Old Dude Winter took the opportunity of his last week in charge to drop a final bowel movement on us: a big ol’ pile of snow to which the city adds its own secret ingredients –mostly street juice and dog refuse– resulting in the world’s grossest Slurpee flavor. But hope may have arrived just in time with a new music video from Bigmun & Frost. Shot in July of last year, it’s a reminder of what summertime is all about in Brooklyn– and for John Bigmun it’s not just backyard kiddie pools filled with beer, it’s also the Giglio Feast that goes down every year in Williamsburg at Lady of Mount Carmel. “It’s like the most amazing thing in the world,” he said. “It’s old Brooklyn, it’s the old country.”
As if you were’t titillated enough by “Livin’ Wavy”, the Sexy Neighbors single we dropped back in December, the Bushwick-centric band is back for more with another boom-worthy single off their new EP, LIHC (out January 31 on Kings Highway Records). “Flickering,” which we’re premiering here, offers something of a departure from the “post-grunge” stylings running through the former and hints toward a new direction, thanks in part to a fresh lineup.
Last week, we told you about Soap Library, the “holistic” tape label specializing in cassettes that are not just objects to behold with your with your eyes and ears, but with your nose too. The brains behind this operation, Kerry Santullo and Rachel Barnhart–former co-workers at the Greenpoint-based Mexican Summer and, uh, current friends–decided to branch out from the predictability of the music industry machine, and go it alone with releases that are anything but “mechanical,” and instead occupy “more of a softer space.”
If you’re a dedicated visitor of spots like Shea Stadium and Alphaville, you’ve inevitably seen or heard Sexy Neighbors. Going on seven years of recording together as a psychedelic post-punk do-whatever-we-want garage band, the odds that they’ve caught your attention are on their side, even if they’ve dwelled comfortably underground.
Let’s take a moment to talk about a strange and ubiquitous inhabitant of today’s internet landscape: the social media influencer. You know the type. Millennial. Self-described “lifestyle blogger.” Multiple Instagram posts per day. Perfect lighting. Radiant skin. Expensive clothes. Exotic locales. Thirsty for followers. #Grateful to be #blessed with such a strong #brand.
Gender-fluid electropop artist Addison XIV is all about “obsessive love” in their bouncy, sugary new EP S.H.O.U.J.O., which premieres today. The four-track EP includes tracks appropriate both for the club and for crying in your room, and touches on being in love, being in love with love, being “treated like a girl,” and even a disdain for canines.
S.H.O.U.J.O. includes “WHeN i SeE yR FaCE,” a high-energy but sad track with a groovy bassline that appeared on The Culture Whore’s annual mixtape earlier this year. It’s not the only catchy song on the EP by any means; they all have their earworm qualities, from the repeated spelling in the title track to the memorable lyrics of opener “I Don’t Like Dogs.” The EP’s production recalls a variety of flavors, from ’80s R&B and ’90s pop to “happy hardcore” electronic music, video game theme songs, and J-pop.
You might get the feeling that you’ve already seen ONWE’s music video for “In the City.” But that’s impossible, we assure you, because it’s actually the first peep at the band’s first proper album, David Welles (out November 18 from Seayou Entertainment).
Whether or not you know ONWE from their demo days– when the Bushwick-based band released videos like “JK BB,” or maybe “Unpaid Internship,” (two tracks that turned some heads in 2014)– there’s something familiar looming in the background.
“It’s like that dream you had where you’re at your high school dance but it’s not your high school, your ex is there but it’s not really your ex, your mom’s in the corner…”
This isn’t a retelling of a long-winded and elaborate joke, but a description of folk group Prairie Empire‘s dreamy new music video for their song “Circles,” off their impressive new record The Salt. In it, Prairie Empire’s leader Brittain Ashford finds herself quite literally dancing circles around and with people of all sorts as the innocent goings-on of a dance hall unfold in slow motion around her and Ashford’s melancholy vocals soar.
Last time we caught up with Catherine Cohen, a regular at the Upright Citizens Brigade, she was gearing up for an “Evening of You” comedy night in a Greenpoint church. Dreamed up with her frequent collaborator Lucy Cottrell, the variety show/spiritual ceremony/self-help expert caricature had her dressing up in a robe with a headset, making super deep pronouncements like, “If you think about it…you…are your only you.”
When I first locked eyes with The Teen Age, I wrote that once the band’s music “gets stuck in your head, you’re screwed.” And truly, the Brooklyn band’s concoction of vibey, stoned doo-wop, cut with surf-rock and steeped in pop, hasn’t left my innards since. Theirs is the kind of pop music that seeps into your bones, made up of individual ditties that, after your first dose, can cause foot spasms and whistle symphonies for months on end.
As the cliché goes, a talented artist can make their work look easy. Most successful works of art, then– anything from albums to paintings and photographs– belie the huge amount of effort and skill that went into their creation. This might stem from the idea that showing too much of the maker’s hand demystifies the process, and therefore risks ruining the magic of art. That distance is especially important when it comes to music– for most genres anyway, maintaining a separation between the audience and the performer, both physical and psychologically, is an essential part of the experience.
Songwriter Dru Cutler lives with five other artists in a loft that’s pretty much the epitome of DIY Bushwick. With its soaring industrial ceilings, comfy armchairs and requisite hipster decorations (vintage posters, hanging plants, etc.), Unit J seems to fit the platonic ideal of millennial living spaces, combining creative pursuits, lifestyle and the search for buzz. Over the past three years, the loft off of the Wilson Avenue stop has evolved from a co-living space for artists trying to make ends meet to an under-the-radar performance venue. Now Cutler and his fellow musician roommates are taking it a step further, launching their own record label to represent other artists they’re excited about.