Dropper Seeks Personal Growth with Lead Single “Don’t Worry”

Photo Credit: Cirsty Burton

Dropper is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Andrea Scanniello, who finally steps into the spotlight as a vocalist and songwriter after many years playing guitar, bass or keys in other projects. A veteran of Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, Scanniello previously played in High Waisted and Stuyedeyed, and has filled out the line-ups of TVOD, Russian Baths and Saara Untracht-Oakner (Boytoy, SUO)’s solo projects, among others.

She comes from a long line of musicians and has played music since childhood, but says she “was always too shy to show people music that I was writing. I was like, well I’ll just play guitar, I’ll play keys. It’s fine. I don’t mind being in the background.”

She is in the background no longer. Joining longtime collaborators Jono Bernstein (also of High Waisted), Yukary Morishima and Larry Scanniello, Dropper releases their first LP Don’t Talk To Me on February 11, 2022, and they’re premiering their first-ever single from the project, “Don’t Worry,” today on Audiofemme.

The album is two years in the making, written and recorded pre-COVID, something Scanniello patiently sat on while she awaited the return of live music. “I don’t want to release anything if I can’t play a show,” she said. “I [didn’t] want to put it out in the middle of the pandemic, because we’re so new, that I just didn’t want it to get lost in the Internet shuffle.” The band will have the opportunity to preview the album on a handful of Midwest tour dates with Habibi later this month.

The record lays bare Scanniello’s personal journey through her twenties in nine tracks. She wrote it while she scraped by with a series of service industry jobs and all that comes with them: the late nights, the drinking, the shallow friendships born of participation in a scene. What started as an exercise in healing after a bad break-up became more introspective, a personal inventory of life thus far, the habits that weren’t serving her and the things she’d like to change about herself.

“For a while I was kind of caught up,” she says. “Going out too much, partying too much, and then being anxious because you’re partying too much, and not feeling really connected to anything you’re doing, general bad feelings.” She laughs. “Trying to work through that.”

In the band’s press release, they say they write music for “People who have worked in the service industry too long and become curmudgeons at the ripe old age of 26. People who are lonely yet want to be left alone. People who drink because they are sad but also sad because they drink. Bisexuals with crumbs in their bed. Optimistic pessimists. Those with seasonal allergies. But overwhelmingly for people who, in lieu of being crushed by the eternal weight of existence, choose to scream internally with a smile upon their face.”

And it lands squarely at this nexus, emotionally astute in a way that speaks to Scanniello’s self-awareness and chops as a songwriter. “Don’t Worry” is peak Dropper, in that it encompasses the entire weight of the album with these words: “I do it to myself.” The track negotiates the happy medium between what Scanniello calls “sad girl singer-songwriter kind of stuff” (your Angel Olsens and Waxahatchees) and the heavier, psychier aspects of the Brooklyn music scene, with nods to all the bands Scanniello has lent her talents to. It hits a nerve emotionally, but one can imagine the energy of a raucous, PBR-soaked crowd growing as the track’s energy builds from the opening licks to the multi-faceted explosion of sound that drops in after the bridge. The irony is that it’s exactly this kind of scene that led Scanniello’s songwriting to this place to begin with.

She says this track particularly speaks to “the amount of times in my life I woke up hungover, being like what the fuck am I doing with my life? But then realizing it’s my fault, these are choices that I’m making, and I could easily change these things but I’m choosing not to.”

This type of reflection and self-realization is frequently the catalyst for the type of change she’s referring to, a journey I imagine we’ll see play out alongside Dropper’s journey as a band. In the meantime, you might bask in the sharp empathy of this first offering, that you’re not the only one who feels this way. 

Follow Dropper on Instagram and Facebook for ongoing updates.

RSVP HERE: SUO Bartends Listen Bar’s Virtual Happy Hour + MORE

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE. Due to live show cancellations we will be covering virtual live music events and festivals.

SUO is the solo project of artist and musician Saara Untracht-Oakner that came to fruition after 15 years of songwriting and a decade of touring. SUO’s retro-inspired debut Dancing Spots and Dungeons was released October 2019 via Stolen Body Records and was followed up with a European tour with dates supporting The Growlers in February. Soon after that tour ended Saara quarantined in Brooklyn with her roommate Lorelei Bandrovschi, the founder of the NYC booze-free bar Listen Bar. What makes Listen Bar special is that their bartenders are exclusively musicians that curate great playlists that are played during their shifts. On 4/11 you can tune in to see Saara and Lorelei demonstrate how to make Listen Bar’s signature cocktails during their virtual happy hour. It is now a FREE event thanks to support from Lyre’s Spirit Co., but when you RSVP you can make a donation for Listen Bar’s staff that has been effected by the covid-19 closures. We chatted with Saara about her favorite Listen Bar cocktails, what will be on her playlist, and her favorite European cities…

AF: What Listen Bar cocktails will you be making for the virtual happy hour? Which is your favorite?

SUO: This time around we’re going to be making “Smoked with Snoop,” “Because The Night,” and “Spritz Lyfe.” All are made with Lyre’s brand spirits. I haven’t actually tried any of these but I’m most excited to try “Because The Night” – it’s like a twist on a spiked coffee drink with coconut whipped cream. I’m lactose intolerant so any time I can indulge in dairy-free treats I’m excited.

AF: How did you get involved with Listen Bar? If you were bartending Listen Bar IRL, what songs would be on your playlist?

SUO: Lorelei is my roommate. She says I was the inspiration for having musicians as bartenders at Listen Bar. And this is IRL now and I will be playing my Playlist #3 this weekend. Weeks #1 and #2 include Jacques Dutronc, Doris Troy, ABBA, Los Saicos, and contemporaries like Faux Real, Brower, The Josephine Network, Habibi, Sunflower Bean and a little SUO ;)

AF: Other than making great nonalcoholic drinks, what does your daily quarantine life look like?

SUO: I do five minute planks and stretches at some point each day. When it’s sunny I spend the daytime in my yard reading and tending to the garden here and there. I go on at least two walks with my dog. I’m learning French on Duo Lingo. I try to do at least one creative thing a day, pick up my guitar, make a drawing or painting. And a shower. I make my room smell good with some Palo Santo and my room spray by Shocks Of Love. I spend a lot of time just laying and thinking. I’ve made a few dishes I’ve never cooked before.

AF: How was your recent European tour with the Growlers? What were your favorite shows and cities?

SUO: It was so amazing and it was already hard to come home after it. Seems like we were riding just in front of the Corona wave. Every show was so different that it’s hard to pick a favorite. We got the whole spectrum of crowds and venues from 1,000 capacity rooms to small cafes. But the crowds were always good and vibrant. I’m in love with Basque Country and southern France. Favorite shows include Paris, Lyon, Madrid, Valencia, Brussels.

AF: If you could be quarantined anywhere else in the world than where you are now, where would it be?

SUO: Somewhere tropical where I could surf everyday and eat fruit off a tree. I think that’s my wish quarantine or not.

AF: Do you have any other live streams planned for the future?

SUO: No plans. Every day is just day to day.

RSVP HERE for Listen’s Bars Virtual Happy Hour 4/11 at 2pm est featuring Saara from SUO and founder Loreli Bandrovschi.

More great live streams this week…

4/10 Frankie Cosmos via Instagram. 9pm est, RSVP HERE

4/10 Pheobe Bridgers via Instagram. 4pm est, RSVP HERE

4/10 Coachella: 20 years Nn The Desert via Youtube Premiere. 3pm est, RSVP HERE.

4/11. The Frights (playing self-titled) via Instagram. 7pm est, RSVP HERE

4/11 Angel Olsen via Veeps. 6pm est, RSVP HERE

4/11 Noisey Night In: Margo Price, Diet Cig, Black Lips and more via Youtube. 5pm est, RSVP HERE

4/12 Princess Nokia via Instagram. 9pm est, RSVP HERE

4/14 Elephant Stone via Sacred Sounds Sessions. 6pm est, RSVP HERE

4/14 Toth via Sultan Room Sessions Instagram. 8pm est RSVP HERE

AF 2019 IN REVIEW: Our Favorite Albums & Singles of The Year

Lizzo press photo by Luke Gilford, courtesy of Atlantic Records.

Every year I keep a running list of new album releases. The idea is that I’ll have new stuff on my radar, along with a go-to playlist if I’m feeling adventurous (or bored) and want to hear something new. This year that list grew to nearly 9,000 songs, and I’m still adding stuff I missed from this year to it. When it came time to make my year-end list, I had some ideas about what would be on it, but I decided to do something more immersive than I’d done years prior (basically narrowing my list down to ten albums). This year, I decided to rank every record I listened to that came out in 2019, resulting in a list of more than 200 albums. That’s a lot, certainly. It’s my job, of course, to listen to music. But what was more mind-boggling was that, when I made a separate list of albums I hadn’t had a chance to listen to or simply didn’t stick in my mind, it was more than double that number. Y’all, a lot of music came out in 2019. And a lot of it was really, really good.

I think our list at Audiofemme is unique in that it gives each of our regular writers (and some of our contributors) complete ownership over their favorites, and that makes our list unusually eclectic. That’s especially true this year; last year’s lists featured a lot of love for Mitski and Janelle Monae, while this year’s lists were so disparate there’s very little crossover from list to list. So while it’s hard to choose one overarching narrative around who slayed hardest this year – Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen releasing the best albums of their careers, Big Thief releasing two amazing records, Jamila Woods and FKA Twigs going big on concept albums – I think we all know that person was Lizzo.


  • Marianne White (Executive Director)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Jamila Woods – LEGACY! LEGACY!
    2) Big Thief – Two Hands
    3) Boy Harsher – Careful
    4) FKA Twigs – Magdalene
    5) Cate le Bon – Reward

  • Lindsey Rhoades (Editor-in-Chief)

    Top 10 Albums:
    2) Hand Habits – placeholder
    3) Crumb – Jinx
    4) Pottery – No. 1
    5) Orville Peck – Pony
    6) Cate le Bon – Reward
    7) Kim Gordon – No Home Record
    8) Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
    9) Black Belt Eagle Scout – At the Party With My Brown Friends
    10) Big Thief – Two Hands
    Top 10 Singles:
    1) Sharon Van Etten – “Jupiter 4”
    2) SOAK – “Valentine Shmalentine”
    3) Jonny Kosmo – “Strawberry Vision”
    4) Mineral – “Your Body Is the World”
    5) Drahla – “Stimulus for Living”
    6) Mattiel – “Keep the Change”
    7) Girlpool – “Minute in Your Mind”
    8) Charlotte Adigéry – “Paténipat”
    9) Weyes Blood – “Andromeda”
    10) Palehound – “Killer”

  • Mandy Brownholtz (Marketing Director)

    Top 5 Albums (in no particular order):
    Summer Walker – Over It
    Jamila Woods – LEGACY! LEGACY!
    Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
    Mannequin Pussy – Patience
    Raveena – Lucid
    Top 3 Singles:
    Summer Walker – “Anna Mae”
    Solange – “Binz”
    Jamila Woods – “ZORA”


  • Alexa Peters (Playing Seattle)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Guayaba – Fantasmagoria
    2) Ings – Lullaby Rock
    3) The Black Tones – Cobain & Cornbread
    4) Lemolo – Swansea
    5) Stephanie Anne Johnson – Take This Love
    Top 5 Singles:
    1) Lizzo – “Juice”
    2) Karma Rivera – “Do More Say Less”
    2) Heather Thomas Band – “When I Was Young”
    3) Stephanie Anne Johnson – “Never No More”
    4) Sarah Potenza – “I Work For Me”
    5) Ariana Grande – “Thank U, Next”

  • Sophia Vaccaro (Playing the Bay)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Charly Bliss – Young Enough
    2) PUP – Morbid Stuff
    3) Kim Petras – TURN OFF THE LIGHT
    4) Microwave – Death is a Warm Blanket
    5) Caroline Polachek – Pang
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Jess Day – “Rabbit Hole”
    2) Ashnikko – “Hi, It’s Me”
    3) Saweetie – “My Type”

  • Cillea Houghton (Playing Nashville)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Yola – Walk Through Fire
    2) Louis York – American Griots
    3) The Highwomen – The Highwomen
    4) Sara Potenza – Road to Rome
    5) Rising Appalachia – Leylines
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow”
    2) Louis York – “Don’t You Forget”
    3) The Highwomen – “Crowded Table”

  • Luci Turner (Playing Atlanta)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
    2) Harry Styles – Fine Line
    3) Brittany Howard – Jaime
    4) MARINA – Love + Fear
    5) Death Mama – High Strangeness
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Sam Burchfield – “Blue Ridge June”
    2) Pip the Pansy – “Siren Song”
    3) 5 Seconds of Summer – “Teeth”

  • Victoria Moorwood (Playing Cincy)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy
    2) Wale – Wow… That’s Crazy
    3) Roddy Ricch – Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial
    4) DaBaby – KIRK
    5) NF – The Search
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) DaBaby – “Intro”
    2) Polo G – “Pop Out”
    3) Lil Baby – “Yes Indeed” (feat. Drake)

  • Amanda Silberling (Playing Philly)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Palehound – Black Friday
    2) Great Grandpa – Four of Arrows
    3) Charly Bliss – Young Enough
    4) T-Rextasy – Prehysteria
    5) Leggy – Let Me Know Your Moon
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Mannequin Pussy – “Drunk II”
    2) Charly Bliss – “Chatroom”
    3) (Sandy) Alex G – “Southern Sky”

  • Tarra Thiessen (Check the Spreadsheet)

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Karen O & Danger Mouse – Lux Prima
    2) FEELS – Post Earth
    3) Francie Moon – All the Same
    4) Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
    5) Crumb – Jinx
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Dehd – “Lucky”
    2) Bodega – “Shiny New Model”
    3) Y La Bamba – “Entre Los Dos”

  • Natalie Kirch (Pet Politics)

    Top 5 Albums (in Chronological Order):
    1) JANITOR — She Hates The Hits
    2) Haybaby — They Get There
    3) Holy Tunics — Hit Parade Lemonade Supersonic Spree
    4) Bethlehem Steel — Bethlehem Steel
    5) Francie Moon – All The Same
    6) SUO – Dancing Spots and Dungeons
    Top 5 Singles (in Chronological Order):
    1) Big Bliss – “Contact”
    2) Gesserit – “Silence”
    3) Vanessa Silberman – “I Got A Reason”
    4) New Myths – “Living Doll”
    5) Miss Eaves – “Swipe Left Up”


  • Liz Ohanesian

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Hot Chip – A Bath Full of Ecstasy
    2) (tie) Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence // K Á R Y Y N – The Quanta Series
    3) !!! – Wallop
    4) Yacht – Chain Tripping
    5) Chromatics – Closer to Grey
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
    2) Roisin Murphy – “Narcissus”
    3) Boy Harsher – “Come Closer”

  • Lydia Sviatoslavsky

    Top 5 Albums:
    1)  Xiu Xiu – Girl With a Basket of Fruit
    2) slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
    3) Boy Harsher – Careful
    4) Thee Oh Sees – Face Stabber
    5) Sylvia Black – Twilight Animals
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Squarepusher – “Vortrack – Fracture Remix”
    2) Coyu & Moby – “I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again”
    3) Cocorosie – “Smash My Head”

  • Tamara Mesko

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Bad Books — III
    2) Pedro The Lion — Phoenix
    3) Laura Stevenson — The Big Freeze
    4) An Horse — Modern Air
    5) Black Belt Eagle Scout — At the Party With My Brown Friends
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Kevin Devine – “Only Yourself”
    2) Rain Phoenix feat. Michael Stipe – “Time is the Killer”
    3) Sigrid – “Strangers”

  • Erin Rose O’Brien

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Stef Chura — Midnight
    2) Angel Olsen — All Mirrors
    3) Lisa Prank — Perfect Love Song
    4) Carly Rae Jepsen — Dedicated
    5) Cheekface — Therapy Island
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Caroline Polachek — “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings”
    2) Priests — “Jesus’ Son”
    3) Lana Del Ray — “The Greatest”

  • Katie Wojciechowski

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) The Highwomen — The Highwomen
    2) Better Oblivion Community Center — Better Oblivion Community Center
    3) Various Artists — Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’
    4) Vampire Weekend — Father of the Bride
    5) J.S. Ondara — Tales of America
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) MUNA — “Good News (Ya-Ya Song)”
    2) Lizzie No — “Narcissus”
    3) Noah Gundersen — “Lose You”

  • Micco Caporale

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Orville Peck — Pony
    2) Boy Harsher — Careful
    3) Lingua Ignota — Caligula
    4) Heterofobia — Queremos Ver El Mundo Arder
    5) Knife Wife — Family Party
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Dorian Electra – “Flamboyant”
    2) Orville Peck – “Dead of Night”
    3) Solange — “Binz”

  • Jason Scott

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Allison Moorer — Blood
    2) Gabriella Rose — Lost in Translation EP
    3) Emily Scott Robinson — Traveling Mercies
    4) Girl Wilde — Probably Crying EP
    5) BHuman — BMovie
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) Dua Lipa – “Don’t Start Now”
    2) The Highwomen – “Redesigning Women”
    3) Katy Perry — “Never Really Over”

  • Ysabella Monton

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) King Princess – Cheap Queen
    2) Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
    3) Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
    4) Kim Petras – Clarity
    5) Charli XCX – Charli
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) King Princess – “Hit the Back”
    2) FKA Twigs – “holy terrain”
    3) Charli XCX – “Gone” feat. Christine and the Queens

  • Holly Henschen

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Marielle Allschwang & the Visitations – Precession of a Day: The World of Mary Nohl
    2) Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
    3) Sudan Archives – Athena
    4) Karen O & Danger Mouse – Lux Prima
    5) Sigur Rós – Sigur Rós Presents Liminal Sleep
    Top 3 Singles:
    1) King Princess – “Hit the Back”
    2) Sleater-Kinney – “Hurry on Home”
    3) Lizzo – “Tempo”

  • Erin Lyndal Martin

    Top 5 Albums:
    1) Jenny Hval – The Practice of Love
    2) Mariee Sioux – Grief in Exile
    3) Carolina Eyck – Elegies for Theremin & Voice
    4) Julia Kent – Temporal
    5) Rhiannon Giddens – There is No Other (with Francesco Turrisi)

  • Rebecca Kunin

    Top 5 Albums (in no particular order):
    Mal Blum – Pity Boy
    Jamila Woods – LEGACY! LEGACY!
    Durand Jones and the Indications – American Love Call
    Tony Molina – Songs from San Mateo County
    Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
    Top 3 Singles:
    Brittany Howard – “Stay High”
    Angel Olsen – “New Love Cassette”
    Jacky Boy – “Get Along”

SUO’s Saara Untracht-Oakner on Juggling Hats and Raising Pups

SUO photo by Monika Oliver.

Saara Untracht-Oakner is a woman who wears many hats on the Brooklyn scene: musician, visual artist, booker, DJ, and model. Perhaps best known as guitarist in BOYTOY (co-founded and c0-fronted with college buddy Glenn Van Dyke), she has also made guest appearances in other bands, like Roya and Habibi. Her latest project SUO showcases her solo work.

Saara has tour all over the United States, Europe and the UK, booked countless bands at The Broadway, slung drinks all over Brooklyn, and DJed around the borough. She has created visual art through illustration, painting, photograph collaging, and more, while still finding time to surf. She does this all while rocking the dog mom hat with style too; she is parent to a precious Puerto Rican pup named Pachi. Hear about Pachi, Saara’s history with music, art, animals, and her plans for the new decade below!

Pachi and Saara (Photo Credit: Juliet Wolf).

AF: Please introduce us to your current furbaby.

SUO: Pachi is my current fur baby. He’s a Puerto Rican street dog mix. 32lbs and 18”x18” (I had to measure him once for an airline).

Precious Pachi (all photo credit to Saara Untracht-Oakner unless otherwise noted).

AF: How did you and your pup pal meet?

SUO: My roommate was going to Puerto Rico for vacation, actually a week before hurricane Maria. I had taken home a Puerto Rican dog a few years before; sadly he was hit by a car six months after being in NY. He was extremely special and his name was Rico. I have his name tattooed on my arm. So knowing I loved Puerto Rican mutts (they’re called Satos), and knowing I had some time off in between BOYTOY tours, I asked my roommate to keep an eye out for some street puppies. She texted me about two days before the hurricane and said she wouldn’t have time to go to a shelter because they were trying to get off the island ASAP. An hour later she sent me a picture of baby Pachi (three months old) in the back seat of her car. She pulled over to look at a map in the middle of nowhere and he ran out from the bushes, chewing on a T-shirt. A vet check up and rabies shot later and he was on a plane to NY and escaped the hurricane. We’ve been in love ever since.

Pint-sized Puppy Pachi

AF: Did you have pets growing up? If so, what species?

SUO: Growing up I had a few pets. I really just wanted a dog but my parents weren’t convinced so they got me turtle named Nikki that only ate ground beef, then a guinea pig named Ginger who died while we were on vacation, and then they finally caved and got me a dog. She was a chocolate standard poodle and she loved to hug but definitely thought she was above me in the pack. I had a gerbil I got from school named cinnamon, and of course goldfish every now and then. I had sea monkies three times but every time they got spilled.

AF: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician? Was there a particular moment, icon, or song that you can recall?

SUO: I was always singing and sitting at the piano and messing around. There’s a video of me when I was four and I got a microphone toy for my birthday. I was going to a pre-school where we put on plays and so I sang the whole medley front to back and got mad when my dad interrupted me. I loved performing. I remember sitting at the piano and making up songs with melodies. Melody was always something that stuck out to me. I would sing all the songs from Disney movies, especially The Lion King, and have contests with friends of who could sound the most like Simba. I was also obsessed with Raffi. I would know the track order when listening to his tapes before the next song started.

Saara during a SUO performance (Photo Credit: Remy Holwick).

AF: What was the first instrument you learned to play?

SUO: I think it was piano. I took lessons in Kindergarten because my parents thought I was interested since I always sat down to play. I was interested, just not in learning scales and chords. I wanted to make up my own stuff. I played cello from 3rd-5th grade, trumpet from 4th-12th and sang in chorus. One summer I brought home a clarinet and taught myself how to play from a book. I was in plays at summer camp a lot too.

AF: What was your first favorite song?

SUO: When I first started talking I used to go around saying “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” So probably that. I still love reggae.

AF: Tell us about SUO. How did the band form and what is your writing process like?

SUO: SUO is my solo project I created with a handful of songs – some that were meant for BOYTOY but didn’t make the cut, some older personal songs, and some new ones. I recorded with Kyle Mullarky who made the last BOYTOY record Night Leaf with us. We brought Nick Murray into the Topanga studio to track drums and then Kyle and I formed the songs from the scratch tracks to what they are on the record. I knew I wanted a full band to cover all the parts from the album and have lots of harmonies, so I sent out some feelers to some other NY musicians and curated a supergroup. Everyone in the live band now currently fronts or has fronted other bands or has multiple projects.

AF: What about BOYTOY?

SUO: BOYTOY started when Me and Glenn’s previous projects ended and I moved back to NY. The writing process was a collaboration. Sometimes songs would come from jams we made together or something was part of a song that one person would bring to the group or a whole skeleton that the other members would then add their parts to.

BOYTOY Reunion Show at Market Hotel 11/21/19 (Photo Credit: Natalie Kirch).

AF: Have you ever written a song about a (non-human) animal?

SUO: One of my first songs I can remember writing was about animals. I was with my parents and my dad’s mom in LA and we took a trip to Joshua Tree. My grandma and I wrote a song a capella in the backseat that went:
“Cats and dogs run free in Joshua Tree
Cats and dogs run free in Joshua Tree
They eat lots of plants
They eat lots of bugs
They eat whatever they find
Cats and dogs run free
clap clap clap
In Joshua True “

I still remember the melody.

AF: Favorite song about (non-human) animal(s)?

SUO: “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by Iggy Pop. I was actually just thinking about this song as I was snuggling Pachi the other night. I read in an interview with Iggy that this song is about seeing women with their dogs, how they love them and cuddle and kiss them, how the dogs have the most intimate relationship with their owners, and how he wants to be treated like that by a woman. It’s hard to not kiss Pachi tbh.

Saara Getting Some Smooches from Pachi.

AF: What is your favorite country to tour in?

SUO: Australia was really amazing. It’s so beautiful and the crowds are so nice and rowdy! We got to surf. Spain and France are also really fun. The food is incredible and the crowds are the best.

Flyer for BOYTOY Australian Tour (Photo Credit: David Evanko).

AF: Favorite US city or state to tour in?

SUO: Miami and Chicago have really fun crowds and people really come out. LA is fun cause I get to see so many friends and play with bands I love. These are my favorite for partying. Then there’s the little random small towns that have the best hospitality and nicest crowds because everyone is just so excited that something is happening that isn’t a cover band.

AF: What do you miss the most about your pup when you’re on the road?

SUO: I miss sleeping with him and just having him around. He’s comforting. And he’s a good excuse to take a walk, although you do that on tour anyway to kill time.

Sweet Pachi.

AF: What non-human animal do you think reflects your personality the most?

SUO: I think I’m probably some kind of large cat.

AF: What is your favorite mythological creature?

SUO: God.

AF: You are also a visual artist. What is your favorite medium?

SUO: I realized I don’t really have definite favorites with anything. What I’m into always changes. But it’s mostly painting/drawing, building and photos.

AF: Have you ever created any visual art inspired by (non-human) animals?

SUO: I made this painting awhile ago and kept trying to paint a fox. It wasn’t working out right so I painted a snake instead. The painting ended up being unintentionally really political and prophetic (this was before Trump’s election). I believe there is a divine touch in creating art beyond human reasoning. I also painted a cartoon cat for my sister-in-law which now resides in my niece’s bedroom.

AF: If your pup could have a human career, what field do you think he would be in?

SUO: He’s very passionate and strong and fun and also a bit anxious. He loves being near people and always wants to make sure everyone is safe. Maybe a volunteer fire fighter or something.

AF: If he were in a band, what instrument would he play and what genre of music would he write?

SUO: He’d probably be the singer and write songs like Ricky Martin.

Pachi Living La Vida Loca.

AF: If he were a visual artist, do you think he would be more of an illustrator, painter, or sculptor?

SUO: Maybe an illustrator. He’s very clean and thoughtful.

AF: How did you transition into the booking field?

SUO: It kind of fell into my lap. A mutual friend of the owners of The Broadway told me his friends were opening a spot and if I knew any talent buyers. I was in LA at the time and didn’t have a job lined up for when I got back. I figured with my ten years of touring, booking my own gigs, all the bands I knew, and the knowledge of what makes good clubs good, that I could do the job well.

AF: Any big plans for the new decade?

SUO: I’m going on tour in Europe with SUO in February and will probably spend a couple weeks in LA in January and play a show out there. It’s about to be the roaring ‘20s!

Photo Credit: Babak.

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RSVP HERE: The So So Glos Play Farewell Show at Brooklyn Bazaar + MORE

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands.

The So So Glos are the quintessential New York City punk rock band. Formed in 2007 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn by brothers Alex and Ryan Levine with drummer Zach Staggers (who they met in pre-school), The So So Glos have shaped the DIY music scene first hand over the past decade. They co-founded and resided in the venues Market Hotel and Shea Stadium, have released three full length records, gone on countless DIY tours and toured in support of Titus Andronicus,  Diarrhea Planet, Desaparecidos, and more. In anticipation of The So So Glos playing one of the final shows at Brooklyn Bazaar Friday 11/29, we talked with Alex and Zach about how the DIY scene has developed over the past decade, their favorite records to listen to on the road, and where to get the best slice in and outside of NYC…

AF: How is the state of the DIY scene different now than when you first started So So Glos in 2007? How do you think things will progress going into the next decade?

Alexander Orange Drink: It’s been quite a trip to see the DIY scene transform over the past decade. When we started out, it seemed like there were very few DIY spaces where rock ‘n’ roll was welcome. It was way more of a noise rock, (dare I say pretentious) – artsy scene. Despite so many venues closing and an ever changing NYC, I think some aspects of the underground have become way more inclusive for all types of people and artists. If we were in any way a part of helping that move forward I feel grateful.

AF: You’ve toured extensively over the years, what was your favorite band to tour with? Favorite city/non-NYC DIY show space? What’s your favorite tour story?

AOD: There’s been so many friends and extended family who we’ve toured with. It’s impossible to pick a favorite! So many hospitable venues and staff that have welcomed us. The Bottle Tree in Birmingham, AL was always a great place to roll through. They’ve got really cool trailers backstage. One time we got assaulted by the Britney Spears entourage, another time we got strip searched at the border and once my medicine was confiscated in Germany.

AF: What are your favorite records to listen to on the road?

AOD: Modern Lovers, She’s So Unusual, 2Pacalypse Now, The Specials (first album), The Idle Wheel, Songs of Leonard Cohen, too many more…

AF: Where’s the best place to get a slice of pizza in NYC? Where’s the best place to get a slice of pizza outside of NYC?

Zach Staggers: This is a much debated topic for any New Yorker and there are many exemplary spots to get a slice. That said, any pizza experience has as much to do with the environmental factors surrounding the slice. For instance, if you stop at New Park for a slice after a idyllic day in Rockaway, then, at that very moment that is the best slice in the world. Or, say if you are in the godforsaken hell zone of the low to mid 30’s on the west side of Manhattan — Pizza Suprema becomes your messiah. Perhaps, it’s just a beautiful day in the neighborhood, where Rosa’s of Ridgewood provides my staple, comfort pizza. But all this said for the record I like to rep the Margherita slice with the infamous sesame seed crust at Ciccio’s on Avenue U. It’s a little known pizzeria and doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Outside of New York? While there are good slices in Philly and some other select cities I will plead the 5th.

AF: What are your plans for 2020?

AOD: New music coming. Also… pizza!

RSVP HERE for The So So Glos, Wild Yaks, Cumgirl8, Knucklehead & SUO (DJ set) @ Brooklyn Bazaar. All Ages / $13.50

More great shows this week:

11/29 Darkwing, Sleep Leans, Shadow Monster @ Our Wicked Lady. 21+ / $10 RSVP HERE

11/29 Beach Rats, Speedy Ortiz, Restorations, American Trappist, Well WisherHouse of Independents (4-year anniversary). All Ages / $4-$10 RSVP HERE

11/30 Hank Wood and The Hammerheads, Warthog, Subversive Rite, Dollhouse @ Brooklyn Bazaar (last show!). All Ages / $15 RSVP HERE

12/3 New Myths, Katya Lee + Special Guests @ Berlin. 21+ / $12 RSVP HERE

12/3 + 12/4 The Rapture @ Music Hall of Williamsburg. 18 + / $30 RSVP HERE

12/3 Sloppy Jane, Sweet Baby Jesus, Water From Your Eyes @ The Dance. 18+ / $10 RSVP HERE

12/5 Tallies, Honey Cutt @ Alphaville. / 21+ $10 RSVP HERE

12/5 Grim Streaker, A Deer A Horse, Luggage, Shop Talk @ Trans-Pecos. $10 / All Ages RSVP HERE