some dates you have in mind, and he’ll respond with a friendly if brief affirmation that you’re on the bill.
Because of that, on any given day — and the bar books no-cover performances seven days a week — you can walk in, order a cheap beer, and see a performance artist, a DJ, a few rappers, a singer-songwriter, or some inscrutable noise band playing its first show — oftentimes all on the same bill. Recently, my girlfriend came home from Blue Monday excited to report she’d witnessed longtime street performer Matthew Silver exposing his asshole onstage. It’s a magical place.
Now, Goodbye Blue Monday is closing. According to Brooklyn Paper, the Bushwick bar owes the city $7,000 in fines, and even if it’s able to pony up, rent is set to at least double when the business’s lease expires in two months. “I’m devastated, but I also understand that it was a matter of time because of the way this neighborhood is exploding,” Trimboli told the paper. “I knew that when the lease was up, it was not going to be good.”
Goodbye Blue Monday has lifted itself out of near-death before. In 2010, Trimboli declared bankruptcy and sold the bar to a new owner, but not much changed, and he continued running the venue’s booking. Last year, the business raised $5,780 from supporters on Indiegogo to help install air conditioning, a new storefront, and a second restroom.
It seems another fundraising campaign is in order, and Nyssa Frank of the Living Gallery, GBM’s equally freeform neighbors across Broadway, said she’s willing to throw a benefit event to help. “It is a totally unpretentious venue that has devoted itself to musicians who need a space,” she said. “It would be a tragedy to lose it.”
(Photo: @Timmy Caldwell)