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.
Chicano Batman packed Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave) for their second night in New York City. The fall tour supports their album Freedom Is Free, released in March. The album is among Billboard’s Best Albums of 2017 So Far and was recorded at Diamond Mine Recordings in nearby Long Island City. The tour kicked off in their hometown of Los Angeles late September, with three sold-out shows at The Fonda Theatre.
Openers Khruangbin & The Shacks started off the evening with mellow vibes and some instrumental tracks that felt almost improvised. The tempo eventually revved up a bit to pump-up the audience in preparation for the energetic headliners. Chicano Batman blends the sounds of soul, Brazilian Tropicalía and a bit of old school R&B.Like the well-dressed performers of their 1970’s predecessors, these are show men. You can see a display of that showmanship in their debut Conan performance filmed earlier this year.Continue reading →
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 →
The French dance-pop group Yelle played sold-out shows this past weekend, packing the house at Rough Trade (64 N 9th St) on the Brooklyn stop of their Yelle Dance Party Tour. They filled the space with electric synth sounds topped with sweet-sounding vocals and over-the-top energy. The band was supported by the alt-pop Brooklyn-based duo Glassio for all three nights.
The très chic vocalist Julie Budet had the audience bouncing around, dancing and singing along in an obscure mix of French and something resembling French. One of their newly released singles ‘Interpassion‘, touches on their international appeal with lyrics, “Hey, I speak a little bit, you don’t understand, but I speak a little bit, and I’m sure you are my friend.” Crowd favorites, “Que veux-tu” and album namesakes “Safari Disco Club” and “Complètement fou”along with spurts of choreography got everyone pumped up. Continue reading →
Earth, air, fire and water: the vital components that make up our living world were the inspiration for a special night at National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) last Thursday, where musicians collaborated with acclaimed chef Patrick Connolly of neighboring restaurant Rider and mixologist Allen Katz (NY Distilling Company) to compose an immersive performance harmonized with food and drink. The inventive evening included avant-garde music spanning several genres (jazz, electronic, folk, world), eclectic performers, and an exceptional food and cocktail pairing set in an informal salon atmosphere.
National Sawdust is a beautifully designed black box theatre with acoustics that rival the Sydney Opera House. If you’ve been to NS more than once, you’ve likely experienced a variety of stage setups. The auditorium layout was designed to play a little Tetris, with the stage location and seating arrangement tailored to each performance and always sounding incredible no matter what the scenario. Last week’s show was no different; with tables and chairs arranged cabaret-style to face the stage and corn husks as our plates, the night had a casual vibe nestled in an intimate high-end venue. Continue reading →
On Thursday, September 28th, the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St) will play host to an evening of experimental jazz headlined by post-punk, avant-garde powerhouse Lydia Lunch. Performances will begin at 8pm with pianist Jesse Lynch, followed by Matt Nelson on tenor saxophone, and a trio set by Moppa Elliott’s Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Lydia Lunch and Michael Foster will headline at 10pm. The evening will close with an experimental group ensemble conducted by Lunch. And, if that wasn’t enough to entice you to check this one out, proceeds will go towards McGolrick Park’s public art project, Ziemia (Polish for “Earth”).
To create Ziemia, artist Martynka Wawrzyniak is creating a native plant meadow and a sculpture made with help from Greenpoint residents. The sculpture will take the form of a ceramic orb, fired out of clay excavated in Greenpoint and glazed with a mix of soil contributed by residents from personally meaningful locations from around the world, which symbolize their identities. Ziemia aims to bridge the divides between the neighborhood’s disparate subcultures, serving as a collective portrait of the community through embodying residents’ personal homelands and migration stories.
If you have not heard of rapper, former chef and Viceland hostAction Bronson’s low culture cult following, you may soon be aware of his larger-than-life presence. Born in Queens and reportedly living in North Brooklyn, he has become an icon somewhat for his brazen rap stylings, but is probably more acclaimed for his self-proclaimed lyrical adoration of the pre-packaged foods most of us grew up with—chicken tenders, Starburst, Steak-umms; and his more complex and grown-up gourmet tastes—steak that’s aged for over 20 days, lamb that’s been roasted over 7 hours, stuffing filled with truffles and pears. As a chubby, foul-mouthed yet lovable character, he appeals to many: the shameless (those who would happily chow down on dirty water hotdogs), the detail-oriented (people who would source the best ingredients to create a very simple meal) and the fun-food-havers (regular people at a backyard BBQ where the smoker’s been going for hours, where homemade food and booze is abundant and anything goes). Continue reading →
Next Thursday evening (9/28) at 7:30pm, National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) is presenting a night of inspired food, mixology and music as they pair up small bites and cocktails with custom-composed music to simultaneously tickle your ears and your tastebuds.
James Beard Award-winning chef Patrick Connolly of Rider (National Sawdust’s sister restaurant) and “cocktail world enigma” Allen Katz, mixologist and local distiller at New York Distilling Company (79 Richardson St), will create the tantalizing culinary experience, which will offer four canapés (three h’ors doeuvres + dessert) and five cocktails on tap.
Musicians include jazz singer Magos Herrera, multi-instrumentalist Yuka C. Honda (of Cibo Matto), and pianist Oded Lev-Ari, who will lead the ensemble in a program ranging from tango to electronic music to Mexican folk song, including the world premiere of Chopping Music and a piece inspired by the humble juniper berry.
And, audience members get 20% off their bill at Rider after the event. Advance tickets are $70 and available here. Continue reading →
It’s always a treat when Thee Oh Sees go on tour and play a few shows in Brooklyn. I always make it a point to go at least once because it’s nothing short of awesome. Thee Oh Sees psyched out the crowd at the Warsaw (261 Driggs Avenue) with dynamic jams with loud-meets-fast-riffs. Continue reading →