I first met Jify Shah back in 2014 when things were looking up for the owner of Cameo Gallery, a venue that became a mainstay in the Williamsburg music scene after it opened in 2009 on North 6th Sreet. It was the beginning of the summer and he’d just opened a restaurant featuring tropical cocktails named for figures in the Brooklyn music scene (“Losing My Edge,” with jalapeño-infused vodka) and food inspired by the stuff he ate as a kid growing up in Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean.
Only a year later, rumors surfaced about the future of Cameo, which had quickly become one of the last remaining DIY institutions in the area. At first, Jify was hard to reach and clearly unwilling to talk about what was really going on. I was hoping his silence indicated Cameo would remain open for a little bit longer before Williamsburg is entirely overtaken by shadowy LLCs and glittering towers. No such luck. “I never thought it would’ve become what it did,” Jify told us.
Are you looking for spooky Halloween-themed shows? Well, you’ve come to the wrong place. Stay tuned for our guide to legit everything worth going to this Hallows’ weekend. But for now, sate yourself with these totally, 100 percent normal show happenings. Well, strictly speaking they’re not “normal” at all, but you can pretend like it’s not Sexy Something Day for just one minute and stuff your ears with tunes instead of candy corn.
Don’t judge us for this, but we’re kind of still recovering from New York’s Alright. Having engaged in more than our fair share of jostling and mayhem, we’re taking this week to mend our bruises and douse our wounds in extra-strength liquor. R&R calls for a brief break from sonic masochism so this week we’re feeling dancey stuff, psych, and dare we say even a little bit of pop. Thankfully lineups around town reflect this inclination, take advantage of it while you can.
Rebel Rave at Verboten (All photos: Daniel Leinweber/Razberry Photography)
While half of Brooklyn packed into Dumbo’s Festival of Light over the weekend, the lasers were beaming over in Williamsburg as well, as the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival stormed venues such as Cameo, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Villain, Glasslands, Output, and Verboten. Among the highlights: Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow spinning vinyl from Afrika Bambaata’s personal 40,000-record-strong collection. More →
Last week Jify Shah opened up a namesake restaurant next to his venue Cameo Gallery, where Lovin’ Cup Café once stood. The chef there has stayed along at Jify’s, but the menu, concept, as well as the interior have all been transformed into a pretty refined Caribbean restaurant and bar. More →
“Caught In Love” by Jackpot, Tiger is a humorous, if slightly cautionary, tale of lust gone wrong. Highlighted by a ’60s-style chorus, buoyant melodies, and a thoroughly desperate protagonist, the single fully represents what the band does so well: straight-up pop music. More →
Justin Dean Thomas and TJ Rosenthal of The Bowery Riots
As one might infer from their name, which comes from marrying the 19th Century gang the Bowery Boys with the Astor Place Riot of 1849, The Bowery Riots are not your run-of-the-mill downtown New York indie band. Their garage-punk-meets-blues aesthetic (both sonically and visually) comes from a heartfelt respect for the New York bands of yore and the history of the neighborhood they still call home (that neighborhood is now called “Nolita”). And it certainly doesn’t hurt their street cred that Andy Rourke of The Smith produced their first EP. More →