The issue you’re holding in your hands, or reading online (what up internet!), is obviously a celebration of the always vibrant music scene we’re lucky to have here in our city and, specifically, in Brooklyn. There is so much that is beautiful and inspiring about what happens here every day, and we’re forever grateful for it. But we’re starting to think it’s not all flowers and sunshine around here, that in a lot of very dangerous ways, we are being led, and are leading ourselves, astray. So with that, we turned to some local notables for their input. And lest you think we’re just making everyone else do our dirty work, fine, we’ll go first: So many of the young bands here seem to feel it’s their god-given right to never have anyone criticize their music, that they should be praised unconditionally for summoning the guts to have left whatever shitty town they came from in the first place to make music here at all. See? So much fun! And maybe even productive!
Jason Diamond, Editor, Vol. 1 Brooklyn
It’s something of a crime that Oneida is still around and they aren’t looked at as the best and most important band to come out of this whole Brooklyn renaissance of the last decade. I have no affiliation with the band, but I’ve watched for years as their contemporaries become famous, or far lesser bands jock their sound. That’s a shame.
Brandon Stosuy, Stereogum/The Believer
There’s something inauthentic, opportunistic, and cheesy about what’s going on in certain realms of Brooklyn right now, folks requesting “VIP” at every corner, toasting the newest flavors of the month with free, sponsored alcohol. A friend of mine who’d moved to Japan for a decade returned to the area recently, went to a couple shows, asked me why there were so many “corny” people in attendance. He was honestly shocked, which I found funny. I blamed the Internet, though who knows. I love a lot about my neighborhood, but too often it’s like 30-something’s become the new Freshman Year in college.
I can immediately sound off on certain local venues that have recently expanded and now impose a minimum number of people (let’s say 30!) that bands “have to!” draw, complete with a contract/disclaimer. A once cool art/music space has become the new Arlene’s, and we feel the DIY community aspect of booking shows has become heavily focused on money. I blame the two Duane Reades and a CVS opening up in a one mile circumference.
Kevin Diamond, Shark?
Brooklyn is a big pond, so being a medium-sized fish can be tough here. There’s always something cooler going on than whatever you are doing. So while it’s amazing to live in a busy, bustling pond of coolness, it can get overwhelming, and it can drown out smaller shows and events—it doesn’t matter how good the line up of your show is if Lightning Bolt is playing a garage down the street. That being said, if Lightening Bolt IS actually playing in a garage down the street, then you should go to that.
Jack “Skippy” McFadden, Tiger Mountain Presents
I think what’s the most frustrating with regards to career longevity is the fact that a band can have literally NOTHING recorded and just because they play a party in Williamsburg that is well attended, some agent picks them up. It’s a false weather balloon. Follow a new band like this when they go to Chicago or Philadelphia or even South Brooklyn and you’ll see that they don’t fare as well. And by the first EP, they are ‘over’.