By Mike Sembos
2:55 PM EST, December 28, 2011
Nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to venues offering live, high-quality, original music. Milford's Daniel Street Club will be departing the Earthly realm on January 1 and will be converted into a pizza joint (the building itself was sold). In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to purchase tickets and attend one of the final shows:
Thursday, there's a local band showcase, featuring Political Animals and Jus & Company; Friday is the Felice Brothers with the Robots and The Alternate Routes (Yes, I do play in this band, but I'd be going to see the Felice Brothers even if I didn't. So there.); Saturday is the last hurrah, a New Year's Eve bash with Beatles A-Z.
After a year or more of rumors – first that the club was closing, then that it wasn't, then that it was again – the deal has finally been sealed and the countdown is already underway.
Current owner Richard Conine, who also owns Stonebridge Restaurant across the street (where he will now be focusing all his attention), is the one who made the sale, but it was his son Phil Conine who managed the club and transformed it into the underground hotspot that it became.
"You could write a book on the shit that happened there," says Phil. "There was a lot. Mike Watt came and stayed at my place after his show and we stayed up all night and talked American history. He told me how he ripped up his knee playing bass for Iggy Pop before that tour. Apparently, Iggy was pissed at him."
As for his all-time favorite moments at the club, Conine lists show including Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Johnny Winter, Hella, Tune Yards, Captured by Robots, High on Fire, Kaki King, Low and Converge.
"Converge… I can't even believe that happened," he says." We did some big shows man, ya know. I got out-barbequed by Trail Of Dead on my own porch. They wrote a whole album while they were staying at the club. And Thurston Moore's mom calling about coming to see her son perform… that was crazy."
Daniel Street fulfilled a need other venues in the area did not. The size of the room itself — about 300 capacity — was big enough to accommodate the fans of bands that were too big for the dive bar circuit, in an intimate setting, but it was small enough to nurture and develop local acts. The sound quality there was top-of-the-line. Phil and his team made every band feel welcome, and they were intent on fostering warm vibes conducive to the spontaneous generation of genuine, unforced fun.
"Manic" Mark Nussbaum of Manic Productions says that it was this atmosphere combined with the friendly staff, and the "killer P.A." sound system that made the club a top spot for him to book his events at. Nussbaum assures us that despite the loss, "We still have a great selection of venues to do shows at and will continue to bring quality shows to the area."
But sadly, none of these shows will be held at Daniel Street.
"It was a wild ride," says Conine. "It was a good one. One for the books."
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