Articles by

<Mike Conklin and Lauren Beck>

10/08/10 4:32pm


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

Today, repping for Williamsburg, is smoky voiced singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, whose new album Epic is as commanding as it is utterly heartbreaking, much in the same way as Chan Marshall‘s early work. Tonight, she’ll be celebrating its release with a show at The Rock Shop and on Saturday joining pal Kyp Malone at Mercury Lounge. You would be wise to check her out.


Best place to people watch?
McCarren Park, summertime

Best place to drink?
The Commodore

Best restaurant?

Best bookstore or record store?
Spoonbill, Soundfix

Best grocery store/farmers’ market?

Best laundromat?
Metro Community Laundormat

Best outdoor spot?

Best place to attend a show/view a piece of art/see a movie?

Best coffee shop?

Best subway line?

Best date spot?

Best person whose name you don’t know?
The guy in the red Subaru that blasts oldies music and sings along

According to neighborhood folklore, are there any celebrities living in the area?
Everywhere. All the time.

Which are there more of: dogs, bodega cats, strollers, American Apparel ads, or old men on stoops?
dog walkers

What’s missing from your neighborhood?
indie theatre

What’s been the biggest change since you’ve moved in?

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?
waterfront park

09/01/10 4:01am



Hurley and Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition
“I hope people don’t look at it as too jokey,” Weezer guitarist Brian Bell said in a recent interview, referencing the album artwork for Hurley. You mean the cover plastered with a picture of Hurley from Lost isn’t a joke? We’re screwed. Bell characterized the band’s eighth studio album as a “youthful kind of sound;” the pummeling arena rock of lead single “Memories” fits the bill, with Rivers plowing through lines like, “Playing hacky sack back when Audioslave was still Rage�€� I want to be back there again.” So do we�€� So do we�€� Fittingly, a repackaged, expanded edition of their 1996 cult classic Pinkerton is also set for release later this fall, inciting rumors of a Blue Album/Pinkerton tour, where both albums would be played in their entirety and we would find ourselves not nearly as screwed as we originally thought. (Hurley: 9/14 via Epitaph; Pinkerton: 10/5 via Geffen/Ume)

Blonde Redhead

Penny Sparkle
They’ve been pairing avant-rock with ethereal vocals for forever, each album steadily moving towards the culminating lushness of 2007’s 23. So what comes next? How about overdriven guitars, bass-driven beats and canned drumming glazed over by Kazu Makino’s icy vocals. Imagine the Dirty Projectors, Beach House and Sleigh Bells being remixed by a very sad Panda Bear. From the tracks we’ve heard, that’s how Penny Sparkle sounds. (9/14 via 4AD)

Eternal Summers
This Virginia-based, boy-girl duo has been kicking around the local live circuit since CMJ last year, becoming friendly with many of the Brooklyn bands with whom they share a sound. They do the highly melodic jangly guitar lo-fi thing, but as Silver’s first single “Pogo” can attest, they do it with a sense of care often missing from their cohorts’ material. There’s no way you write a song that catchy if you don’t care about songcraft. (9/28 via Kanine)

No Age
Everything in Between
“Glitter,” the first single off Everything in Between is really, really good. It sees the spastic art-punk of the duo’s previous work evolved into bittersweet pop—still distorted, still weird, still infectious. According to Sub Pop, “There’s a genuine and apparent baring of the soul [on the album],” and if “Glitter” is any indication, that might not be an empty PR promise. (9/28 via Sub Pop)

Ghost Fits
Sisters could be considered No Age’s East Coast protégés, sticking primarily to a drum-guitar format, a decidedly DIY aesthetic (their drummer works at Death by Audio), wild-eyed energy, and a knack for breaking up fits of cacophony with simple, childlike melodies that save the day. Unlike No Age, however, there’s less reliance on samples and an emphasis on earnest speak-sung vocals, making for a debut that should be as endearing as it is fast and loud. Brooklyn represent. (9/28 via Narnack)

Halcyon Digest
The announcement of Halcyon Digest came via an interactive xerox art project inspired by the photocopied show flyers frontman Bradford Cox saw plastered on the walls of record stores while growing up in Athens—what he called an “art-punk scrapbook.” The album itself should follow suit, blurring cut-and-pasted bits of psychedlia, post-rock and noise-pop into hook-filled collages like only Deerhunter can. (9/28 via 4AD)

Panda Bear
Since 2007’s Person Pitch, the indie-rock world has been holding its breath for the next solo project from Animal Collective’s golden boy of blissed-out psych-pop. Reviews of recent festival appearances have been mixed, and there’s been an awful lot of hearsay surrounding Panda Bear’s new material�€� This is what we know for sure: the first in a series of singles leading up to the album sees him incorporating a downcast, repetitive beat; it’s a self-described “darker” and less sample-based record; it’s still the work of someone responsible for some of the most heralded, emotive indie-rock in recent memory, so relax. It should be good. (September, exact date TBA, via Paw Tracks)