Best Venue for Massive Hearing Loss (2009)

Brooklyn Masonic Temple

Fort Greene's Brooklyn Masonic Temple, with its humble wooden floors and high-school-talent-show vibe, does not much look like the death-dealing, ear-destroying terrordome it has proven to be. The venue—populated by snack-and-beverage-laden folding tables and a cushy, seat-filled upper balcony—seems more like the site of an incipient prom or bake sale than a place of dark Masonic rituals, let alone rock shows. But—as any still-dazed attendee of a recent performance there by the two-piece drone-metal band Sunn O))) can attest—the BMT is in the running for being the city's most deafening venue. Sasha Frere-Jones, in the New Yorker, suggested that the Temple had found a loophole in the laws regulating commercial music venues (since, formally, it isn't one). But it goes beyond mere questions of volume: Even personal conversations between sets echo conspicuously. (The largely acoustic one-man act the Mountain Goats performed there last year; an open G-chord sounded like a minor explosion.) In a way, this is no surprise: if Masons can secretly rule the world, it only makes sense that they would have figured out long ago how to shatter all known precepts of amplified sound.

Location Details

317 Clermont Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11205
718-638-1256

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