When he was a kid in the San Francisco Bay area, Matt L. Roar’s mom and dad formed a blues band with him on bass, his little brother on sax, mom on the keys and dad on guitar. A guy from their church, who would wear a hat with red lights on it during shows, played the drums. They would perform at watering holes out in the East Bay, and Matt’s dad would dress him up in a big coat and hat as a cheap disguise—to hide the fact that he was only twelve years old and hanging out in a bar. After growing up, playing in hardcore punk bands in San Francisco and the East Bay and later moving to North Brooklyn several years ago, Matt L. Roar is definitely no newbie to the indie music scene.
Equally influenced by a DIY punk ethos, modern rappers like Lil Yachty, oldschool hiphop (Wu Tang and Tribe) and the old timey sounds of Woody Guthrie’s wails, his musical project Golden West Service is an idiosyncratic blend of garage, punk, noise, lo-fi 8-bit and a number of other genres. On GWS’s newly released first full-length album When You Die, he collaborates with a variety of musical friends, including Tim Hellman (OhSees/Flat Worms), who plays guitar on three songs; Evan Smith (Russian Baths) who plays bass on almost the entire record, and Jah Jah Brown (local punk rappers Ninjasonik) does vocals on one of the tracks. His younger brother Aaron Rohrer plays sax on one of the songs, poet Marisa Crawford performs on another and, and friend Andy Del Calvo laid down some drums for the song Blackbird.
We chatted with him about his new album, and the best local venues to see live music (The Gutter, Silent Barn, Trans Pecos and RIP Greenpoint Heights). Continue reading →
Semi-secret show alert! Our favorite creepy-looking Aussie Alex Cameron is playing Aviv tonight (9/23) at 9:30. It just got announced yesterday by the club. In case you are not familiar with his work, he lays lounge singer sleaze over retro synth sounds.
And the ugliness is actually a makeup job, to help him get in character.
Elsewhere this weekend, there’s SNL’s Maya Rudolph performing with her Prince tribute band, The Levellers and John the Martyr in town, and filthy soul 45’s to sing along to at Our Wicked Lady. Continue reading →
If you are guilty of escaping to the beach on this bright, hot day, you still have plenty of time to catch some great shows at the Northside Festival tonight. You can even keep the party going past 3 AM, because that’s when DJ and track producer Traxman takes the stage at Palisades. More recommendations below…
I was out of town for a little while, but now I’m back and ready to share some information about cool shows, new music and videos, and good films, all taking place within the next week. Here we go. Continue reading →
Of course GZA at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to kick-off Northside Festival was amazing. Watching a crowd of white dudes with receding hairlines making Wu signs to the Tony Bennett of Hip Hop was also entertaining. Wu is magical, but if I could time machine back to 1995, listening to Liquid Swords in the baked out backseat of my 13 year old friend’s 19 year old boyfriend’s Mazda in Ridgewood, I wouldn’t. Those days are over.
I want to hear the grimy new stuff. There will be a lot of big shows in big venues this weekend, but if you want to understand why the Brooklyn music scene is relevant, then you need to check out DIY venues and see great bands before they blow up.
Muchmore (2 Havemeyer @ No. 9th St) was our last stop on what seemed like a fail after the GZA. We bounced from less than thrilling performances at Cameo then 295 Kent after the Glasslands’ doorman, Fernando, was a straight-up dick.