03/08/16 8:00am
Dead Stars 4_by Mia Min Yen (1)

Dead Stars are stocking up (on cake frosting?) for their upcoming tour to SXSW. Photo by Mia Min Yen.

Exciting things are happening in Brooklyn music these days. For one thing, we’re quickly approaching South By Southwest, that mecca of music that happens in one of the cooler parts of Texas (because there are cool parts of Texas). One of the bands serving as our Brooklyn music ambassadors at SXSW this year is Greenpoint’s own Dead Stars, whose new album, Bright Colors, came out Friday via Old Flame Records.

Bright Colors is the trio’s second album since they formed in 2011, but their sound hearkens back to that most magical time for scuzzy guitars and flannel: the 90s. They’ve been compared to Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and especially early Weezer (before they started playing cruise ships). All three members of the band have names beginning with “J”— Jeff, Jaye and John — but much to my dismay, not a single one of them is named Jonas. (more…)

03/01/16 8:44am
Acid Dad will make a phone call with your actual dad into a trippy experience.

Acid Dad will make a phone call with your actual dad into a trippy experience.

This week’s New Music Tuesday is an especially exciting one for me. The album we’re covering, Acid Dad’s new EP Let’s Plan A Robbery, came out Feb. 26, the day before my birthday. I had wanted a pony, but I suppose this rad debut EP from the East Williamsburg based psych punk quartet will do. Happy birthday to me!

I met the boys of Acid Dad (Kevin Walker, Vaughn Hunt, Danny Gomez, Sean Fahey) at their secret headquarters, i.e. an office attached to Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, to get down to brass tacks. I had a list of hard hitting journalist questions, like, where did the name Acid Dad come from? What exactly is “psych punk?” Is there beer in that fridge over there? Why is there a taco suit in the corner? Is that the very same taco suit I saw in that viral skateboarding taco video? Plus, halfway through the interview I ended up having a “trippy” experience with my own dad. All this and more after the jump. (more…)

02/23/16 8:36am
Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza of School of Seven Bells (or SVIIB, if you're feeling fancy)

Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza of School of Seven Bells. 

When I was putting together a playlist for Valentine’s day of break up songs and love songs, I asked for suggestions. My friend Laurie (hey, Laurie, hey) said, “literally anything by School of Seven Bells. If you read about them you’ll see why this works both ways in terms of happy and sad.” She was right. This new album may have been even more perfect for that playlist: co-founder Alejandra Deheza describes it as “a love letter from start to finish.” Their new album SVIIB drops on Friday.

So I’ll tell you right now that this edition of New Music Tuesday is significantly less light and fluffy than my others. The album is being released a few years after the passing of Benjamin Curtis, synthesizer player, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of School of Seven Bells, who fell victim to T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. This new album is a tribute to the intense relationship that Deheza and Curtis shared, and contains parts that Curtis recorded before he died. (more…)

02/16/16 8:23am
Ski Lodge brings their new wavey brooding to a new EP that drops Feb 26.

Ski Lodge brings their new wavey brooding to a new EP that drops Feb 26.

Brooklyn’s Ski Lodge has a sound that can best be described as what would probably happen if The Smiths, The Cure and Depeche Mode somehow combined their musical DNA and produced a squadron of musical babies. This week we sat down with Andrew Marr, who self produced their new EP, Heaven is Now EP, which drops on Feb 26.

The band just released a new single, “Crush Your Heart,” off that album, and you can listen to it online (links below). Marr produced this, and some of their other songs, himself. He started working in music production at the studio of Lewis Pesacov of Best Coast and Fool’s Gold, and has now moved on to making his own stuff- though now he works mostly out of his own Greenpoint apartment.

“My apartment is basically filled with gear,” he says. (more…)

02/09/16 10:52am
The NYC natives in The Prettiots herald dark-cute music.

The NYC natives in The Prettiots herald dark-cute music.

This week, we talk to Kay Kasperhauser of Brooklyn-based duo The Prettiots, recommended for fans of ukuleles, Sylvia Plath, temporary tattoos, Elliot Stabler and temporary tattoos of Elliot Stabler.

The Prettiots are comprised of Kasperhauser, who grew up in the West Village, and Lulu Landolfi, who was raised in Brooklyn. Their debut album, Funs Cool,  came out Friday on Rough Trade records. If you were smart enough to preorder it, you got a sweet Prettiots lip gloss AND a sheet of temporary tattoos hand drawn by Kay. And let’s just say this: they are adorable. Their music is sweet and fun, but with an often heart-wrenchingly honest voice that speaks to dealing with the darkness in the world. They also have an amazing dream pop Misfits cover with “Skulls,” and the world’s premiere love song about a fictional TV detective in pop ballad “Stabler.” (more…)

02/02/16 8:55am
Emily Wells shows a lot of "Promise."

Emily Wells shows a lot of “Promise.” Photo by Shervin Laines via Shore Fire Media.

Greetings! I, Lilly Vanek, am here with the triumphant return of New Music Tuesday, where we introduce you to the best new music out of Brooklyn every week. I’m attempting to fill the boots of the illustrious Kelly McClure (no pressure or anything). So I was stoked to get to write about Bushwick-based classically trained violinist/vocalist turned one-woman band Emily Wells, whose new album, Promise, dropped Friday. She plays all the instruments herself, and even released her fifth and latest record on her very own label, Thesis and Instinct records. She is also just a generally rad person. (more…)

12/29/15 9:52am

Behold, your herald of spring

Half Waif is a Brooklyn band populated by Nandi Rose Plunkett (Vocals), Zack Levine (Percussion) and Adan Carlo (Bass) who are on the brink of releasing their second full-length album, Probable Depths in April 2016. Their latest single, and first taste of what’s to be expected from the new release, is a song called “Nest” that was recently premiered on Stereogum, and listening to it is as refreshing as splashing cold water in your face after waking up from a sweaty nap on the couch.

If in the right headspace, “Nest” can take you on a mental journey through those first few optimistic days of spring. And yeah, I know that for most of us this winter has been freakishly warm, but spring is still something to look forward to, for all the dewy newness that this song champions. The initial notes of the track conjure images of little chicky beaks poking out of an egg, or an unsuspecting worm inching its way out of wonderfully fresh smelling dirt. You could play this on a loop, take your shoes off, and roll around in the grass until you sprained something and then had to sit under a tree to collect yourself. That’s what I’m getting from this song. Don’t let me be the only one, have a listen and get there yourselves: (more…)

12/22/15 3:54pm

Huh-mans of New York

Have you heard of the band Huh? I had never heard of them until a few weeks ago. I was forwarded an email about them by one of my co-workers which mentioned that they were looking to land a premiere of their single “Burn” off of their upcoming debut EP. I listened to the track, liked it, and immediately wrote the band letting them know that I would be happy to premiere it on Brokelyn. They got back to me moments after my initial email to say that they’d already landed a premiere of it on another site, but that they’d love if I would post it as well. Double (or triple, who knows how many times they sent out the song) pitches to publications for premieres of this nature can often end in ruffled feathers if more than one publication expresses interest, but since I’m a happy-go-lucky person, it all worked out like roses. Huh is an ambitious new band, and that’s respectable. God speed, and good luck. You’re gonna need it.

Here’s the (not premiere) of “Burn” the first single off of Huh’s yet to be titled upcoming EP. (more…)

12/15/15 3:57pm
Wynne Greenwood tk

Sprint out of your apartment and see Wynne Greenwood’s new show right now

There was a time in my life where very little mattered more than Wynne Greenwood. Though I never got to know her personally, I attended enough Tracy + The Plastics shows that I feel as though I do. I feel as though I know Wynne Greenwood in that way where maybe you feel like you know Drake because you’ve listened to his albums 155 times. Or in that way where you feel like you’re dating Justin Bieber because you’ve kissed the back of your hand while drunk at a bar and something in your brain whispered “You’re doing it. You’re actually kissing Justin Bieber right now.” I do not actually know Wynne Greenwood, but I feel as though she must be out there somewhere liking me because how could I like someone so much, for so long, and not have it be mutual. Reading this back, I guess I’m more or less like that guy who camped out in Lana Del Rey’s garage, stole her book, and left some love poems behind for her.

Tracy + The Plastics was (and is) a very popular electro band masterminded 100% by Wynne Greenwood playing three different characters: Tracy (vocals), Cola (Drums), and Nikki (keyboard.) The “band” existed as a touring and recording thing for several handfuls of years before Wynne put an end to the project in 2006 to focus on other pursuits. Since that time Wynne has been showing her specific blend of multi-media art, mostly very video centered, at galleries around the United States. Her most recent exhibit is called “Kelly” (PLEASE NOTE THAT THAT IS MY NAME!) and it’s housed at New Museum until January 10. Here’s the description of the exhibit via the New Museum site: (more…)

12/08/15 9:54am
Diet Cig has none of the tar and all of the fun of your favorite cigarette. Photo by Andrew Piccone

Diet Cig has none of the tar and all of the fun of your favorite cigarette. Photo by Andrew Piccone

The other night I was at a bar with my wife because she was playing a show there that night. We, as people, and as a couple, smoke cigarettes, and we have a bad habit of smoking A LOT of cigarettes when we’re out at bars. Cigarettes are a thing that people like to partake in while drinking even if they’re not regular smokers, so imagine what it’s like to be drinking as a regular smoker, and how that would make you want to smoke until you basically break in half and seep tar juice all over an unsuspecting patio. So anyway, we were out behind this bar smoking and all of a sudden I got what I would describe as a sharp seizing pain in my left side that immediately made me think “damn, I need to quit smoking.”

I have, of course, not actually quit smoking yet, but I should. Everyone should. This is all a segue into me talking about this band, Diet Cig, that doesn’t have anything to do with smoking per se (though they did meet during a search for a lighter, or so the story goes) or the story I just told, other than the fact that they have the word “cig” in the name of their band. Diet Cig is populated by members Alex Luciano (guitar) and Noah Bowman (drums), and they live in New Paltz, NY. Do you guys smoke regularly? If you don’t, don’t start. If you do, you should quit, or at least do that thing that Obama was doing (or still does) where he only has one a day. I think JFK Jr. did that too. (more…)