PREVIEW: Audiofemme x Glamglare Official Northside Showcase

It’s that time of year again!  Northside Festival is just around the corner, and we’ve put together another showcase of awesome artists with the help of Glamglare! Join us Saturday, June 10th at Knitting Factory Brooklyn for music by Blonde Maze, Gold Child, Letters to Nepal, Kinder Than Wolves, GIRL SKIN, and Josh Jacobson.  Sets start at 12:15 pm, so come say hi and hear some of our favorite new tunes!

12:15 pm – Blonde Maze

The nome de plume of singer/songwriter Amanda Steckler, Blonde Maze recently dropped the infectious electro-pop gem “Antartica.”  The follow-up single to her 2015 debut EP Oceans, “Antarctica” is lovely and forlorn.  We can’t wait to hear it live on Saturday!

1) What record have you been listening to on repeat lately?

Sylvan Esso’s new album! Heard it for the first time a few weeks ago, I love the sounds.

2) You came out with your last single, “Antarctica” late last year; what are you working on now?

Right now I’m polishing up a single for release soon… keep an eye out!

3) Your music is so atmospheric – if you could perform live in any setting (an arena, aquarium, space shuttle, etc.) where would it be?

Thank you! That’s a brilliant question.. Hmmm. An igloo in Antarctica under the Northern Lights!

4) You originally studied film before dedicating your life to music 100%.  Have you ever thought about writing film scores?

Yeah totally. When I was studying film, I took a few film scoring classes. I don’t think scoring is so much for me, but I love the idea of writing a song that could be put to a film scene or story. I also love when I see people put my music to their own videos!

5) What sets are you most excited to catch this weekend at Northside Festival?!

I would love to catch Salt Cathedral, Letters to Nepal (which won’t be too hard considering they’re part of the showcase!), Hoops, Psychic Twin, just to name some!

1:oo pm – Gold Child

Brooklyn’s Gold Child (aka, our favorite country sweethearts) have released some killer new music in the past couple of months, including “Me and You” and “Tides.”  Singer/songwriter Emily Fehler is sure to stun you with her graceful stage presence and angelic pipes. Get ready for a dreamy set with enough slide guitar to melt your heart.

1) You’ve been described as (or perhaps you coined the term) “Mermaid Country.” We like the sound of that! What does it mean to you?

Our music is hard to put into one genre category so when I started the project, I was describing it as “mermaid country” to kind of get across an image to describe it. It’s become slightly less country these days but that element is definitely still there along with the ethereal vibe that inspired the “mermaid” factor.

2) Who are some of your favorite Brooklyn bands right now?

9/10 of my friends are in Brooklyn bands that I love. My besties Gracie and Rachel are killing it though and are about to release an album next month!

3) What is a recurring theme that tends to pop up in your songs?

I’m from Colorado and grew up being outside in nature a lot. I really miss it there while I’m in the city so I write a lot about that and feeling like I’m not rooted to any one place.

4) What is Gold Child currently working on? A full length record, perhaps?

We are constantly writing and recording at the moment for what will definitely be a body of work that we hope to release soon, whether it will be an EP or LP.

5) What gigs are you catching at Northside Festival this weekend?!

I’m going to try and catch Julia Holter, Lower Dens playing ABBA, and Beverly.

1:45 pm – Letters To Nepal

“Chillstep” Siberians Letters to Nepal recently released the single “Come Find Me” as a follow-up to 2016 LP LUX.  We can’t wait to hear their beautifully somber set this weekend; come prepared to sway.

1) You came to New York in 2013 by way of North Carolina (and by way of Siberia before that!); what has changed the most in the music scene since you arrived in NY?

Our life is a musica­l journey. We have bee­n living in different­ cities and countries­ and they give ­us different kinds of energy and inspiration, which changed our sound from post-r­ock to an electronic sou­nd. We hope to con­tinue this way of l­ife.

2) What was the inspiration behind your latest single, “Come Find Me”?

Honestly, the sound number 19 in Roland JUNO D. Kidding, of course. The song was inspired by the atmosphere around us and the sense of defenselessness in the huge universe. In this song we respect people who are trying to fight for their rights. So maybe, sound organ number 19 of Roland was very connected to it.

3) If you could collaborate with any living artist in the world, who would it be?

Anton: Rammstein, with YMusic Orchestra.

Evgeniya: Maybe with James Blake, he is a really cool musician.

4) Tell us about any big projects Letters to Nepal has coming up!

We are in the process of creating new music. This time we are doing everything in a different and new-to-us way: new sounds, styles, atmosphere. And we don’t want to follow any rules of style. We’ll see…Very soon, we will release our new single “Our Hands Are One.” And we are currently planning our second tour for this fall.

5) What live shows are you seeing at Northside this weekend?!

Big Thief.

2:30 pm – Kinder Than Wolves

Orlando’s Kinder Than Wolves is comprised of three audio engineers/musicians, so it’s no surprise that they’re able to lay down such lush soundscapes.  Their 2016 record Mean Something was met with acclaim from the likes of The Big Takeover and we can’t wait to hear what they’ve been working on since their debut!

3:15 pm – GIRL SKIN

Locals GIRL SKIN craft songs that are hard to define by genre, but are gorgeous nonetheless. The handful of singles preceding their upcoming EP blend folk, pop, and soul, and certainly leave us wanting more.

1) You guys have a very rich sound – what were some of your points of inspiration while writing the songs on your most recent recordings?

Well the last five or six songs we’ve written have all been on the piano, not sure why…. well I do know why; it’s because I just bought a piano. Also possibly because I’ve been listening to a lot of Nick Cave.

2) You composed a great track for Valley Eyewear…are there any other upcoming collaborations you’re looking forward to?

I just composed something for Victoria Secret. Pretty strange, not sure if I’ll do that again.

3) What bands are you digging right now that we should check out?

Benjamin Booker’s new album.

4) Any big summer plans for GIRL SKIN?

We’ll be releasing a few music videos and an EP also playing live a ton.

5) What gigs are you catching at Northside Festival this weekend?!

Elvis Depressdly, Big Thief.

4 pm – Josh Jacobson

Josh Jacobson writes neo-soul music that is both vulnerable and strong. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and singer, Jacobson wooed us with his latest singles “Polaroids” and “Not Alone.”  Come slow dance to Jacobson’s headlining set at our showcase on Saturday!

1) Your self-proclaimed genre is “Future Soul;” what does that mean to you?

I’m inspired by a lot of different sounds, from jazz to dance music, and ‘future soul’ is my way of bringing it all together. At the core I’m a piano singer-songwriter, but I sing over this soundscape built from my own mix of both live instruments and electronics.

To me, soulful music is about saying something from deep within, and trying to share your own voice in a direct way. Jazz and soul music have always spoken to me, and I think that sound is the most obvious influence in the records I make. I also like to voice my ideas through sound design itself, so my production style is continually evolving and doesn’t really fit into any neat label. That’s the ‘future’ aspect.

2) Given your numerous talents, what is your favorite part of the process, from songwriting, to recording, to performing live?

Performing is really what I live for the most. I’ve been an instrumentalist way longer than anything else, so I just have this lifelong love for the feeling of being on stage with other musicians and creating something together that is completely of the moment.

I really dig being in the studio and exploring every idea to the fullest through those long days and nights too, but the music comes alive in a new way for me when I get to play it out with a full band and share that live energy with an audience.

3) There seems to be a lot of mindfulness behind your music. What do you hope to inspire in your listeners?

Right on! Creating music is very meditative for me, and I’d like for people to also feel that kind of rejuvenation when they listen to my music, in their own way.

I get a lot of my inspiration from nature, and I think that comes across in my music too. When I’m out in the woods or on the water, I just feel like a kid again. Something about that environment makes me feel connected to my purpose and the things that are actually important to me, and distant from the fucked-up-ness of the world and my own troubles and fears.

Music also makes me feel that way, so I think those experiences are deeply linked in my mind. Everyone has different things that move them, so I hope my music inspires people to find that feeling in whatever way is right for them, and to create the life they want to live.

4) Your first instrument was the piano, and now you play everything from the harp to the trumpet.  Are there any instruments you’re still dying to learn?  Which ones?!

Sometimes I feel like I was born to be a bass player! Many of my songs are very bassline-driven, and that’s often what I hear first when I listen to music. I could listen to “Voodoo” all day on repeat and just vibe to the way Pino locks in with Questlove’s drums. It’s amazing.

I love laying down parts on my Moog, but can only play basic lines on bass guitar so it’d be cool to take some time and get actually good at it. I’ve been learning mallet percussion lately for my live show, which is a lot of fun too! Pretty much just like playing a keyboard but much more physical, and it inspires different kinds of melodies and riffs.

I’m really more of a keyboard player than a multi-instrumentalist to be honest, but I do love hopping on new instruments and seeing what sounds I can find! My mom is a professional violinist and she’s been taking harp lessons for the last couple years for fun, so whenever I’m back home upstate I get to sit down and improvise on her harp. The way the wood resonates with the vibrations of the strings and fills the room with sound is very powerful and healing – kind of like a grand piano, but better.

5) What shows are you definitely checking out at Northside Festival this weekend?!

Def want to catch my favorites Dirty Projectors, Kamasi Washington and BJ the Chicago Kid. Also looking forward to Synead, OSHUN and a bunch of others. I’ll be exploring the festival all weekend, see y’all in the ‘burg!

NEWS ROUNDUP: Northside Festival, Metal + Politics & More

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  • In Case You Haven’t Noticed, Northside Is Happening
    You may have already seen 20 amazing shows! Or you may be like me: someone who bought tickets to one event and won them for another, but went to neither because they managed to get deathly sick in June (thanks, universe). Before you head out this weekend, make sure you check out AudioFemme’s guide to the festival! We’re also hosting our very own showcase Saturday at noon at the Knitting Factory with our friends from Glamglare; hope to see you there!
  • Meet The Transgender Metal Musician Changing Politics
    Via Noisey: Danica Roem is many things: Transgender, a journalist, a musician in the metal band Cab Ride Home, and a groundbreaking candidate in Virginia politics. After gaining some notoriety by fighting anti-LGBTQ  policies in schools, Roem is running as a Democrat for Virginia’s House of Delegates, against an opponent that has a bathroom bill similar to North Carolina’s. Read the whole article here.
  • The Fall Announce 5-Night Run at Baby’s All Right this September
    Mark E Smith’s volatile personality and penchant for wild experimentation made Manchester punk act The Fall both legendary and influential. With their 32nd album, New Facts Emerge, slated for release and in July and a scheduled date at Cropped Out Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, The Fall have blessed Brooklyn with a five-night run of shows at Baby’s All Right. These, along with the festival set, will be the band’s first stateside concerts in over a decade. Most shows are sold out, but you can still get tickets for Wednesday, 9/13.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

ONLY NOISE: A Femme’s Guide To Northside

The first step is acceptance: you can’t see it all. It’s just not possible. The second step is showing up. But there are many more steps to doing Northside Festival right – and I don’t mean right as opposed to wrong – I simply mean having fun, staying hydrated, and not passing out from a sudden drop in your blood sugar. Take it from someone who makes a living overbooking herself at events like these (I once thought I could manage seeing six shows in one night at CMJ… after working from 9-6).

With over 350 bands playing in four days, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and eventually hammered with buddies to calm your nerves; the next thing you know, you missed that New Zealand artist you’ve been waiting to see for two years, who probably won’t return for yet another two years.

Sure, going to a festival like Northside is fun – but it also takes physical and emotional stamina, focus, comfy shoes, a robust bladder (or a willingness to pee in public,) and so much more. Because I can’t physically deliver care packages with tiny water bottles and snack-size packages of Goldfish to every single one of you (though I wish I could), I give you my tips for staying alert, alive, and having fun during this four-day music extravaganza.

1) Make a Plan.

First thing’s first: make a list of ALL the bands you want to see at Northside. Now chop that list in half. Now chop that list in half. If you don’t work during the days, my guess is you can swing between four and six shows a day. If, like me, you have a 9-5, it might be wise to stick to a 3-show maximum per night to stave off utter exhaustion. Got your list? Good. Now go to Google Maps. Make a route for each day of the festival; your chronological trajectory following the set times and venue locations. Obviously you can do this on your phone, but if you’re a luddite such as myself, you can print your map out, and draw on it like a treasure-hunting pirate, or disturbed toddler. (I KNOW I can just use the Google Maps app on my handheld talky computer, ok? I just like carrying paper!)

Whether you are in touch with touchscreen technology, or like pretending you’re Indiana Jones on a quest for the Holy Grail, getting your coordinates down and planning a path will definitely help you maximize the gigs you see.

2) Bring snacks.

Unless you like spending unnecessary cash on overpriced food truck items, or enjoy nearly fainting/murdering someone due to low blood sugar, I highly advise you stow away some treats in your tiny backpack. If you’re traveling sans purse, get creatively invasive with your undergarments – you’d be amazed at the places you can hide a Kind Bar. But seriously – you’re going to be out and about for HOURS. You will have more fun and be more fun if your caloric intake is on point.

3) Hydrate.

Not exclusively with beer. This one’s trickier as venues typically don’t let you bring water bottles inside. Fortunately most clubs/bars will give you tap water (and sometimes sparkle water) for free. Of course you could spend $4 on bottled water, but I’d rather cup my hands under the bathroom sink faucet and lap up H20 like a dog – an activity that will never be below me.

4) Dehydrate.

People say “Brooklyn has changed” and that you can tell “Brooklyn has changed” due to all the high-rises rising, strollers rolling, and music venues morphing into Dunkin’ Donuts and fancy gyms. But I say that the big indication for “Brooklyn changing” is that you used to be able to pee anywhere in public. I don’t mean to be crass, though I do enjoy public urination more than most people. (What? I grew up camping!) But regardless of my territorial complex, peeing in the street is a simple matter of necessity most of the time – especially during an event like Northside, when so many gigs are outdoors and have meager toilet offerings. So, if you’re doing a good job hydrating, but have a squirrel-sized bladder like me, squat in those dark, tucked away hedges; that spot behind that dumpster, between a couple SUVs, next to a traffic cone, etc. You can even invest in one of these bad boys, which helps you aim your stream like a dude.

5) Go solo.

For most people, festivals (or concerts in general) are social occasions – a time for you and a pack of pals to gallivant in shorts, meet hotties, and dance. That’s all well and good, but if you’ve never seen a show stag, I assure you you’re missing out. Fellow music journalists are used to seeing concerts alone. I have seen far more gigs solo than with friends, and while a lot of people seem to find that sad (“you’re SO brave!” they say), I must admit: it’s fucking awesome. And it’s fucking awesome for a bunch of reasons. For example:

  • You don’t have to stress about whether or not your plus one is enjoying the music or themselves – because you are your own plus one.
  • You (or at least I) tend to drink less alone, which means you spend less money!
  • You actually meet new people.
  • You pay way more attention to the music, because no one is chatting in your ear, or complaining, or asking you to hold their shit while they go to the bathroom.
  • You get to leave whenever the fuck you want.
  • You get to do whatever the fuck you want.

6) If you are feeling social, take up smoking.

I consider smokers to be one of the last unified social groups in our heterogeneous culture. Their blood runs thick – probably because smoking increases plaque build-up in blood vessels – but that’s not the point! Ok, ok, I’m not actually recommending that anybody start smoking, but if you already do it, leverage it as a way to meet people at shows! Maybe you are an ace in social situations, and don’t need the quintessential human prop (the cigarette) to help you strike up a convo. But if you are painfully shy like me and terrified of approaching people you don’t know, the best thing you can do is ask for a light. For example: “Hey, do have a light by chance? Thank you. DO YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS?!”

7) Put your phone down.

No one wants to watch the show through your iPhone screen as you carefully direct the cinematography of your Instagram story. Just put it down and enjoy the music analog style. #Lo-fi.

8) If you can, buy a record from the merch table.

Smaller touring bands make most of their dough on the road playing gigs and selling merch. When you by an album, or a t-shirt, or a beer coozie, that $20 is going straight to starving artists, as opposed to the $0.00001 they get from a Spotify click.

9) Wear comfy ass shoes.

If Larry David can make it look cool, so can you. You’re literally going to be on your feet ALL day and night. Don’t make your feet and lower back hate you.

10) Bring a book.

While I do a lot of going to shows, I also do a lot of waiting for shows to start. I don’t know what the hell I would do if I didn’t have reading material on me at all times. I’d probably have to…talk to people!

PREVIEW: 10+ Must-See Bands @ Northside Festival

Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, but in Brooklyn, the informal kick-off feels more like the first week of June thanks to the annual Northside Festival. Growing exponentially since its inception in 2009, Northside provides sensory overload in the best way possible, with hundreds of bands playing intimate showcases in various venues stretching from Williamsburg up to Greenpoint and out toward Bushwick’s borders. But in order to make your hunt for great live music a little easier, here are a few of our concert picks for the upcoming long weekend! See you on the dance floor (or in the mosh pit).

Thursday, June 8th

Kamasi Washington, 7:30 pm @McCarren Park

The renowned jazz saxophonist, producer, composer, and bandleader will take the stage at McCarren Park on Thursday night. Sandwiched on a killer bill between openers Jay Som and headliners Dirty Projectors, Washington might melt your face off with his searing tenor sax. If that scorching woodwind sounds familiar, it’s because he’s played with the likes of Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp A Butterfly, DAMN), Thundercat, and Ryan Adams. — Madison Bloom

Aldous Harding, 9:30 pm @Park Church Co-op

If this goth-folk New Zealander doesn’t bewitch you with her stunning voice, we don’t know what will. Aldous Harding recently released her sophomore LP Party, and its mournful hymns will surely become all the more staggering within the high ceilings of the Park Church Co-op (she also plays Baby’s All Right on Saturday). Saps beware: you may want to bring Kleenex. — Madison Bloom

No Joy, 10 pm @Knitting Factory Brooklyn

We’ve long admired shoegazey shredders No Joy, who released their four-track CREEP EP this February. They don’t just bank on head-banging distortion (though the dual guitarists’ hypnotizing ripples of blonde hair prove there’s plenty of that), deftly deploying well-crafted hooks with every ferocious track. They headline a bill featuring chilled-out Dutch power pop from Amber Arcades (fans of Camera Obscura or Still Corners take note) and Eartheater, the solo project of multi-instrunentalist Alexandra Drewchin that has to be seen to be believed (vacuum cleaners are often part of the show). — Lindsey Rhoades

Shilpa Ray, 11 pm @Sunnyvale

A harmonium-wielding heir to Patti Smith, Shilpa Ray is no one to be trifled with. Her snarl alone makes for a compelling live performance – but when it’s paired with heartbreaking melodies and the occasional pedal steel, you really feel like you’re in the presence of the rarest and rawest of performers. — Madison Bloom

Friday, June 9th

William Basinski, 9 pm @National Sawdust

If you’re looking to hear something atmospheric, experimental, or just downright gorgeous, pop by National Sawdust for a set by composer and multi-instrumentalist William Basinski. Basinski is perhaps best known for his collections of dissolving tape loops entitled The Disintegration Tapes, and his contemporary work is very in keeping with that hypnotic, cyclical aesthetic. If you’d like to be lulled into a tranquil dream state, don’t miss this set! — Madison Bloom

Yvette, 11:45 pm @Terra Firma

Conversely, if you are absolutely not trying to chill out at Northside, and prefer to move your bod a bit more brashly, get thee to Terra Firma, where local noise duo Yvette will rev you up. This band is a must-see for anyone into distortion, shouting, and infectious, driving drum rhythms. — Madison Bloom

Big Thief, 11 pm @Rough Trade

It’s hard to follow up a breakout debut, especially when it’s named Masterpiece. But Brooklyn band Big Thief aim to do just that with Capacity, which happens to drop the same day they take the stage at Rough Trade for a Northside appearance (they’re also playing Saturday at Park Church Co-op). Lead vocalist Adrianne Lenker is easily one of the best lyricists we’ve come across in recent years, her sweet voice often breaking into a raw moan as her bandmates’ backup fury blooms. — Lindsey Rhoades

Flock of Dimes, 1am @Baby’s All Right

We’re sort of obsessed with Jenn Wasner, whose soaring vocals first made our hearts pound as one half of Baltimore-based duo Wye Oak. Now relocated to North Carolina (after a tip from her pals in Sylvan Esso), Wasner’s still one of the hardest working women in indie rock. Last September, she released If You See Me, Say Yes, the debut LP from her solo electropop project Flock of Dimes. If you can stay awake long enough for the late show at Baby’s, definitely say yes to seeing Wasner live. — Lindsey Rhoades 

Saturday, June 10th

Timber Timbre, 10pm @Music Hall of Williamsburg

Riding in on the brilliance of their new record Sincerely, Future Pollution, Timber Timbre are likely to knock your socks off on Saturday night. Expect spooky, swampy, synth-washed blues atmospheric and elegant enough to soundtrack the new Twin Peaks— Madison Bloom

Nightspace, 10 pm @Vital Joint

There’s a nebulous quality that the name Nightspace implies – one of liminality, of dissolution, of suspended time and identity. It’s appropriate then, that queer artist of color Bailey Skye would adopt such a moniker to create their glimmering electronic darkwave debut Birth/Decay. Beautiful and surreal, these six tracks offer throbbing post-gender post-punk that’s unlike anything else you’ll hear at Northside. — Lindsey Rhoades

Audiofemme Showcase, 12:15 pm @Knitting Factory Brooklyn

Come hang out with us and listen to some of our favorite new artists! We’re co-hosting an awesome, five-hour daytime showcase with Glamglare featuring Blonde Maze, Gold Child, Letters to Nepal, Kinder Than Wolves, GIRL SKIN, and Josh Jacobson – you can read more about these artists here. Sets start at 12:15, so come say hi and hear some mind-blowing music!


NEWS ROUNDUP: Shea Stadium, Northside Festival & More

  • Shea Stadium Is Raising Money To Reopen

    Shea Stadium, after closing to avoid fines and fees “related to the legal use, zoning and licensing of [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the] building,” is on its way to reopening in a more legal, permanent manner. As of today, the DIY venue has raised tens of thousands more than the original goal of $50,000. The money will go towards things such as: renovations to pass inspections, building fees, fire safety training, bar permits and legal fees. Just because they’ve reached the goal doesn’t mean you can’t still donate! Support New York’s DIY scene and check out their Kickstarter page here.

  • Northside Festival Lineup Announced

    This year, the festival will take over Brooklyn from June 7-11 and so far, performers include Dirty Projectors, Miguel, Kamasi Washington, Julia Holter, Girlpool, the Hotelier, Downtown Boys, Lower Dens, Ricky Eat Acid and Vagabon. More details here.

  • Watch A Music Video That’s Different Every Time

    Via Engadget: The UK band Shaking Chains has created an algorithm that makes their music video different every time you watch it. The band members chose predetermined keywords that the algorithm uses to select clips of footage from, and then assembles them randomly every time someone watches the video. Why make a video this way? Band member Jack Hardwick stated,”I sought to obliquely reframe the stuff we subject ourselves to (whether beautiful, distressing, mundane, frivolous or eroticized) and algorithmically cut them into a new context.” Check out the video and see what it plays you here.

  • Other Highlights

    The problem with Ed Sheeran, RIP Chuck Berry, Thurston Moore releases “Smoke Of Dreams,” Marissa Nadler’s contribution to the 100 Days Project, Future Islands share sign language lyric video for “Cave,” and new music from Perfume Genius and Gorillaz.



NEWS ROUNDUP: Northside Fest & Opening/Closing Venues


northside news

  • Northside Festival Continues This Weekend

    That means, there’s amazing shows everywhere. From Greenpoint to Bushwick to Far North East Williamsburg, or whatever the newest, cool made-up neighborhood is. Feeling overwhelmed? We even wrote you a guide to cool shows. Look at how much fun everybody had last year:

  • Other Music Farewell Shows

    As we’ve written about before, Manhattan record store Other Music will be closing at the end of this month. But, you can catch an awesome goodbye show at Bowery Ballroom on 6/28. Performers will include Yo La Tengo, Julianna Barwick, Sharon Van Etten, Frankie Cosmos, Helado Negro, Menahan Street Band, Matana Roberts, and John Zorn’s Simalacrum (with John Medeski, Matt Hollenberg, and Kenny Grohowski). Check out this performance by Regina Spektor at the store in 2009: 

  • New Brooklyn Venue Opens, Two Set To Close

    The Glove held their soft opening on Wednesday, and Facebook posts state that their calendar will be opening soon. From the venue’s page: “Members of The Bohemian Grove present a new space: The Glove… an experimental venue, theater, gallery, and multimedia studio space.” It is located in Bushwick between the Kosciusko and Gates stop on Broadway.

    However, posts today indicated that both the Grand Victory in Williamsburg and Secret Project Robot in Bushwick will cease operating at their current locations, because of rising rents.

  • Stream Mitski’s Puberty 2

    The Brooklyn-based singer songwriter has received rave reviews for her new album, Puberty 2. It comes out next week via Dead Oceans, but you can listen to the stream on NPR and check out the video for “Your Best American Girl” below.

  • Lithuania Single Benefits ‘Women Against Abuse’

    This week the band premiered “Kill The Thing You Love,” a song that wasn’t included on their last album, Hardcore Friends, but will be released as a single. All proceeds from the song will benefit ‘Women Against Abuse,’ an organization that provides domestic violence services. Listen to the song on Post-Trash, and check out our interview with the band here.


AudioFemme’s Guide To Northside Festival 2016


It’s that time of year again- Northside Festival is back in Brooklyn, and while you’ve probably heard about high profile artists like Conor Oberst and Brian Wilson playing in McCarren park, or Deradoorian covering Black Sabbath at Rough Trade, here’s ten other shows you shouldn’t miss.


  • Cloud Becomes Your Hand @ AVIV

    Cloud Becomes Your Hand makes slightly weird, unapologetically different music that sounds like it came from a different world. Or, if you go by the band’s own description, “a renaissance faire acid trip underwater in grandma’s winnebago.” Stream their latest release, Rest In Fleas, here.

  • Very Fresh @ Bar Matchless

    Cindy Lou Gooden fronts the Brooklyn band Very Fresh, which plays 90’s inspired alternative rock. It’s a little reminiscent of Speedy Ortiz, but with a lo-fi twist.


  • Yonatan Gat @ Baby’s All Right

    This amazing guitarist brings the energy of punk rock to improvisational music, creating a seamless blend of genres and moods that vary from jazzy to psychedelic within seconds. Check out Director here.

  • PWR BTTM @ The Lyft Stage (Williamsburg Walks, 4pm)

    This free event takes place on Bedford Avenue and N. 5th Street and on Saturday will feature acts Petal, Benny Sings, Pity Sex- and of course PWR BTTM, who needs no introduction; their glittery reputation precedes them wherever they go.

  • Yowler – National Sawdust

    From Ohio, Yowler creates pop music that recalls the hazy aftermath of a dream you can’t quite remember- meaning, it’s really pretty, ok? Catch them at the stunning new venue National Sawdust.


  • Haybaby @ Aviv (3pm)

    Sometimes the only way to talk about a band is to quote directly from their bio: “Haybaby is a band of total babes that play honey-ass heartbreak crooning sometimes screamy sludgy pop & slop rock that will make you have some feelings.” If that’s not enough, check out “Joke/Rope.”

  • Bambara @ Palisades

    This Brooklyn rock band plays tunes that are dark and sinister, yet somehow irresistible as well. Catch them at Palisades before they leave for a mini tour of the Northeast.



Welcome to the second installment of “Only Noise,” in which Madison Bloom writes a memoir with music. 

A mixtape is something Generation Y shouldn’t grasp the importance of. Despite the small number of people who claim to prefer the sound of tape, mixtapes today are largely leveraged as devices of kitsch and nostalgia. There is of course the tape renaissance in the cottage punk industry. Once declining tape-manufacturing plants such as National Audio Company are finding newfound profits in reel-to-reel, and brands like Urban Outfitters are eager to get in on the “vintage” trend. The clothing retailer made a gesture towards analog at last year’s Northside Festival, stuffing press goody bags with a neon green compilation tape featuring artists such as Blanck Mass and Juan Wauters.

But truth be told, most people born post compact disc proliferation have never had a pressing need for a mixed tape.


There was a patch of time in the late nineties when the good people at Subaru neglected to outfit their Foresters with the leading method of musical consumption: a CD player. My mother owned such a Forester, and though in hindsight I realize the simple solution would have been to purchase a CD player, the decision was well out of my 12-year-old hands.

At the pinnacle of my musical discovery, as well as the inception of my aural snobbery, this absence was an abomination.  Living as we did in bumfuck Washington, we were out of range for all of the cool radio stations like KEXP and 89.9.  All we had was classic rock, Top 40 (not so great in 2000), and 107.7 The End, which boasted that ambiguous, doomed banner “alternative.” The End was given to playing Papa Roach, Disturbed, and the state-ordained daily quota of Nirvana.

It was ok, but when something truly abysmal came on, there was nowhere to run.  The car at that time, just on the cusp of mp3 players, kept you captive with your music more than most situations, which was the beauty and the burden of being on the road.

I began to do what any other pre-teen would have done in the decades prior: I made mixed tapes.  I didn’t need an authentic childhood void of the internet, compact disks, or Napster to understand how these things worked. I’d seen High Fidelity.

I was in a unique position as a kid in the 90s who actually knew what a vinyl record was.  I was, as all kids are, egocentric, and having admired my Dad’s 4,000 plus record collection for as long as I can remember, I would go to sleepovers and birthday parties wondering: where are your Dad’s 4,000 records?

And yes, I too fetishized the faux nostalgic from a young age.  I blame the amazing stories my parents told me about growing up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  They had “used up all the fun,” as my mom puts it.  I wanted to pay a nickel for a candy bar, and have a paper route, and take acid with my high school teachers.  I wanted boys to make tapes for me!  Fantastic tapes filled with songs I’d never heard, the J-cards meticulously filled in with ball-point pen renderings of hearts and music notes alongside the painstakingly written song titles, artists, and run times.  The cassettes would have themes, and clever titles winking at some hilarious inside joke.

But there were no boys. There were no tapes.  So, like an independent 12-year-old woman, I made my own goddamn tapes.

The first was simple in its purpose: songs for the road. Or, as my strained, blue Bic handwriting declares: “Songs For The Ramblin’ Traveler.”

This isn’t going to get less embarrassing.

So deprived I was of decent music in the car, that I overcompensated with flamboyant, and horrible titles. The music however, wasn’t so terrible. Side One included Bob Dylan’s “Peggy Day” off of Nashville Skyline as well as “Radio Radio” by Elvis Costello. Neither was directly related to driving lyrically, but sonically they possessed a forward-motion needed for a good car song. Just uplifting enough to keep your eyes ahead.

Side Two, was far less forgiving. I can’t say the exact year this tape was made, but it would have come to life amidst my obsession with two bands: Social Distortion and The Wallflowers.

The former was certainly the catalyst for including Mike Ness’s cover of “Six More Miles,” originally by Hank Williams, which, unbeknownst to my young ears, was not about driving, but dying.

More true-to-form road trip lyrics could be found in the Wallflowers selections, namely “Back To California” and “Shy Of The Moon.” Yes. There were two.

But the tape to end all tapes was the love dedication tape that I, in all my teen melodrama, made for myself.  Having just seen Brokeback Mountain, I was inspired.  So much so, that I entitled my mixtape-to-me: “I Wish I Knew How To Quit You.”  It is perhaps the cringiest thing I have ever done in my entire life.  But I would like to clear up one thing: it wasn’t about self-love; it was about a puppy-love deficiency…I was essentially pretending that there did exist a boy who had made me such a tape.  Like when Cher in Clueless sends herself flowers.  Sort of.

There was no shortage of Social Distortion tracks on this tape either.  Side A touted their more critically acceptable era with “Another State Of Mind” off 1982’s Mommy’s Little Monster.  The song itself was about being on the road, on tour specifically, and missing someone back home. Side B found them a decade later with “When She Begins” from Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell.

The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl” would have also been on there, since at the time I truly thought that it was a sincere love song. The irony of my choices continued with “Mama You Been On My Mind” by Dylan and Costello’s “Allison.” It took me years to realize that both were snide reprimands of former lovers. One could posit that this tape full of “love songs” might serve as a breakup tape in later years.

Despite our necessity for them, we didn’t have many cassettes in the Subaru, and at some point I must have become bored of making my own. Maybe I simply ran out of subject matter.  Besides love songs and car songs, what else did you have to work with in life?  This was clearly before the explosion of hyper specific playlists via Spotify, which delve into such heady themes as “Hipster House Party” and “Chillimatic.”

Aside from my mixes, the car’s center console held but a Queensrÿche tape (very rarely played) and a copy of Queen’s greatest hits. The latter was bootlegged and wore a clean J-card sans songs titles and start times. As kids, Queen meant only one thing to my sister and I: “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In fact, Queen didn’t even mean that. Queen meant Wayne’s World.

Sometimes on the 20-minute ride to school, all we wanted was to bang our heads to the bridge like Garth and Wayne. We knew that part of the movie by heart, the little air-drum fill right after Freddie Mercury belted: “so you think you can stop me and spit in my eye?!” We couldn’t ask for a better start to the school day. But instead, the entire ride would be spent rewinding, fast-forwarding, ejecting, flipping, reinserting, fast-forwarding, that tape, usually to no avail. We could never find the goddamn song, but on the extremely rare occasion that we did, riotous cheers were unleashed from the backseat, and oh the headbanging.

As much as I prattle on about the relationship between music and memory, I similarly cannot pry the thought of cars from songs. Driving, riding, cruising – it’s the ultimate American experience. Still, but in motion. Speeding ahead, but inert in your seat. Always moving forward, and yet forever framed between the past and future. I’m not someone who speaks of “being present” all that much, but that really is where the present lies in its most distilled form: en route. It’s no wonder the road, the car, and the open highway, have long been recurring themes in not only American music, but film and literature for decades. And if we are so bewitched by the journey, how could we possibly resist a soundtrack?

NORTHSIDE HIGHLIGHTS: Shilpa Ray & Sun Ra Arkestra @ Rough Trade


An unlikely lineup at the last night of Brooklyn’s seventh annual Northside Festival, one angsty crooner Shilpa Ray opening for the sparkly and jubilant Sun Ra Arkestra. In a way it was the perfect bill, not only due to the heightened quality of the musicians on it, but that their disparity satisfies every longing you would ever have. To feel deep pain and anger out the mouth of Shilpa Ray, and then to have it lifted and kicked into the cosmos by Sun Ra…what more could you want?

If you haven’t heard of Shilpa Ray, I am so sorry. Now you have. There was a time when I too had not. I saw her by chance at an Eric Garner benefit gig at Shea Stadium, and was instantly bowled over. She was center stage playing a harmonium with an angry sensuality, and had voice like Patti Smith wrapped in Bette Midler. Her performance was gritty and passionate, and quite frankly left me stunned. Where had this woman been all my life????

Her impact was no less intense last Sunday at Rough Trade. Her backing band, or, her Rayettes as she calls them (“aren’t they sexy???”) includes guitarist Alistair Paxton, the energetic drumming of Russ Lemkin, and Jon Catfish DeLorme on a wailing pedal steel.  Ray puts out a mixture of arrogance and sweetness-she’s one of those performers you can’t quite explain…there’s no quantifiable measurement of her charisma, she’s just got it. “This song’s called “Shilpa Ray’s Got a Heart Full of Dirt.” One time a journalist asked me why I put my name in my song titles, and I told her, ‘because I’m a narcissist.’” It’s the kind of remark that rubs you in two different directions, but you can’t begrudge Ray for the honesty. In some ways that’s shorthand for how her music makes you feel, like a cat being pet backwards.

If Shilpa Ray brushes your fur the wrong way (in the best manner possible, of course) then Sun Ra Arkestra will no doubt have you purring. Though the original Sun Ra died over twenty years ago, his Afrofuturistic, psychcosmic funk deities keep the son of Saturn’s soul very alive. The Arkestra’s set up is incredible. No fewer than a dozen men in their seventies playing some of the most searing avant-garde jazz you’ve ever heard-all while wearing sparkly capes and hats. Fronted by saxophonist Marshall Allen, the group is an indefinable tour de force of soul, jazz, funk, and experimental jams. Occasionally punctuated with the vocals of Tara Middleton, the sound was predominantly instrumental, even if some of the instruments were sublime and unrecognizable.

The crowd was fully entranced by the performance-how could you not be? Even if the deepest thought you could muster was: “Will I ever be half as cool as these geriatrics?” (no) there was no resisting sheer enjoyment. By the tail end of the set, three quarters of the band trailed off of the stage, blowing their horns in the air and shimmying through the audience in a slack conga line. We encircled the musicians and danced first around and them with them. It was as if, for a moment, that barrier between performer and observer had been completely dissolved. Just like Sun Ra believed he belonged to the cosmos, so we believed we belonged to Sun Ra.



PLAYLIST: The Top Acts To Catch At Northside Festival


Hey Brooklyn! What are you doing next weekend? Really, the only acceptable answer is seeing at least one of these bands at Northside Festival, which runs from June 11-14 and hosts shows in venues from Acheron  to Warsaw. The schedule is packed with amazing artists, and to help you choose which shows to see, we made you a list of our favorites. You’re welcome.

1. Diet Cig  (6/11 at Alphaville)

This duo from New Paltz plays catchy, light-hearted pop that will have you copying the dancing in this video:

2. Beverly (6/11 at Alphaville)

This band comes with a warning: their lush, relaxing harmonies are addictive.

3. Luna (6/11 at McCarren Park)

Luna is the indie band formed by former Galaxie 500 member Dean Wareham, featuring guitar-centric, dreamy rock.

4. Drenge (6/12 at Knitting Factory)

Their name is a little challenging to pronounce, but these brothers from the UK have an amazing sound: heavy, grungy rock.

5. Leapling (6/12 at Palisades)

Just one in a long list of amazing local bands is Leapling, an experimental pop group responsible for gems like “Crooked.”

6. Vomitface (6/12 at Pet Rescue)

This sludge-pop band sounds way better than their name. If you’ve got some head-banging to get out of your system, go see them at Pet Rescue.

7. Frankie Cosmos (6/12 at Rough Trade)

Greta Kline formerly performed under the name Ingrid Superstar before settling on Frankie Cosmos. The daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates lists James Taylor, Hall and Oates, Liz Phair, Indigo Girls and the Moldy Peaches as early influences.

8. Mitski (6/12 at Saint Vitus)

Mitski is a stunning singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, via practically everywhere else. Go see her at Saint Vitus, where we’re hoping she’ll preview some songs from her upcoming album.

9. Von Sell (6/12 at Union Pool)

Von Sell is a relatively new electro-pop artist from Berlin who is already getting praise from indie blogs. Watch him play at Union Pool and see what all the fuss is about.

10. ONWE (6/12 at Union Pool)

ONWE’s light, catchy melodies hide something darker- just check out his song “Unpaid Internship,” his scathing opinion on “trust-fund kids.”

11. Shilpa Ray (6/14 at Rough Trade)

She plays the harmonium, and she’s one of Nick Cave’s favorite musicians: Shilpa Ray is bringing her uniquely gloomy rock ‘n’ roll to Rough Trade.

12. This entire lineup (6/13 at 50 Kent Avenue)

Celebrate the start of summer with an outdoor concert, and see four great bands in one place: Bully, Alvvays, Built to Spill and Best Coast.