Magazine Feature

Music's Hottest Neighborhoods (And Where to Go When You're There)

Music's Hottest Neighborhoods
Martin Haake

Music's Hottest Neighborhoods

As real estate prices and bucolic settings continue to lure musicians, artists and designers from city centers to artsy suburbs, a new crop of hip nabes is emerging in the music-biz hubs of New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. Billboard tracks the cool spots in each music haven from East Nashville (which is “like Brooklyn in the late 1990s,” says Jameson Roper, founder-agent at luxury real estate firm Caden Roper) to L.A.’s Highland Park and just-upstate Hudson, N.Y. “Towns like Hudson aren’t suburbs at all,” says Suburban Jungle Realty founder Allison Bernstein.


As Silver Lake and Echo Park have become saturated, this area of closely spaced bungalows — anchored by the junction at York and Figueroa Avenues — is home to musicians like Ty Segall, Ariel Pink and Peanut Butter Wolf, whose Stones Throw Records is headquartered there.

Martin Haake
Highland Park

Highland Park Bowl, 5621 N. Figueroa St.

A hundred years old and recently restored, this music-meets-bowling spot hosted The Breeders in the ’90s. 

The Hi-Hat, 5043 York Blvd.

Noted L.A. restaurateur Dustin Lancaster turned this billiards hall into one of the city’s hottest venues, catering to rising acts like Mrs. Magician and DJ Wait What.

Gimme Gimme Records, 5810 N. Figueroa St.

After a West Coast jump, Gimme joins fellow record store/indie label hybrids Mount Analog and Permanent to create L.A.’s own Tin Pan Alley. 


If Nashville’s Cumberland River is like the Seine to Paris, creative and bohemian East Nashville is the city’s Left Bank. This neighborhood of quaint cottages (and new construction) is populated by such musicians as Kacey Musgraves and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

Martin Haake
East Nashville

Barista Parlor, 519 Gallatin Ave.

One of the best third-wave coffee shops in the South, it’s popular with the songwriting set (“40 percent of my book,” says Roper).

Two Son, 918 Main St.

In search of Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Life After Denim? This achingly hip curated boutique caters to the growing free-spending fashion crowd.

Butcher & Bee, 902 Main St.

Nashville may be known for hot chicken, but at this Israeli-influenced tapas hot spot, the menu ranges from octopus poke ($14) to chorizo gnocchi ($20).


A picturesque town of 6,600 now called “Brooklyn North,” Hudson caters to creatives who have fled north for pastoral environs: Billy Joel has a place in nearby Kingston, Daryl Hall hosts Daryl’s House just to the south in Pawling, and The Cars’ Ric Ocasek lives in neighboring Washington.

Martin Haake

Basilica Hudson, 110 S. Front St.

Founded by bassist Melissa Auf der Mar, the center hosts parties and experimental art like a marathon reading of John Cage’s Diary.

Marina Abramovic Institute, 21 N. Seventh St.

Originally scheduled to open in 2014, the Rem Koolhaas-designed work-in-progress will host Abramovic’s performances.

3FortySeven, 347 Warren St.

Architect Michael Davis’ gallery, housed in an Art Deco service station, sells everything from mid-century chairs to Shearling rugs from Istanbul.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 18 issue of Billboard.