MTV On The 2008 Brooklyn Scene

It’s no secret that Brooklyn and Manhattan are growing further apart these days, and less of a secret that the increasing divide makes for fun media pieces. The NY Post ran a piece on the schism, nabbing this quote from show promoter extraordinaire and de facto scene leader Todd P:

Manhattan has larger venues, but Brooklyn people who are dialed in probably don’t give a crap about those places. More tours are stopping in Brooklyn, and the scene is a billion times better than when everything revolved around Manhattan.

Todd’s got a lot more to say, as evidenced by this long and worthwhile interview over at Gothamist where he gets into his theories on the post-millennial migration of cool shit from Manhattan to BK. Like:

And these [Manhattan] clubs tell you it’s all financial, that they don’t have an option, that the insurance keeps them from this or that and I can believe that to a certain degree but I still think these big clubs – and even some of the little ones – are just heartless. I often wonder why the people who risk their financial well-being to open these places don’t just open up a widget factory. Because all they care about is a return on their investment and a rock club is never going to be a very effective one. I don’t care how much you cut every corner and suck as much money out of it as you can, it’s still not going to make you as much money as a lot of other fields do. And if there’s no joy to it and you don’t love the visceral rock experience – which they can’t because they’re stifling it – why bother? Why sully this otherwise really pure experience for people?

Todd’s show-throwing approach speaks to the issues he outlined above, and as such, his gigs tend to get wild. Anyway, enter MTV. They’ve already taken time to investigate Beirut (aka Greenpoint’s ambassador), so Zach isn’t involved here; instead we get a look at the scene through chats with Mr. P, Yeasayer, MGMT, A Place To Bury Strangers, and the (relatively) grizzled vets of Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors, interspersed with live concert footage and snippets from one of the BK scene’s most representative tracks in spirit and sound, this one.


Nice MTV slag, Longstreth. Hey Yeasayer dudes, at least (and, most) one of us here resents that “everyone in Manhattan wears guyliner … noone’s creative in that whole island” bit (but not the “in love with ’77 punk” part, that’s OK). But if there’s one thing that Condon’s quote in the Greenpoint piece (“I used to see Kyp every day, but I don’t think he recognized me. He never said ‘Hi.'”) and MGMT’s bits here taught us, it is that acknowledgment by Kyp Malone is to the young Brooklyn hipster musician what an invitation to the couch by Johnny Carson once was to the young comic. A souvenir so you can be down with Brooklyn, wherever you are…

Grizzly Bear (Feat. Beirut & Dirty Projectors) – “Alligator (Choir Version)” (MP3)

OK! Enjoy your weekend. We’re gonna go guyliner-less for once and get on the L and be all hipster in Williamsburg tonight. See you there, indie rock!