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Play Room | The So So Glos at Shea Stadium

Introducing Play Room, where we hang with bands in their rehearsal spaces — and have them play us a tune.

The So So Glos are about as Brooklyn as they come: frontman Alex Levine, his brother Ryan and their step-brother Zach Staggers are natives of Bay Ridge (guitarist Matt Elkin hails from Connecticut). They recently welcomed us into Shea Stadium in Bushwick to talk about the multipurpose space they co-founded, and to give us an exclusive performance of “House of Glass,” off the LP they just released on Shea Stadium Records.

“Blowout” is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, etc. and will soon be in stores. Or, catch the So So Glos at Glasslands on July 9.

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At Northside Festival, Wondering ‘What’s Next’ For Brooklyn

A golden light on Solange and her fans (Photos: Joshua Kristal)

A golden light on Solange and her fans (Photos: Joshua Kristal)

EDIT_NorthEndFestival_BLOG_020

EDIT_NorthEndFestival_BLOG_020

Nice skirt! (Photo: Joshua Kristal)

Dancing to Petit Noir, opener for Solange.

Dancing to Petit Noir, opener for Solange.

Fashion students Franki Phil-Ebosie and Jackie Martell at King & Grovel.

Fashion students Franki Phil-Ebosie and Jackie Martell at King & Grovel.

Besties taking selfies.

Besties taking selfies.

At the Solange concert at McCarren.

At the Solange concert at McCarren.

The crowd at South African band Petit Noir.

The crowd at South African band Petit Noir.

The Solange rooftop pre-party had Williamsburg fronting as Miami.

The Solange rooftop pre-party had Williamsburg fronting as Miami.

The Maker Twins used wheels to create electronic dub music.

The Maker Twins used wheels to create electronic dub music.

A Red Bull team confers among mountains of electronic detritus.

A Red Bull team confers among mountains of electronic detritus.

The Red Bull team from Detroit used hose spun on drills to create music.

The Red Bull team from Detroit used hose spun on drills to create music.

The Maker Twins installation was popular with the kids.

The Maker Twins installation was popular with the kids.

The Teenagers, one of the 300 bands to play at Northside.

The Teenagers, one of the 300 bands to play at Northside.

Last week, after Petit Noir’s performance during the Northside Festival, Scott Stedman was lounging poolside at Williamsburg’s King & Grove hotel. Tanned, oiled legs circled the deck. Waiters brought menus to the white-cloth umbrella tables.

“In many ways, the essential player for our entire festival is the geography and psycho-geography of Williamsburg and Greenpoint,” he said.

By psycho-geography, he meant that Williamsburg is no longer just a place — it’s a brand. And it’s safe to say Stedman’s Northside Media Group — which owns L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine, and produces the Northside Festival — has had a lot to do with that. “The entire goal of our company is to define and showcase Brooklyn as a national adjective for ‘what’s next’ through media and large scale events like the Northside Festival,” he said.
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B+B Q+A: Suicide’s Martin Rev Doesn’t Mind Being Hated

Martin Rev (Photo: Divine Enfant)

Martin Rev (Photo: Divine Enfant)

“To hear 15,000 people booing at one time, it’s an incredible sound and it’s an incredible energy to play into.”

Martin Rev — of the proto-punk, 1970s duo Suicide – is talking about opening for the Cars, whose fans didn’t exactly care for his stripped down, repetitive synth riffs and his bandmate Alan Vega’s haunting, spoken vocals.

It’s unlikely Rev (born Martin Reverby) will get trash hurled at him when he performs solo at Bowery Electric tonight — his first New York show in five years. Suicide has influenced untold scores of synth pop, new wave, industrial dance and techno sounds, not to mention The Boss himself.
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Nightclubbing | The Dead Boys

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong are sifting through their voluminous archive of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library. Here’s this week’s trip down memory lane, starting with a word form Jeff Magnum, bassist for the Dead Boys.

Stiv Bators (Credit: Emily Armstrong/Nightclubbing)

Stiv Bators (Credit: Emily Armstrong/Nightclubbing)

I was working in a record store, it was horrible. Farmers would come in demanding John Denver, or say, “Do you have that record they play on the radio…” But at least there was Rocket From the Tombs. They were the only good band in Cleveland in the early 1970s, and I went to see ’em play a lot! I heard they were breaking up but they were playing one last gig (Bators and Cheetah were gonna start a new band). I went to that last gig and I walked up to Cheetah, who I never met, and told him, “I’m the bass player yer lookin’ for!” That new band was called Frankenstein (Bators, Cheetah, Blitz, Zero, and me).” [In 1976, the band left for New York without Magnum, and booked a gig at CBGBs. They came back for him, and returned to the city as the Dead Boys.] We went on this 20-hour car ride, the whole time them telling me how great it will all be, that they had a place and that we would be playing at the greatest club in the world. I got to the club and said, “What a shit-hole.” But it became our living room. We were there every night and when we played, we kicked ass.— Jeff Magnum

The Dead Boys held a special status at CBGBs. They were managed by the club’s owner, Hilly Krystal, and played there more than any other band. Keep Reading »

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Nightclubbing | A Night at CBGBs

The Local is pleased to launch a regular column in which Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong sift through their voluminous archive of punk-era concert footage as it becomes part of the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library. They’ll share their favorite stories and clips along the way.

The Nightclubbing archive.

The Nightclubbing archive.

Pat: On a hot sticky night in July, 1975, I began videotaping punk bands at CBGBs. It was during the CBGB Rock Festival of Unrecorded Bands, with 40 groups that formed the core of the nascent music scene downtown. I was part of Metropolis Video, a video collective of eight, most of whom worked at MCTV’s public access department. That first night, we shot Blondie (still doing some covers, like the Velvets, Femme Fatale), the Talking Heads on their third or fourth gig out of RISD, and the Heartbreakers, a downtown super group with Richard Hell, who had just left Television, and Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan of the Dolls. It was their first Manhattan date. It was exciting and we shot now and then for about a year but the center would not hold and the collective dissolved.

Luckily, I met Emily Armstrong and after a night seeing Patti Smith at CBs, she agreed to work with me and a new partnership was formed. Our first band was the Dead Boys in 1977 and we continued for the next four years, often at CBs but also at other clubs like Max’s, Hurrah’s, Mudd Club, and Danceteria.

Emily: Now 32 years later, N.Y.U.’s Fales Library is making everything new again. The Downtown Collection is preserving and restoring the Nightclubbing archive of nearly 100 musical performances, 20-plus interviews, video art projects and more. It will be available for scholars (yes!) to rifle through and enjoy. I hope they do – I know I did. Keep Reading »