05/26/15 8:32am
Are you intimidated yet?

Are you intimidated yet?

Marilyn Carino was born and bred in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and possesses the kind of self-assured, front and center presence as a performer that could cause her to come off as intimidating. Some may see an artistically gifted, intimidating woman as being threatening to whatever personal problems a person would need to have to be threatened by that. I see her as being a driving force, and an excellent example. Being a strong woman should be every woman’s goal, and Marilyn Carino has met that goal and then some. (more…)

05/22/15 12:25pm
bedford avenue

Isn’t this a sight for sore eyes. via Flickr user Roshan Vyas

L Train,

Gosh, this is weird. I don’t really know where to start here.

I guess, I’ll start with “hello.” You’re back and up-and-running, and a few of my friends even took you late night and said it was “pretty fine.” They said you “looked like you always did.” I’m glad you got to see them and that it wasn’t weird for you or them. Well, I guess I can’t speak on your behalf – I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore – but I know my friends were more than ready to use you, and honestly glad you were there.

So, how was your time off? Were you able to get all that work done you were talking about? You made some pretty lofty promises for “change” and “increased efficiency.” Hopefully you won’t go back on your word. Again. (more…)

05/19/15 9:04am
You'll like them even more when they're angry

You’ll like them even more when they’re angry

Freya Wilcox & The Howl are a Brooklyn based band that teeter on the pinnacle between blues and punk. I say “pinnacle” there instead of “edge” because “edge” sounds careless and “pinnacle” is just more sophisticated and thoughtful in this instance. This band has seen some shit, and they’re not just gonna go around stepping on cracks, they’ve got one foot firmly planted on one slope, and the other planted on the opposite side.

Like acrobats on a  pyramid. A gold pyramid that says “I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass” on the front of it in glittery paint. They’re up there firmly balanced, playing their songs, and strewn around at the bottom of the pyramid are a bunch of other bands who tried to scale the sides but failed because, aside from not being as good, they didn’t have the balls Freya Wilcox did to email someone like me and be like “I like you, maybe you’ll wanna write about my band.” Bravery and balance always wins. Hasn’t Game of Thrones taught you anything? (more…)

05/18/15 1:27pm

Given that they’re a faceless bureaucratic public authority that’s always making us late, if they’re getting us anywhere at all, we like to have some fun around here crackin’ goofs at the MTA’s expense. That being said, we’ll give them credit where it’s due today, because they just put out the above 16-bit video breaking down how a delay in just one train leads to the dreaded SERVICE GAP that can throw off an entire line and how conductors fix it.

The whole thing is very well done, from the simple graphics down to the jaunty chiptune providing the soundtrack, and you actually learn something about how the MTA works. Here’s hoping they do more of these videos explaining the inner-workings of the subway system, including some passive-aggressive ones that take shots at the governor and the state legislature when they break down where the money for the system comes from. (more…)

05/05/15 10:55am
It's the weekend. Release the balloons!  Photo via Oriana Leckert

It’s the weekend. Release the balloons! Photo via Oriana Leckert

Back in the day Brooklyn had a pretty mean manufacturing scene, but all that’s dwindled and left behind lots of warehouses without blacksmiths and welders and whoever else works in warehouses. Today a lot of those spaces have been taken over by the borough’s most creative residents and are used for music performances, dance classes, art exhibits, and plenty of urban farming. Oriana Leckert explores these spots in her new book Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity, where she documents the eccentricity that keeps this place so darn cool. The book comes out on May 19, and there’s a huge launch party at Gowanus Ballroom on May 30, featuring food trucks, acrobatic performances, and music from Hungry March Band and Batala NYC.

Oriana gave us a preview of Brooklyn Spaces and told us about some of her favorite places around the borough: (more…)

05/05/15 8:14am
Just awkward enough

Just awkward enough

I have a great appreciation for bands that I chance upon out of nowhere. This particular band, Old Best Friend, didn’t exactly fall from the sky as they were pitched to me by their publicist, but still, I had never previously heard of them, so it’s like I found them under a cabbage patch more or less.

Going from not knowing a band from a hole in the ground, to having their publicist send three days worth of emails basically interviewing you about your own personal hopes and dreams, giving you job pointers, etc. is an intimate exchange. And if there’s one thing I like, it’s intimacy. If there are TWO things I like, they are intimacy, and music. If there are THREE things I like they are intimacy, music, and excessively awkward situations. So here we are. And there it is. (more…)

05/01/15 10:32am
independent bookstore day

Everyone’s reading (locally bought) books. Illustration by Brian Floca, via Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday and it’s more important to recognize than ever, what with Amazon steadily taking over all distribution of the written word. The day itself will be filled with all sorts of ways to show your love for your local readery, from a photo booth with authors at Greenlight to a free shot of Absinthe with purchases at Spoonbill & Sugartown. Of course, you can get books from your local bookstore any day of the year, so to encourage reading and local commerce, we asked some bookstore employees at local indie shops what new books and summer pleasures we should be reading so we can someday be smart and well-read like them. (more…)

04/28/15 8:00am
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Team Spirit knows how to stay fresh and clean this summer, and you can too

Unless you live somewhere that I’m not currently thinking about because I don’t live there, it’s getting humid out.  When it’s humid out people tend to walk around looking one of two ways: 1) Oddly comfortable or 2) Crazy seeming. One of the quickest ways to overheat in high humidity, other than just being alive, is to jump up and down repeatedly while playing music. Brooklyn’s Team Spirit, being a jump up and down kind of band, make sweaty look good though. Which is cool.

The band recently recorded a Buzzsession for The Wild Honey Pie and included “Teenage Heart” and “Satisfaction” off of their most recent album, Killing Time, which came out on VICE Records last fall.  We’d love for you to check out those videos here. (more…)

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If you know Basquiat, skip the paintings for the notebooks. If you don’t, enjoy both.

Text plays a crucial role in the work of Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, often overwhelming visual aspects with a mass of black scribbles. From his initial work as a graffiti artist in Lower Manhattan with which he announced his creative voice as SAMO©, Basquiat engaged in a discourse on race, wealth, and art in America. Had his whirlwind life been slightly different, Basquiat may well have achieved fame as a poet.

Given the importance of text to Basquiat’s work, it should come as no surprise that he kept copious notes. He preferred cheap, marble composition books, some of which you can now see on display at the Brooklyn Museum in a new exhibition “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” or as the exhibition’s synopsis puts it “#basquiatnotebooks.” While this much hyped exhibit offers the opportunity to see Basquiat’s famous textual artistry on a smaller, more concentrated scale, the exhibition’s mixed messages could lead some visitors astray. (more…)