Negative Approach at the Acheron (Via Acheron Instagram)
Before the Acheron opened on a quiet block in heavily-industrial East Williamsburg back in 2010, the building was little more than a “black box” housing a barebones ska venue, as owner Bill Dozer remembers it. Within two weeks of signing the lease and taking over the place, it was transformed into a punk and metal show space, a speakeasy-style DIY operation with cheap cans of beer, the occasional “plastic handle of liquor,” and a remarkable sound system with a bar next door. “We were able to get off the ground with basically nothing— just a bunch of sweat and, like, four people working there,” Dozer recalled.
Over the years, the Acheron has grown into the de facto homebase of Brooklyn punk, which has made something of a comeback itself as the venue expanded and went legit, welcoming in local acts and touring bands from across the country to play everything from straightedge punk to psych metal. But as of July 9, the East Williamsburg venue is putting all that to rest when they close their doors for good.
AdHoc Issue 12, cover design by A. Savage (Courtesy of AdHoc)
After a fitful start back in January 2013, the official zine for the roving “independent events collective” AdHoc went digital. In doing so, it joined countless more mini-publications that had chosen, either by design or by circumstance, to be available online only. But being relegated to an online existence wasn’t a great fit for the zine, especially considering that AdHoc already has a yin-yang sort of balance going on with a blog that feeds off the live music and in-person experiences they organize. “More and more I find myself experiencing life through a screen and it’s a terrible way to interact with the world,” AdHoc’s co-founder Ric Leichtung wrote to us in an email. “So much gets lost there.”
If this sticky heat doesn’t exactly make you feel inclined to eat, well, you’ll just have to get over that nonsense. Firstly, because no one can survive a juice cleanse and have friends to speak of; secondly, because there are two musically-inclined feasts on the way to your ears and gullet, serving to remind you that solid food is essential to having fun and being fun. Prepare thyself, hungry foodies, for Pizzafest III and CookoutNYC’s Little Big BBQ.
Since first gaining internet stardom as a precocious metal trio, Brooklyn’s Unlocking the Truth has gone through seemingly every loop on the rollercoaster ride of fame. They’ve gone from playing for change outside the subway to booking major festivals; they’ve recorded and now re-recorded their debut album; and, most of all, they’ve dealt with miles upon miles of corporate red tape.
Now, after months of delays, the band’s first full-length album, Chaos, is finally coming out this Friday through indie music distributor Tunecore. (Watch the video for “Take Control” below.) Plus, Breaking a Monster, the documentary by Luke Meyer that we caught at SXSW, is set to premiere later this month. (There’ll be a preview screening at Museum of the Moving Image on June 21, followed by a performance by the band.) Keep Reading »
Sleep, Battles Thursday, June 23, 8 pm at House of Vans: FREE with RSVP
I always devote at least a few minutes of my bike ride home to a scene from Gummo– you know, the fantastically twisted Harmony Korine film starring that kid with the ears. I like to fan out my elbows, toss off my helmet, and fantasize that some people describe me, too, as “downright evil.” But that scene wouldn’t have been the same without the addition of “Dragonaut,” the stoner metal classic from Sleep‘s 1992 album, Holy Mountain.
The Long Island City fine art scene is about to get a dose of DIY cred with Holding Space, a new three-part music series curated by Sam Hillmer (aka Diamond Terrifier) launching tomorrow at SculptureCenter. As the guy behind the scenes at Trans-Pecos (and co-founder along with Todd P), Hillmer will present his usual fare– a motley brew of various sounds stemming from eclectic tastes and experimental practices.
What’s being billed as a “16 hour fully immersive,internationally inspired” music and visual art event is coming to a yet-to-be disclosed location near the Jefferson stop, joining Northside and Out in the Streets on the growing list of festivals happening in and around Bushwick this summer. Variance, however, is situated somewhere between Brooklyn’s answer to SXSW and the super-local chill fest known for bringing DIY regulars out of their usual dank, cavernous confines and onto the grassy grounds of Onderdonk House.
Next week, Northside Festival promises to bring the already music-saturated borough of Brooklyn to the brink of complete and total music-ocalypse. Now in its eighth year, the festival brings together some of hippest bands that oh-so-hip North Brooklyn has to offer with shows across several venues in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Choosing which of the 400 musical acts to see and which of the 38 venues to go to is a daunting task. So to help you decide where to focus your time, energy and discerning ears over the course of six days (June 6-12), we’ve put together a list of the top ten shows.
Israeli-French singer/songwriter Yael Naim. (Photo courtesy France Rocks)
Voilà! The inaugural France Rocks Summerfest– or should we say, France Des Roches Fest D’été (no, no we shouldn’t)– kicked off Memorial Monday with a performance by “guitar orchestra” composer Rhys Chatham, and continues on June 3 with a performance at Le Poisson Rouge by French pianist and composer Maxence Cyrin (known for his solo piano covers; check out his 2009 cover of “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies). The seven-week showcase of French music will include more than 30 musical acts performing a range of indie rock, pop, electronica, jazz and world rhythms at more than 25 venues across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
The UMOJA choir (Photo by Catherine Roma, courtesy of Fury Young)
“I need to get into awomen’s prison. I need to get into another men’s prison. Maybe I can get into two women’s prisons, or three more men’s prisons,” Fury Young said, punching his open hand with his fist emphatically. “I don’t know, but I want to try and at least get into one more of each.”
I realized the Bushwick-based prison reform activist wasn’t really directing this statement toward me– instead he was drilling himself about what remains left of his enormously ambitious passion project. For years, Young has been at work on Die Jim Crow– an effort that, so far, has taken him to a State Prison in Ohio and to neighborhoods in New York City and Philadelphia with particularly high incarceration rates. Along the way, he has recorded and collaborated with musicians who, at one time or another, have spent time behind bars or are currently locked up. “It’s the first anti-prison album recorded in prison,” he explained.
DTF Presents: Mandatory Seminar Continues weekly through June 2 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9pm. Tickets are $10. More info here.
Have you ever been a part of an office wellness seminar? I personally have not, but they sound truly absurd. Get a taste of one too outrageous for words tonight and next week in the hallowed halls of The Annoyance, where The Dingleberry Theater Foundation tries their very best to stage their own wellness seminar featuring a cast of characters who don’t seem at all suited for that sort of workplace, much less any workplace. Will there be meditative breathing exercises and miniature bottles of water or will there only be disaster? Only one way to find out.
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.