BAM presents Unbound with Kim Gordon

Photo by Rebecca Greenfield

Photo by Rebecca Greenfield


“To see a seamless performance is kind of boring. I like to see things kind of fall apart.”

These are the words of Kim Gordon, after watching clip after clip of live performances gone wrong. As part of the “Unbound” series, last week BAM and Greenlight Books hosted Kim Gordon to talk about her new memoir, Girl in a Band with longtime friend Margaret Bodde, although not much was actually uttered about the book the whole night. At the start, Bodde and Gordon reminisced a few minutes about the early 80s and (possibly) meeting each other for the first time at CBGBs. Bodde showered Gordon with accolades for her various works, then dived in to questions, starting with one about Gordon’s relationship to an audience. Gordon talked about how music is different than other mediums of art and admitted feeling self-conscious at times.

Gordon recollected her first big tour with Sonic Youth opening for Neil Young and some of the negative feedback and hostility from Young’s fans when they went on stage. They didn’t play for cheers though, and respected their own fanbase even more for attending those shows. Later in the discussion, Gordon said,“We assumed that no one would like it. We felt like we had more control if we weren’t waiting for applause.”

The night focused on moments when the invisible wall between performer and audience is broken – when there is no more separation, when chaos ensues and how the artists react. We watched series of clips that showed unexpected and mostly destructive audience/performer interactions from concerts from the 60s to the 90s, with bands ranging from Joni Mitchell to Nirvana. Most of the scenes showcased the late sixties, when peace and love were on their way out and a price tag was put on concerts that used to be free. The clips showed drug and alcohol fueled altercations of angry hippies rebelling against the growing commercialism of rock and roll and clashing cultures.

The clips illustrated how current culture permeates art, showing that anxiety or tension in society is palpable in live performances. Nothing exists in a bubble, but it is better that way. In Girl in a Band, Gordon dishes on the moments and background that affected her own work, sharing intimate details of her life, career and relationships during her time in New York in the 80s and 90s. She calls writing the book “challenging,” but also the “most conventional thing” she’s ever done.

“Bushwick Girl” – let the snark begin


Last year, we had Catey Shaw’s “Brooklyn Girls.” It’s 2015 so of course someone felt compelled to record a follow-up. That someone is CHUCK.

Sample lyric:

On a Saturday
I went out looking for a sweetheart
Down at the Union Pool
Where I met a girl who drew some street art
She had Timberlands
And a neon orange beanie
She wore pajama pants
That had a stain from a cheese panini.
She drank lemonade
And her hair smelled like flowers
she only bought things fair trade….
She’s my Bushwick girl

Hold your breath for a few more weeks… we’re sure “Ridgewood Girls” is coming soon. Listen to “Bushwick Girls” below: [Read more...]

Seasonal comforts arrive at Williamsburg’s The Sandwich Shop



At Williamsburg’s The Sandwich Shop seasonal specials, including salads and sandwiches with locally-sourced ingredients are always on the menu.

This Winter they’re featuring a hefty South American sandwich called “The Venezuelan” — an expertly executed dish made of Braised Beef, Black Beans, Sweet Plantains, Avocado, Queso Fresco and Crema on Artisanal Soft Bread. In other words, Latin comfort food at its best for just $11.75. It’s a great addition to an already impressive menu.

Stop by or call for delivery.

The Sandwich Shop
658 A Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(between Manhattan Ave and Leonard street)
The Sandwich Shop on Seamless, Grubhub, & Eat24

Top 5 shows of the weekend


This wretched month will finally come to an end by the time the weekend is out, but February does leave us a nice parting gift in the form of some fantastic shows that should get you out of whatever hopefully warm abode you call home.

[Read more...]

Over the Counter: This Week in New and Interesting Music

pile“Over the Counter” is a column by our music editor focusing on new and interesting music that isn’t featured so prominently. In this edition: new releases from Pile, Container and ADVAETA, plus Ukiah Drag, Uniform and more. [Read more...]

Video: Helmet played Saint Vitus

Long running NYC noise makers Helmet brought their 20th anniversary tour for 1994′s album Betty to Saint Vitus in Greenpoint last Sunday. The record was played in full, with an additional second set of career highlights. You can watch part of the two hour long set below.

[Read more...]

Man smashes Kent Ave. storefront windows because of ‘zombie apocalypse’

240kentThere are a lot of reasons people get angry in Williamsburg these days. The opening of chains like Starbucks, the soaring rent prices, and the closing of all of our favorite restaurants and music venues are usually the main sources of local ire. However, this time a ‘zombie apocalypse’ is the culprit. A Brooklyn [Read more...]

Pete Wells gives Williamsburg’s Semilla a rave


Semilla, credit NY Times

In this week’s review of the “vegetable forward” cooking at Semilla, Wells was pretty glowing, though he conceded that the newish Williamsburg establishment could be a tad niche:

“The crowd reminded me of the audiences, small but intense, who showed up to hear underground bands in the ’80s and ’90s, when that was one of the few ways to hear music that didn’t get played on the radio.”

Here are some other highlights:

Semilla had taken two cabbage leaves, then flattened and dried them until they were as crisp as a cracker. This was the bread. In between were a bundle of unusually delicious coleslaw and some grains of buckwheat groats….The flavors woke up old memories of the Polish and Ukrainian restaurants that are mostly gone from the East Village… [Read more...]