Firewater members producer-drummer Tamir Muskat and producer-saxophonist Ori Kaplan (also formerly of Gogol Bordello) were born in Israel and met in Brooklyn. United by a love of music, and playing together—as Balkan Beat Box—they blend Balkan, klezmer and Mediterranean sounds with dub, electronica and hip-hop. They perform live joined by a rotating group of musicians, but singer-percussionist Tomer Yosef has officially joined them as the third member of the band. Their fifth full-length, Shout It Out (stream it below), out last year, finds the band “as wild as ever,” according to Relix. “Shout It Out is spicy and exotic—but even a pop-radio audience could get behind it.” You can get behind it yourself when Balkan Beat Box (above, doing “I Trusted U” at Paste Studios) play Brooklyn Steel on Friday night. Das Racist’s Heems opens the show.
Tag Archives: Brooklyn Steel
Tags: Alain Johannes, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Gregg Greenwood, John Parish, Live Music, Mick Harvey, Music, New York City, Photos, PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project
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A pair of genre-spanning bands, each known for energetic, fiery live performances—the Chapel Hill, N.C. outfit Squirrel Nut Zippers (above, rehearsing “Plenty More”) and Los Angeles collective Ozomatli (below, performing “Como Vez” live in concert for Paste)—have united together to bring their music to the people. Squirrel Nut Zippers have been mashing together swing music, punk and jazz for nearly 25 years, and they’ve been celebrating the 20th anniversary of their second studio full-length, Hot (stream it below). For roughly the same amount of time, Ozomatli have been expertly blending hip-hop, Chicano rock, reggae, world music and Latin sounds, winning over fans in the process, thanks to their exceptional stage presence and recorded fare, like 2014’s Place in the Sun (stream it below), resulting in AllMusic saying the band’s “become masters of their trade, crafting a supremely engaging album that hits the musical sweet spot every time.” Their combined tour launched in March and with it winding down now, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Ozomatli come to Brooklyn Steel tomorrow night.
Tags: Asdrubal Sierra, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Charlie Halloran, Chris Phillips, Colin Myers, Dave Boswell, Henry Westmoreland, Hot, Ingrid Lucia, James Mathus, Jiro Yamaguchi, Justin Carr, Justin Porée, Kevin Louis, Kris Tokarski, Leslie Martin, Live Music, Music, Neilson Bernard III, New York City, Ozomatli, Place in the Sun, Preview, Raúl Pacheco, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tamar A. Korn, Tamara Nicolai, Ulises Bella, Video, Wil-Dog Abers
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The Decemberists – Brooklyn Steel – April 17, 2017
Not to show my age or anything, but (I looked it up), the first time I saw the Decemberists was at the relatively intimate Mercury Lounge nearly 14 years ago. Back then it was as equally inconceivable that a venue like Brooklyn Steel could exist where it now does as it was that the Decemberists might headline one of its first run of shows. The Decemberists were “Portland” before “Portland” was a thing—or “Williamsburg” was a thing for that matter—and still have the same magic today that they did back then. Kicking off the first of three shows in the brand-new room, they felt like an old friend stopping in for a visit. Before we get to their set, though, I have to spare a sentence or two for Julien Baker, who induced chills in the opening slot, reducing the large venue with just her guitar and voice, commanding the place as if holding a heart-to-heart in a living room. If you’re going to one of the next two nights, don’t miss her.
The Decemberists took the stage to a literal fanfare over the PA, frontman Colin Meloy announcing, “Welcome to Night One,” not even waiting until the first song to play with the crowd, joining in on drummer John Moen’s intro to playact lifting up the audience. By the time “The Infanta” began in full, the band and audience were already locked in for a long night of Decemberists-induced fun. With Meloy’s judicious use of the dramatic pause and the lights momentarily catching the disco ball, bathing the crowd in stars, Brooklyn Steel was immediately transformed. Without a new album to promote, the band was free to play from across their vast catalog, and it only took a couple of songs to realize that you could fill quite a few sets with “greatest hits,” things rolling with “We Both Go Down Together” (introduced as Donald Trump Jr. fan fiction) and a sing-along “Down by the Water.” With slight tweaks on their instruments, like guitarist Chris Funk moving to pedal steel or Jenny Conlee picking up her accordion, the band transformed their sound, gypsy swing to fantastical prog rock, all while Meloy sang his pitch-perfect songs, usually of woe, creating new worlds within the greater Decemberists universe.
Olivia Cheney came out to guest on a debut song from a reported fuller collaboration with her, which stretched that universe even more, the band becoming backing musicians as she sang and played harpsicord-esque runs on the keyboard. Another new tune, introduced as “about the state of the union,” centered on the joyful phrase “everything is awful,” but it was actually a rather exultant number, easily inducing the audience to sing along with the chorus. The show closed with more well-worn, well-loved Decemberists material—too many songs to list—including an extended mini-suite from the more-than-10-years-old-but-still-feels-new album The Crane Wife and a fun version of “Chimbley Sweep” complete with a guitar-accordion duel that played like a short skit. Meloy was, as always, equally adept with between-song banter. I mean, who throws out the phrase “conviviality of a campfire” in casual conversation? But the evening did have that intimate feeling, just another evening with old friends. —A. Stein | @Neddyo
Tags: Aaron Stein, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Chris Funk, Colin Meloy, Decemberists, Jenny Conlee, John Moen, Julien Baker, Nate Query, New York City, Olivia Cheney, Review, The Crane Wife
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Brooklyn avant-pop duo Chairlift return home for their final performance as a band on Saturday night at Brooklyn Steel. And while the show is already sold out, The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Chairlift, 4/22) and a brief message explaining why you just have to be there on Saturday night to say farewell. Eddie Bruiser, who will be there for the festivities himself, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Tags: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Caroline Polacheck, Chairlift, Contest, Eddie Bruiser, Free Tickets, Grow a Pair, Live Music, Moth, Music, New York City, Patrick Wimberly
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Floating Points is the brainchild of Sam Shepherd, the Manchester, England, electronic musician with a Ph.D. in neuroscience and epigenetics. I guess contributing to just one emerging field wasn’t enough for him. Without knowing enough to say anything about his scientific output, his musical output is undoubtedly advancing electronic music into new areas, blowing up the formula in a similar way that free jazz disrupted the jazz formula. It’s a demanding sound for a full band to play live: Shepherd’s big on throwing his music into warp speed until it practically dissolves into chaotic synthesized noise, before reining it back into its familiar beat. Some numbers go back and forth a few times, and when a song settles down, you’ll be reminded of from where it evolved. Other tracks feature impressive reverb-drenched guitar solos reminiscent of David Gilmour, and spaced-out thoughts will be inevitable as your mind is blown to bits, both visually and musically. Thankfully, there will be a neuroscientist in the house to put everything back together again when Floating Points (above, performing “Silhouettes” live for KEXP FM) plays Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night. Okay Kaya and JFDR open the show. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks
The Bowery Presents’ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel—which is now the largest general-admission venue in Kings County—opens tonight with the first of five sold-out LCD Soundsystem shows. “With every venue we open, we aim to create a space where both fans and bands can fully enjoy the experience,” say Bowery Presents partners John Moore and Jim Glancy. “From easy access to bars and restrooms to unobstructed sight lines and state-of-the-art sound and acoustics, we’re confident that Brooklyn Steel delivers on our commitment to keep the music first.”
Located at 319 Frost Street, the 20,000-square foot Brooklyn Steel features raised platforms and a mezzanine allowing for terrific sight lines across the space, in addition to three bars and 40 total restrooms. Keeping with the industrial look of its legacy, the venue is filled with hundreds of tons of steel and repurposed materials, and the bar in the main lobby was created from scrap metal and incorporates an installation of three original fans.
Of course, it’s not just about how the place looks, it’s also about how it sounds. And to that end, The Bowery Presents retained L-Acoustics, pioneers in their field, along with help from acoustical consultants at Arup Engineering, to ensure unrivaled audio inside the building and audio containment within the property. Additionally, Brooklyn Steel is topped with a 10,000 square-foot green roof that will help rein in sound. This LCD Soundsystem run is just the beginning, though, and a stellar, packed lineup of shows continues with Floating Points (live), the Decemberists, PJ Harvey and many more.
Before heading out on an overseas tour in a couple of weeks, Whitney make one more American appearance, in Brooklyn at Rough Trade NYC on Thursday night. The show sold out quickly, but no worries if you got shut out because the Chicago band returns to play Brooklyn Steel on 5/24. And if you can’t wait that long to see them, The House List is giving away two tickets to see Whitney play Rough Trade NYC. Try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets for (Whitney, 1/5) and a brief message explaining your best idea for a New Year’s resolution. Eddie Bruiser, who could probably use a few of them, will notify the winner by Thursday. Good luck.
Tags: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Charles Glanders, Contest, Eddie Bruiser, Free Tickets, Grow a Pair, Josiah Marhshall, Julien Ehrlich, Light Upon the Lake, Live Music, Malcolm Brown, Max Kakacek, Music, New York City, Print Chouteau, Rough Trade NYC, Whitney, Will Miller, Williamsburg
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Our newest venue, Brooklyn Steel—which will be Kings County’s biggest general-admission room—kicks off this spring with some pretty great shows, including the Decemberists on 4/17-19, PJ Harvey on 4/20, Two Door Cinema Club on 5/1, the Black Angels on 5/2, Tycho on 5/3, San Fermin on 5/13, Laura Marling on 5/20, Animal Collective on 5/23 and Whitney on 5/24—all of which go on sale this Friday at noon.
Tags: Animal Collective, Black Angels, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Decemberists, Laura Marling, Live Music, Music, New York City, PJ Harvey, Playlist, Preview, San Fermin, Spotify, Two Door Cinema Club, Tycho, Whitney
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