Category archives: Musician

  • At The James Baldwin School in Chelsea, AFP's program is in its 3rd year, offering after school digital audio production, musical instrument instruction and performance coaching. Students range from 9th to 12th grade and come to the program with a variety of individual goals in mind. The sessions vary, and participants usually work individually or in small groups.The class combines a combination of elements which are often going on simultaneously. One group may be learning how to sequence beats to a metronome track on one computer, while another student is involved in the more advanced stages of a fully fleshed out track on the next. At the same time a vocal duo may be working out harmonies to a rock ballad, while others are learning how to build scales and chords on the piano. In all cases, the fundamentals of music making are uncovered and explored. The focus is always on building a working musical vocabulary and developing the ability to use music for self-expression.This year at Baldwin I have seen remarkable progress on every front. Beat-makers have progressed from struggling at playing simple kick and snare patterns, to building complete tracks and having their friends rap over them. Drummers who had never played a drum-set maintain a groove behind a full band. I’m especially impressed with Reshwan and Katana who had never met before. Within a few short months they have  become a powerful cohesive duet act eagerly learning the theory to support their development[...]
  • To celebrate the release of their first release on Fueled by Ramen Records, The Front Bottoms played Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. Entry to the show was granted with purchase of the album, Back On Top, and came with a signing after the show. The formula is one Rough Trade is a) known for and b) built for. The combined record store/concert space has the stage in the back and the floor space within the shop itself to accommodate both events.Before the show fans, most of whom were hugging a recently purchased vinyl of Back On Top, lined up along the wall of the store, chattering excitedly about the record. It was a fairly young crowd, some members bragging about how they had cut class to line up early. The guy handing out 21+ wristbands didn’t have much to do. Despite the age difference, one thing was clear. Everyone was there for the band.Not that only die hards are capable of showing up to an early show on a weekday evening. Everyone is and was welcome. It wasn’t the show that collected passersby or casual listeners. Partially because Rough Trade is tucked somewhat away from the rest of Williamsburg and partially because the nature of the show attracted the more “serious” fans. The majority of the crowd accumulating in Rough Trade really, really liked the band. That’s why they showed to the concert/signing, not just the band’s gig later in the month at Irving Plaza. In fact, many talked about going to both shows. Some even buzzed about seeing the band earlier in the summ[...]
  • Barcelona-born Brooklynite, pianist Eva Novoa  has produced two cds, her debut Trio (with Masa Kamaguchi on bass and Marc Lohr on drums), and Quartet (with Ernesto Aurignac on alto saxophone, Masa Kamaguchi on bass and André Sumelius on drums), both released on the label Fresh Sound New Talent. Before moving to Brooklyn, she lived many years The Hague, Netherlands, studying, and eventually teaching at Koninklijk Conservatorium.  It was in Holland, that she not only learned Dutch curse words,  she also how to live in shitty weather: "It's much worse than New York. It may rain 6 days out of 7, she says while chatting in her kitchen, over espresso and Spanish shortbread cookies. "Wherever you go, you're soaked, shoes are dripping water."Find out about her beloved fashion accessories after the jump, and learn more about this gifted musician at Colette Prosper, @yummicoco   Floral Infinity Scarf I found this floral scarf on my way to work at a musical theatre in Holland. In a country where there's so much wind, and you're on your bike, your scarf eventually flies away.So you just do this [EVA MAKES A DOUBLE LOOP WITH THE CLOSED-LOOPED FABRIC], and you don't lose it. It's really warm! In Holland, you always have to wear a scarf. even in the summer. The weather sucks, and you have to wear something [warm], or else you'll get sick.    Vintage Little Black Dress From Grandma For the anniversary of the mus[...]
  • I recently had the distinct pleasure of compiling an oral history of the seminal underground New York club Better Days, a ’70s and ’80s contemporary of spots like the Paradise Garage—though Better Days was much smaller and, possibly because of that, less lauded. (You can read that piece in full here, on the Red Bull Music Academy website.) One of the main interviewees for the article was Bruce Forest, an iconic DJ (and later, prolific producer) who was on the Better Days decks throughout most of the ’80s. (In the ’70s, the late, great Tee Scott ran the show.) Forest has a great memory and is a fantastic teller of tales—but, for reasons of space and clarity, some of his best stories had to be omitted from the history. So we figured, why not share a couple of his best ones here?Loleatta Holloway This story concerns how the inimitable disco diva Loleatta Holloway’s between-song patter became one of the most ubiquitous samples in dance music history. It was all Forest’s (accidental) fault.Bruce Forest: “It was not easy to have live performances there. It was a very, very hard room to do live sound in; it was a round room with tons of bass. But we would do it sometimes anyway. Jocelyn Brown probably performed there seven oreight times. And there was Lolleata Holloway. She was one nasty woman when she wanted to be. And she was big; she could have easily kicked the shit out of me. Anyway, when she performs, she does five or six songs, but in between the songs, s[...]
  • Yes, we’re almost two weeks into 2015, so please forgive the lateness of this list—we’re just now recovering from a great New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day spent with the Bunker and 718 Sessions crews. But it’s never too late to support the home team, right? In the underground-clubbing realm, the fact that there’s been so much great music created by Gotham artists and/or released on local labels over the past twelve months is another sign of the scene’s strength—and really, we would could have made this a Forty Fave NYC Tracks list without breaking a sweat. But, for now, let’s go with the five below—click on the images to hear the tracks. Enjoy!Siren “Gauntlet” Compost There’s a windswept feel to “Gauntlet, ”the long-awaited first fruits of a studio partnership between Metro Area’s Darshan Jesrani and the Disques Sinthomme label’s Dennis Kane. It might be the majestic guitar chords, or the wailing vocals (from Apollo Heights’ Daniel Chavis), or the cut’s spacious arrangement and willingness to take its time to get wherever it’s going. Whatever it is, the song is something of an overlooked modern classic. And holy crap, does that pumping bassline hit the spot! There’s a fine remix from London groove machine Ray Mang that tightens up the song’s feel a bit—he basically houses it up, toughening up the rhythm and accentuating the acid bleep, giving it an added sense of urgency. But for our money, the sprawling original does the trick just fine.[...]
  • If you’re like us, you’re dreading New Year’s Eve – the night when you are practically forced into trying to have a good time. But experiencing a fun night can be difficult when you are concentrating on getting out of the way of drunken-bro packs or avoiding puke puddles. We wouldn’t blame you if you decided to stay home and cuddle up with a bottle of champers, watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in your jammies and bunny slippers. However, if you really want to hit the town—and if dancing all night in the clubs is your thing—here are a few options that might be a bit more bearable than say, heading to Madison Square Garden for a fist-pump session with Skrillex and Diplo, the idea of which haunts our nightmares.Resolute and Blkmarket Present New Year’s Eve at Output Output. 74 Wythe Ave at North 12st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 10pm; $80–$100. Advance tickets available through its warehouse feel and strict no-photos policy—not to mention its emphasis on the serious side of deep house and techno—Williamsburg’s Output is loosely based on Berlin clubs like the famed Berghain. So it makes sense that this party has scored one of Germany’s best, DJ Koze, to headline the affair with one of his oft-surreal sets of house, techno and various sonic oddities. And there’s about a billion other DJs spinning in the club’s two rooms as well—but the party stretches into the following Friday, so there’s plenty of time to squeeze ’em all in. [...]
  • My husband Sean Sonderegger is a gifted musician and teacher. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Originally from Los Angeles, he lives with his wife (me) and toddler in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Sean describes his style as "90s West Coast meets academia," pairing dress shirts with Dickies pants. He admits that he still dresses the same way that he used to when he was 20 years old in L.A., wearing blue jeans and novelty shirts. But always paramount in his choice of dress, the clothes must fit loose: "I've always worn baggy clothes, I like baggy clothes. If I could pull off wearing a caftan or some traditional clothes that were super-flowing, I would probably do it. But then again, I would probably gain, like, a hundred pounds because I just wouldn't give a fuck."Click on link below to listen to some of Sean Sonderegger's music, and then find out more about this madcapper's most prized fashion items after the jump. Colette Prosper, @yummicocoNovelty Tees I like my novelty t-shirts, especially two from a Bill Laswell collection for Ropeadope Records, which includes a "Machine Gun" shirt from, I think,  a Peter Brötzmann album.It's not the original graphic that's used on the cover. People that don't know the record have no idea what it's about. Somebody came up to me[...]
  • Strictly Rhythm. Nervous. Emotive. These seminal New York labels, along with a handful of others, evoke a time in the late ’80s and early ’90s when the local variant of house music, one that combined depth, emotion and soul with the raw rhythms that had been coming out of Chicago, took form. But there was one other local label that was equally influential—and it wasn’t even based within the five boroughs. Its name was Movin’ Records, a label (and record shop) led by Abigail Adams and based in East Orange, New Jersey.Between 1987 and 1995, Movin’ released some of the most beloved songs of the era—Phase II’s stone-cold classic “Reachin’" among them—and its lineup of vocalists and producers and included such notables as Kerri Chandler, Kenny Bobien, DJ Pierre, Ce Ce Rogers, Blaze’s Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan, Ace Mungin and Tony Humphries. That last name is key: A symbiotic relationship formed between the club that Humphries deejayed at, Club Zanzibar in nearby Newark, and Movin.' Though they were both just a few miles west of Manhattan, the Movin’-Zanzibar affiliation resulted in a sound with a different feel than what was going down in Gotham, a feel that amped up the gospel- and R&B–tinged passion beyond what the big city had to offer. It’s a style of house generally referred to as the Jersey Sound—and its effects can still be felt on the club music of today. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the gracious and friendly Adams, her love of the music still shin[...]