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BK Wildlife Summer Festival Is the Labor Day Bash You Won’t Want To Miss

(Image posted by Brooklyn Wildlife on Facebook)

The Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival returns this Friday for a triumphant sixth year. The festival, which according to Brooklyn Wildlife founder Christopher Carr, is the “largest independent art and music festival in Brooklyn” with no corporate sponsors, features a lineup of more than 150 performers over the course of 10 days. It touts not only summer music jam sessions, but also “fine art shows, multi media presentations and tech meet ups” per their Eventbrite page.

In lieu of receiving corporate, non-profit or government funding, Carr, a full-time photographer who runs the Gamba Forest art studio with his partner (which is also hosting the festival’s Saturday lineup), funds the entire festival out of pocket–with the exception of a $10 application fee that he charges first-time performers seeking to play in the festival. The out-of-the-box music fest seeks to be the “new CMJ, the new WMC, the new SXSW” according to their Facebook event page. But doesn’t that sort of big tent, mainstream vibe run counter to the festival’s purpose as a gathering of indie artists? According to Carr, whom Bedford + Bowery spoke with by phone, not necessarily. In the early days of SXSW, Carr recalls smaller or mid-sized venues that brought people together in appreciation of solid indie music. He approaches his music festival in a similar way.

Photo from last year’s festival at Gamba Forest Gallery in Greenpoint (Photo: Nick McManus)

“I’m going for that middle ground where it’s large enough that it’s worth the time of the venues and individuals that put in the effort, but not so large that it cannibalizes itself,” says Carr. “I also enjoy Afropunk…but there’s an irony about a festival [that] punk kids can’t afford. We want to find that nice little area where we get some coverage, but we don’t need to cater to the media.” Carr also notes that this year’s festival stands out from previous years in two ways: “magnitude” and “decentralized performances” AKA events hosted in private residences with the help of the website artery.is. With so many events and performers, it can be hard to know where to start, but Carr suggests paying particular attention to metal band No Clouds, esoteric rapper Akai Solo (performing on the festival’s opening night at Trans-Pecos), and reggae/hip-hop artist D-Andra.

You can scope out the links to the performers’ music on the festival’s website and find more information about the various events on Facebook.  Tickets ($50) are available here. The 10-day summer fest runs from Friday, August, 31 through Sunday, September 9.

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Surrealist Artist Dom Dirtee Thinks Both Sides Are Drinking the Kool-Aid

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

It was a boiling-hot day in Brooklyn when I strolled by a dull gray electrical box and glimpsed vivid shades of red, purple and blue. The square black sticker pasted onto the box contained a blue angelic figure with red wings kneeling in prayer beneath a bizarre hodgepodge of images depicting the decrepit state of America today: pills—possibly a nod to the opioid epidemic—logos for Fox News and Vice, Facebook and Twitter social media icons, an iPhone, an AK-47, an Amazon box, and an array of dollar bills upon dollar bills. Scrawled in tiny white font beneath the image were the words Dom Dirtee.
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Lovehoney Believes Sleazy Blues Rock Can Take Over the World

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Lovehoney is here to make you care about rock and roll again, and they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it. Band members—vocalist Alysia Quinones, guitarist Tommy White, drummer Tom Gehlhaus and bassist Matt Saleh—may not presently live in Brooklyn—though Alysia grew up in Bushwick—but their home base where they rehearse is a local fixture. The Sweatshop, which lies off the Montrose Avenue L stop, offers space to many rising New York artists. As we’re chatting, the whirring of a machine and other banging noises periodically disrupt our conversation. Tommy smiles wryly and says, “The perks of having a rehearsal studio in a warehouse.”

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Get Your Summer Reading (or Flirting) On With These 9 Book Talks

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

(Image credit: Amazon)

Thursday, August 2 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Darnell Moore, writer and leader in the Movement for Black Lives, brings what’s sure to be a riveting discussion of his new memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America to the Brooklyn Historical Society. The description for his book on his website recounts how three neighborhood boys in Camden, New Jersey tried to set him on fire when he was only 14. In the three decades since that encounter, Moore has gone on to seek solace in the gay community of Philadelphia, justice on the front lines in Ferguson, Missouri, and life in his current home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In this book, he seeks to understand how that 14-year-old boy not only survived, but became the individual that he is today. Tickets to this event cost $5.

Books Beneath the Bridge: Greenlight Poetry Salon

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The Brooding Long Goodbye Brings the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival to a Close

The trailer for Long Goodbye opens with a straight shot of a woman with shoulder-length hair and a jean jacket walking briskly away from the camera through the Morgan Ave subway station. We can’t see her face. One of the next scenes lingers on two friends chatting on a couch, with one of the guys uttering some language that feels rather stalker-y: “I drive around and clear my head and find myself parked outside of her place. I’m not going to do anything…I don’t know. Maybe she wants me to?”

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And Lucky’s Dreamy New Video Takes You Underwater

While it’s not exactly a trip to the beach, the premiere music video from Brooklyn-based indie dream pop band And Lucky serves up a quaint DIY aquatic scene filled with painted fish, cardboard waves, and raining clouds made from those glittery foil fringe curtains you can get at party stores. And, to be clear, I love those curtain things. Keep Reading »

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What to Watch at the Greenpoint Film Festival This Weekend

Image courtesy of Greenpoint Film Festival’s Website

The Tribeca Film Festival may be over, but another homegrown flicks fest is just beginning. The 7th Annual Greenpoint Film Festival will take over North Brooklyn this weekend, with four days of films and panel discussions.

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Parquet Courts Drops Another New Orleans-Set Video, ‘Mardi Gras Beads’

Funny that we recently mentioned “Range Life” after noting that Parquet Courts is the closest thing we’ll get to a new Pavement album. Today, Parquet Courts drops a video for a new song off the forthcoming album, Wide Awake, that at first heavily evokes “Range Life” and ends up being a great little number in its own right.

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Elsewhere’s Rooftop Opens Memorial Day Weekend With Bands, DJs, Food and Films

(Photo via Elsewhere)

Hot on the heels of rooftop programming announcements from Output and Our Wicked Lady, East Williamsburg venue Elsewhere just dropped the lineup for its own rooftop, which will open for the first time on Memorial Day weekend. The club, which opened in November and may or may not have an orgasmic stage, is promising rooftop “happy hours, frozen drinks, local DJs, art programming, weekend food pop-ups, and much more.”

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Floating Food Forest Will Dock at Brooklyn Army Terminal This Summer

Image courtesy of Swale

If you’d prefer to forage for food on a converted barge rather than wait in one more hellish line at Trader Joe’s, you’re in luck: Swale, the floating food forest founded by Mary Mattingly, will land at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park this summer from May through July.

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Book Jackets: Stephanie Marano Combines High Fashion With Works of Literature

Image via God Save the Misanthropes

Tavi Gevinson caused quite a stir among Donna Tartt fans last week when she posted an Instagram photo of a custom-made jacket inspired by Tartt’s 1992 novel The Secret History. Designed and sewn by Stephanie Marano, a Brooklynite and fellow book lover whom Gevinson, the Rookie founder and influencer par excellence, happened to meet on a subway platform, the jacket is equal parts awe-inspiring and allusive. The response on Instagram was enormous, and now Marano’s exclusive “book jackets” have become the must-have piece for any bibliophile worth their salt.
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