Best of Brooklyn (and Manhattan too)

by |
08/04/2010 1:00 AM |

Over at, you can hear songs by Blur, Panda Bear, MINKS, Best Coast, The Cure, Robyn, Blank Dogs and Huey Lewis & the News all in one sitting (we just did). Since its launch in April, a small team of volunteers has scraped away the Arcade Fires and Spoons from the catalog and dug deeper, mixing in live studio sessions, broadcasts from local shows, interviews with bands, real live DJs, and, in conjunction with the Newtown Creek Alliance, efforts to clean up its grossly polluted namesake. Read an interview with co-founder Mark Brinda here.

Best Reason 
to Hate Developers
The closing of BKLYN Yard

Over the course of three summers, the folks at MeanRed Productions had built a mini paradise on the banks of the less-than-exotic Gowanus Canal. On the cusp of another season jam-packed with concerts, BBQs, pig roasts and DJ parties at the empty lot known as BKLYN Yard, they were notified by their landlord that their lease would no longer be honored, forcing an abrupt end. Uh, Senator Schumer?

Best Volunteer Organization Where We Imagine the Words “Community” and “Transformative Power of Rock Shows” get Tossed Around a Lot
The Market Hotel Project

After a police raid forced the Market Hotel to shut its doors this spring, the future of the all-ages underground venue looked bleak. But leave it to Todd P to build a non-profit initiative to re-open the space, making it bigger, better, and a bedrock for the Brooklyn DIY community. And legal too.

Most Important Local Recording Studio
Rare Book Room

Through a stream of traffic that’s included top-notch indie acts like the Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter, Ted Leo and Animal Collective, plus local favorites like Talk Normal, Small Black and Grooms, Rare Book Room has become the default studio for New York bands over the past few years. General rule of thumb If you’re a band in Brooklyn and you’re any good, you record under the watchful eye of Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book. If you record out of town, then you come home and finish it up at Rare Book.

Best Way to Build Hype 
for a Show
Selling tickets 
a year in advance

Remember when Pavement tickets went on sale last September—as in September 2009? Eleven months down, one more to go.

Best Upstart Record Label That Not Enough People Are Talking About

The current glut of music coming out of Brooklyn has also made it a hotbed for labor-of-love record labels There’s Twin Sister’s Infinite Best, Matador imprint True Panther, and Grizzly Bear-endorsed Terrible Records, to name a few, but the silent warrior award goes to twosyllable. Without much fanfare, Zach Pollakoff and Brian Kerr have put out a string of underrated albums by the likes of Björk-bowing Bell, Grizzly Bear contemporaries Inlets, and one of the better beach bands out there today, Holiday Shores.

Best Venue That Stopped Hosting Bands Without Anyone Ever Seeming 
to Notice

Modeled after 20th-century European spiegeltents (“tent of mirrors”), this traveling pop-up performance space had set up a NYC residency at the South Street Seaport for a number of summers. Its old-world carny vibe mixed with haunted house-like surrealism made for a unique, intimate setting for bands like the Dodos, Madeleine Peyroux, the Felice Brothers and O’Death. Chalk it up to the recession or competition from so many other summer concert series, but Spiegeltent hasn’t hosted bands in New York since 2008. This sucks.

Best Excuse to Buy Lots of Silk-Screened Band of Horses T-Shirts
Insound Warehouse Sales

When Greenpoint-based music retailer Insound opens its office doors every few months for patrons to rummage through merchandise that’s normally only available online, we’re like kids in a candy store. No shipping & handling fees! Sales! Silk-screened posters! Band t-shirts! Vinyl! Immediate gratification! We’re all about brick-and-mortar music stores, but we’re also all about free beer, and Insound warehouse sales have that too.

3 Comment

  • The current glut of music coming out of Brooklyn has also made it a hotbed for labor-of-love record
    Top 10 music

  • You honor Atlas Shrugs, the so-called reform Brooklyn GOP website?

    Are you insane?

    This Hitler Youth blog recently praised the assassination of Abraham Lincoln as “the act of a patriotic band of real Americans.”

    This website also said that “the defeat of the Confederate states marked the death knell of the last best hope for mankind.”

    I’m not sure who is worse: Jonathan Judge and his goose-stepping young Republicans, or you.

  • I’d say all three, and let’s not forget Jonathan’s blog attacking seniors, the military, and women of all ages.

    How pathetic.