Brooklyn’s The Bomb
For the first time ever Artrocker Speaks gets a word from across the pond - expect regular updates on everything Brooklyn and New York orientated from Odell Nails!
It was while I was at one of Palma Violet’s highly touted debut U.S. shows last month at one of my favorite Brooklyn venues called Glasslands located smack in the middle of my hometown of Williamsburg that I realized I had to reach out to Artrocker to try and get the happenings of the so-called 'hipster capital of the world' some proper coverage the Artrocker way. Well…it was that and my girlfriend who threatened to have my head if I didn’t make a pitch to write for this site. But that’s really not the point is it? The point is that New York in general, and Brooklyn specifically, at least according to the Palma's stage banter, has more exciting, young rock bands coming out of it than just about anywhere else at the moment and Artrocker has deputized me to start telling you all about it!
If you’re looking to get filthy and grimy and truly submerse yourself in the music scene of Brooklyn, you’ve got to spend some time in the 'Holy Trinity' of indie rock venues, all located less than a block away from each other right on the edge of the East River in Williamsburg. That would be Death By Audio, the aforementioned Glasslands and its much larger next door neighbor 285 Kent. If you visit Brooklyn and don’t spend at least some time propped up against the makeshift bars or on the beer strewn dance floors at one or all of these three spots, you might as well turn in your indie music cred card.
Last week, 285 Kent hosted the Indie Pop Prom. Not sure if it's the same in the UK but in the States, the thought of a school dance often conjures up embarrassing memories of bad tuxedos, even worse music and often the feeling of being left out altogether because you were too much of a music nerd to be able to pull a date. Indie Pop Prom sought to right all those wrongs and replace them with images of good times and a stacked line up of mostly up and comers now based on the East Coast like Waxahatchee led by Katie Crutchfield, Swearin' fronted by her twin sister Allison, Potty Mouth and Weed Hounds, headlined by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart who have been a little quiet around these parts lately. Silly times were had all around, especially looking around at all the party goers who dressed up for the occasion, and keep a watch out for Potty Mouth and their new single 'Damage', as they're a nice reach back to early 90s all-female bands like Team Dresch and Tiger Trap!
A few weeks earlier, if it was a show in a bigger Brooklyn venue you were after and you were able to score one of the "free" promo tickets that ran out like cheap booze at an open bar, you were probably at Music Hall Of Williamsburg to see Vivian Girls, who haven't played out much due to the recent focus on their two side projects The Babies and La Sera. Support that night came from Widowspeak who continue to hone in on that narcotic Mazzy Star vibe, along with Virginia's Eternal Summers whose next album is apparently gonna be produced by Doug Gillard of Guided by Voices. The Vivian Girls were louder and looser than normal that night...it was almost like they missed playing together and were making up for lost time.
Lately, if you're not talking about soon escaping this winter freeze and heading down south to Austin, Texas for SXSW in order to drown yourself in shows, free beer and sunshine, then you're probably talking about a certain gig happening this week at Bowery Ballroom located right across the Williamsburg Bridge in lower Manhattan, and that's The Men with Nude Beach and Parquet Courts opening. The profiles of both The Men and Parquet Courts seems to be going through the roof lately, including recent write ups in mainstream press like the Village Voice for both of them, but I'm mostly excited to see the latter who manage to collide shambolic, earnest and dirty sounds into an upbeat mix…kinda like a modern day take on The Modern Lovers. Expect a full gig review on that one because it should be a real rager!