Play Room

Watch Animal Years Play ‘Heart on Heart’ in Bushwick Before They Do It Again at SXSW

When Baltimore-bred musician Mike McFadden came to Brooklyn in late 2012, he brought a new album with him. Having recorded virtually all of the music by himself before the move, all he needed was a band to turn it into a touring reality. Through a mutual friend, McFadden partnered with bassist Anthony Saladino and the two formed the nucleus of Animal Years.
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Watch Bear Hands Play One Off Their New Album and Then Tout the Merits of LSD

Bear Hands and their label, Cantora, remain synonymous with a certain time in the Brooklyn indie scene — before MGMT went down the rabbit hole, and when groups emerging from Wesleyan University dominated the scene. Das Racist was still intact, and the world hadn’t yet heard of LE1F.
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Watch The Beets Frontman Juan Wauters Play a New Track in a Van Under the BQE

The Beets are not dead, says frontman Juan Wauters; they’re just focusing on something new. For one thing, Wauters’s solo LP, North American Poetry (N.A.P), came out last week via Greenpoint label Captured Tracks. He wrote and performed all of the songs on the new record, with some minimal vocal and instrumental help from friends.
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Watch The Can’t Tells Rock Out in Their Living Room Before Their Gig at Pianos

The Can’t Tells have seen their slice of Bushwick evolve since moving from Boston six years ago. The trio of Berklee School of Music grads arrived in the city with a couple hundred dollars and a few garbage bags of clothing to their name. Roberta’s had just opened, serving only pizza — no heat in the building.

Each member sought to break into the NYC scene on his own, but fate had different plans. The roommates became bandmates, and last October they released their debut album, No Television, via British label Medical Records. Tonight, The Can’t Tells play Pianos at 10 p.m. Check out our Play Room session of them performing “Nothing Heavy” live in their living room for a taste of tonight’s set.

Watch Sacco Play ‘Carnival Ghost’ and Talk About Their Tour With Cults

John Fredericks and Andy Breihan aren’t anarchists, but that didn’t stop them from naming their band after Sacco & Vanzetti (Fredericks encountered the name while enrolled in an art history course). The friends have known each other since 1990, when they were preschoolers in San Diego. They formed their first band in high school and, more recently, contributed to the band Guards before forming their own band, Sacco, with drummer Chris Trombley. They just completed a fall tour with Brooklyn’s Cults.

We met up with two thirds of Sacco at Breihan’s apartment in the McKibbin lofts in Bushwick. Enjoy the stripped down version of “Carnival Ghost” before Nashville’s Sensibility releases their self-titled debut album March 4.

Watch NYC-NOLA’s Hurray for the Riff Raff Play a Ditty at NYC-NOLA’s d.b.a.

Unlike the countless many who come to New York in pursuit of a music career, Bronx native Alynda Lee Segarra left the city, at 17, for New Orleans. Hurray for the Riff Raff is now such a fixture there that they’ve appeared on “Treme.”
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Watch Lora Faye Belt Out a New Tune Before Her Show at Drom

You may have caught Lora Faye when she hit Rockwood Music Hall for The Deli‘s CMJ showcase; tomorrow the Bushwick singer-songwriter returns to the neighborhood to play the 10 p.m. slot at Drom.

Faye and her band recently invited us into their practice space to record a fresh track called “The Leans.” Watch the video and you might sense some blues and jazz influences in Faye’s strong vocal choices, and in the sweeping guitar parts by Nick Lerman (they’re accompanied by backup vocalist Rachel Brotman, bassist Julia Adamy, and drummer Ross Pederson).

For more by Faye, check out Waltzes, the EP she released in August after she beat out about 2,000 entrants to win NPR’s Mountain Stage NewSong Songwriting Contest.

Watch St. Lucia Perform ‘Elevate’ in Their Studio Before They Get Evicted

Though they played Governor’s Ball in June and opened two sold-out shows for Two Door Cinema Club last week, it’s been over a year since Williamsburg’s St. Lucia has headlined a hometown show of its own. But on the heels of the band’s first LP, When the Night, Bowery Presents has just announced two new gigs: one at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 17 and the other at Bowery Ballroom the next day.

St. Lucia recently invited Bedford + Bowery into the studio on South 11th Street where their debut album was recorded, and performed an acoustic version of their single “Elevate.” Afterward, we spoke to Jean-Philip Grobler about facing eviction from the studio and maybe spending more time in Los Angeles.

Watch Vensaire Play “See I’m You” in a Bushwick Menagerie

Vensaire has already garnered impressive buzz in the Bushwick scene, though their debut LP, Perdix, has yet to be released. The “cinematic concept album,” which follows last year’s The Vensaire EPwas produced and mixed by Grammy-nominated Scott Colburn (Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, Prince Rama) and should be out soon.

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