06/24/16 11:39am
The Felice Brothers on stage, being bros. Via Facebook.

The Felice Brothers on stage, being bros. Via Facebook.

It’s good to have bros. Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned bro-down? (I would like to note that, for the purpose of this paragraph, the word “bro” is gender neutral. I would also like to note that, for the purpose of this paragraph, I’m using “bro” in a positive manner, like folks who love each other, not referring to the plagues of brocusts our dear editor Sam Corbin referred to in this brilliant Passover piece.) Hell, we are BROkelyn after all.

It’s all very apropos for this week’s New Music Friday featured band, for they are a group of bros. Their website describes them as “a band of two brothers and three lifelong friends,” and after 10 years together, that camaraderie comes through by way of the most cohesive, yet raw, jangly, roots-tinged folk rock you can imagine. I’m referring, of course, to The Felice Brothers. Their ninth album, Life In The Dark, drops today. (more…)

06/23/16 11:41am
Now serving: Piping hot memes. Via @NoMe_Simpatizas

Now serving: Piping hot memes, trending playlists. Via @NoMe_Simpatizas

“Brunch” and “Williamsburg” are two New York City things lots of people who have nothing better to argue about get irrationally passionate over. There was a time [he said, scratching his long and tangled gray beard] when “Williamsburg” was used synonymously with “hipster,” then the neighborhood changed, became scary to Omar from The Wire, got less weird, got more condos, and now when you say the word Williamsburg, it conjures up images of the neighborhood’s transition into becoming the new Soho.

So I’m not sure what scene is even meant to be invoked by calling a Spotify playlist “Williamsburg Brunch” any more, but it’s definitely a hit: The playlist, made by an arm of Sony, has more than 8,400 followers, a huge number that even President Obama’s playlists can’t match.  (more…)

06/17/16 1:00pm
caveman 3

Caveman can see the light on their new album, Otero War, out today.

Caveman has never claimed to have invented the wheel, but they may have reinvented themselves along the way. Formed in 2010, these Brooklyn bred indie rockers have carved out (pun intended) a name for themselves among festival goers, film buffs, music fans and the like. Their new record, Otero Warcomes out today, and it’s the band’s first release with local label Cinematic.

When I spoke to frontman Matthew Iwanusa on the phone, at the beginning of the call he told me “I apologize if it gets a little loud, I’m right by the bridge.” Turns out, he was actually between two bridges — the band has a practice space in Dumbo.

“It’s kind of the perfect spot for a practice space,” he said, “because of all the noise from the bridge. Nobody complains about the noise coming from us.” (more…)

06/14/16 10:04am
eliza from jack and eliza

Eliza, from Jack + Eliza, played Shea Stadium Friday. Photo by Jody Beth LaFosse/Brokelyn.

Brooklyn’s Northside has become quite massive, and its abundance of events is something we can either feast on with cranberry sauce or cower from with option anxiety. The weeklong festival, encompassing “Music, Innovation and Content” across a few coveted stops on the G and L trains, just turned eight, and with that history it’s in a place where it can attract some serious national and local talent. Yesterday we shared some of our favorite scenes from the weekend’s activities; Today we’re focusing on the music itself. Here are our picks for the best music of the fest, and some acts on the come up you should start paying attention to now.  (more…)

06/13/16 9:57am
Pity Sex. Photo by Mary Dorn/Brokelyn.

Pity Sex. Photo by Mary Dorn/Brokelyn.

As far as kickoffs to summer go, you can do a lot worse than spending a weekend saturated in the music, art and street style that takes over north Brooklyn for the annual Northside Festival. This year’s fest wrapped up last night and featured four days of events spread across Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Musical highlights included the reunited Wolf Parade rocking a free show at McCarren Park on Thursday night and Brian Wilson bringing the beach to the city on Sunday and King Khan and the Shrines showing us that every band needs more capes.

On Sunday, as the nation reeled from the news in Orlando, Brooklynites expressed their feelings in paintings and other street art in the middle of Bedford Avenue, which was shut down for the weekend for the annual Williamsburg Walks in conjunction with the festival. Here are some of the best scenes from the weekend; stay tuned for our wrap up of breakout bands from the fest to watch, coming shortly. (more…)

06/09/16 3:55pm
Lift your musical spirits with a bunch of free shows at Northside fest this year. Via Flickr user Juan Monroy.

Lift your musical spirits with a bunch of free shows at Northside fest this year. Via Flickr user Juan Monroy.

Festival season is upon us, and guys, we’ve got a really good one, right in our fair borough. Northside Festival is this weekend, and whether you’re keen on seeing Brian Wilson croon all of Pet Sounds, you wanna get emo with Conor Oberst, or you just feel like supporting some really kickass local musicians, this fest’s got you covered. Pretty much the only way it doesn’t have you covered is if you feel like perpetuating rape culture (sorry not sorry, Good English) or if you, you know, hate good music.

Basically, Northside is an incredible celebration of music and of Brooklyn. But it’s one of those where there are SO many shows by SO many bands that it can be a bit daunting. We gave you our 15 overall picks of acts not to miss here, but what if you can’t afford a whole festival badge situation? Fear not! We’ve compiled this handy list of shows you can get to for free and cheap shows that cost $10 or less. (more…)

06/07/16 4:45pm
The Oh Sees playing Northside in 2014. Catch Wolf Parade and Brian Wilson this summer. Via Northside Facebook.

The Oh Sees playing Northside in 2014. Catch Wolf Parade and Brian Wilson this summer. Via Northside Facebook.

The music at Northside Festival starts later this week and it’s already been a dramatic event so far, with organizers having to dodge Neo nazis and dump a rape apologist. The dust from that should be well settled by time the music gets on Thursday, which is great because Northside is one of our favorite kick-offs to summer. Not only is it a chance to see great music and discover new bands from the 400+ playing the fest, it’s also a great party: Bedford Avenue gets shut down to car traffic on Saturday and Sunday, bars offer drink specials, and it’s one of our first chances to mingle among the beautiful masses of Brooklyn outdoors again.

You already know about the headliners including Wolf Parade, Brian Wilson, Conor Oberst and Grandmaster Flash, but choosing among the rest can be daunting. So the Brokelyn staff picked 15 bands you should check out at the fest so you can walk away with some new acts to add to your summer playlist. (more…)

06/03/16 12:09pm
The Get Summered gang is here to get your summer started.

The Get Summered gang is here to get your summer started.

One of the first projects the Get Summered, an arts and DJ collective, did together a few years ago set the tone for the parties they would come to be known for. They created a hand-printed, three-month calendar that only went from June 21 to Sept. 21: a summer-only perspective after our own hearts. The DJ collective plays parties year round and city wide but they’re famous for pumping beachy vibes out of their speakers wherever they go, whether soundtracking dances at dives like Trophy Bar or kicking up the scene at McCarren Hotel pool parties.

“Our whole thing is bringing the city to the beach and the beach to the city,” said Dirty Boogie, a DJ and the group’s founder. “We’re creating this ultimate tropical metropolis with the idea that summer is forever.”

You can catch Team Brokelyn partying with Get Summered at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar this weekend and a few more times this summer, where we’ll be raging along with them in our tropical metropolis and hoping that summer-only calendar finally becomes real. Since they’re both partying and summer professionals, we turned to Get Summered to ask their advice on one of the most nerve-wracking elements of the season: How do you create a hater-proof summer playlist? (more…)

05/20/16 11:34am
so so glos

Friends since the 90s. Photo by Matthew Greeley.

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…)

05/13/16 11:46am
Young Magic has a little something riiiiiiiiiiiight there. Photo by Harrison Thane.

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…)