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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If You Like....: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Edition

by Jane Jansen Seymour

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry returns to BAM April 25 to April 27, a music and film festival curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. Music fans may know the headliners (The Roots, Solange, and TV on the Radio), but they may not be as familiar with some of the other artists appearing during the three-day event. The musical offerings cross genres and configurations, from solo singers to full-fledged ensembles. Here are video performances by two CBF bands (both will play in the Howard Gilman Opera House) with ties to Brooklyn, to give a taste of what's in store.

If you like Pete Yorn, check out Phosphorescent

Phosphorescent (Saturday, April 27) is the musical project of Alabama native Matthew Houck, now based in Brooklyn. He’s a heart-on-your-sleeve troubadour who could be compared to Sea Wolf, Pete Yorn, or Jason Pierce of Spiritualized—indie folk hardened by a rock sensibility. This singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer just released his fifth album as Phosphorescent, Muchacho. The past three albums have been recorded in a studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with ultra spare arrangements highlighting the raw vocal power of Houck’s expressive baritone. Most of the songs were written during a trip to Mexico, after a self-proclaimed “freak out” when his personal life seemed to be crumbling—just a man and his guitar capturing waves of emotion. Luckily for audiences he clearly revisits the scene during live gigs.

If you like The Ramones, check out Parquet Courts

On the other hand, Parquet Courts (Friday, April 26) is filled with classic punk rock attitude, inspired by the many Gotham bands through time. Its debut album, Light Up Gold, embraces the short and sweet songwriting of the Ramones, with references to the Buzzcocks and The Stranglers. The Brooklyn quartet buried its Texas roots to make way for a full-on love affair with city life. Pointed lyrics reference the frustrations of being on “Borrowed Time” and “Stoned and Starving.” Guitarist Austin Brown recently teamed up with Andrew Savage on lead vocals/guitar, along with his brother Max Savage on drums and Austin Brown on bass, to convey this vast urban experience with the cynicism of youth culture. Their deadpan delivery over a raucous beat is an infectious combination that translates into a high-energy performance.

Schedule and ticket info: 

Jane Jansen Seymour is a music writer for PopMatters and her own blog, New Music Matters (

1 comment:

  1. Caught Parquet Courts open for the Men last month... AWESOME!