Start a band in Brooklyn, everybody’s doin it.

Seems like there’s a documentary about the Brooklyn music scene called “Rockin’ Brooklyn”. Now although I’ll have to say there is no scene here but rather many bands are in one place because they have moved from Manhattan or other cities. Hell, it seems like the entire Chicago scene got up and moved here a few years ago. I’m usually against any establishment naming genres or documenting stuff that is still growing, but it’s good to have a record of this stuff. I’m currently reading “Please Kill Me” which is a history of the Punk movement and it’s great to have documentation for future generations to reference. The bands in the video are a good selection but it just saddens me when I the clip of Sea Ray which unfortunately broke up last year.

Watch the trailer here
Gothamist write up

Siren Festival @ Coney Island

Yea, it’s hot, the sound is never great, and you are surrounded by a multitude of teeny boppers and hipsters, but you can’t complain about the annual free show at Coney Island. I was so excited for this year’s 2 stage line up. I had seen most of the bands already so I stuck to the ones that were new to me and my personal favs. I arrived just in time to catch Dirty on Purpose play a great set and my first time seeing them without their female counterpart. They still pulled it off and as the rain came down they ended their set with a killer version of “Monument”.

I ran over to see Tapes N’ Tapes to be overwhelmed with so many people with their freiking umbrellas open blocking the view of the band. The crowd at the Stillwell stage was much better. Although they were one of the bands that sounded the best, they were soooo boring. The Bowery show was better, and I guess their popularity has reached way beyond the blogosphere.

Ran back to see Sarena Maneesh for the first time. The first two songs were a feedback mess but I actually got into them after awhile. Not sure why this band garnered so much buzz throughout this year though.

The Cribs were on next and this trio from Wakefield England totally rocked with their guitar punk rock. The drummer at times would jump on his set playing standing up and I found their songs to be quite catchy. Mid-way through the set Ryan cut his chin and started to bleed but continued to sing, drink and smoke as the blood dripped down his chin. During the final song he chugged a beer and rocked out.

Sans-Moustache, Eddie Argus and Art Brut played their silly songs to new fans and old. He referenced Cat Stevens many times which I thought was hilarious. They played one new song which was ok and the stage antics were the same but welcomed. They breathed some life into the sun scorched audience especially when Eddie jumped into the crowd to sing “Modern Art”. Always a good time. Video.

I was patiently waiting for the main reason I was at the show: Montreal’s Stars. This is a band I’ve missed twice even when I had tickets to see them! Their album last year was in my top ten and played all their “hits” as the sun finally subsided. I was very moved by their unique addictive pop songs about love, breakups and more breakups. Amy was great onstage and very different from when she plays with fellow Canucks Broken Social Scene. Sure the sound wasn’t perfect but I felt their set was beautiful and can’t wait to see them again.

And no sunburn this year 😉

Yo La Tengo @ Prospect Park

I just love NY in the summer time. So many outdoor free shows. Tonight, Prospect Park darlings Yo La Tengo provide the score to a collection of underwater documentaries by Jean Painlevé, that were surreal and visually engaging. I wasn’t sure if it would work but the band leaned towards their jammy experimental side to flow more in line with the movies. The place was PACKED and didn’t get a good feel for the music because I was so far away but at times they were a great compliment to what was going on screen. I’ll be more excited to see the Alloy Orchestra score Hitchcock’s film next Friday though.

The Diggs | The Muggs @ Magnetic Fields

Really glad to see the Diggs on their home ground in Brooklyn. The band rocked out the intimate space at Magnetic Fields (which has a nice whiskey/bourbon selection). The band somehow always gets their guitar songs to build with such a steady momentum until it explodes. For some reason many bands can’t replicate this sound live as they do on their studio album (like Mazarin). They played a great set and did a new song I didn’t know starting with the lyric “I just got out of the shower, My apartment is on fire” which for some reason brings up some interesting visual connotations.

Next up were The Mugs, another Brooklyn band that I’ve been meaning to see for quite some time now. The four piece do guitar rock with good melodies blending different sounds and genres of music. Although there’s nothing that ground breaking here, the lead singer does have a great voice and when he’s on the keys, that’s where the band shines.

Pictures from the show.


Mike Wexler | Juana Molina @ South Street Seaport

Skipped out of work early to get to the South Street seaport to catch one of the many free concerts put on by the Parks Commission. I was eager to check out Mike Wexler and I got a spot in the front row. The stage had the East River as the backdrop and the pier with their ships bobbing up and down with the waves. Mike took the stage and unfortunately it took me 3 songs to realize that this guy was pretty terrible. I tried really hard to get into his bluesy drone but it just had no appeal. A few people around me got up and left or took out their books and started reading. I laid down on the boardwalk and caught up on some sleep that I was desperately needing.

Juana Molina was on next and I was excited to see her again. As the sun set, she came out wearing what appeared to be a yellow tablecloth. She had a few technical problems and forgot her set list but she soon found her stride and played her quirky melodies to the large crowd that had accumulated. She stuck to her more subdued songs and played several off her new album “Son”. I’m always amazed at the precision she has building her songs from nothing and it’s always hard to describe her music to others. You just have to experience it for yourself.

Pictures from the show.

Broken Social Scene @ Prospect Park

Although I’ve seen Broken Social Scene way too many times, every show has been an enjoyable experience. Seeing this band play live is more than just a concert but a celebration with all your friends. The weather was perfect for the outdoor show, which was quite pricey for 30 bucks. The set started slow but gained momentum as they played songs from each of their albums. They even gave a shout out to the fans that have been going to their shows since the beginning. Unfortunately Fiest, Emily Haines, and Jason Collett weren’t there but Amy Millan from the Stars took the female lead. The show didn’t give me that joyous feeling afterwards whenever I see them play live and felt the show was a bit disjointed. Nevertheless, the setting sun, the gentle breeze, the live music in Brooklyn, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Pictures from the show.