“It’s Gotta Be a Cult!” Q&A with Doom Trumpet (VIDEO RELEASE)

Special is the new video by Brooklyn based musical group Doom Trumpet. After a video release at Happy Fun Hideaway in Bushwick, Greenpointers hosted a Q and A with the band and the video’s director Lauren Silberman about the mesmerizing song and film.

GP: What is Doom Trumpet exactly? Would you call it a band? A project?

Lauren: I’ll leave this one to David.

David: Doom Trumpet revolves around writing and playing music together. Equally important are the scenarios and connections we create with and for our sounds. We make music videos, design stage-sets in which to perform, craft USB sculptures, hand-dye band t-shirts, and sometimes we have band yoga sessions.

GP: Your new video, Special, begins with a group walking from the ocean and retains this sense of eeriness throughout. Was this important or might a viewer just be overinfluenced by the Halloween season?  Continue reading

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Freeloading: A Chat With Greenpoint Author Chris Ruen

You may think that internet piracy is so 90s, but Greenpoint author Chris Ruen’s new book Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Hunger For Free Content Starves Creativity makes you think twice before you steal music online. I said it – stealing. As such, the book is a great conversation (and argument) starter, as it aims to establish the relationship between consumers and artists in an age of internet disconnect.

Tonight 12/5 at 7pm, Chris Ruen will participate in a discussion with David Byrne called Music and Copyright in the Digital Era at New York Public Library or as the Village Voice puts it the two will Explain Exactly, Specifically, and Definitively Why Illegally Downloading Music Makes You A Huge Asshole.”

Before David Byrne got an interview, Chris chatted with Greenpointers at the Triple Decker. While the waitress gave Chris a hard time for not finishing his coffee, he explained that the foundation of the book is based on first hand accounts by many now famous musicians, like Frankie Rose, JB Townsend (Crystal Stilts) and Aaron Harris (Islands), whom he met while working at the Greenpoint Coffee House in 2006, the kind of place with a “customers can be wrong attitude.”

Rationalize it all you want, Chris has heard all the arguments, “bands don’t make money anyway; greedy record labels do,” “starving artists are better artists,” “bands make money on touring and merchandise.” The excuses go on and on but in the end “freeloading,” as he sugar coats it, is stealing and at some point he believes you do have to confront people and ask, “do you think you are entitled to this stuff?” Continue reading

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The Best Story You’ve Never Heard: Searching For Sugar Man

“Searching For Sugar Man” is the unlikely story of Rodriguez- or Sixto Rodriguez- or Jesus Rodriguez. Although a man by many names, he has few cultural references. In all instances, it’s the story of a late 1960’s musician who released two albums in America with little to no fanfare, quit professional music in 1973, and went back to full-time work on demolition jobs in his hometown of Detroit. Unbeknownst to him, he was enjoying a parallel universe career in South Africa as a musician in the ranks of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Jimmy Hendrix.

The story of South Africa goes that in some whim of fate, Rodriguez’s album Cold Fact was brought into the country, possibly by an American girl visiting her boyfriend, possibly not. Either way, its revolutionary, folky songs took hold in the Apartheid-shackled country and became the soundtrack of a young generation. It was bootlegged out to the masses and later went on to sell roughly a half a million records in South Africa alone. Continue reading

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Wise Blood at Glasslands

A drum kit, a table with a computer and synthesizers and about 50 excited people, four of which were extremely eager for the show.  This was the scene when Chris Laufman, a.k.a. Wise Blood, took the stage this past Saturday night at Glasslands as part of the Northside Festival.  Clad in loafers and a baseball hat, he stepped into the crowd to assume frontman duties as his drummer and MIDI manipulator launched into the first song.

This is where the excitement stopped.  Wise Blood’s production puts him among the heavy hitters of the genre (Panda Bear comes to mind) and his live musicians killed it.  But when a couple fans are more into the show than the performer is, how is the rest of the crowd supposed to get into it?  Continue reading

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