Scrappy music newsletter scraps its print edition

Scrappy music newsletter scraps its print edition
Photo by Brit Worgan

An indie music newsletter is stopping printing after eight years of guiding Bushwick and Williamsburg scenesters to the best, most obscure shows.

Showpaper, which has appeared biweekly in wildly painted newspaper-boxes since 2007, is going the way of the dodo because it took too much money and effort to put out, according to show promoter Todd Patrick, who published it.

“We relied on bands and promoters and volunteers to keep this thing alive,” Patrick said. “After doing this for many years and cycling through many staff, it did not seem like a time to start recruiting more people.”

The idea behind the publication was to promote small-scale, do-it-yourself performances in a city ruled by Big Nightlife. Showpaper has a website, but the single-sheet broadsheet was more important, Patrick said.

“All of this is on the internet, but the internet is flooded by louder voices,” he said. “We wanted to eliminate that noise.”

The only requirements to get a show listed was that the cover charge was less than $25 and it was open to all ages. Patrick, who also goes by Todd P, has booked shows in scrappy venues including 285 Kent and the Silent Barn for a decade and now runs his own space in Queens. He said his own shows were just a fraction of what was listed in Showpaper, and that it included events as far away as Connecticut, New Jersey, and upstate New York.

The newsletter also included horoscopes, missed connections, and a big piece of art across the covers. It was funded through grants, but Patrick said it could never raise enough to fully cover the $750 it cost to print 5,000 every two weeks.

The publication also had problems with the city confiscating its boxes, because, Patrick said, officers considered the art on them graffiti, and with collectors stealing them.

Patrick is also going to stop updating the Showpaper website.

The goal of the paper, he explained, was for it to be a relic of the important moments in a young music fan’s life.

“This is an heirloom and a keepsake for you to pull out a year or two later and remember those fleeting things,” he said.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurf‌[email protected]‌ngloc‌al.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitt‌er.com/‌Danie‌lleFu‌rfaro.