The Williamsburg Music Scene - The Labels, the Venues, the Artists
Is this statement a surprise? It should be because supposedly we are living in the cultural Mecca of the world. What strange times we live in when the music of the burbs (from which most of us "escaped") is surpassing our own in originality and in sheer vitality, for that matter. Where is our Velvet Underground? What happened to Public Enemy? Where is our New Wave?
The bottom line is there is no music scene in New York used-to-be-Fucking City. Period.
Want to see music, go to Chicago, DC, or get out of the country. There is little to be found here.
But thankfully things are not as grim as they seem. In our lovely little neighborhood overflowing with artists, little breaths of originality have finally begun to emerge. Thanks in part to local venues such as Pete's Candy Store (who recently hosted Will Oldham), Sin-e, Galapagos Art Space, Rubulad, and even the Charleston, Williamsburg is slowly giving birth to a rising music scene.
Additionally, Williamsburg is home to various music labels including LuLu Records and Baraka. The growth of these labels has strengthened the local music scene with their symbiotic relationship to local artists.
If you have been a good consumer lately in local establishments such
as The Read or Earwax, you probably have seen the most recent
release put out by Lulu, Women of Williamsburg. This 20 track disk
will be a delight to fans of folk and alternative and best of all, as
the title suggests, only local artists are featured. From the alt-folk
of local favorite Lizzie West, to the indie rock opener "Not
My Valentine" by Suziblade,
WOW has a vitality that will be encouraging to local musicians.
Most importantly, all proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. This
alone makes the disk worth buying.
Baraka strives to bridge the artificial, man-made gaps between artist and label, music and visuals, linear and non-local, science and magick. In Kabbalistic terms, "a balanced tree".
Maybe too blunted or mystical for your average, jaded New Yorker, but
refreshing when one considers Big Business competitor Columbia Records
whose mission statement should be "pumping out homogenized garbage
for mass distribution to the nondiscriminating public."
So maybe Williamsburg, or New York for that matter, is not currently revolutionizing music, but there are some hopeful signs that the energy levels are building as the crest of a New Wave becomes visible on the horizon.
Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry
Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211