Our can’t miss artists at CMJ 2014

cmjIt doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to the dance – CMJ Music Marathon is always a wild week of musical excess. This year’s fest (the 34th installment!) which begins next Tuesday, October 21, will be no different, with over 1,300 artists playing sets in 80 of the city’s venues. I know what you’re thinking… where the hell do I begin? I dunno man, but we’re here to give it a shot. Without shilling our own showcases (too much), here’s our can’t miss artists at this year’s non-hyperbolic music marathon: [Read more...]

Top five shows of the weekend

skeletonwitch5) Frankie Cosmos, Porches, Regal Degal, Rivergazer at Baby’s All Right’s 1st birthday party (dawwwwwww)

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been a full year since South Williamsburg’s finest (well after Death By Audio and Glasslands, of course) venue opened it’s pristine, lacquered doors. Like most “babies,” I suspect the folks who run Baby’s All Right won’t remember much of their first birthday as they celebrate one of the best debut years a music venue has seen in some time. They’re still figuring some things out and finding their niche like any baby, but the indie pop heavy lineup they’ve curated for Friday seems to fit in nicely with the programming we’ve seen from them as the year has gone on. Looks like this lil’ guy is going to be an indie rocker! Friday night gets the nod over Saturday’s Frankie/Porches show because Regal Degal rules. Looking forward to next year’s TODDLER’S ALL RIGHT celebration. Ok. I’m done.

Friday, doors 8 PM [Read more...]

Slick Willie – now open in Greenpoint

slick-willie

Slick Willie
179 Meserole Ave in Greenpoint
718-389-0090

A new restaurant has finally opened on a quiet block in Greenpoint called Slick Willie. Named for a Greenpoint-born bank robber, Willie Sutton, the cafe boasts menu categories like Solitary Confinement, Hiding Out For a While and On the Run. We can’t wait to try the Contraband burger. For now, they’re only open for lunch and dinner, but as a chalkboard above the bar boasts: “Dinner and bar when prohibition is over: Full liquor, beer coming soon…” [Read more...]

OFFICIAL CMJ SHOWCASE OCT 25th: car2go, doNYC, FreeWilliamsburg and Cameo present… Porcelain Raft, Dave Harrington Group, more

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It’s that time again, October is halfway through and CMJ 2014 starts next week. In honor of this week of new music, we’ve joined on as a media sponsor with the good people at car 2 go and doNYC who are bringing a whole host of awesome bands to Cameo FREE of charge with RSVP.  Mauro Remiddi of the fantastic Porcelain Raft will headline the night with his brand of gauzy pop music, and DARKSIDE’s Dave Harrington will play some of his new solo material with a full backing band too. The whole night starts at 7PM and you can also catch Excepter, Buscabulla, and Lydia Ainsworth who round out the support acts.

 

North Brooklyn gets lots of love in Village Voice’s Best of 2014

Taqueria Izucar, credit Serious Eats

Village Voice’s best of New York issue is out and not surprisingly North Brooklyn has lots of bar and restaurant mentions — and oversights. (No love for Roberta’s?) Some of its choices we find a bit odd, but hey, we’re happy to see Peter Pan, St. Anselm and Taqueria Izucar get some love. Here’s their ‘bests’ from Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg:

BUSHWICK

Best Ethiopian Restaurant
Bunna Café

While Bunna Café might seem like a Brooklyn cliché (it serves vegan Ethiopian food next to a vacant lot in Bushwick, after all), Ethiopian cuisine has long held vegetarian and vegan dishes in its repertoire thanks to extended fasting periods imposed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Chef Kedija Srage cooks up a colorful array of meatless wots and tibs served alone or as part of combination platters arranged on top of injera. (Bunna’s take on the porous sourdough flatbread is fluffier and less sour than its peers’.) Ethiopian beers and honey wine are available, and cocktails — like the Pushkin, a White Russian made with Ethiopian coffee and toasted sunflower milk — are particularly inspired. The righteous brewed beans are roasted throughout the day and served espresso-style. Srage and café owners Sam Saverance and Liyuw Ayalew have also carved out time four nights a week to perform a traditional coffee ceremony, where an audience observes the roasting process and drinks the results.

Best Cuban Sandwich
Cafetería La Mejor

Find the intersection of Suydam and Wilson in Bushwick, and we guarantee you won’t miss Cafetería La Mejor — its façade is hued turquoise and magenta, so fluorescent we suspect you can see it from space. The place turns out a limited menu of Cuban coffees, a handful of sandwiches, and pastries; grab a counter seat or sashay up to the window and order the sandwich cubano. You’ll get a knock-out classic rendition: roasted pork, ham, swiss, and pickles stacked in generous — but not off-balance — quantities on that white Cuban bread slicked with grainy mustard. The whole thing goes into a press until the cheese is melted and the exterior toasted. We’ll admit we raised an eyebrow when we read the menu description declaring that our sandwich would arrive “eggshell crisp,” but that descriptor proved exactly right, providing an immensely satisfying crackly foil to the hearty filling within.

Best Vegetarian Deli
Hana Natural

Hana Natural is actually a grocery store, and its main purpose is to provide Bushwick with organic and natural products. But it also houses a deli, offering its customers a huge selection of sandwiches, including a list of vegetarian options so numerous, it puts other vegetarian restaurants to shame. Many of these are creative re-creations of popular carnivorous sammies, the meat swapped out for fake meat and then laden with fresh vegetables, cheese, and various condiments. In particular, the deli makes a mean veggie BLT, exchanging bacon for veggie bacon, which is made of soy. Or try the tofu Reuben, which uses grilled tofu in lieu of corned beef. [Read more...]

Thief robs Williamsburg apartment of its valuables and its dignity

hopeA woman returned to her apartment on Hope and Havermeyer last weekend to discover almost $3,00 worth of goods missing including her HP laptop and a pair of Tommy Hilfiger glasses. The thief, perhaps displeased that he robbed an apartment in Williamsburg and didn’t even get a Macbook or a pair of Ray-Bans decided to pay her back with #2 worth of goods in her bathroom. From [Read more...]

Devo and Jane’s Addiction played CBGB Fest – full set videos

Devo

Jane’s Addiction headlined the CBGB festival this weekend in Times Square, which also included the legitimately legendary, Devo. I squeezed in to a packed crowd for Devo’s 4:30pm set before heading off to see Jeff the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet at Death By Audio. We have full video sets from both bands below, courtesy of (((unartig))).

[Read more...]

Show Review: Perfume Genius at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Photo by @robotsvsghosts on Instagram

Photo by @robotsvsghosts on Instagram

Wearing a black jumpsuit and red nails, Perfume Genius put a spell on the wall to wall crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

The set was filled with melodic and poetic songs as usual, interspersed with a few bolder, up tempo tunes. Mike Hadreas’ music is clear and uncrowded, letting his vocal talent take the spotlight. He moved through the songs quickly, without much chit chat in between. Hadreas assured us it wasn’t because he didn’t like to; just that he didn’t feel like it. I think the crowd agreed. His songs tell enough of a biography that extra words between selections felt unnecessary.

Perfume Genius’ latest album, Too Bright, debuted at the end of September, breaking the mold for Hadreas with more power and brazen songs than his previous work. He started the set off on Tuesday with “My Body” and weaved through old favorites and new, each welcomed with claps and cheers. Hadreas shifted between sitting behind the keyboard and dancing, closing out the set with “Queen,” then coming back to the stage with a few more and ending the night with the unreleased “Katie.”

All in all the performance was one of those much needed “melt into the stage and forget everything else in the world” kind of shows to break up the drain of the week. I was absolutely captivated. While he held the mic or sat behind the keyboard, the audience hushed to almost complete silence. Only murmurs from the back bar jostled the mood. It felt like Hadreas put his entire being into the performance – filling the room like a complete pro.