The People in Your Neighborhood: Dean Bein, Founder of True Panther Sounds

10/28/2010 1:49 PM |


Check it out, we’re back with The People in Your Neighborhood, our recurring feature where we talk to notable local figures about their favorite people and places in the neighborhood they call home, the idea being that it might also be the neighborhood you call home, and you might realize that you’ve both been using the same laundromat this whole time. Neat!

Today we hear from Dean Bein in Fort Greene, which, let’s be honest, isn’t a ‘hood often associated with the Brooklyn music scene. After cultivating a roster with Girls, Glasser, Tanlines and other objects of bloggers’ affections for his record label — now Matador imprintTrue Panther Sounds, he’s doing his part to change that though. Find out where he’ll go to listen to that new Girls EP come November 22 (there’s a new Girls EP out November 22), just after happy-clappy True Panther signees Magic Kids play Silent Barn and Mercury Lounge.

Fort Greene

Best place to people watch?
Fort Greene Flea when it’s sunny outside

Best place to drink?
Brooklyn Public House… or my roof. Both have cheap beers but Brooklyn Public house has hot dogs wrapped in bacon.

Best restaurant?
Roman’s is amazing, but I can’t usually afford to eat there. This amazing soul food place just opened up on DeKalb called Fosters. It’s run by the daughter of the woman who used to run it when it was called something different. They’re just getting started but the food is legit and the portions are huge. Also, the cake is incredible.

Best bookstore or record store?
The best record store is actually in Clinton Hill, called Dope Jams. Amazing sound system in there, great curated selection of new electronic/dance 12″s and some classic used house stuff. Really, really special and have found some real gems there.

Best grocery store/farmers’ market?
Apparently it’s the Park Slope Food Co-op, but I unfortunately don’t have time to volunteer. Apparently there is a Fort Greene co-op on the near horizon, and I am STOKED. So let’s just pretend it’s the future and say the Fort Greene Food Co-op.

Best laundromat?
I got lucky enough to have a washing machine in my apartment. I had to offer the landlord my first born child for it, but it’s a real treat.

Best outdoor spot?
My roof is where I go up to listen to new music. Bring a speaker up there, listen, and watch the sun set over the NYC skyline or people playing in Fort Greene Park.

Best place to attend a show/view a piece of art/see a movie?
BAM for a movie. Anytime there’s a movie there it’s a treat. Saw Dam Funk play in Fort Greene Park, and it was amazing because so many progressive parents were trying to figure out whether to do ear muffs on their kids while Dam punctuated his positive/stay in school/live your life message with about a million F-bombs.

Best coffee shop?
There are literally six coffee shops on my block, but I like Bittersweet because the coffee is good, the staff is nice, and they play the best music.

Best subway line?
The best subway line is a BUS LINE. The B62 is a magical bus that runs down Park, all the way up Bedford Ave, Greenpoint and into Long Island City for a nice day at PS1. It takes, like, 20 minutes to get to Academy Records on N 6th. I know people are dubious about taking buses, but it’s always on time and seriously so undeniably fast.

Best date spot?
Ride bikes down to Red Hook, come back and drink coffee in Fort Greene Park. Maybe pick up some stuff at the Fort Greene Flea and get a bite. Watch a movie or performance at BAM. Seems like a pretty good day.

Best person whose name you don’t know?
I used to admire these little kids that play basketball at the courts at Dekalb and Carlton, but my friends and I started playing every weekend and now we know them. It’s humbling to consistently get rocked by a pack of 12-year-olds, but they’re nice kids.

According to neighborhood folklore, are there any celebrities living in the area?
Spike Lee is basically Fort Greene. I don’t know about other celebs… Callan from Lemonade just moved down here. Does that count? OOh my favorite new writer Jennifer Egan lives around here somewhere!

Which are there more of: dogs, bodega cats, strollers, American Apparel ads or old men on stoops?
If you get up early enough on a weekend, Fort Greene is basically dog-town. There’s this dog walking club that runs the streets in the morning. It’s cool.

What’s missing from your neighborhood?
A ping pong table

What has been the biggest change since you’ve moved in?
Haven’t been there that long, so it’s pretty settled.

It’s a Saturday night in October. You don’t feel like traveling very far but are antsy for a night out. Where do you go?
My friends and I had this problem a few too many times so we started throwing a monthly party at the Five Spot on Myrtle. A super diverse group of people show up and we get down to Dipset, Inoj and Aaliyah remixes ’till the sun comes up. We call the night Rumble.