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Genghis Hans is the cleverly named Brooklyn-based pop duo of guitarist/singer Hansdale Hsu and producer Stryker Matthews. Hints of tropicalia and chillwave drop in and out of their songs, all of which feature a kind of shimmery, mellow vibe that make a worthy soundtrack for life. We caught up with the band as they played at The Warehouse, on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
Melaena Cadiz is a Brooklyn-based songwriter originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, who plays a dreamy sort of Americana/folk. Collaboration and exposure for friends is a common theme for Cadiz, as her live band often includes other talented solo musicians and members of bands. Taking the cross-pollination even further, her current monthly Singles Project pairs songs with the work of her visual artist friends. For this episode of BTR Hear & There, we visited Melaena Cadiz at her home in Brooklyn for an intimate solo performance of the Singles song from March.
The Brooklyn-based indie pop group that makes you see double.
Shark? return! Remember, it’s not “Shark!” or “Shark” — the question mark is important, asking “is it a shark?” every time (yes, just like their early tune/theme song, “Shark?”). Now that we’re all caught up, let’s take a look at these Brooklyn dudes. You’ll quickly come to love Kevin Diamond’s deadpan growl and nihilistic tales, Andy Kinsey’s kick-you-in-the-teeth bass, and Andy Swerdlow’s drum machine-come-to-life beats. And newcomer Jared Hiller shreds on guitar in a beautifully dirty way. While they’ve been a favorite of the local NYC scene for the past few years thanks to a healthy appreciation for beer (and fine wine!), clever cover song choices, and a not entirely tongue-in-cheek fixation on 90s pop culture (especially Jock Jams — they must really love Jock Jams), the inclusion of their single, “California Grrls,” in GTA V is liable to spread their fame a bit further. Honestly, it’s about time. We love a good, fuzzy jam blasted out with deafening guitar noise and surf grooves, and between their EPs and now a couple of full length albums, Shark? has plenty of that to offer. Fans of Pixies, The Modern Lovers, The Replacements, The Beach Boys, and anything called punk before 1990 should stop screwing around and get into Shark? ASAP.
The final night of Hanukkah is celebrated in Brooklyn and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lights up Manhattan.
Anthonie Tonnon is a songwriter and performer based in Auckland, New Zealand, who performs both solo and with a four piece band. Formerly known as the frontman for the pop band Tono And The Finance Company, his solo work has been quickly gathering steam with a busy schedule touring and opening for internationally-renowned acts. Tonnon’s work melds the dramatic, the dreamlike, and the surreal into tuneful tales filled with everyday characters. While on a US tour, he joined BTR Hear & There on the border of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens, for a very intimate performance of his song “A Friend From Argentina.”
Calling all fashion fanatics! It’s Fanaticism Week here on the station, and I’ve got an obsession-worthy guest for you today. Erica Weiner is *the* indie design world darling for vintage jewelry, and her eponymous line is full of quirky re-interpreted deadstock from the 60’s and 70’s, as well as one-of-a-kind antique pieces. Whether you’re in the market for a Deco diamond engagement ring or some awesome wood stud earrings, Erica’s got you covered with pieces that will get you compliments left and right (trust me, I have one of her bracelets!) And hey! The holidays just happen to be coming up, so it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eagle eye out for an EWJ stocking stuffer or two… On today’s show, Erica will talk about the path that took her from Broadway costume design to Brooklyn vintage retail, some of the challenges that face today’s jewelry designers who are concerned with issues of sustainability, her fanatic passion for treasure hunting, and more. Plus, a playlist full of your next music obsessions: brand new tracks from Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Grizzly Bear, Diane Coffee, The Black Hollies, and more. So if you’re crazy about great design, tune in and join me for another Sew & Tell on BTR!
Put simply, Grooms are a noise pop band based in Brooklyn. From shifting lineups and genre experimentation to near-breakups, Travis Johnson’s signature pop songwriting has always been at the core of the group. Whatever shape they take, Grooms’ songs can be identified by their use of unique guitar tunings, dark lyrics, and impeccable use of space in the music. The band stopped by to play some songs from their latest release, and to chat with Travis about the process behind making it.
The annual punk festival that keeps us coming back year after year.
Happy November! Can you believe it’s *already* here?? In the spirit of things-that-arrive-ahead-of-their-time, I have an awesomely forward-thinking guest for you on today’s show. (Seriously, this lady will be *huge* fashion news soon, so tune in and get a stylish leg up on all your friends!) Kelsy Parkhouse launched her line Carleen right after graduating from Pratt, and with good reason: her unique sensibilities had earned her rave reviews from both Pratt profs and outside industry professionals. Armed with an ability to blend seemingly disparate styles into a cohesive aesthetic, Kelsy took the plunge and debuted Carleen with a S/S 2013 collection, based on her thesis work at Pratt. While the label is still young, Kelsy’s subsequent collections have generated even more genuine fashionista buzz, and on today’s show, you’ll hear Kelsy talk about the strong female fashion role models in her family, what it was like to launch a label right out of school, how Patti Smith inspired her S/S 2014 collection, and where she likes to shop for vintage goods in NYC. All that, plus a spooky playlist full of fun tracks from artists like Mr. Gnome, Lightning Dust, Vampire Weekend, and the latest Arcade Fire! So tune in, turn it up, and get ready to be hipper-than-thou with Sew & Tell on BTR!
Last November, we spoke to residents of the Red Hook community that had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Despite the fact that Sandy has left a mark on the Brooklyn neighborhood, the strength of the community, and its organizations, have persevered through many obstacles. Now, one year later, BTR Pulse returns to Red Hook to speak with some of the residents, business owners and community leaders affected.
The Black Label Bike Club of Brooklyn, NY hosts the 10th Annual Bike Kill in the heart of Bed-Stuy.
Puppies and pooches came out in packs to strut their stuff in this second annual costume contest!
The Brooklyn-based electro-pop group that offers a moment in time captured in a visual.
Join BTR’s Matt Latola as he makes his way through the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon, proving that you can see plenty of great artists at the annual NYC music festival even without a badge. Along the way, he checks out showcases at venues such as Silent Barn, Pianos (for Floating Fest), The Grand Victory (for BTR’s own official CMJ showcase), and the brand new Baby’s All Right (for their very first show ever, no less, put on by BrooklynVegan), featuring artists such as Eagulls, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Omar Souleyman, Heliotropes, The Meaning Of Life, and EULA, among many others.
A look back on the madness, music, and meaning behind what brings us all together for one special week.
A little recap from our BTR’s own CMJ showcase from over the weekend, just in case you missed it…
Heavy metal finds a home in Brooklyn at Saint Vitus during CMJ Week.
DJ Diaper in da house; a new method of music education for babies that greatly contributes to their development.
Aly Spaltro began her musical career in the back room of a DVD rental shop in Brunswick, Maine. Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion was where she worked the night shift and spent her nights practicing, writing songs, and sometimes sleeping in her guitar case. She cut her teeth performing — solo, then as part of a duo, then solo again — in the state’s biggest city, Portland, before moving on to conquer Boston and NYC, ultimately landing in Brooklyn as a home base for her critically-acclaimed, internationally-touring project. To celebrate the March 2013 release of her debut full-length album as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, BTRtv and HillyTown joined Spaltro for a trip home to Maine to visit the town where she got her start and to unveil the new album with the help of a live band at SPACE Gallery.
The 4th Annual Sweet Sugar Festival in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn country band that only gets better with age.
The Brooklyn-based dance punk band that invites you to join their break-up party.
The Cardboard Tube Fighting League takes to McCarren Park for some hardcore competition.
The once Long Island-based, now Brooklyn-based rapper with the old soul of a record store employee.
Radical Dads are the Gowanus, Brooklyn-based trio of Lindsay Baker, Chris Diken, and Robbie Guertin (formerly of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). In addition to pumping out great pop jams accompanied by only the most excellent artwork, the band professes their appreciation for “gummy snacks, hitting the fizz, snoozin’ on Sundays, meditation, meditating on pizza, pizza itself, sunglasses, friends, all-time peace, and the search for the attainment of the transcendence of coolness.” We can get behind that. Oh, and the music rules, too.
Afropunk Festival provides for good music and a chill time in Brooklyn style.
How a Brooklyn-bred photographer captured a critical movement in American cultural history, and how his work continues to captivate.
Katie Mullins is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter with a background as an opera singer and actress. Not your typical “girl with guitar,” she’s known for utilizing the mbira, a thumb-piano in the Zimbabwean tuning that she made herself, as well as a baritone ukulele and looping pedals to sculpt lush soundscapes to deliver her hauntingly beautiful songs. The recent addition of a keyboard to her arsenal has opened up new creative worlds for Katie, who spent a summer afternoon with BTRtv, hanging out in a rooftop pool in Gowanus, Brooklyn, using her new instrument to play the song “Boats And Buoys.”
Coney Island hosts the 23rd Annual Sand Sculpture Competition!
Tri-State businesses discuss their repairs after Sandy, and how to prepare for the ongoing hurricane season.
Radical Dads are the Gowanus, Brooklyn-based trio of Lindsay Baker, Chris Diken, and Robbie Guertin (formerly of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). In addition to pumping out great pop jams accompanied by only the most excellent artwork, the band professes their appreciation for “gummy snacks, hitting the fizz, snoozin’ on Sundays, meditation, meditating on pizza, pizza itself, sunglasses, friends, all-time peace, and the search for the attainment of the transcendence of coolness.” We can get behind that. Oh, and the music rules, too.
Kickstarter hosts its 3rd Annual Film Festival in North Brooklyn, NY.
Plume Giant is a chamber folk trio of Yale graduates who use viola, violin, guitar, and their voices — among a few other instruments to fill things out — to make a huge, beautiful sound. Beginning in their college town of New Haven, Connecticut, the group recently packed up and moved their acoustic instruments (and presumably some clothes and furniture, etc.) to Brooklyn, where they seem to be settling in just fine.
In Brooklyn Bridge Park a fence transcends its nature to divide and shows us how a community comes together.
Yoni Gordon is a soulful troubadour who cut his teeth in Boston before landing in Brooklyn. Standing tall and proud, his live show is a whirlwind of storytelling, bravado, and all-out-heart as told through a rock n’ roll spectacle. Backed by a vibrant band — horn section and all — Gordon throws every bit of himself into his music like he truly means it. Here, he brings his band by the studio to blast through a few songs, and to make band introductions with the appropriate fanfare.
MiniBoone, Cult Fever, Shark?, Clouder, Lisa/Liza, and more grace us with their presence over the weekend.
The Brooklyn by-way-of Athens, GA trio that transforms dreams into records.
WooHoo! It’s Tuesday on BTR! Enjoy this fabulous 90 minute mix!
Brooklyn trio Dead Stars make self-described nerd grunge, which turns out to be the perfect description of their sound. Jangly and fuzzy in all the right places, with hooks reminiscent of everything catchy from Weezer, Pavement, and Superchunk as well as the rumbling rock of Hum or Archers Of Loaf. The list could go on — just take a look at that book of favorite CDs from the 90s to get an idea, as our suspicion is these guys had very similar musical upbringings to most who grew up in the ‘burbs. This is straight up, no-frills, rock music — the sort that was once called “alternative” before it morphed into mainstream rock and then disappeared from the airwaves altogether. And Dead Stars ably give it new life.
Eastern Hollows is a Brooklyn quintet led by Travis DeVries, whose previous solo efforts and work with The Turn-ons received critical acclaim. Drawing on strong shoegaze and brit pop influences, the band has been blasting through the Brooklyn scene with moody, psychedelic jangly guitar pop.
The electronic-duo that’s making musical use of the daily commute.
New York City’s most populated borough also offers lots of socializing outlets for hobbyists of crafting endeavors.
Bird Courage appeared on BTR Live Studio back when they were the duo of Sam Saffery and Erik Meier and accustomed to playing primarily in subway stations around Brooklyn. Since then, they’ve been making a name for themselves above ground, building a joyful ruckus with just three musicians — thanks to the addition of percussionist, Sean McMahon — and acoustic instruments. It’s a testament to their dynamic, highly-accessible songwriting that the music works in almost any situation, and their steadily-growing fanbase seems happy to follow right along, going so far as to successfully crowdfund their next album, Māia Manu, via Kickstarter in just 4 weeks. For this episode of BTR Hear & There, we found the trio playing in the entryway to Kavé Espresso Bar in their neighborhood of Bushwick.
When you hear the phrase “plastic dress,” chances are, at least for fans of the uber-popular fashion phenom TV show “Girls” on HBO, you think of character Marnie’s wave-making dress from Season 2. This week’s guest needs no further introduction – I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Jenn Rogien, costume designer and style mastermind behind the youthful Brooklyn styles. (Incidentally, Jenn made the infamous plastic dress herself!) Join us on Sew & Tell to hear Jenn talk about her path from chemical engineering to fashion, the work of a costume designer, the boys of “Girls,” a new Netflix series she just designed, her weakness for British costume dramas, and more. Plus, a playlist full of “Girls” soundtrack-inspired songs, including Oh Land, Generationals, fun., and Lia Ices. So break out your sleeping bag coat and best fascinator, and join us for an hour of “Girl”-y fashion here on BTR!
Chalk and Numbers is the indie pop duo of Sable Yong and Andrew Pierce, based in Brooklyn, NY. Joined live and here in the studio by a keyboardist, bassist, and guitarist to fill out their sound and drawing heavily on the famed Phil Spector-style girl group sound, the band has a knack for carefully crafted pop songs with a timeless quality.
The grand finale for New Museum’s StreetFest shows NYC is a city just chuck full of ideas.
How social media has become the newest tool of the NYPD.
Roderick Romero’s installation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Bird Call is a NYC-based musical project founded by singer and musician Chiara Angelicola. Featuring synthesizers and heavily-yet-pleasantly processed vocals, their music covers a wide range of emotional territory through vulnerable lyrics and an experimental look towards the future; aliens, the planets, and a whole world of questions can be found inside. Here, the band performs at a popsicle party for an audience of children and their families at a daycare in Brooklyn, NY.
The Brooklyn-based artisanal flea market is back.
Spring marks the return of bountiful fresh, local food, but what about fresh, local… fashion? Kate Huling and Andrew Tarlow, the husband-and-wife team behind Williamsburg foodie establishments Marlow & Sons, Diner, Roman’s, Reynard’s, and Marlow & Daughters, decided to tackle that challenge, and take a local, seasonal approach to apparel and accessories with Marlow Goods. Using the leftover hides from their farm-fresh meat, along with locally sheered wool, Kate has designed a beautiful collection of hand-crafted sweaters, leather bags, and home accessories. On today’s show, Kate joins me to talk about the chain of suppliers and craftspeople involved in Marlow Goods, the challenges and joys of seasonal farm-based fashion, and some of her own favorites for springtime style and food. Plus, late in the show, Dane weighs in on the Mad Men Season 6 premier with some thoughtful insights about character development, and we’ll hear new music from Luxury Liners, Kurt Vile, Kids On A Crime Spree, and more. Who cares what it’s like outside? It’s springtime here on BTR!
The accessible and economical arts showcase returns to Manhattan.
What’s better than the semi-smug satisfaction of discovering a new, emerging talent in design? Pretty much nothing. Let’s be honest: we all love being the first to know. This week’s guest is here to help you build a wardrobe full of trend-bucking, uniquely artful pieces that will make your friends crazy with jealousy. Briana Swords and her husband Ryan Smith are co-founders of Brooklyn’s hottest new boutique, Swords-Smith, located in Williamsburg and stocked with some of the best in today’s indie fashion, from Feral Childe to K/LLER Collection, Dessu to Thorocraft. On today’s show, Briana will talk about her mission to support independent labels, the development of their own in house Swords-Smith line, future plans for the retail space, and more. Plus, Dane joins me to talk about our picks for best and worst spring trends! Also in the mix are samples off the latest records from Cold War Kids, Generationals, John Grant, Born Ruffians, and more. Fashion fans, get ready for all the latest & greatest here on BreakThru Radio!
We’re back from vacation with stories of classwar and revolution from Paris. Also, coverage of the Guantanamo Bay hunger strike has intensified, and the problems with all those marriage equality avatars on Facebook.
Brooklyn post-punk trio Fan-Tan began in 2007 when Ryan Lee and Sandee K moved from Chapel Hill, NC to Brooklyn, NY, and solidified when they met drummer Mike Sherburn while on the road to SXSW in 2011. Drawing on the best of shoegaze and post-punk to create a long-developing sound that’s both sprawling and jagged, Fan-Tan are finally ready to take off with their debut LP.
Supercute! is a an all-girl band from Brooklyn who definitely live up to their name. Founded by 19-year old singer Rachel Trachtenburg — whose musical roots go back to playing drums in The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at age 6 — and joined by bandmate Julia Cumming, this duo is currently prepping their debut album, produced by British songwriter Kate Nash. Here, the girls are joined by friends to complete the super cuteness, just before they head out on tour.
Time for our first Radio Dispatch book club. Today, we spend the hour discussing bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody, including a bunch of listener feedback.
Chris Faraone on the closing of the alt-weekly The Boston Phoenix, and the paper’s amazing history. Also, the new form of school segregation, and listener mail. And this is our first vacation show to air.
Opened in May 2011 in Jersey City, Mana Contemporary is a multi-dimensional art complex that provides services and space for artists, art patrons, collectors, and the local community. BreakThruTV’s Lauren Hawker attended the exclusive first look at one of their new shows, Ray Smith: Here | Now. The New York and New Jersey area is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Among those affected was Ray Smith, a Mexican-American artist whose Brooklyn studio suffered major flooding. Mana offered Smith refuge by offering studio space and an exhibition to showcase his waterlogged work.
Over 1,000 attend Kimani Gray’s wake on Friday, and activists hold a march in East Flatbush on Sunday. Also, tons of listener mail, and this is the last regular show before we go on vacation.
Alexis Goldstein joins us to explain the latest crimes of JP Morgan, how they get away with it, and what might stop them. Also, Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer gets three and a half years in federal prison, and listener mail. Theradiodispatch.com theradiodispatch@gmail.com facebook.com/TheRadioDispatch twitter.com/Radio_Dispatch donateyouraccount.com/RadioDispatch 00:00 Welcome to Radio Dispatch 00:28 We don’t get finance 12:28 Alexis Goldstein gets finance 30:34 Weev’s story 58:16 “I fought the law” The Clash / Credits 59:24 Finish Alexis Goldstein Jamie Dimon Weev
Infamous Brooklyn punks, party-starters, Mets fans, and wranglers of legendary DIY venues Market Hotel and Shea Stadium, So So Glos are always up to something. A true rock ‘n roll band of brothers via divorce and remarriage, their childhood musical beginnings found a new life in 2007 when they formed the band and set out to tour, make records, and operate all ages venues.
An elephant parade from Ringling Bros. Circus draws a crowd of animal rights protesters in NYC.
It’s the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, and little has changed in the overall media landscape. We discuss the coverage from 2003, where we were at the time, and where things stand now.
Ryan Devereaux on the increasingly complicated case of Kimani Gray, the 16 year old who was shot and killed earlier this month by the NYPD. Also, a hunger strike grows at Guantanamo Bay, and listener mail.
Artist Joey Parlett is know for drawings that feature a bizarre cast of reoccurring characters and densely drawn battle scenes. Joey is also responsible for a series of comics about a character called Beardman, who, in his adventures, invents an infinite guitar, buys the Tower of Babel and pulls hundreds of thousands of cats into the sunset on his rascal scooter.
On the ground reports from the vigil for Kimani Gray that became known as the Brooklyn Protest. Also, we have like five listener mails to get to.
Cold Blood Club usually exhibit their inspired take on dance pop through sweaty beats and joyous bursts of electro enthusiasm. In this setting — stripping their music down to the essentials and spreading out in an artists’ studio near the border of Brooklyn and Queens — there’s the added warmth of bare vocal strength blended with minimal instrumentation and a bit of wine, like the most fun open studio visit possible.
Leaving behind the more aggressive group The Twees, Jason Abrishami started Brooklyn indie band Lazyeyes with the intention of creating a more dynamic form of pop music in a positive environment. Coming from the Brooklyn art scene, this group makes major use of delay effects (among others) to turn out a constantly evolving batch of fresh songs.
In celebration of New York Beer Week, BTR Pulse explores the wonderful world of craft beer. Lauren Hawker visits three of the city’s notable beer shops and speak to the owners about the week long festivities, and the ever-growing interest in craft beer.
NYC indie rock band MiniBoone is the real-life mashup of the catchiest, spazziest, most heart-wrenchingly honest, tuneful bits of every one of your favorite bands, all happening at once. Live, they’re an explosive ball of energy, all yelps and leaps and full on SICK RIFFS. Lovers of MiniBoone are crazy for the band, and rightfully so. Here’s a taste of the fun in their upcoming episode of Serious Business on BTR, as they kick out the song, “I Could, I Could.”
Tall Tall Trees, an NYC-based band formed in 2008, is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Mike Savino. Though typically performing as a quartet, Savino often — as during this session of BTR Live Studio — performs solo, utilizing only his banjo, modified by an arsenal of effects and looping pedals. Even without the accompaniment of his bandmates, the sound is full and dynamic, from booming drum hits to playful banjo runs and perfect vocal melodies. Mike played a few songs and sat down with Maia to talk a bit about his — and the project’s — musical trajectory.
Yukon Blonde is a Canadian indie rock band from Vancouver, though they tour so much they’re rarely actually there. Originally called Alphababy, the quartet has toured internationally and drawn critical praise for their catchy, hook-and-harmony-heavy songs. The band stopped by our studio on a recent tour of the states to talk about getting government help for a music career, the difference between American and British harmonies, and more.
Dynasty Electric is an internationally-touring Brooklyn band making psychedelic electronic dance rock. Built on the foundation of Jenny Electrik’s seductive vocals and featuring the production of Seth Misterka, their retro-futuristic pop sound falls somewhere between Madonna, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Jefferson Airplane. With the help of hip-hop mogul Damon Dash, the duo recorded with producer Ski Beatz and crafted an album of dance-pop gems, perfect for the New York nightlife scene. Hot off a massive remix project for their song “Golden Arrows,” via Indaba Music, the band hit our studio to share some songs, and to chat with Maia about making the transition from an electronic duo to a larger group with more live elements, and the surreal experience of performing at Burning Man.
Union Street Preservation Society is an Americana/bluegrass band based in Brooklyn, NY (yes, on Union Street). This quintet is most at home around a single mic, slinging harmonies and strumming folk instruments with remarkable skill. The result is lively roots string music in the truest sense, and though the songs are new and original compositions, they feel immediately familiar and timeless.
Launched in 1975 and spanning 15 issues through 1979, Punk Magazine was an integral part of the music and art scene of the mid-to-late Seventies. Co-founded by cartoonist and editor John Holmstrom, publisher Ged Dunn, and Legs McNeil, the publication is often credited with popularizing the term “punk,” along with the scene then developing at famed NYC venue, CBGB. On Friday, January 11th, Holmstrom celebrated the release of The Best Of Punk Magazine, a collection of work from the magazine. On hand for the energetic occasion at Powerhouse Books in Dumbo, Brooklyn, were a cast of punk rock regulars, some of whom we spoke with, including legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen; co-founder of the Dictators, Andy Shernoff; and Gary Storm, former DJ at WBFO in Buffalo.
Yukon Blonde is a Canadian indie rock band from Vancouver, though they tour so much they’re rarely actually there. Originally called Alphababy, the quartet has toured internationally and drawn critical praise for their catchy, hook-and-harmony-heavy songs. The band stopped by our studio on a recent tour of the states to talk about getting government help for a music career, the difference between American and British harmonies, and more.

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