Duchess Says is the ’80s freak-wave/post-punk band you never knew you were dying for. Hailing from Montreal, they’re out to prove that Montreal’s really gaining on NYC right now in every way. And who can resist a band that sounds a whole like like what would happen if the Cars and the Slits had two babies, both born under the darkest of stars, then those babies mated with Halloween incarnate, then all the resulting offspring started a band. Yup. Picture that one.
It was a tough summer for Brooklyn’s DIY scene. There was the sudden shutdown of Palisades, followed by the closure of DIY-gone-legit venue the Acheron; then we lost Secret Project Robot, and soon enough, we’ll be saying RIP Aviv. The troubling number of ousters makes the latest news all the more welcome: Trans-Pecos, last night, announced that a new “annex” is on the way.
As the story goes, no one guessed that Nirvana’s Nevermind would become one of the defining rock records of the ’90s, let alone top the charts at number one.
Actually, scratch all that. Considering that Nevermind sold more than 30 million copies, it’s one of the top-selling albums of all time (that’s double-platinum 12 times over, aka a “diamond” selling record), which puts Nirvana up there in some pretty stratospheric company: Michael Jackson (Thriller), Pink Floyd (The Dark Side of the Moon), The Beatles (1). That’s not only a good indication that Courtney Love’s drug dealer is rich as shit, but it means that Nevermind has transcended the album and become something much more complicated– shared experience, a universal language, even a kind of philosophy on life (albeit a pretty angsty-teenager one that doesn’t look so great post-college).
But holy crap that’s a lot of heavy baggage to carry around. When was the last time you could listen to Nevermind or anything Nirvana recorded at all without feeling kind of weird about it?
It’s only been about two years since Stuart Solomon, Zack Wheeler, and Olivia Russin first secured a barebones warehouse in Greenpoint’s small sliver of an industrial corridor and turned it into a DIY show space called Aviv, so it’s been something of a shock to hear that the venue will be closing its doors at the end of October. Add the fact that Brooklyn recently lost another one of its heaviest hitters, Palisades, and Aviv’s passing will almost certainly mean that, as far as indie/underground/punk shows are concerned, there’s going to be a period of relative quiet to follow.
Fat White Family
Tuesday September 6, 11:59 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
If you left town this weekend, chances are your brain’s feelin’ a little fried right about now. Depending on where you went, your gait might might be a little sluggish on top of that. Understandably so, there’s always that reverse culture shock when you come back to the Big City after spending time abroad where strangers are always trying to cramp your speedy style by attempting to engage you in something called a “chat,” and where time in general seems to pass at the speed of rock formation. The quickest way to jumpstart your recovery is to get to an IRL event that throttles you back to life and reminds you why you live in this rat-infested city in the first place.
There’s no shortage of indie markets in New York to satisfy any handicraft/artisanal/homemade needs you might have. We’ve got #MadeinBrooklyn affairs like the Maker’s Market and plenty of hungry-foodie fleas such as the Gansevoort Market and the newly restored Essex Street Market. Of course there are the good old seasonal-standbys– Brooklyn Flea and the Renegade Craft Fair– which often feature hundreds of vendors and can make you forget you’re at a mini-bizz event and feel more like a giant mall (with cooler stuff, granted).
But what if you’re looking for something a bit more personal, and just chill?
Already mourning the loss of the Palisades? Well don’t worry, because everything that’s wonderful is probably going to close down at some point anyway (sorry, sometimes NYC real estate pessimism gets the best of us).
But for now, we’ve got a new one on deck: the Footlight Bar has opened its doors in Ridgewood in order to fill the rock ‘n’ roll-shaped hole in your heart. And with the long-awaited addition of a full liquor-service tonight, the venue will be celebrating with a packed lineup and a pop-up kitchen from I Like Food, a venture helmed by Chef Fernando Strohmeyer (he’s done similar foody one-offs at Dromedary Bar and The Starliner). If you thought music and food were enough, think again– Footlight’s also gearing up for fitness classes.
Carr, who founded Brooklyn Wildlife, an events platform that showcases local artists and performers, said that he and Neuhausen had decided to move on from the McKibbin Lofts after setting up residence there for over three years. “It was basically time, in terms of growth and having a place that’s more accommodating of our long-term goals,” he explained. “All of us are more interested in having a more stable way to have mixed events. At some point you need an actual venue, a commercially viable space where you can have four, five loud events a week.”
Latino Punk Fest
Sunday August 7, 6 pm at Aviv: $15
Sometimes the Brooklyn punk scene can feel blehhh so predictable, and hardly underground at all. But once a year, all of that same-old-same-old disappears. Enter: the 2016 Latino Punk Fest, happening at Aviv and featuring, as you might have guessed, Latino punk bands.
You’d imagine the punk scene is very anti-establishment and anti-racist and all that, partial as punks are to radical progressiveness and all that, but you’d be dead wrong to think that the scene is fully inclusive and 100 percent welcoming to women and people of color. That goes for Latino musicians too. So many of these bands are ones that you’re probably not used to seeing play the usual DIY suspects, even if you’re a regular at punk shows, but I strongly suggest that you take full advantage of your opportunity to soak em up now, because in my experience these bands know how to shred your face off.
Frank Hurricane, Machine Listener, Matthew Ryals, Xuan Rong, Skeleton Zoo
Monday July 25, 8 pm at The Glove: $7.
If you’re the proud owner of even half a heart, chances are that you’ve been feeling pretty sympathetic for those back-broken rust belters living in Cleveland, a population that’s shown more than a bit of plucky resilience in the face of economic desertification and industrial decline and governor who briefly campaigned for Pres on a platform that can only be characterized as LOL WTF. But the arrival of the Republican National Convention today just piles on the suffering– thanks to the blonde ambition of everyone’s favorite giant-human-mouth with its own reality TV show.
In less than two weeks, Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, the final closing ceremony/bye-bye art show at Secret Project Robot, will open as a “greatest hits” celebration of the last five years at their current space, 389 Melrose Street in Bushwick. Rachel Nelson, who co-directs the long-running DIY art and music venue with her partner Erik Zajaceskowski are moving on to their fourth (to be determined) location since the couple started an underground party place in Williamsburg known as Mighty Robot way, way back in 1998.
It’s only been about a year and a half since the closure of Glasslands Gallery, the other DIY venue on the Williamsburg waterfront– the one that was the button-down oxford (second-hand, but you couldn’t tell) to Death By Audio’s torn-up band tee. It wasn’t so surprising– after 8 years of hosting indie rock, R&B, techno, you-name-it shows in their cavernous, blackened industrial confines, their neighborhood along Kent Avenue no longer felt like the “forgotten backwater” it did when they opened in 2006. Today the Glasslands team announced that it’s returning with a new venue in East Williamsburg, Elsewhere, set to open this fall– and it’s not just any old ramshackle DIY establishment, but a 24,000-square-foot affair in a former warehouse. It’ll be #blessed with $3 million worth of pure sparkle, including a sprawling roof, food and drink service, and an adjacent art space.