It’s hard getting to the beginning of anything, but with Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave) in Greenpoint, it might help to keep in mind a street sign in Kansas City: Troost Ave. “I just liked the way it looked,” the owner, John Ortiz says, one evening during a sit down at Goldie’s, on what we both agree is the “other side” of Greenpoint. Troost opened its doors in 2011. It started as a café, beer and wine bar. But it’s grown since then to include a full bar and live music. But John is specific. It is “not a music venue. It’s a bar that has music.” It having music occupies a lot of the conversation.
“It’s interesting,” he says, “to see artists respond when you put limitations on them.” The limitations are familiar to anyone who attends shows or is a musician in New York. They come down to two things: noise and space. “It’s almost always worked out. One or two cases, maybe.” One aspect that keeps things going is a good relationship with the neighbors. “They all have my number. They’re great. Sometimes I get a text saying, ‘hey, last night was a little loud,’ but for the most part, the relationship is really good.” Another is just figuring out who could and should play. Who does the approaching? “It’s pretty much word of mouth, musicians putting me in touch with other musicians,” he says. Continue reading →
“Unfortunately we’re not having press at these dates,” is what I was officially told when I inquired about covering the LCD Soundsystem shows at new local venue Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost Street). Additional requests to the venue and their PR firm were returned with radio silence. If Brooklyn Steel wanted to hype up their grand opening, what better way to do it than having a local band in comeback mode break in the stage with surprise performances? Might as well add a press blackout to the mix to pump up the mystique.
When the five shows were announced just a couple weeks ago, my heart fluttered. The new venue, by far the biggest in the neighborhood, is just a few blocks from my house. Plus, LCD Soundsystem is sacred to me, with James Murphy being an inspiration for me to start DJing at the ripe old age of 35. Last year, I traveled across the globe to see them play (after losing my wallet just 36 hours before, breaking out in hives due to a newly acquired shellfish allergy and leaving my laptop at the Ibiza airport), and I often reminisce about the first time I saw the band live in 2005, gracing the legendary Fillmore’s stage in San Francisco. I’ve seen the band perform live several times, and James Murphy DJ sets about the same amount. So you could call me a superfan. Continue reading →
Today at the Cooper Park Community Center Gym (76 Kingsland Ave) new music venue Brooklyn Steel is holding a job fair. They’re hiring for Box Office, Bathroom Attendants, Coat Check, Door Staff, Hospitality, Maintenance, Merch, Production, Bartenders, Barbacks & Security positions.
Interviews will be taking place from 9am-4:30pm on a first come, first serve basis. They’ll be opening in April at 319 Frost Street, with some really cool shows planned—The Decemberists, PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp, Tycho, Two Door Cinema Club, among others.
If you’ve grabbed a coffee at The Lot Radio (17 Nassau Avenue), or have ever wandered the streets behind the High School next to McCarren Park, you may have seen the Franciscan church San Damiano Mission (85 N 15th Street). If you didn’t, then you should take note. The church and local independent streaming DJ radio station The Lot Radio have been teaming up to put on benefit shows inside the church, with viewers in the pews and musicians at the pulpit. Praise. All performances are free with a suggested donation (usually $10), and always feature an interesting musical artist or three; a few months back, I attended a show with an experimental French electronic DJ who played objects as instruments.
So, it’s a church—but there’s beer, wine and a full liquor bar for donation—and the super cool friars Nick and Raphael are serving up the drinks. Seriously, they’re the most awesome bartenders you’ll ever meet, and will gladly give you a hug if you smile and even just slightly befriend them. Hugs are great! And the venue is truly beautiful. All of the money raised benefits the church and the repair of their massive pipe organ (we will cover that in a future feature story), which was originally installed in 1912. Continue reading →
Dead Stars have been gaining popularity in the four years they’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ around the neighborhood, thanks to energetic live shows and a refreshingly unpretentious approach to making music. Their songs are quick, to the point, and poppy without feeling flimsy. If you check them out live be prepared to get their shout-along choruses stuck in your head for days; the amount of crowd members mouthing the lyrics at any given gig is testimony enough to Dead Stars’ catchiness factor. The trio is made up of bassist John Watterberg, drummer Jaye Moore and lead singer and guitarist, Jeff Moore, who took a break from finishing up the band’s upcoming EP, High Gain, to answer a few questions.
Dead Stars play tonight, Thursday March 28 @ Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $10 – with Dichroics & Circle of Buzzards
Happy July! Hopefully this heatwave will subside for a nice weekend. Check out the calendar for even more events. Submit an event.
WEDNESDAY 7/18 • Brooklyn Public Library Kidsmobile @ McCarren Park, 10-11:30am, FREE ♥ Summerscreen: Raising Arizona @ McCarren Park (N 12th & Bedford Ave), 6pm, FREE • The Fug Girls Present Messy @ Word (126 Franklin St.) 7-8pm, founders of the must-read blog Go Fug Yourself, present their second YA novel, Messy, More info ♫ TEEN / Electric Video Release Party @ La Sala (58 No. 3rd St) 9pm, RSVP ♫ Telepathe / Feathers / Eraas / FAITH DJ set @ Glasslands (289 Kent Ave) 8:30pm, $10, Buy Tix
THURSDAY 7/19 • Cooper Park Harmony Day Picnic with the 90th Precinct @ Cooper Park, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM • OSA Community Tree Stewardship Day with The Human Impacts Institute @ Rodney Park (S. 3rd Street & Rodney) 5:30-7pm, help protect street trees from the heat of the summer, tools supplied and no gardening experience necessary. ♫ Pretty Good Friends with Eugene Mirman / OK GO! @ Williamsburg Park (50 Kent Avenue) 5:30pm, FREE ♦ Slideluck Potshow @ Brooklyn Brewery (79 N 11th St) $15, 6:30-10:30pm, a slideshow of various Northside artists, bring your favorite bar food, beer will be unlimited, space will be, Buy Tix • Jungle Nights: Natural Perfume Making Workshop @ Jungle (61 Kent Avenue) 7-8pm, $120, Using natural ingredients found in the garden, you will learn the basics of natural perfume design with a perfume designer and create with your own scent to take home, Cocktails, RSVP time4everythingnyc (AT) gmail.com * Space, Time, and a Universe in Many Dimensions@ 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave) 7:30pm, $20, Janna Levin, scientist and novelist, speaks to us about how there may be hidden dimensions existing in the vast unknown that is the universe, More info
FRIDAY 7/20 ♫ Children’s concert @ American Playground, 11am, Free ♫ Woody Guthrie Centennial Benefit @ Teddy’s (96 Berry St) 8pm, To benefit North Brooklyn’s O.U.T.R.A.G.E. (Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity) ♫ The Frighteners / The Forthrights / The Hard Times @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow St) 8pm
SATURDAY 7/21 * Weekend Walk Block Party @ Grand between Union & Manhattan, noon-6pm, a car free oasis, RVSP ♥ 7th Annual Great Hot Dog CookOff @ 630 Flushing Ave, 1:30pm, 30 competitors engage in a live grilling battle where the attendees vote to determine who will be this year’s Top Dog, all proceeds donated to Food Bank For New York City, Buy Tix • 5th Annual Pig Roast @ 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave) 4pm, Free, a summery celebration of gut-splitting proportions, More info ♦ Surprise! Party & Zine Release @ Booklyn (37 Greenpoint Ave 4fl) 7-10pm, a recurring, roving performance project, created in 2009 by artists Aaron Wojack and Calder Zwicky, More info ♫ Quiet Loudly /EULA/ Miniboone/ & Backwords @ Big Snow (89 Varet St) 8pm, RSVP ♫ Dum Dum Girls, Widowspeak, Fingers On The Pulse @ House of Vans (25 Franklin St) 8pm, FREE, RSVP ♫ Soul Clap and Dance Off w/ Jonathan Toubin @ Glasslands Gallery (289 Kent Ave) 11:45pm, $5
SUNDAY 7/22 ♫ Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave) 6pm, $5 ♫ Fixed / Chromatics / JDH & Dave P / Paul Raffaele @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 N. 6th St) 8pm, $18, Buy Tix
TUESDAY 7/24 ♥ Masters of Social Gastronomy: Ice Cream @ Public Assembly (70 North 6th St) 7-9:30pm, Free, RSVP * Drink for Better Transit @ Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave) 7-8:30pm,Riders Alliance • RidersNY.org is a membership organization of subway and bus riders dedicated to winning better transit in New York, RSVP
* Greenpointers’ Pick
♥ Pheremones Likely
♦ Art Event
The Northside Festival this weekend proved that the underground DIY scene is where the party is at in Brooklyn. While at Muchmore on Thursday, I found out Gunfight! would be playing an unofficial show at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge. I am officially obsessed with this band and this venue.
I’d seen Gunfight! for the first time at Paper Garden Records’ Multiverse Playground III, where I was hooked instantly on super fast garage country rock. Then a great show at Fort Useless!, another Bushwick apartment-style venue.
It may be the intimacy of venues, the laid back crowd, the cheap ass beer or the tight line-ups, but the DIY scene rules because it doesn’t feel like a scene, it just feels like people enjoying great new music. And the bands don’t suck. And the bouncers are pretty nice, too. Continue reading →
Brian Binsack, 30, is one of four owners of The End New York in Brooklyn, a new multifunctional creative facility, which combines professional recording and photo studio and a rehearsal room. It has a rooftop space for social event rentals and even art-gallery with paintings and sculptures of contemporary artists.
Binsack signed a lease for the space at the western waterfront on Greenpoint Avenue in February this year, and held the first arts event in May 2011. Later in the fall, the End New York finished the latest makeover works and organized a launch party to introduce their latest addition, a new performance venue.
Binsack is a professional composer converted into a businessman. In a short interview he describes his journey from music to entrepreneurship and approach in making a successful startup in New York City.