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 →
Frankie Rose, an original member of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, introduced her fourth album Cage Tropical at Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway) before she heads out on her US and European tour. Frankie’s performance was a shimmery 80s daydream: ultra-confident and unapologetic, yet she exuded a mellow energy. Her vocals were glimmery and ethereal. And, psychedelic projections that changed for each song—from an atomic bomb to flashing disco palm trees—set a powerful backdrop to her intoxicating voice. Continue reading →
Williamsburg-based singer/songwriter, and dark-humored Brad Cantor released his first solo album a couple weeks ago, under the moniker Glass Valley. The 60s and 70s-inpired dreampop album—which takes a few whispery pages from Velvet Underground and Elliott Smith—brings you on one man’s journey as he closes the door on his 30s and enters his 40s. Brad, a self-proclaimed “aging Brooklyn hipster,” wrote 22 songs after a trip to Joshua Tree, where he had time to reflect on the past decade of his life. When he returned to Brooklyn, the songs quickly poured out in an emotional stream of consciousness, and nine of them made it onto his debut album An Intimate Man. There’s a section in the track Young Hip and Old where he croons, “Everything’s gotten boring and we lost our way. Every party feels so forced, we ran out of things to say. The nights got less glamorous as our friends starting dropping off,” reflecting his stunted coming of age in early 2000s Brooklyn.
I chatted with Brad about how, in the music world it’s a little unusual for anyone to release their first album at age 40. “We don’t value older artists,” Brad says. “We don’t value their creativity. We don’t value their experience.” There’s a general consensus that when you’re younger you “embrace the craziness and rash decision making,” and as you age, you slowly shut down the most creative parts of your brain. “Fear makes people say things like that,” Brad says. So while on this album he may be resigning himself to getting older (on Golden Age: “It’s romantic to think that we’ll conquer the world, But most roads lead to rust belt cities, and gray rivers flow to dead ports, while strip malls decay in neglected suburbs. There was never a golden age, but life has a way of making it seem that way”), the brilliantly-executed record as a whole defies the idea that creativity fades after people reach a certain age. Continue reading →
On May 17th & 2st, Frankie Cosmos joined Real Estate for a shoegazey and magical set at Brooklyn Steel. With hints of vaporwave fun and twee, playful melodies, it was a sweet show to dance and nod yer head to. And, both shows sold out! I could see why – the set list was on fire with plush tones and great vibes.
Franz Ferdinand played to a sold-out house last night at Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave) on their first tour since 2014 supporting Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. The band’s new lineup is comprised of Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals) and Dino Bardot (guitar) and Julian Corrie (synth, guitar) replaced founding member Nick McCarthy, who left the band last summer.
After playing Governor’s Ball over the weekend, the band extended their stay in New York City playing the show as part of Governor’s Ball After Dark.The crowd was as electrified as the band, especially when they played dance-beat heavy songs such as “No You Girls”, “The Dark of the Matinee” and “Take Me Out”, dancing, jumping and waving their arms to the music. Franz Ferdinand returned to the stage for an encore performance and ended their show with energy surging, “This Fire” and hand-in-hand the band took a bow.Continue reading →
The Bird + The Bee, She + Him, Matt + Kim, Mates of State, Wild Belle, the list goes on. Are there too many feel-good indie pop duos out there? Maybe. But Greenpointers Laura and Greg may not actually quite fit into that bubblegum box. Their just-released sophomore effort GREYSHARKCANYON has them stretching their sound, with more layers of garage and grit than their first record Forever For Sure. Though they’ve beefed up the instrumentation on this record, Laura and Greg still haven’t lost their tender touch. There’s no shortage of tambourine, so they’ve still got slight a 60s folk-pop vibe, especially with Laura’s sweet crooning in the front of the mix.
They’re in Austin playing SXSW this week but you can find them back in Brooklyn playing at Rough Trade on April 23rd.
You could fork over $80 for an official Northside Badge or you can spend $5 and come to the best officially Unofficial Northside Show, presented by Super Crush Studio and Greenpointers at Coco66 on Saturday June 15, 2013 at 8pm! RSVP
Who’s playing? Officially – the best bands in Brooklyn!
You know we have no problem picking favorites at Greenpointers, and Gunfight! is our favorite Brooklyn and Greenpoint band. Come see Gunfight! play at the upcoming Brain Cave Festival and I guarantee you will have no choice but to get your butt up and dance like a crazy person. That is what live music is all about – having a great time!
I remember the first time I saw them play in a backyard at Paper Garden Records‘ Multiverse Playground and I instantly downloaded their album halfway into their first song and have been stalking them ever since.
These Brooklyn boys are putting out a new album and they kickstarted it. They already reached their goal but that is no reason to not donate more because as they put it, “even with the money raised so far, we still anticipate dropping a fair amount of our hard-earned cash on this, and so any additional moolah will go a long way to keeping us from going broke and eating squeezy-cheese on dollar-store crackers and sleeping on someone’s couch.”
Support Brooklyn music and one of Greenpointers’ favorite bands! Click here to donate.
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.