04/20/16 2:00pm
Edith Pop

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…)

03/30/16 9:26am
South Williamsburg's BETS creates dreamy pop music with an all-female band.

BETS creates dreamy pop music with an all-female band.

BETS is an ethereal, dreamy pop artist whose all female, South Williamsburg-based band will make you dance and dream at the same time. Her song “Jenny,” about a Parisian girl with whom she had a passionate fling, was covered on Noisey and Culture Collide. She doesn’t just do sexy, flirty love songs, though: the latest BETS song, “Free Tonight,” has this rad video dedicated to “prisoners of conscience, human rights activists, and other people who have been detained or exiled because of their beliefs or affiliations.” For this week’s Musicians Talk Making It, she tells us about not letting a good idea slip by you and how to get your music around the world without being signed.  (more…)

03/16/16 9:34am
Savoir Adore's founder, Paul Hammer.

Savoir Adore’s founder, Paul Hammer.

Hello, sweet reader babies, and welcome to another installment of Musicians Talk Making It. This one is particularly exciting because it’s the start of weekly installments, as opposed to every other week. We’ve gotten so many amazing local artists interested in being featured that we’re increasing our output. Keep ’em comin!

This week I sat down with Paul Hammer of north Brooklyn-based “fantasy pop” outfit Savoir Adore. We chatted on the phone before they left to bring their dreamy pop sounds to Austin for a certain music festival this week. He told us how he went from being an “an emo acoustic kid,” listening to Dave Matthews Band and Usher to having a huge following, getting invited to play SXSW, and gave advice for musicians who are just starting out.

“Most successful people think about their art 24/7,” he said.  (more…)

03/09/16 8:22am
vagabon hay

Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko.

Vagabon‘s Laetitia Tamko has only been writing her own music since January of 2014, but she’s been playing rad shows at rad venues and making a bevy of cool musical friends since then. Vagabon was actually recommended to me by fellow Musicians Talk Making It interviewee Katie Capri of Fern Mayo; when I first saw Vagabon, they were playing at this amazing Planned Parenthood benefit at Silent Barn. Tamko, a native of Cameroon, is a great person to talk to about successfully making music because she started out without any fancy equipment: her first instrument happened to be a very cheap guitar.

“I was reluctantly gifted an acoustic guitar from my parents for my 17th birthday,” she said. “It was like the equivalent of those First Act guitars they make for kids … they got it from Costco. I learned the open chords then never touched it again until January 2014 when I began writing songs that would eventually be performed as Vagabon.” (more…)

02/24/16 8:48am
Jennie (not Jackie) and Peter (not John) of John Heart Jackie

Jennie (not Jackie) and Peter (not John) of John Heart Jackie.

The psychedelic, dream pop duo that is John Heart Jackie has survived every music related horror from music teachers telling them to quit to a stoned sound guy who almost blasted out their ears with feedback. They somehow found themselves staying for free in a presidential suite at a fancy hotel. Granted, it was a fancy hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz., but still. Also, neither members of this Portland-bred, Brooklyn-based is named John or Jackie.

Jennie Wayne and Peter M. Murray started music lessons at the tender age of 8 or 9. Peter, though, was encouraged by a teacher to quit altogether due to his lack of profundity on “Chopsticks”— luckily for us, he didn’t. Both of them played in other projects (solo for Jennie, Slow Fires for Peter) before they met through mutual friends in 2009; their musical partnership sprang from a single conversation about their favorite two-piece musical acts. Within six months, they had recorded an EP and were touring around the west coast. Now, they market their unique brand of psychedelic indie dream pop via their own record label, Pour Le Sport Recording Co, have their music readily available for listeners on Spotify, and travel the world playing original music.

I asked them what they thought was the best way for new musicians to meet their own bandmates .

“Tinder?” Peter laughs.  (more…)

02/10/16 9:43am
The Big Quiet, photo via Unblinking Ear Records.

The Big Quiet, photo via Unblinking Ear Records.

Marisa Cerio, frontlady of Williamsburg-based Big Quiet says that the best way to get started in music is just to make noise on whatever you have, be it chains or a guitar or a flock of semi-aquatic birds. And she’s worth listening to: her band Big Quiet is releasing a special fancy colored 7-inch record this year on their label, Unblinking Ear. You can also listen to their jangly-poppy music on Spotify, which is pretty rad. Apparently, they also have a large Nova Scotian fan base (I hear they have great smoked salmon over there) and Marisa has had enough bras thrown at her while playing that she hasn’t had to go lingerie shopping in quite some time. As someone who also wears bras, I can attest that lingerie shopping is v. annoying. Cerio talked to us about how her band go to the bra-throwing point. (more…)

01/27/16 8:00am
Photo by Andrew Piccone Photography

Photo by Andrew Piccone Photography

It’s our second installment of Musicians Talk Making It, where we sit down with a local Brooklyn musician to talk about how they found some traction in the local scene. It’s where we tap someone who’s had some success to share advice on getting started, tips for saving dough, borrowing equipment and triple cheese pizza. This week we talk with Bushwick-based Katie Capri vocalist/ guitarist of Fern Mayo, recommended for fans of 90’s indie pop, riot grrrl, and classic teen horror film Jawbreaker, from which they get their name. (Full disclosure: Capri also used to write occasionally for this very website, where she discovered pizza beer, so you know you can trust her taste.) (more…)

01/13/16 12:00pm
Photo by Vee Hertel.

CUTTERS photo by Vee Hertel.

We live in a city rife with creativity. Creativity takes many forms: from your cousin’s girlfriend selling her homemade succulent necklaces at Rock n Shop, to your friend’s theatre company doing a minimalist production of Macbeth in a shipping container, to all kinds of music.  If you want to put your own music out there, it can be daunting to even think about starting to play out, whether you are an experienced guitar player or you played the autoharp at Pete’s Candy Store’s open mic that one time.

So we at Brokelyn decided that we’d start doing this thing where we sit down with a real, live, New York City musician and ask them how they got started, to prove that it’s not so scary out there. And, because we’re Brokelyn, how much it cost to “make it.” So, for this inaugural round of Musicians Talk Making It, we sat down with Pierce Lightning, lead singer of Brooklyn-based band CUTTERS, who call themselves “survival punk” because they use music as a coping mechanism.  (more…)