Tuesday, February 5, 2008


In garish contrast to DIY scene-builders like Todd P and Rubulad, Szufnarowski and his promotions company, Rocks Off, favor more old-fashioned entertainments: boats with bands (say, Motley Crue covers and a cruise to Shea), Coney Island Fun Packs (with tickets to the Cyclone, the go-karts, and a scuzzy bar called Chi-Chi's), and straight novelty acts (for example, a wicked accordionist who can double as an Axl Rose impersonator—Corn Mo, whom Szufnarowski once managed—or Captured! By Robots, actual robots who play death metal). Also jam bands, tribute acts, and children. Mostly, Rocks Off puts on rock shows at top-tier Manhattan venues, like the Knitting Factory, the Gramercy Theater, and the Highline Ballroom. With an old-school showbiz address at 44th Street, Szufnarowski, his three full-time employees, and several interns occupy a back office at the School of Rock, where they build evenings from a veritable menagerie of local talent and national acts (the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes will front the School of Rock All-Stars at the Highline Ballroom on February 17). Glossy flyers compete for shelf space with Mexican wrestling masks, displayed on mannequin heads.