Last Thursday night at Rough Trade (64 N 9th St) opened with Michael Nau performing to a packed room. Nau’s rich warm tones gave a welcoming feel to the cold November night. Previously the frontman for Page France and Cotton Jones, Nau’s style is relaxing with a rockbeat that enables the listener to truly feel like being on a sort of vacation. It’s evident that Nau writes music purely because he enjoys doing so, that he is naturally moved to write it. This puts a heartwarming personal stamp on his songs, everpresent during his performance.
This (sort of) escapism journey continued with David Bazan as he zoomed into giving an other worldly performance. While Bazan and his band unleashed a more thunderous sound than Nau, Bazan remained connected to his spirit. When he often closed his eyes onstage, you could really feel that presence—and that let his talent take over the stage, unobstructed. It’s not always easy to let others into a personal inner world, but Bazan was able to succeed at this. The audience was transported straight into his inner world and feelings. Continue reading →
Freehold (45 South 3rd St), located in south Williamsburg, is widely known as a freelancer’s oasis to get some work done while having a burger, taking a break to enjoy the large outdoor space and having a beer to close out the day. Or you can hit up Freehold to celebrate your friend’s birthday brunch or during one of their epic Halloween parties. But if you have caught a studio session, you probably know Freehold’s latest hit is as non-traditional music venue. Freehold Studio Sessions have been happening for more than a year, beginning with bands such as St. Lucia, that served as a sort of test to see how the space would work for live music. Once the Freehold folks realized that their space could work well as a music venue, it was important to event director Lydia Mazzolini, creative director Tony Pytleski and the rest of the team to keep bringing in quality bands to give Freeholders (their members) the gift of enjoying a great live show that would be rooted in community. They brought on Joey Garofalo of Beacon Events to book bands, and the rest is recent history. Continue reading →
You might expect Reggie Youngblood to be in the internet know—his indie pop band Black Kids blew up as an internet sensation after posting their EP Wizard of Ahhhhs on Myspace back in 2007. But he will be the first to admit that he has not kept up with the inter webs. After a decade of working, not working and then working on Black Kids’ newest album, Rookie, Youngblood decided they should share it on Bandcamp. Who could argue with free downloads? But offering this thought was not alluring to fans, he joked, “..no one really wants to download things anymore, and that everyone really just wanted to get the record streaming on Spotify or Apple Music.”
Youngblood has seen changes in the way bands interact with fans nowadays and he misses being on the hunt for more information on musicians, along with the sense of mystery when all you knew about them was their music. Now, most bands rely on being a voice on Instagram, using all social media channels to show their personality and to keep in touch with fans.
Shana Tabor is no stranger to most Greenpoint dwellers; after all she is the founder of In God We Trust (70 Greenpoint Ave), a treasured store with various locations that sell their own original jewelry and apparel. Since opening her first store back in 2005, Shana has grown personally and creatively—so it felt like the right time for her to move into something new and fresh. This freshness came to fruition in the form of Beth, a clothing line that debuts later this month, that consists of timeless staples for the contemporary woman.Continue reading →
The Hum, in its 5th year, is a magical project put together by Rachael Pazdan. Pazdan, music director at the Le Possion Rouge, unites female artists who have never worked together to create new music for an all-female performance series for five nights. In past years it was held at Manhattan Inn (RIP), but this year Good Room (98 Meserole Ave) is hosting all the events except one which will be held at Le Poisson Rouge. This past Monday’s session was serene, synth-ful and sinful, and full of dance-like beauty. Each group was seamless and fluid in their collaboration, making it appear that they must have worked together before. These groups that played involved several powerhouses, including Kissey as well as Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz). Continue reading →
Thursday night, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St), a Greenpoint-based non-profit dedicated to examining culinary culture, was alive with the sound of crickets. Except by “sound of crickets” we actually mean the sound of insect delicacies being sampled by guests. MOFAD recently launched a learning series named Spring Spirits, which takes a deep look into special spirits, the process of creating them, and the food that goes along with them. Their first event gave the spotlight to a spirit that is becoming quite poplar: tequila’s smokier, more artisanal oriented cousin, mezcal. Before the tasting portion of the event began, Danny Mena, a top-rated Mexican chef at Hecho En Dumbo, spoke bout mezcal’s fascinating history, which dates back 200 years. He spoke about the process of making mezcal, the life of an agave plant (it’s nocturnal, like many North Brooklynites) and the different regions of Oaxaca that produce mezcal. Mena also discussed ancient traditions of Mexican food, which include learning to love eating insects and the many uses of corn.
The second half of the event involved tastings from three different mezcal makers and munching on crunchy bug-topped bites. The insects that were left in tact to eat as-is were a little hard to swallow, but most of the tasters could get behind the insect salsa as well as sal de gusano, which is a salt made with worms that you are encouraged to dip an orange slice in—definitely a few steps up from an ordinary chaser. Continue reading →
Since rosé has (somewhat proudly) ventured into basic terrority, you might be looking to spice things up this summer drinking season. Perhaps you could learn more about smoky mezcal and…insects! This Thursday May 4th, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St.) has partnered up with the Mexican Cultural Institute for its first Spring Spirits series that features Oxacan food and drink. During this event you will learn about the production of mezcal and its variety of flavor profiles as well as the vital part that insects play in Mexican cuisine. The event will include tastes of mezcal and little bites —that may or may not feature insects. Part of the proceeds will go to support the educational initatives of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York so your newfound education on a delicious type of alcohol and creepy crawlers will benefit others.
Tickets ($60) can be bought here and each ticketholder will also get $1 off drinks at Petes Candy Store (709 Lorimer St).
Heather Garland has been making art in Greenpoint since 2005, and as an artist she’s evolved alongside the neighborhood’s own transformation. Garland, a graduate of Pratt Institute, is a skilled and talented painter who blends her classic art background with the world of found objects.
Garland is fascinated by the functionality of objects and how their value changes when you consider their worth solely as art pieces. She mentioned an example: the bowl you place your cereal in literally feeds you, while an artistic bowl you might hang on a wall will feed your soul. Initially she started exploring painting on plates as a way to give herself a break from doing larger scale paintings.
Garland’s first plates were done quite fast, as a way to get a quick hit of satisfaction as she pursued pleasure through making artwork. Now her plates tend to be more intricate. Following this pursuit of pleasure coupled with her intellect, Garland assigns these plates a deeper value than their inherent functional one.
The titles of her works add a layer of meaning to the plates—like Abortion, a flower-like, fringe-infused plate artwork that is a part of the Nasty Woman exhibition at Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave.), curated by Garland’s friend, Roxanne Jackson.
This keyboard is a piece of shit. That may sound like something your coworker would mutter but, in this instance, it is the title of artwork by Greenpoint-based artist Stephen Eakin.
To begin exploring Eakin’s artwork on simple terms, he focuses on sculptural pieces made of found objects then combined with his own woodworking. These works explore the meaning of objects, how they gain that meaning and why a viewer should pay more attention to one item over the other. Influenced by the Shakers’ transcendent connection with creating objects, Eakin’s work plays on the dichotomy that this hand-crafted furniture simply becomes a place to put another object. In this case that object is often a more manufactured, found item that has indiscriminately been assigned greater value. These hand-crafted creations made by Eakin himself become the frame or even pedestal of a found object such as a sweatshirt or baseball cap. This will leave you, as a viewer, to decide which object you assign more value to, which of these is the true “work of art”?