Archive for July, 2010

BROOKLYN SALSA COMPANY TALKS SALSA POWER

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Prepare for Brooklyn Salsa to be everywhere. That’s what Matt and Rob, the company’s founders, want you to do. The two masterminds behind the brand are working overtime to feed New Yorkers (and beyond) a new kind of salsa – one that goes well on everything from tacos to an entree gourmet meal. Brooklyn Salsa Company has been serving its salsa at our stores all summer and tonight they’ll be joining us for the final INDIE NIGHTS of the summer at our Union Square location. We spoke with them about their history, their flavors and their plans.

BKI:How did the BK Salsa team assemble? Where did you two meet – somewhere super trendy and “Brooklyn”?
BKS:We met in the fall of 2007 sharing a loft in Bushwick. Maybe trendy and Brooklyn now but at the time we were just trying to squeeze by to create at maximum potential. Rob had posted an ad on Craigslist saying he needed a roommate “yesterday,” and so did I. I showed up and we listened to some records and talked DIY punk rock for a few hours and I moved in immediately. The Brooklyn Salsa Company came like a lightning bolt that spring. We’re two guys that approach life sometimes from very different angles, and in terms of combining dual levels of creativity and orchestration, there’s some very real chemistry going on. It was an Organic process by nature. We inspire each other.

BKI: You already have a flavor for every New York borough. How will you introduce new flavors?
BKS: We’re dropping a white label sauce, SLEEPY HOLLOW, for the winter months. It’s designed with Butternut Squash, Coconut Milk, Cinnamon, Oranges and Jalapenos… It’s an amazing salsa. The kind of sauce you can dip bread in, make mashed potatoes with, flavor stuffing, turn into a warm soup, endless possibilities. The great part about Brooklyn Salsa and new flavors is that we are a new generation of salsa makers only interested in original, hybrid, international, multifunction blends that inspire creativity. It’s exciting to consider the kinds of integrative flavors other continents will be getting.

BKI:You claim BK Salsa goes on everything, not just chips and tacos. Is an official BK Salsa cookbook in the works soon?
BKS: Yeah. It’s called POUR OVER EVERYTHING! You won’t even need to read the book. In fact, the book doesn’t even exist. The book is in your mind. Take the Lid Off.

BKI: Does your master plan include opening BK Salsa stores or would you be happy just selling through grocers like Whole Foods?
BKS: We’ve discussed burrito stands and taco trucks in the past. The first thing we ever did to spread the word was deliver late night, organic, vegan tacos to our neighbors around Brooklyn with our 5 boroughs as the only choices on the menu. We’d come home from epic days, start cooking at 6pm, and deliver on our bikes with a crew from down the hall until 3am or so. Intense. Our mission is to bring the flavor and life of New York City with simple, explosive ingredients and that’s what we’re doing right. The master plan is to create new flavors in cities all across the globe using Conscious Methods, meaning Organic, Local and Direct Trade whenever and wherever we are able to. When Brooklyn Salsa launches in LA, we’ll launch new flavors for that scene. When we launch in Paris or Tokyo, same thing. Blends infused with the culture and cuisine of that specific place.

BKI: Does your team ever have Salsa marathons? Like, who can go the longest eating only salsa?
BKS: We created Salsa Power. We get radical. We drink raw egg yokes with cayenne flakes and chew garlic cloves and shotgun beers and practice ancient yoga together. Fun is the main ingredient in our sauce.

BKI:We just recently expanded our headquarters from Fort Greene to DUMBO. Do you ever see BK Salsa moving to a different part of Brooklyn?
BKS:We’re very happy living and working in Bushwick. There’s an inspiring mix of individuals and cultures coming together the way I think people would have looked at SOHO years ago. The warehouse/factory/artist/street vibe is surrounded by beautiful pockets of community gardens and parks. It’s a very historic, very legit neighborhood of Brooklyn.

BKI:Word on the street is BK Salsa is also musically talented. Tell us about that.
BKS: Both of us were creatively musicians before anything else so we like to keep our instruments around to bang on and have a practice space at Monster Island. We play in a band together called Poorsports, which is pretty much the filthiest skate thrash noise punk you’ve ever heard. We play cheap, broken gear and try to smash as much of it as possible at every show. In May when we were manufacturing we recorded an album in a motel at the same time. We’ll put it out sometime in the future. In the meantime you can check out our individual projects: Rob makes live electronic music as The Blue and Red 3D Spectacular and dj’s crunk mash-ups as LEGO CHEWBACCA. Matt’s in a band called CONTRA DRAGON and does ambient solo work under the title [goodnight].

BKI:What else are you doing this summer?
BKS:Everything. Matt just finished filming a lead role in Argentinian director Martin Piroyansky’s debut, ABRIL EN NUEVA YORK, opposite Carla Queveda from THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Rob’s playing more and more as LEGO CHEWBACCA. We’re camping and hunting new farmland and swimming in lakes and doing some urban gardening. Once a week we’re catching sunrise waves at Fort Tilden. We’re opening in stores like Whole Foods and Fairway and doing a number of local flea markets. We like to stay busy. SALSA POWER. Get Some.

THE RASSLE

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Many of you might remember our collaboration with the Young Lords during the 2008 holiday season. The former band (R.I.P) wore BKI, performed in our Union Square basement and graced the cover of our catalog. Luckily, a few of the talented members continued on with their music and are back as The Rassle. At our final summer INDIE NIGHTS tonight, we’ll hear just what The Rassle is made of. But before then, we’d like to share some of their answers to the questions we had to ask.

BKI:How is The Rassle different from the other bands you guys have been in?
ERIK: I think the approach is different. You learn over time what works and what doesn’t, what to do and what not to do.. rinse and repeat.

BKI: Besides Blair and Reed (being brothers and all) did you guys meet in New York, Texas, or somewhere in between?
BLAIR: Our old bands used to play shows together. That’s really how we met here in New York. I met Reed in Texas when we went to pick him up at the Adoption House. He was waaay cuter back then.

BKI:Do all of you take a stab at writing songs or is there one lyrical genius?
BLAIR: We probably work better together than the Miami Heat’s basketball geniuses will…

BKI:Any pre-show rituals?
ERIK: Kinda like the one that happens in Temple of Doom..

BLAIR:Or in Mark’s case he has One Bourbon, One Scotch and a beer… Then we do the pre-show ritual thing.

BKI:Do you have groupies? Would you like some?
BLAIR: Is that something we can sign up for on Facebook?

BKI: We stalked you on Twitter and Facebook. We’d definitely like to hear a song clearly influenced by Biggie Smalls. Should we hold our breath for tonight’s show?
ERIK: A lot of our influences are ones that you don’t hear in the songs..

BLAIR:Like Doritos. But you can hear them if you listen really close. We added some chip crunching sounds on “Born Free.”

ERIK:If you want to get back to one being a real lyrical genius… Biggie is clearly the man.

BLAIR: In other words – hold your breath till the remixes drop. I’ve heard some previews and the shit is hypnotizing.

LIVING DAYS

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010


(Photo by Steve Staso)

Tomorrow marks our final summer INDIE NIGHTS with ABSOLUT Brooklyn. Although it doesn’t mark the end of our music events in the basement of our Union Square store, or the possibility of working with other Brooklyn-based brands or companies with Brooklyn-inspired products (like Brooklyn Salsa Co!) it does mean this summer is flying by. We’re in the last week of July and right in the middle of the hottest part of the season. To further heat up our store (and by that we mean figuratively) we’ve invited two fresh new bands to play tomorrow evening – Living Days and The Rassle. (More on The Rassle later). If you haven’t heard of Living Days we suggest you read on.

BKI: Did your music start in the typical basement scenario? How did you all get together?
LD: A couple of broken hearts met up with the desire to make an album they would have wanted to listen to when they were 15, depressed, bored and misunderstood. As an experiment, they began to consider the notion that the universe was a benevolent one and the rest of the members showed up with a few beers and funny knock knock jokes.

BKI: What’s the back story on your name? Who coined it?
LD: Stephonik was reading Jack Kerourac’s, “On the Road” for the second time. Page 56 I think had the word “living”. It was circled in pen from when she read it in high school. She closed her eyes, pointed her finger, made a wish and turned the page. Her finger landed on the word “days”. She said, “Aiiiiight!”

BKI:Has your band hit the road internationally yet? What would be your first stop?
LD: No, Living Days has not ventured outside of the US of A together yet but we have been talking about it and making plans. First stop: psychedelic airport time!

BKI:Ever done anything extremely radical at a live performance?
LD: Prolly.

BKI:Are there any rules that you all live by as a whole? On stage or off?
LD: Sure. Unspoken ones. We love each other and love tells us what to do. Oh wait, yeah, if we are late to rehearsal we are supposed to lick a dirty window but no has ever enforced it.

BKI: What are you wearing on Thursday?
LD: Smiles!

BKLN TEE IS REFLECTIVE (IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

There’s no question we love bike culture. We’ve been supporting it since we first planted our brick and mortar roots in Williamsburg. Both BKI SoHo and our online shop now sell beautiful handmade bicycles designed by Bowery Lane Bicycles in New York City, and our selection of bicycle-inspired graphic t-shirts just keep growing. The latest in that collection is our men’s tee BKLN. It’s wonderfully clever. Not only can you interpret the abbreviation as BROOKLYN or BIKE LANE, but it serves as a reflective light in the dark. The dot certified ink uses the same material compound as the reflective ink on street signs and road crossings. It’s a great gift for anyone who loves to ride (safely, and attractively might we add).

PHILLY PASSWORD OF THE DAY: FRIDAY

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

We’re wrapping up Philly Tweet Week today with the password MGMT. They’re performing at the Mann Center on August 15th and we want you to enter to win tickets. We also want you to win our Anais handbag in Gold, which will belong to the lucky person who says MGMT to a Philly store associate first. It’s a hobo style handbag with lots of small pockets to keep the essentials. There’s also a nylon seat belt style strap and coin purse. Go and get it!

LETTERS FROM LEXY: IMMIGRATION AND FALL

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

As you know we moved our offices from just next to the Brooklyn Navy yard to Dumbo. We used to look out (through cracked windows) onto cranes and warehouses with Manhattan in the distance. Now, we see bridges and the Manhattan skyline. It is very similar to our logo only much higher up than the factory roof where Vahap drew our iconic image in North Williamsburg. It is quite a power shift, and I have to admit that every time I look up from my desk, which is rarely, I think of Wall street, and power brokers and huge corporations, and I think we will get you one day. I guess it’s my rebel streak.

Why I am saying all this is that this Fall’s design inspiration is New York immigration and dockworkers. Our design team poured over old images and clothing looking at buttons and seam details. People wore the same garments for years, alternating between two outfits, one for work and one for prayer. Our consumption patterns have changed, but this time period still echoes around us. We photographed in Dumbo to express this sensation of time passage. The brick and stone in the backgrounds have been there for over 100 years and will continue despite what we wear.


(Image source unknown)


(Image source unknown)

PHILLY PASSWORD OF THE DAY: THURSDAY

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

The Tweet Week password of the day is ARCADE, in honor of our Arcade Fire concert ticket giveaway. We’re accepting entries in store and online until July 27th for the Arcade Fire concert at the Mann Center August 2nd. Be sure to enter to win!

Today’s Tweet Week prize is the Bedford Saddle Bag in Khaki. Be the first to say it at our Philly store.

BKI’S FALL 2010 COLLECTION

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Our Fall 2010 collection and campaign launched and its inspired by 19th century workwear, the Industrial Revolution, and New York City immigration. Our utilitarian look for fall was photographed by our CEO Lexy here in Brooklyn, New York, under both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The new campaign images were taken on streets with cobblestone and against brick and stone backgrounds.

We’re very excited for the outerwear. The Compass Toggle Coat for women and the Antler Jacket for men are both beautifully tailored designs that our models wore in several photographs. Both have military styling, both are available in three colors and both will keep you warm after the summer heat fades to a cool autumn chill.

PHILLY PASSWORD OF THE DAY: WEDNESDAY

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Today’s Philly Tweet Week Password is WORKWEAR. BKI’s Fall 2010 campaign and collection launches today and is inspired by 19th century workwear with New York City immigration and dockworker influences. Our team looked to Ellis Island for inspiration, using tougher fabrics and military shapes and colors on outerwear, dresses, vests, pants and sweaters. Check out the new collection here.

As for the winning Tweet Week prize, we’re giving away the Red Hook Messenger in the Pigeon color. Be the first to say it to a Philly store associate after 2 PM and win. If you happen to come in second or even last, there’s probably a Sansom Street Soft Pretzel at the store with your name on it.

PHILLY PASSWORD OF THE DAY: TUESDAY

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Today’s Philly Tweet Week password is SURVEY. The first person to visit our Philadelphia location and say it to a store associate will win our women’s Feather Flower tee. Coinciding with Philly Tweet Week is our annual summer survey. Even if you aren’t from Philly we want to hear from you! All participants will have the chance to win a $200 BKI gift card. So, enter to win and express yourself. Brooklyn Industries would love to hear from you.