News that SantaCon is kicking off in Williamsburg this Saturday and then heading to the East Village is sure to terrify those who loathe the invasion of sloshed Santa dilettantes struggling to keep their red pants up. But Brooklyn-based band Vassals didn’t let the annual shitshow discourage them from creating what is arguably this year’s best Christmas album, Here We Come a Vassaling. Our recommendation? Give er a whirl on the ol’ iPhone this weekend while you’re fighting your way through the wave of humanity (or something barely resembling it).
The first email I received about the new video for The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (TAOTSS) from frontman Zachary James Ellis said something about a “yurt” with no cell service. When I caught up with Ellis via phone, he told me he was on a retreat, writing songs in Paonia, in western Colorado. With the Rockefeller tree about to be lit, tourist crowds reaching saturation levels, the L train acting like a jilted lover, and a drizzle erasing what few hours of daylight exist at this longitude, we could all be a little jealous.
Joe’s managed to bring all of them together for his first feature length film, which embodies that other half of Joe Wakeman most of us have yet to see. They Read By Night is “leather jacket film” with plenty of drugs, rock n’ roll, and pulpy mayhem, all against a clever literary background. The film premieres at Gravesend Recordings next week in Bushwick. We were lucky enough to see the film in advance, but for your viewing pleasure here’s a first-look at the trailer and a bit of what we discussed about the film with Joe when we recently caught up with him at Birdy’s.
It’s been a big summer for the Yin Yangs, the Brooklyn garage-psych-punk outfit you’ve most likely seen at any number of DIY venues around town. Right before they took off on a Southern tour, the trio played Gigawatts Fest back in July alongside their up-and-coming peers, some of the best rock bands in the city right now (Heaven’s Gate, Surfbort, Vulture Shit, Future Punx, etc.). And in September they’re dropping a new tape, Taste, their first true release since unleashing their digital demos in 2013. Lucky for you we got our grubby paws on “21st Century,” and are premiering the brand new track right here, right now for your listening pleasure.
Remember Nico West, the guy who’s written 32 songs about fruit? Well, we’re pleased to premiere the first official video off of The Fruit EP. Everyone knows bananas contain serotonin, and this one’s definitely a mood lifter. Enjoy.
If “Brooklyn Girls” wasn’t the song of the summer, what will be? Allow us to debut, for your consideration, “Summer Pop Song” by Star Ballads. True to its name, the band is made up of some fixtures of the Brooklyn rock firmament: namely Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, Oakley Hall’s Rachel Cox on vocals, and Bernard Gann of Brooklyn black metal band Liturgy on bass.
Indie rockers The Love Ways have been working on their second EP, Vacant Years, for nearly a year. They released their first one, Every Night, in May of 2013; this time around, the quintet worked with sought-after producer Kevin McMahaon, the man behind the curtain for Brooklyn-based Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, et. al.