Archive for the ‘BKI Music’ Category

‘Juicy’… In Type

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


Artist and typographer Jay Roeder who made the above shirt for us awhile back finished his58 week project of setting Biggie’s ‘Juicy’ to beautiful typography. And if you don’t know, now you know.

Check out his latest design for Brooklyn Industries: BK Hot Dog.


No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Get More:
2013 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music

An oral history of the iconic video ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ with director Adam Dubin sporting our ‘No Sleep Till” tee.

Dispatch From SXSW

Monday, March 18th, 2013


This year, we partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and The Bell House to help put on Brooklyn Country Cantina at SXSW at Papi Tino’s in Austin’s East Side. Plenty of beer and tacos accompanied the great performances by Austin and Brooklyn bands. As the sun was setting on Friday night, Austin bluegrass darlings The Whiskey Shivers took the stage delivering their distinctive blend of bluegrass/country/folk/roots (dubbed “trash grass” by guitarist Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa) to hollering and kicked up dust from worn-in cowboy boots. The band closed with a song they composed by riffing off actual (not-so-friendly) comments received on their YouTube videos. Back in the courtyard, our favorite Brooklyn country revivalists, The Defibulators took the stage to a visibly excited crowd, as frontman Bug Jennings belted out to the crowd, “Eveybody’s got a banjo!” Their rowdy sound and the rowdy crowd proved that country music is alive and well from Brooklyn to Austin. Until next year SXSW!




Welcome to Brooklyn Country

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Left: singer Erin Bru in the Oasis Cotton Eyelet Dress, right: guitarist and banjo player Bug Jennings in the Colonnade Slouchy Canvas Jacket

After their raucous set at Union Pool in Williamsburg last month, we caught up with Erin and Bug from the Brooklyn band, The Defibulators at their Brooklyn Heights home to ask them a couple of questions about what it’s like to play country music in New York City.

So Bug is from Texas so I understand his country connection, but Erin, as an L.A. to Brooklyn transplant, how did you get involved with country music here?

Well, it’s funny cuz Bug didn’t get into country music until he got to NY either. I think it’s the same for both of us in that what we heard on country radio stations growing up never excited us. It wasn’t until we heard classic country, like Buck Owens and George Jones, that we really got hooked. Then when I heard Wanda Jackson for the first time, I was convinced, country can be cool and worth giving a second chance. The more I listened to older country singers, I dug the real honest and direct story telling without a forced twang or any other affectation for that matter. And a well written country song can be pretty powerful. So we decided to give it a shot. We got a small band together and started playing in bars all over town.

What’s it like playing country and bluegrass in New York City?

It’s fun. I think NYC audiences really get into it cuz it isn’t something they’re used to hearing all the time. Not like in Nashville where there’s a country band playing in every bar downtown. Our brand of country is also spiked with a New York kind of energy, so I think that helps. It tends to be on the frenetic, anxious side, verging on chaos. Folks can relate to that here, we’re not trying to sugar coat anything. And living in the city, you tend to romanticize country life, which of course goes hand in hand with country music.

The Defibulators will be playing at the Brooklyn Country Cantina at SXSW in Austin, TX on March 15th and 16th, and another free show at Hill Country in NYC on March 28th.

Sound Looks

Monday, January 7th, 2013


Photographer Eric White shines his spotlight on Brooklyn band Isadora in their favorite Brooklyn Industries picks. Listen to their new songs and check out their latest video below.

From top left to right: Great Northern Snorkel Parka / Optus Moto Zip Wool CoatLawrence Plaid Flannel Shirt / Signal Striped CardiganAtmosphere Dot Shirt / Catalyst Wool Striped Sweater / Alexander Wool Toggle Coat

21 1/2 by Isadora. Shot by Shantanu Starick


Friday, December 14th, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, meet Nikki, our Men’s Designer. Between ping pong and ceramic deer baths, she made this playlist for you to make it through the rest of this Friday.

Nick Waterhouse’s Retro Storms NYC

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Nick Waterhouse’s sold out show at the Mercury Lounge last Saturday night was a preview of what we hope the impending summer will be like: a carefree romp full of bopping, shaking and pure fun. Waterhouse demonstrated a perfect combination of vocal emotion and guitar-strumming control, all while leading a nine-piece band consisting of two saxophonists, two backup singers, a drummer, a bass player and a keyboardist, each one talented enough to envy in their own right.  The eclectic crowd was a testament to his appeal, from the Brooklyn nerds reveling in the chance to pay sartorial homage to ’50s retro fashion to too cool for school college kids to a large group of older German tourists who seemed to travel to New York just to see Waterhouse play. The best part of the show was standing in a room full of HAPPINESS and witnessing the palpable giddiness of the performers’ realization of playing their first New York show to a crowd of fans who shimmied and cheered the whole way through.

Nick Waterhouse’s debut album, Times All Gone, has come out just in time for the summer, perfect for rooftop parties, clambakes and other summer activities in which having fun is the main objective.  You can listen to his live bootleg Berlin show here.  

And for more music in the same vein, here’s a fun R&B artists mix he made available for download.

Guest Bloggers Frontier Psychiatrist Guide Us Through the SXSW Mayhem

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Taco truck in Austin

My first full day of music at South by Southwest began in a bike shop and ended in a church. From noon until three in the morning, three friends and I saw nearly 20 bands: indie rock and punk, blues and folk, glam and R&B, and a bit of hip-hop courtesy of A$AP Rocky. As I learned during my first time at the festival, SXSW is organized chaos, with thousands of people thronged in the streets all day and all night, lined up outside and packed inside bars and clubs to see some 2,000 bands play countless “official” and “unofficial” shows, categories that are somewhat fluid since most bands play both kinds of shows. It’s hard to imagine a place with more music per square inch or square mile, all within walking distance or a short bike ride. For any music maniac – especially one who loves tacos — SXSW is paradise.

The day began at  Mellow Johnny’s, a.k.a. Lance Armstrong’s massive warehouse of a bike shop, where we caught the last four songs of a set by Howler, part of a live broadcast by stellar Seattle station KEXP. Beneath a tricked out Bianchi Pista that hung over the stage, the skinny boys from Minneapolis plays good rowdy retro power-pop in the vein of The Strokes, Tokyo Police Club, and Surfer Blood.

Next we migrated to Waterloo Records, Austin’s iconic indie record shop slash tourist destination, where we caught a couple of bands and had free energy drinks which according to the can were a mixture of iced tea, lemonade, and bad ass. We were underwhelmed by the generic rock of London four-piece Tribes, then energized by the satirical glam rock and raucous energy of Foxy Shazam , who sound and act like a hybrid of Queen, The Darkness, and Spinal Tap, insofar as those three are different. Stage antics included keyboard surfing and smoking five cigarettes at once.

Energized by the neo-Freddy Mercury, we crossed town to the Red River District, one of the main drags of SXSW, where thousands of people were roaming the streets and enjoying free shows. The spacy R&B of Polica (pronounced POH-LISA) was the first and perhaps best show of the afternoon, led by the hypnotic voice and stage presence of Channy Moon Cassell, formely of Roma di Luna and now the lead female singer in Gayngs. Backed by bass, and two drummers who inexplicably often played the same beat simultaneously. Afterward, as walked around Red River we heard what we thought was a band covering Titus Andronicus. It turned out to be Titus Andronicus, though we caught only their last song (“No Future Part 3”).

At a Paste Magazine showcase, we  caught a pair of female-fronted bands who performed beneath a gigantic mural of the country music pantheon: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Reba McInytre, Kenny Rogers, etc. Led by vocalist Amber Papin, Brooklyn indie pop trio Hospitality brought some pleasant jangly songs from their debut album Friends of Friends, which came out in January. We were more impressed with husband and wife duo Tennis, whose first album Cape Dory was inspired by their seven month adventure on a sailboat, and last month released their second record, Young and Old, inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem. The live show–especially Alaina Moore’s vocals–makes their records seem tame by comparison.


After a brief break to bathe and refuel, we returned and made our first mistake of the night. We thought we were going to see Javelin. Instead, we went into the club next door by mistake, where we caught Fidlar who sounded like Warped Tour refugees, as confirmed later by their song “Wake Bake Skate.” We then entertained the delusion that we could get into the Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten and Andrew Bird showcase at Stubbs, Austin’s legendary BBQ joint. Then we saw the line. (Fortunately we have already seen Sharon Van Etten in Chicago and twice in New York).

For the rest of the night, we split into two groups. Assistant Editor Pete Lillis caught Zola Jesus, a.k.a Nika Rosa Danilova, the slow burn of Psychic Ills, and The Men about whom he will have much more to say later this week on Frontier Psychiatrist. The rest of us took a more mellow turn and headed to St. David’s Episcopal Church for three more mellow acts, each with a somewhat spiritual, if not exactly religious dimension. The star was Anais Mitchell, whose haunting baby voice of a drawl bounced through the pews as she sang songs from her new album Young Man in America and her 2010 breakout record Hadestown, a folk rock opera about the myth of Orpheus and Euridice. While Hadestown guest vocalist Justin Vernon did not make the show, Mitchell has more than enough talent on her own and her backing band – electric piano, bass, and a drummer who doubled on banjo—was perhaps the best musicianship of the day. Finally, we caught the bluesy set of alt-country singer songwriter Todd Snider. Perhaps only in Austin does a guy whose last album was called Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables play a gig in a church.

Amen. Bring on Day 2.

Frontier Psychiatrist is a Brooklyn-based blog about music, books, film, and food. For more coverage, check out their blog. Photos courtesy of Peter Lillis.

SXSW Music Festival Day One

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Spotted at SXSW, BKI’s 3D Robot graphic tee

Visitors to Austin’s annual music, film, and technology bender, otherwise known as South by Southwest were welcomed with a relatively rare occurance over the weekend – rain. But despite soggy badges, the Interactive Festival continued to build on its newfound reputation as the premier gathering event for unveiling new products, app launches, and for friendly and communal exchanges of ideas and technology trends. Al Gore, Sean Parker, Jimmy Fallon, Emily Shuman, and Adobe lent star power to this year’s panels that leaned heavily on cloud computing, social media, and blogging. This year also brought another new element to the festival – protest, with Stratfor CEO, George Friedman bearing the brunt of Occupy influenced demonstrations during his panel.

The film portion of the festival also continues to grow, trailing only Sundance now as the place to premier new movies in the states. This year’s crop of films showcased a number of great music related screenings, including Tchoupitoulas, a movie about a night in New Orleans, Soul of America, a great documentary about the late discovery of Brooklyn-based soul singer, Charles Bradley, and Shut Up and Play the Hits, which chronicles the final NYC stand of LCD Soundsystem, where the audience was reportedly dancing in the aisles and screaming when songs came on as if it were a live set.

Last night, we were fortunate to be able to attend a taping for an Austin City Limits episode featuring Alabama Shakes. The venue moved locations last year, from its original studio from 1976, to a more polished and larger venue downtown. Despite its larger seating capacity, the new theater retained the same intimate charm that has made the show a national treasure. On the previous night, the same stage was graced by a surprise free performance by Jay-Z, who seemed to enjoy the intimacy of a relatively small venue. Perhaps becoming a dad has changed Mr. Carter.

While everyone inevitably gets all aflutter over big celebrity showcases and the Instagram pics of Anthony Bourdain eating all over town, there are thousands of other artists and bands working hard all week to get their music out. En route to Austin, we met Adibisi Agoro, a young hip-hop artist under the stage name ‘Blax’, making his first trip to SXSW for a showcase via Bed-Stuy with just a few dollars to spare. Stories like his are what excites us the most about SXSW. And perhaps in a few years when Blax is onstage at Austin City Limits, we can say we once rode a Greyhound with him to SXSW back in the day.

Meet the DJ

Monday, February 6th, 2012

We’re thrilled to have L.A. native, and current NYC resident SOSUPERSAM DJ our Crash Into Spring event on Friday, February 10th at our Union Square location. She was gracious enough to talk with us about what she loves about her new adopted city and what she likes to jam out to when she’s at home.

When did music first start to interest you? Music has always been a huge part of my life since I can remember. I started dancing when I was three, playing the piano when I was five, and singing and doing musical theatre when I was 11. I evolved into a DJ in the last few years, and now I’m starting to get into music production. You truly start to understand music after you’ve experienced it in so many different ways.

You’re originally from Los Angeles. Why did you relocate to New York City, and what are your favorite things about living here? I’ve always loved New York, and made it a point to live here at some point in my life. I feel that the city speaks to my sensibilities and my pace. So when the opportunity presented itself to me, I took it, and I love it! Whereas LA is very spread out, I love how compact New York City is. Every neighborhood has a small town feel. You really get to know your corner deli, your UPS guy, your coffee shop. That’s rad.

You’ve DJ’ed both coasts – what other places have you played and where are your favorites?
I DJ’ed in Singapore last year, which was super awesome. There is an underground nu-disco and glitch hop scene I was pleased to discover. I always have a good time when I DJ in San Francisco, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been back there. I hope to DJ in SF again soon.

Your sets consists of an eclectic mix of 80′s, 90′s, dance, electronic, hip hop, indie, R&B, and soul. What’s your favorite genre to spin, and what do you listen to at home? My favorite genre to play is 90′s hip hop and R&B – it was such a great time in music. The R&B was so full of emotion back then – extremely happy, or extremely sad. There was nothing muted or understated about it.  At home, I’m usually listening to something mellow. I love the old soul greats, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Otis Redding, Etta James. Adele, Amy Winehouse, M83, and James Blake are also in heavy rotation – really, really mellow at home.

What is your top 5 for 2011?
M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
Adele – 21
James Blake – James Blake
Childish Gambino – Camp

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I want to be able to be in two places at once. Or even better to be able to live two lives at the same time.  But ONLY if I can wear a cape.

Besides music, how else do you Live, Work, Create?
I also do freelance fashion PR! And I’m learning how to cook.

DJ SoSuperSam will be spinning at our Crash Into Spring Fashion Event at BKI Union Square from 7-9:30pm on February 10th. To listen to some of her mixes, visit her website, or listen to the playlist she made for us on our Tumblr.