Last Sunday at Elsewhere (599 Johnson Ave) the night opened with high energy post-punk trio B Boys, who happen to be on the indie Greenpoint label Captured Tracks. I’m not necessarily a post-punk fan, and to me the genre can range from fun to straight up annoying. But B Boys actually were able to sound palatable—a bit like a surfy, less grungy Nirvana. And they played the part of anarchist punks with more irony than anarchy, singing lyrics like “every day is a struggle.” At times, they hit garage-y notes, but with a little more polish. They’re the kind of band I’d have seen in college, but minus the angst. So, they won my approval.
B Boys definitely got the crowd amped up for Brooklyn headliners Parquet Courts. The band’s been around long enough to be able to wistfully (and perhaps bitterly) reference the dwindling Brooklyn DIY scene and the Elsewhere owners’ fallen former venue. When the crowd started catapulting their drinks at the stage during the second song, keyboardist Austin Brown quipped, “This isn’t Glasslands, you can’t throw shit.” And being a band born in Brooklyn in the mid-aughts certainly they’re clearly schooled in the art of playing to a house full of intoxicated locals donning flannels, thick-rimmed glasses and vintage Fugazi shirts. But this time, the scene was different. It was Elsewhere. 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.
Two old-time bands with a lot of hard time put on the road are doing both a matinée and a sold out evening show at St. Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) this Sunday (8/27) as part of their Left to Starve summer tour.
Of course calling either band old-time is just asking for a beating, because it’s generally not too safe to antagonize a hardcore punk band (Cro-Mags) nor a metal/hardcore/southern sludge band out of New Orleans (EyeHateGod, or just “EHG” for you texters).
I’m sure both these bands have been jumped by a pack of chin-less white supremacists more than once in the past with the band coming out ahead.
And it’s not right to consider their sound old-time, when that’s changed quite a lot for both bands, and in all the right directions. Continue reading
The past week has been musically great, with reformed acts playing sold out shows around town. Texas-based punk rockers The Marked Men bashed their way through back-to-back gigs, first Thursday at St. Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave.) then onto their initially announced Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.) show on Friday. The band’s old-school punk riffing and ear for hooks has endeared them a strong following even if they haven’t released an album since 09’s Ghosts. The venue was packed with a sea of black leather and safety pinned battle jackets, with the crowd singing or shouting in response to the band throughout their set.
Last, we clue you in to some shows beyond this weekend that you should ticket up now before a sellout, like for Erykah Badu and Angel Olsen. Continue reading
Thanksgiving has the biggest club night of the year.
But 4th of July, it’s like a blizzard hit here. Greenpoint empties out. Major venues don’t even bother to put on a Saturday show.
Fortunately, Union Pool, Shea Stadium and Knitting Factory still feature noteworthy acts this weekend. There’s punk, Latin boogaloo, and a Disco Biscuits tribute available to light your holiday firecracker. Continue reading
Waking up at 4 AM this morning, I fumbled around on my iPhone for podcasts to kill time until dawn. Garrison Keillor’s show came up first.
Keillor always ends with a poem, and on this episode it was Route Six by Stanley Kunitz, that follows the poet’s summer road trip to Cape Cod with his wife.
To get everyone into the spirit of our own quickly approaching day trips to the beach, I match the mood of Kunitz’ poem by quoting it alongside this weekend’s best live music. Continue reading
It’s that time of year when it seems like every band in Brooklyn has decamped for the South by Southwest festival in Texas.
Without large audiences and crowded band lineups around town these days, it’s a chance for introspective music to have its moment.
It’s a good time to hear bands live that unravel themselves slowly, and open your mind to a broad landscape.
Even our punk pick this week is more suited to chill California than the inside of a dark New York bar. Continue reading
There is a spirit of cautious optimism in our neighborhood this week. Ice has disappeared from the sidewalks. There are fewer sightings of G train commuters cobbling together bus and Uber rides after unannounced service delays. In fact, some have even suggested that the G is a more reliable train than the neighboring line to our south. It’s a great time to celebrate with some notable live music.