This adventurous, late ’90s music venue located in Manhattan’s decrepit and industrial Meatpacking District hosted Suicide, Thurston Moore improv nights, Electro-Putas, Oneida, and other collected weirdoes. The Cooler was actually a converted meat locker that retained its dungeon-like feel with stainless steel walls, shitty sound, piss-poor lighting, an unavoidable dank musty smell, and an artsy-if-foreboding clientele. When the cow’s blood was finally hosed off of the cobblestones, the neighborhood became fashionista-friendly overnight, and the venue was hassled by police until it finally closed its doors in summer of 2001 to make way for real estate.
Avey Tare: Brian and I went to the Cooler and saw Christian Marclay play. I think just in terms of seeing something that like done live? This is crazy. This was like musique concrète done right here before me by some guy just fucking around with scratchy records. I thought that was really, really awesome to see. And on a similar line, because it blurred the lines between live music and electronic music, was Black Dice. Seeing them at the Cooler post-college? I was like, “This is the best band that is playing right now.”