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Maxwell’s Closing Changes Indie-Rock Scene

Maxwell’s in Hoboken is closing at the end of July, which has offered a bar and restaurant to New Jersey’s indie-rock scene for many decades with a lot of history.

The place where live bands once performed hasn’t kept up with the changes in the town, because its people have changed, according to Maxwell’s co-owner Todd Abramson.

The city has sprouted a wealth of luxury apartment buildings, and newcomers seem to prefer sports bars bristling with giant TVs over live bands, he said, adding that he’ll shift his focus to Brooklyn, where he books for the Bell House in Gowanus.

“The artists and musicians got priced out a ways back,” he said of Hoboken. “We don’t really have many Hoboken bands anymore.”‘

Parking has also become a major problem, Abramson added. The new hot spots are in Brooklyn and Jersey City, he observed.

The rock veteran is thinking about opening a new venue in Jersey City.

Hoboken’s Hudson County neighbor is buzzing, he said.

Barcade — the watering hole/arcade hybrid — opened a Jersey City outpost in 2011 after succeeding in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Ambramson noted.

The torch will pass July 31, when Maxwell’s hosts its final live show. The band “a” was the first group to rock the venue and will return as its closing act, Abramson said, predicting a “real old-school Hoboken night.”

There will likely be tears in the crowd, but they won’t belong to Abramson, he said. Old-timers labeled him a yuppie when he moved to Hoboken back in 1984, so he won’t play the curmudgeon.

“I’m ready for a change,” Abramson insisted Monday.




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