Despite their New-York-centric pun of a name, rock duo Jamaican Queens actually hail from Detroit. And on the very night their hometown filed for bankruptcy, the band’s equipment seemed destined for similar failure: time stretched on as they pleaded with the crowd for patience, a drum machine too high, vocals too low. But finally, when everything was in place, frontman Ryan Spencer electrified the crowd with his commanding vocals and an extensive musical arsenal behind him— what could best be described as an electronic-hip-hop-rock fusion— producing catchy, dance-ready glam-pop hits. Continue reading
Last night I was really excited to meet a dynamic duo, Kiri and Heidi, who are leaders of a huge network of pro-feminist musicians, artists and activists called Permanent Wave. Earlier this year I attended a show booked by these gals at Death By Audio, a DIY all ages venue in Williamsburg. The show was a benefit for Right Rides, which offers women and LGBTQ individuals a free, safe, late night ride home on weekends. Talented local bands fronted by lady musicians jammed in the packed space with an upbeat and positive crowd.
It’s all about collaboration. According to their mission statement, Permanent Wave seeks “to challenge gender inequality as it manifests itself in art, politics, and our personal lives” with the belief that, “women should see each other as collaborators and inspirations, not rivals.” Right on, ladies! This plays itself out when booking as an organization, explained Kiri, rather than just trying to book your own band at a venue. Strength in numbers. Continue reading
Brooklynites are always craving new everything. How about a DIY music space? With a name like Delinquency, I had to check it out. Plus, my favorite band Gunfight! was playing, who always rule.
One of the things I miss most about living in San Francisco are the beautiful, cheap Victorian houses that have rooms with large bay windows and boarded up fireplaces with ornate mantles that are perfect for displaying old pictures of your mom from the 70’s, some antlers, and your stash of pot. It really encourages you to stay inside most nights and listen to folky, relaxing music as the fog rolls in. Magic Magic Roses is the perfect soundtrack for such nights. Continue reading
In a desolate area under the Williamsburg Bridge, a show at 285 Kent brought the neighborhood out on Saturday night despite warnings of the derocho, or as some sources chose to report, “The Storm That Might Destroy New York City.” But inside the warehouse, beyond the rain and clouds of cigarette smoke, a wormhole of industrial noise and psychedelic guitars could be heard. Continue reading
Last Wednesday, The Rapture and Tanlines hit the stage for the first Vans House Party of the year. Presented by FYF, each show is free with an online RSVP, open to all ages of the public, and hosted at the House of Vans, a 25,000 square foot warehouse at 25 Franklin St. For those of you who don’t know, the Vans House Parties are the greatest event ever- well, at least the best event that I’ve been to in Greenpoint all year.
Make sure to show up early, because the line gets a bit long (it stretched all the way to N 11th). But don’t worry, once you’ve waited out the line there are some incredible rewards waiting for you.
A drum kit, a table with a computer and synthesizers and about 50 excited people, four of which were extremely eager for the show. This was the scene when Chris Laufman, a.k.a. Wise Blood, took the stage this past Saturday night at Glasslands as part of the Northside Festival. Clad in loafers and a baseball hat, he stepped into the crowd to assume frontman duties as his drummer and MIDI manipulator launched into the first song.
This is where the excitement stopped. Wise Blood’s production puts him among the heavy hitters of the genre (Panda Bear comes to mind) and his live musicians killed it. But when a couple fans are more into the show than the performer is, how is the rest of the crowd supposed to get into it? Continue reading
I may not be the first Greenpointer to trek south to Muchmore’s, one of north Brooklyn’s latest coffee shop / bar / venue spaces, but I certainly won’t be the last if they keep up what they had going this past Sunday night. I was spending my evening entertaining a friend from New Orleans and we had just concluded a fact-finding mission to Crif Dogs (seriously.) Given that Northside was still going strong, I would have felt seriously remiss sending him off without his ears ringing, so we trekked over to newly-opened Muchmore’s, located on a (formerly) quiet corner of North 9th street.
Sadly, we had just missed Railbird, showing up in the middle of Zula’s set. Zula’s clean, layered sound was a great thing to have filling the front lounge area as we wandered in, taking in the artwork. Working our way to the back, our first thought was that the acoustics were surprisingly good in the unpolished, comfortable space, where little separates the musicians from the crowd and listeners find nearly equal space to either stand and bop or spread out on one of the many couches. Next up were the decidedly noisier Dreebs, about which I feel mostly unqualified to comment except to say that their songs seemed to my deafened ears to be carefully constructed, skillfully building and releasing tension. Rounding out the night was Ava Luna, who frankly surprised us – we walked out of Muchmore’s talking excitedly about the deceptively mature, harmonized vocals coming from the young band.
The Northside Festival this weekend proved that the underground DIY scene is where the party is at in Brooklyn. While at Muchmore on Thursday, I found out Gunfight! would be playing an unofficial show at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge. I am officially obsessed with this band and this venue.
I’d seen Gunfight! for the first time at Paper Garden Records’ Multiverse Playground III, where I was hooked instantly on super fast garage country rock. Then a great show at Fort Useless!, another Bushwick apartment-style venue.
It may be the intimacy of venues, the laid back crowd, the cheap ass beer or the tight line-ups, but the DIY scene rules because it doesn’t feel like a scene, it just feels like people enjoying great new music. And the bands don’t suck. And the bouncers are pretty nice, too. Continue reading