New York Magazine has a long-overdue cover story on the Brooklyn music scene and the thing is pretty epic. The article discusses the latest wave of a-list indie bands—Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Antlers, TV on the Radio—and canonizes the Dirty Projectors as “the most risk-taking” group of the crop:
Bitte Orca, it turns out, is Dirty Projectors’ real New York album, an urbane and sophisticated outgrowth of the most fertile new-music environment the city has seen since the CBGB heyday of the seventies. It is no coincidence that it came out within months of beloved albums by two giants of the local scene—Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion and Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest. These three bands do not sound alike. Animal Collective layers lush, romantic harmonies on top of kooky, heavily sampled orchestrations, a sound that is equal parts madness and impeccable logic. Grizzly Bear has a much more down-to-earth, folky approach, reveling in the pure pleasure of melodies and the ways they can be turned inside out and upside down. But the three bands all embrace many of the same virtues: fearless sincerity, devotion to craft, agnosticism about digital technology (which is to say, they use it but don’t fetishize it), profound musical curiosity, ingenuity at using the human voice as an instrument, and an uncanny ability to reproduce their complex material in live performance (in no small part because this is where the money is).
The author was kind enough to include a quote by yours truly:
Meanwhile, a more studious, art-focused scene was coalescing around a Williamsburg band called TV on the Radio, which released its label debut EP Young Liars in 2003. “They had art-punk, gospel, freak folk‚ everything interesting that was going on in Brooklyn,” says Robert Lanham, the freewilliamsburg.com blogger, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1996. “TV on the Radio was just a completely different organism.”
And later, they deem FREEwilliamsburg one of the “Five Voices That Matter in the Music Blogosphere.” Yahoo!
Critics will of course say this article came a tad late, but the real arguments will revolve around their Brooklyn Top 40 list. (I was happy to see it included zero Hold Steady songs—hipster frat rock). Still, it was nice to see New York paying respect to the amazing music scene that has emerged. As I told the reporter, it’s the most exciting time to be making (and listening to) music in the city since the late Eighties.