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During the 1980s, the East Village art gallery scene helped to galvanize a new post-modern art in America; showing such artists as Kiki Smith, Peter Halley, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Stephen Lack, Greer Lankton, Joseph Nechvatal, Jim Radakovich, Nan Goldin, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, Jeff Koons, Kevin Larmee, and Dave Vulcan.The East Village, specifically the area known as Alphabet City, is also the setting for Jonathan Larson's musical Rent, which captures the neighborhood in the early 1990s; it opened at the New York Theatre Workshop in February 1996.While booking many of the same bands that had played the Electric Circus, Graham particularly used the venue, as well as its West Coast counterpart, to establish in the US British bands such as The Who, Pink Floyd, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and Led Zeppelin. CBGB, the nightclub considered by some to be the birthplace of punk music, was located in the neighborhood, as was the early punk standby A7.No Wave and New York hardcore also emerged in the area's clubs.One club that tried to resurrect the neighborhood's past artistic prominence was Mo Pitkins' House of Satisfaction, part-owned by Jimmy Fallon of Saturday Night Live.The venue's past performers include figures such as Murray Hill, Rob Corddry, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Moby, and Debbie Harry. A study done by Fordham University notes the decline of the East Village performance and art scene, and how "the young, liberal culture that once found its place on the Manhattan side of the East River" has shifted in part to new neighborhoods like Williamsburg in Brooklyn.Some gentrification opponents For instance, actor David Schwimmer bought an 1852 townhouse on East 6th Street in 2010 and got several notices of its possible landmark status the next year; however, he had the building torn down and rebuilt, which angered some of his neighbors.In 2008 a rezoning modified much of the zoning in East Village.
The area that is today known as the East Village was originally a farm owned by Dutch Governor-General Wouter van Twiller.It was America's first foreign language neighborhood; hundreds of political, social, sports and recreational clubs were set up during this period, and some of these buildings still exist.However, the vitality of the community was sapped by the General Slocum disaster on June 15, 1904, in which over a thousand German-Americans died.According to The New York Times, a 1964 guide called Earl Wilson's New York wrote that "artists, poets and promoters of coffeehouses from Greenwich Village are trying to remelt the neighborhood under the high-sounding name of 'East Village.'" In 1966, Andy Warhol promoted a series of multimedia shows, entitled "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable", and featuring the music of the Velvet Underground, in a Polish ballroom on St. On June 27, 1967, the Electric Circus opened in the same space with a benefit for the Children's Recreation Foundation whose chairman was Bobby Kennedy.The Grateful Dead, The Chambers Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Allman Brothers Band were among the many rock bands that performed there before it closed in 1971.