Billboard Bits: Wetlands, Joe Henry, Kid 'N Play
News on Wetlands, Joe Henry, Kid 'N PlayThe Wetlands Preserve, a staple of the New York music club scene for more than a decade, will close its doors for good on Sept. 15. The club blames "gentrification" in its Tribeca neighborhood for spiraling rent costs; the building "is being sold and turned into residential condos," while the club itself "is being converted into office and lobby space," according to a statement from the venue.
The 500-capacity all-ages club and activist center is perhaps best known for its support of the jamband scene, hosting early gigs from Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and many others. Acts such as Rage Against the Machine, Counting Crows, and Sublime played their first New York shows at Wetlands, which has long welcomed shows from every imaginable genre, be it indie rock, hip-hop, ska, or electronica.
"They don't make rock clubs like Wetlands anymore," current owner Peter Shapiro said in the statement. "Now it's more about trendy lounges and carpeted live music venues. There's something really special about going to the bathroom where the walls have been graffitied and stickered on for 13 years, and where the bandroom has seen nearly 20,000 guests over the years." Shapiro and his management team are looking to relocate in the coming months; the club promises a number of "special shows" in its final weeks.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Singer/songwriter Joe Henry has lined up a handful of new tour dates in support of his latest Mammoth album, "Scar." Henry will play Aug. 20 and 21 at New York's Fez and Joe's Pub, respectively, before heading to Philadelphia on Aug. 22 for the North by Northwest Music Conference. He returns to the Big Apple on Aug. 23 for a performance on "The Late Show With David Letterman."
"Scar," which features guest spots from Ornette Coleman and Marc Ribot, among others, debuted at No. 36 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart in June.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Christopher "Play" Martin, half of the old school rap act Kid 'N Play, was arraigned last Friday in federal court in Central Islip, N.Y., on charges that he failed to pay $32,277 in child support to his former wife, actress Shari Headley. They were married for two years and have a 7-year-old son, Skyler.
Headley said Martin has had no contact with his son since the couple divorced in 1995. She told Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday that Martin, who now lives in Birmingham, Ala., has failed to pay most of the child support that a Nassau County court ordered him to pay. Martin's attorney declined to comment.
Martin and Christopher Reid, the other half of Kid 'N Play, were popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They starred in the 1990 film "House Party." Headley is best known for her role as Eddie Murphy's love interest in the 1988 film "Coming to America."
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