Jubilant cheers rang out the moment the band stepped on stage. The hearts of every concert-goer were sincerely invested in this night. While many shows have a similar energy, very few manage to sustain it the entire night. It was truly mind blowing that Seattle indie rockers Minus The Bear were able to keep it going last Thursday night at Warsaw (261 Driggs Avenue).
Their current tour pays homage to their 10-year-old album Planet of Ice, and last Thursday their raw sonic power created a planet of sweat on stage. The high energy performance featured the album in its entirety, and then the band continued their set by playing more of their classics. The crowd at Warsaw was celebratory, in a daze from a spring-like day, ready to rock out. Looking around the venue, almost everyone felt the need to do more than nod their head. People were dancing, hugging and singing along. Minus The Bear honed in on a particular style of wistful emo-rock that’s stood the test of time. Continue reading →
I first met Adam Collignon at a group art exhibit in Bushwick. He had just finished graduate school and was showing his piece, Hi-Fi. Last week, I met him as a fellow Greenpointer who is keeping a small business local! Artists are often painted out to be somewhat solitary and isolated. This stereotype would have you believe that an artist would never want the responsibility of being a community leader. Adam Collignon splinters that stereotype wide open. Continue reading →
Computer Magic‘s Danielle Johnson gave not just one but two shout outs to Peter Pan Donuts and their egg sandwiches. It’s clear that her love for Greenpoint runs deep. So it’s only fair that all of North Brooklyn should give that love back to her when Computer Magic’s newest album Danzis released on February 23.
Even for the those with shortest musical attention span, Danz is delightful to listen to all at once. The album flows easily from song to song, with each track adding a new element to spark curiosity. The style of combining soft vocals over 80s synth is found in much of Computer Magic’s music, including Danz. This combination is a result from Johnson’s original shyness about her voice, her love for broadcast sound and Girl From Ipanema. What began as an experiment of adding heavier music effects over her soft singing has become a core part of her style. Continue reading →
Any other rainy Sunday night would find us Netflix-ing but this week we decided to beat our Sunday scaries by heading to Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St) to see a night of talented bands. Pure Bathing Culture and Land of Talk may have been the openers for American Football but the entire lineup provided stellar performances. Since Brooklyn Steel tends to be a pretty prompt venue, if you had arrived slightly late on Sunday, you would have regretted missing either of these opening bands. Continue reading →
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 →