On a recent afternoon at 3 Dollar Bill in East Williamsburg, a group of performers brainstormed ways to involve the audience in their upcoming site-specific show. “Play Truth or Dare with them?” suggested one. “Make them react to specific musical and verbal cues?” echoed another. “Play trivia: drunk people love trivia!” interjected a third.
The Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival returns this Friday for a triumphant sixth year. The festival, which according to Brooklyn Wildlife founder Christopher Carr, is the “largest independent art and music festival in Brooklyn” with no corporate sponsors, features a lineup of more than 150 performers over the course of 10 days. It touts not only summer music jam sessions, but also “fine art shows, multi media presentations and tech meet ups” per their Eventbrite page.
In lieu of receiving corporate, non-profit or government funding, Carr, a full-time photographer who runs the Gamba Forest art studio with his partner (which is also hosting the festival’s Saturday lineup), funds the entire festival out of pocket–with the exception of a $10 application fee that he charges first-time performers seeking to play in the festival. The out-of-the-box music fest seeks to be the “new CMJ, the new WMC, the new SXSW” according to their Facebook event page. But doesn’t that sort of big tent, mainstream vibe run counter to the festival’s purpose as a gathering of indie artists? According to Carr, whom Bedford + Bowery spoke with by phone, not necessarily. In the early days of SXSW, Carr recalls smaller or mid-sized venues that brought people together in appreciation of solid indie music. He approaches his music festival in a similar way.
“I’m going for that middle ground where it’s large enough that it’s worth the time of the venues and individuals that put in the effort, but not so large that it cannibalizes itself,” says Carr. “I also enjoy Afropunk…but there’s an irony about a festival [that] punk kids can’t afford. We want to find that nice little area where we get some coverage, but we don’t need to cater to the media.” Carr also notes that this year’s festival stands out from previous years in two ways: “magnitude” and “decentralized performances” AKA events hosted in private residences with the help of the website artery.is. With so many events and performers, it can be hard to know where to start, but Carr suggests paying particular attention to metal band No Clouds, esoteric rapper Akai Solo (performing on the festival’s opening night at Trans-Pecos), and reggae/hip-hop artist D-Andra.
You can scope out the links to the performers’ music on the festival’s website and find more information about the various events on Facebook. Tickets ($50) are available here. The 10-day summer fest runs from Friday, August, 31 through Sunday, September 9.
It was a boiling-hot day in Brooklyn when I strolled by a dull gray electrical box and glimpsed vivid shades of red, purple and blue. The square black sticker pasted onto the box contained a blue angelic figure with red wings kneeling in prayer beneath a bizarre hodgepodge of images depicting the decrepit state of America today: pills—possibly a nod to the opioid epidemic—logos for Fox News and Vice, Facebook and Twitter social media icons, an iPhone, an AK-47, an Amazon box, and an array of dollar bills upon dollar bills. Scrawled in tiny white font beneath the image were the words Dom Dirtee.
Lovehoney is here to make you care about rock and roll again, and they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it. Band members—vocalist Alysia Quinones, guitarist Tommy White, drummer Tom Gehlhaus and bassist Matt Saleh—may not presently live in Brooklyn—though Alysia grew up in Bushwick—but their home base where they rehearse is a local fixture. The Sweatshop, which lies off the Montrose Avenue L stop, offers space to many rising New York artists. As we’re chatting, the whirring of a machine and other banging noises periodically disrupt our conversation. Tommy smiles wryly and says, “The perks of having a rehearsal studio in a warehouse.”
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America
Thursday, August 2 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Darnell Moore, writer and leader in the Movement for Black Lives, brings what’s sure to be a riveting discussion of his new memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America to the Brooklyn Historical Society. The description for his book on his website recounts how three neighborhood boys in Camden, New Jersey tried to set him on fire when he was only 14. In the three decades since that encounter, Moore has gone on to seek solace in the gay community of Philadelphia, justice on the front lines in Ferguson, Missouri, and life in his current home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In this book, he seeks to understand how that 14-year-old boy not only survived, but became the individual that he is today. Tickets to this event cost $5.
Books Beneath the Bridge: Greenlight Poetry Salon
As Adrian Galvin sprawls his legs on a wooden bench in the Think Coffee shop on Bowery, the 28-year-old who performs as Yoke Lore tells me something that I’d never imagine any self-respecting New York musician would admit.
The trailer for Long Goodbye opens with a straight shot of a woman with shoulder-length hair and a jean jacket walking briskly away from the camera through the Morgan Ave subway station. We can’t see her face. One of the next scenes lingers on two friends chatting on a couch, with one of the guys uttering some language that feels rather stalker-y: “I drive around and clear my head and find myself parked outside of her place. I’m not going to do anything…I don’t know. Maybe she wants me to?”
While it’s not exactly a trip to the beach, the premiere music video from Brooklyn-based indie dream pop band And Lucky serves up a quaint DIY aquatic scene filled with painted fish, cardboard waves, and raining clouds made from those glittery foil fringe curtains you can get at party stores. And, to be clear, I love those curtain things. More →
The Tribeca Film Festival may be over, but another homegrown flicks fest is just beginning. The 7th Annual Greenpoint Film Festival will take over North Brooklyn this weekend, with four days of films and panel discussions.
Funny that we recently mentioned “Range Life” after noting that Parquet Courts is the closest thing we’ll get to a new Pavement album. Today, Parquet Courts drops a video for a new song off the forthcoming album, Wide Awake, that at first heavily evokes “Range Life” and ends up being a great little number in its own right.