From 1989 to 2001, the Wetlands Preserve flourished just off of New York’s Houston Street. Founded by a Deadhead, the club attracted rising bands in the burgeoning “jam bands” scene, along with ska and hip-hop acts, while maintaining an activism center that held “eco-saloons” and launched inventive street theater protests. Dean Budnick’s Wetlands Preserved, produced by second and final owner Peter Shapiro, is a heartfelt tribute to a joyous anomaly in New York’s nightlife scene that eventually surrendered to Tribeca’s increasing gentrification in the days following September 11.

Continue reading my review of Wetlands Preserved, opening March 14, on

Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Nightclub. Dean Budnick, 2006. ***

And here’s a video to go along with it: Ann Marie Calhoun and her brother Joe cover Phish’s “Stash” [via Andy Gadiel]: