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Band book-ers: Teens organize rock concerts at the Carroll Gardens Library

Brooklyn Daily
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These teens are fighting for their right to party — in the library.

A group of 17-year-old Brooklyn indie rockers are hosting the third concert in an all-ages show series at the Carroll Gardens Library on March 7. Calling it the Long-Overdue Series, the teens — all members of the band Fightboat — said they are trying to carve a foothold in their neighborhood for youthful independent acts in an attempt to stem the tide of underground and do-it-yourself venues closing in Brooklyn.

“A lot of all-ages venues are dying, and people aren’t really motivated to go to shows,” said drummer Ben Verde. “We’re taking it into our own hands.”

Verde started Fightboat in 2013 with his pal Patrick Preziosi on keyboard and two other members who were later replaced by bassist Aaron Roman and guitarist Ryan Wu.

Verde and his bandmates, all of whom live in Carroll Gardens and go to Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, launched the series late last year in order to make a space for bands like theirs, made up of underage musicians who often are not allowed to play at bars or get into shows at 21-plus venues.

Brooklyn has suffered the loss of a number of underground venues in the past year, with show spaces including Death by Audio and Glasslands falling victim to expansion of the Vice Media offices. But for bands whose members can’t even get into a bar — let alone vote — the landscape is even more grim. Only a handful of venues, including Bushwick’s Shea Stadium and Frank’s Basement in Bensonhurst, are dedicated to all-ages shows, and the members of Fightboat said they are doing what they can to add to that roster.

The teens said they aren’t just organizing the library shows out of self-interest — in fact, they aren’t even on the bill of the March 7 gig — but rather trying to foster a more close-knit community for young musicians as a whole.

“We don’t want to feel like, ‘Oh we have a venue so we have to play every show,’ ” said Wu. “There are plenty of bands struggling to find a place to play, so we want to give them a chance.”

The upcoming installment of the Long-Overdue Series will include fellow Carroll Gardens band Civics, Brooklyn singer and composer Brian Bonz, and New Jersey natives No Noise.

The Long-Overdue Series at the Carroll Gardens Library [396 Clinton St. between Sackett and Union streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 596–6972, www.facebook.com/thelongoverdueseries.] March 7 at 3 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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