Bands in the basement

The Brooklyn Paper
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These guys are really making a scene.

A group of southern Brooklynites hasstarted a do-it-yourself music venue in a Bensonhurst basement so local bands have a place to play in a section of the borough not known for its music scene.

“We needed a space for shows, and we said, ‘F--- it, let’s use the basement,’ ” said Frank Galdorise, who lives above the 20th Avenue venue appropriately known as “Frank’s Basement.”

“It’s about creating a music scene in south Brooklyn,” added organizer Chris D’Alessandro.

Now a dozen punk and experimental musicians are flexing their independent muscles and organizing free, all-ages shows in Frank’s Basement, as well as area community centers.

Despite the organizers’ punk leanings, they want the shows to be as inclusive as possible.

“Anyone is welcome — as long as they’re sincere,” said Sean Sirota.

The collective is leveraging individuals’ skills to make the venue a reality.

Sirota used photo and editing skills he picked up at State University of New York Purchase to make a hilarious promotional video. Another member is lending a home studio to bands who want to record, and Galdorise — who is studying theater production at Kingsborough Community College — said he plans to rig some lighting, but will otherwise leave the space unfinished.

“It’s really s----- and smelly down there — and it’s the perfect environment for a punk show,” he said.

The crew has broader future plans — like hanging local art and recording shows for bands.

“It’s hard being in southern Brooklyn,” D’Alessandro said. “There’s no resources — we want to be that resource.”

After a music blog plugged the venue, support came rolling in from all over the borough.

“There are an outrageous number of bands and people who were like, ‘We love what you’re doing — it’s great for the neighborho­od,’ ” Galdorise said.

A Bensonhurst native who now lives in Park Slope heard about Frank’s Basement and jumped at the chance to help her former neighbors.

“I immediately wanted to get involved,” said Alina Sabirianova, who said she does not personally know the Frank’s crew. “There’s nothing really happening in Bensonhurst.”

In addition to shows in Frank’s Basement, the group is organizing a free show at a Midwood community center next week.

“Free Rock Show” at East Midwood Jewish Center (1625 Ocean Ave. between Avenues K and L, June 26 from 5:30 to 9 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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