There’s a song on the new So So Glos album where that opens with an interview a Bay Ridge native who claims he’s been in the neighborhood for 60 years but he’s never heard of them. The band is clearly having fun with this idea (the song is called “Fool on the Street,” after all): not only are they well established on the music scene, they’re not some transplant imports. They’re Bay Ridge natives (and die-hard Mets fans) who began playing together as kids in the ’90s. They’re also founding members of the DIY Brooklyn music scene: they’ve always supported DIY and all-ages venues, founding both beloved indie stalwarts Market Hotel and Shea Stadium. Their fifth album, Kamikaze, is out today via Shea Stadium/Votiv records. I got to speak to Alex Levine, who does vocals and bass, from their first leg of tour in Buffalo about what it’s like to go from kids messing around in a Bay Ridge basement to adults messing around in a venue they helped create. (more…)
Young Magic has a little something riiiiiiiiiiiight there. Photo by Harrison Thane.
Travel is second nature for experimental soul project Young Magic. Though they’re currently based out of Brooklyn, they just set out on a U.S. tour with fellow Brooklyn darlings Yeasayer and their music has been written and produced in locations around the globe. Their newest album, Still Life, out today via Carpark records, was largely inspired by songstress Melati Malay’s most recent visit to her childhood home of Jakarta, Indonesia. Malay took a moment out from her travels (she was literally on the road when we spoke via telephone) to talk to me about writing from the heart, keeping it moving, and her ideal suitcase. (more…)
Follow Aaron Frazer to Red Hook, or just eat cheap eggs with him at Country House Diner
At the end of a night out, the goal of most normal people is: to find something – anything – to eat. But where? Ask any thriving musician in Brooklyn and more often than not, regardless of genre, they’ll be able to help you out. Often keeping irregular hours, and in constant need of refueling, these guys have played shows all over Brooklyn, and in turn, have scoped out the best places to grab a bite to eat.
We caught up with five Brooklyn music makers— Jeff Rosenstock, No Nets, Aaron Frazer, LOVER and DJ Run P—who shared their favorite late-night spots to eat, drink, and hang all over the borough. Take their tips on where to find your next late-night or post-show meal, and let the local celebrity-stalking stakeouts begin. (more…)
Sunshine Gun Club is actually a four piece. I was told this photo was cropped due to a “drummer situation.” I’m pretty sure that means he got murdered by Teletubbies.
If you’ve been in New York City for a couple of years, you’ve probably heard someone talk about how things have changed. You’ve probably noticed it yourself: rent goes up, places close, people move away. Nowhere are these changes more apparent than in Brooklyn’s DIY music scene: bands get together, bands break up, venues close. But then new venues open, and new bands form: bands like Bushwick’s Sunshine Gun Club, whose new album Heaven is out today via Weiner Records.
It’s being released on both cassette tape and digital download, which is pretty cool. I got to talk with Dan Walker, singer, songwriter and mastermind of the skuzzy, melodic punk rock quartet. Sunshine Gun Club is recommended for fans of lo-fi, DIY and deranged Teletubbies on a drug-induced murder rampage— read to the end to make sense of that last one. (more…)
When you’re in a band, it’s generally regarded as fairly important to have other people think your band is cool. For psychedelic-folk-rock outfit Maybird, whose members are half based in Brooklyn, having one person think their band is cool paid off big time, because in this instance, that person was world-renowned musician, producer and New York native Danger Mouse. Maybird’s debut album, Turning Into Water, drops today on on Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records.
Connecting with Danger Mouse isn’t a case of insider industry connections or knowing the right people either. It’s a story that any musician with a laptop can replicate: Danger Mouse found the band on Soundcloud, and reached out to sign them. I talked with founder Josh Netsky, who is 27 and lives in Bushwick, to talk about how exactly that connection went down, choosing a good band name, and what it’s like to have a long distance band-lationship with Maybird’s two Rochester based members. (more…)
Nikhil P. Yerawadekar and Low Mentality make it a point to spend time with their fans. Photo via Facebook.
We try to include all sorts of genres on New Music Friday ,but until this week, though, we’ve never featured a rock band with heavy African and Caribbean influences, which is fronted by an Indian guy from Queens, and has really, really good music videos with excellent use of green screens. That’s where Nikhil P. Yerawadekar, a member of afrobeat juggernaut Antibalas, comes in with his band, Low Mentality. They make Afrobeat-influenced rock and roll that plays with reggae, dancehall and hip-hop and reflects the eclectic diversity of New York City and Yerawadekar’s home borough of Queens. Their new album Everything Lasts Forever, is out today. (more…)
Edith Pop plays punky dance pop thanks to a meetcute in Coney Island. Lead singer Laura Hajek photo via Facebook.
Edith Pop sounds like it might be Iggy’s eccentric aunt, but it’s actually the name of a band. Formed in 2014 and based in Bushwick, Edith Pop is “more of a wrestling team than a band,” according to frontwoman and resident babe Laura Hajek, who is backed by a squadron of dudes/best pals. They’ve been able to play at some of Brooklyn’s best spots, like Baby’s All Right and Shea Stadium, and as result of their gigs, Hajek says they’ve gotten “cash, chicken, wine, whiskey, women, tapes, friends, fights and genuinely interesting nights.”
I got to sit down with Hajek to talk about important things, like vetting bandmates based on their hair, and that weird smell emanating from every microphone ever. (more…)
Jonathon Linaberry, otherwise known as The Bones of J.R. Jones. Photo by AJ Mason.
Jonathon Linaberry is a complicated man. Otherwise known as The Bones of J.R. Jones, he began in the hardcore punk scene of upstate New York and morphed into a bluesy, rootsy one-man-band project that, according to Noisey, “can hold an audience rapt, rendering the cacophony of a stage full of musicians utterly unnecessary.” His sophomore album, Spirit’s Furnace, is out today.
Though he started, as so many of us do, playing punk with a bunch of teenage friends in somebody’s basement, Linaberry later evolved into the “one man band” project that The Bones of J.R. Jones is today. During grad school at New Paltz, Linaberry found himself without a lot of musician friends — but he still needed to play music. Somewhere along the way, he got hold of a guitar and a banjo and began making all the noise he needed to.
“This is going to sound cheesy, but it’s a release,” he said. “Music is therapy. Without it, I’d probably go stir crazy.” (more…)
Renew your IRL music shopping at Rebel Rouser, Vinyl Fantasy, Human Head and more of the best record shops in Brooklyn.
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, by which I mean Baltimore circa 2007, I worked in a record store. It was one of those buy/sell/trade deals and we had mostly CDs, because 2007, but there was a special vinyl section. That’s how you knew someone was extra super cool: they were looking at actual records, and therefore presumably actually owned a record player.
Records have come back in full force since then, with vinyl sales making more money than free streaming services last year. Plus, more and more bands are producing their music on vinyl, so that’s a great way to help the musicians you love be able to, you know, eat and stuff. Sure, Spotify and iTunes are really useful for listening on the train or the bus and drowning out the ramblings of the Evangelical preacher who’s chosen your train car as his soap box for the morning. But being able to instantly summon whatever you want to listen to kind of takes the fun out of searching for new music: there’s something really special about sifting through bins to find the record you really want, or the one you didn’t know you wanted; holding a record in your hands, putting it on your record player, seeing it on your shelf next to your other records.
There’s even this magical day called Record Store Day coming up on Saturday, which is the best possible day to go visit your local independent record store. Though not all these shops are participating, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support them on all the days. So whether it’s Record Store Day or just a good ay for new music, here is a list of the best record stores in Brooklyn, plus an in depth bargain-bin analysis by us. (more…)
Parquet Courts are so cool, they have two names. Or rather, two spellings of the same name, one of which, I realized a few hours after reading it, refers to tubs of margarine. I catch on far more quickly most of the time, I promise.
Anyway. Parquet Courts (or Parkay Quarts, with the margarine reference), have been a Brooklyn staple for years. They’ve been highly acclaimed for the past five years, and their highly anticipated new album, Human Performance, is out today via Rough Trade Records.
Human Performance was recorded more than a year, “against a backdrop of personal and mental instability,” according to Rough Trade. I feel like that’s often when the best art is made: when everything else is going a little crazy. Or a lot crazy. My mom, a musician herself, taught me from a young age that people with easy lives often write boring songs. (more…)