If watching this dub-step blasting, Benzedrine-fueled trailer moves you toward a migraine, you might assume that you’re too old for Low-Level Festival. I mean, isn’t this the sort of thing you’d find on Snapchat, anyway? What’s it doing on a slow-load medium like YouTube? In a way, you’re right– Low-Level is incredibly future-oriented and nearly everyone involved is so now, in mind and body, that they make Tavi Gevinson look like the Cryptkeeper. They’re hyper-concerned with the latest existing technologies and the kind of people who can actually understand what the last wave of Millennials, or kids born after the year 2000 (i.e. literally cyborgs) are thinking. Of course, that’s not the whole story.
There are three things that are really difficult to do in Manhattan (in ascending order): maintaining a bar, maintaining a music venue, and maintaining your weirdo energy. Impressively, Berlin, the Avenue A booze/music bunker, has been doing all three for a year now.
To celebrate, the literally underground spot— known for its musically inclined clientele— is throwing a two-night-long party complete with performances by Berlin’s owner and glammy garage rocker Jesse Malin and his friends.
Monday August 15, 7:30 pm at Terminal 5: $55
We can’t guarantee that the rest of your week won’t be filled with dehydrated-soup-cup lunches and Whole Foods samples (based on our experience, you can totally get away with sampling from the salad bar and bulk sections as long as you can channel a French accent at-will, so that if you’re caught in the act you can declare with the utmost innocence: “C’est magnifique! Whole Foods ist trayyy generositay!”)
Just close your eyes, click that “BUY” button, and sign yourself up for one extremely pricey ticket, not to mention the supremely expensive crappy beer you have to suffer, because it’s PJ Harvey who you’ll be shelling out the big bucks for (i.e. worth it).
It’s been a rough summer for the Brooklyn venue scene. Palisades has left a hole in our heart so big that we couldn’t help but dream up some (nightmarish) replacement tenants for the Broadway-Myrtle space. Lucky for the owners of The Acheron– the unofficial home for Brooklyn-made punk and metal that closed last month in a flurry of sweaty thrashing and loud-as-hell sets– they don’t have to see their former digs overtaken by some slick newcomer.
East Williamsburg’s “DIY-gone-legit” spot Sunnyvale is pulling out all the stops this Sunday—all the lady stops, that is. Their daylong festival, serving as the launch event for new “inclusive community” Brooklyn Women in the Arts, will feature ten bands, two stand-up comics, and two art installations for a solid fourteen individual doses of art to brighten up your Sunday. It’s probably healthier than plying yourself with fourteen individual doses of something else. Hey, it’s cool– everyone’s got their hangover cure!
Last week, the possibility that New York City music fans feared the most became a reality: the space at 906 Broadway that since April 2014 had been known as Palisades– the DIY venue with a bar, shows almost every night of the week ranging from punk to noise and underground hip-hop, and Ariel Bitran, the co-owner/booker with a heart of gold and ears that were open to even the littlest of bands– had a “For Rent” sign placed in its window.
There really are just too many bands. How to keep them all straight? Is it really that hard? The real problem is that there are only so many words in the English language and that I am oh so dumb. Truthfully, how many of you out there have bought tickets to the wrong show, assuming you’d heard of the band only to arrive and find that Rag Stewart is actually a ragtime take on Rod Stewart and not that hardcore band you thought they were? (THE NERVE!) That’s just a (fake) example, but we’re here to give you real ones, and to save you from the trouble of waisting hard-earned money on ragtime shows.
If ever you’ve found yourself getting off the train at Myrtle-Broadway and walking in the direction of Palisades (RIP?), or maybe the Silent Barn, or wherever– anywhere but the nearest K2 dealer– you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of Enrique’s unisex salon. There’s no other place like it, probably on the planet, but certainly in Bushwick.
You’d be a fool to think that KPISS radio is some ramshackle operation. Sure, they might be tucked away in the far-back confines of Punk Alley– an assortment of shipping containers right along the Bushwick/ Bed-Stuy border where you’ll find a record store, used book purveyors, and even a mini-shop dedicated to paraphernalia from local punk bands. One by one, they’ve opened up over the last couple of years, joining maybe a dozen more smalltime vendors that were already there every day doin’ their thing, and about a year ago KPISS joined them. There’s no doubt that the KPISS.FM digs– a rectangular box with a couch and some turntables, mics, and other broadcast equipment behind a sheet of plexiglass– are pretty humble. “The last tenant was this guy who basically pissed all over the studio,” explained the station’s founder, Sheri Barclay. “No one would rent it, but I would. I called it KPISS in his honor.”
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.
If you were even a slightly sentient being in the ’90s, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can sing along with most or maybe even all of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”– it’s the kind of song that sticks with you forever, with its piano bang-bangs, a sing-along ready chorus that swings from shrill highs to lowest lows. The song even shares its opening line (“I’ve been a bad, bad girl”) with an old prison blues song. We’re a long way from 1996, when “Criminal,” Apple’s hit single and award-winning music video dropped (20 years ago, almost to the date), but it still vibrates with the same fiery angst, tight-fisted rebellion and, yes, youthful sexual energy the day that it premiered.
Gucci Mane came out of prison almost the same way he went in– engulfed in a flurry of productivity. That means new tracks, an autobiography, and of course, dollar bills. “Gucci got more money than all these rappers,” he declares on “All My Children.” Indeed. But it’s not just stacks of paper and rhymes that make Gucci, the bad boy with a heart of gold, one of the most recognizable rappers of his generation. It’s his ice-cream cone face tattoo.