Posted in music on September 13, 2012

Brooklyn bridge

Justin Moyer writes:

Let's talk about Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a place where artists gather. There are galleries, and loft parties, and record stores. A dude who presses vinyl lives there. So does a dude who makes stickers and a woman who books a venue. Because there's an infrastructure that supports getting shit done, people do shit, and a lot of the shit they do is cool. Someone is a recording engineer. Someone is a graffiti artist. Someone has a blog. There's a lot of energy, and a lot of people to know. Information--"Know a cheap place to print posters?" or "Who can play the tambourine in my Jefferson Airplane cover band?"--is the coin of the realm.

It's great.

But Brooklyn has a downside. Those who abandon their RMS to come to Brooklyn risk co-option by an aesthetic Borg. Things get mushy. There's too much input, and there's not a lot that's not known. Somebody's band sounds like Howlin' Wolf and ESG and Gang of Four, but also sounds like REO Speedwagon and Glenn Branca and The Pointer Sisters. There aren't many secrets. There are no mountains to go over.

Do not confuse Brooklyn with, well, Brooklyn--the New York borough that sits about 230 miles from Washington on the southwest end of Long Island over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge off of I-278. There are many Brooklyns. Los Angeles is Brooklyn. Chicago is Brooklyn. Berlin and London are Brooklyn. Babylon was the Brooklyn of the ancient world. In the 1990s, Seattle was Brooklyn. Young Chinese punks challenging Communism risk prison to make Beijing the Brooklyn of tomorrow.

Some Brooklyns aren't even places. MySpace is Brooklyn. YouTube is Brooklyn. Facebook is Brooklyn. Spotify and iTunes are perversely, horribly, unapologetically, maddeningly Brooklyn.

I'm against it.

MUCH more where that came from at the Washington City Paper.

---

      

Comments (121)

"one of the greatest bands of the 21st century: The Gossip. "

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:43 PM

I am a cat.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:45 PM

here come the comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:45 PM

comment baiting bv hehehehe

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:46 PM

FIRST

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:47 PM

Jealous prick. Sounds like he came, couldn't play shit and now has to defend the move back to his mother's basement.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:47 PM

Say what you will about the music but the hummus is marvelous

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:48 PM

Someone had a hard time making friends.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:48 PM

Hey Washington, shut up.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:48 PM

Hummus!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:49 PM

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

i think of every other scene before i even think of DC or consider it to have a scene

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:50 PM

Obvious lack of hummus in DC.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:50 PM

Lin5an1ty came out of his hiatus to say he does not approve of this.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:51 PM

I have no idea what any of that means.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:51 PM

Thankfully, Austin is not Brooklyn.

Posted by Ryan | September 13, 2012 4:52 PM

oooooook

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:52 PM

She's right. Milwaukee has a new shortage of Thin Lizzy cover bands for their white trash bars because they all moved here.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:53 PM

Serious post: I really don't see what his point is.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:53 PM

he

Posted by 4:53 | September 13, 2012 4:54 PM

MySpace is Seattle

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:54 PM

Austin and Portland are what Brooklyn REALLY wants to be. But it's too dirty and scummy.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:55 PM

Fuck you BV for scoring money of this useless page view

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:56 PM

I know... Before you know it Pussy Riot will have a Tuesday night residency at Muchmores..

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:56 PM

if you're bored then you're boring

Posted by Sean Nelson | September 13, 2012 4:57 PM

i agree completely.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:57 PM

This sounds like a conversation overheard at a bar, which helps me to realize I should try another bar.

Posted by aronblue | September 13, 2012 4:57 PM

Curse you North 6th. I warned you this would happen.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:57 PM

the ironic thing here is that Even Brooklyn is not Brooklyn anymore, which is the one thing he fails to understand.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:58 PM

I am Brooklyn,

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:59 PM

This blog is largely responsible, as well.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 4:59 PM

We should be commenting on the serious issues, like the Amanda Palmer and Steve Albino beef.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:01 PM

At least Waffle House was part of this story!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:01 PM

Who farted? Neon Indian, was that you?

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:04 PM

and what about the brooklyn that is our 'regional music scene'? another example of people basically ignoring that brooklyn is a place with history, pasts, and people...and had and has real, distinctive music/art scenes (that haven't uprooted existing communities).

and since when is brooklyn a concept? says the author, "Some Brooklyns aren’t even places." ridiculous appropriation of brooklyn as some evil concept, for the author's sake of being clever and current. no thanks.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:04 PM

>caring about an article written in a completely insignificant publication

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:06 PM

5:06 - FTW!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:08 PM

I stopped paying attention when he said Gossip were a better version of Muddy Waters and Black Flag. what the fuck is he prattling on about?

Good music can come from anywhere. stop making excuses.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:10 PM

IT"S A METAPHOR. You people are idiots.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:10 PM

There is more to Kings County than the northern part, but whatever. I gotta leave work at the record store because I'm late for band practice. Oh, and my roommate's late with our stickers and buttons order. I'm totally gonna kill him. My neighbor accidentally erased the reel of tape for our new LP from last night's recording session and now I have to tell my buddy that it will be a little longer before I give him my vinyl pressing order. I hope this doesn't affect our review in Brooklyn Vegan.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:10 PM

Dumb and pointless. Not worth my time to read this drivel. And yeah, I saw Edie Sedgwick open for Bob Mould this past Sat. They were fucking terrible! This dude should work on making better music instead of criticizing how everyone else sounds the same.

Posted by BTH | September 13, 2012 5:11 PM

This person has an idea of Brooklyn that is as false as his rant.

What he is really complaining about are the people that come to Brooklyn and try to make Brooklyn something it is not. That's not the real Brooklyn anyway, and he doesn't know even know that.

The Brooklyn that he is complaining about doesn't really exist anyway outside of a few measly miles in North Brooklyn and stupid blogs.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:12 PM

this is the dumbest/trollingest thing i've read in awhile

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:13 PM

I'm glad this guy stayed where he is. Ironically, if he moved here he would be EXACTLY the problem he so complains about. He sounds like he's criticizing himself more for NOT joining the party than who's at the party, or the party itself.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:15 PM

5:12 - 100%. brooklyn has fallen prey to a bunch of jingoists + colonialists who see a cool warehouse, drool themselves into a stupor, and take neighborhoods away from the people who have spent their lives there.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:16 PM

How incredibly pointless

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:19 PM

I'd bang Brooklyn Decker tho!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:23 PM

Honestly, I've been recently thinking about the idea of Brooklyn's music scene.

And I think it's done. I mean that.

Nothing lasts forever, Brooklyn has had a great run, but, to me, the market is insanely saturated. More than it ever has been. I can't even hear about the newest buzz band anymore because buzz happens so fast that the band reaches great heights before they're even good. Which means they suck. Which means they come and go faster than you can blink.

Just a few years ago I lived and breathed the music scene - I never lived in Brooklyn but I always hung out there, went to shows, loved bands, etc. etc., but New York music seems radically different now than It did five years ago. Instead of a few places like the Cake Shop and Market Hotel, we have like 50 venues that all try to put on a show every night, which means that instead of knowing where to go to see a real, talented band, the same crap just keeps getting passed around. And so even half decent bands get absorbed by the white noise.

What's equally interesting is that there really isn't any reason to actually live in a place like Brooklyn now - the internet has made collaboration so easy that living in a dirty, shitty overpriced apartment isn't worth it. You could just as easily live in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Ann Arbor, or any slew of small cities with a lot of young people. You'd pay half the rent, have a ton more space, and find a market where you can actually stand out. But to me, I'm almost exhausted of anything made in Brooklyn.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:23 PM

If you build the hummus, the Brooklyn will come.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:24 PM

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:44 PM

5:23. Half the rent in Pittsburgh? You could live like a sultan there for half of what I pay in rent for a one bedroom in Brooklyn.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:48 PM

Everyone move to Detroit.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:56 PM

genius. simply a genius.

Posted by christopher | September 13, 2012 5:58 PM

it's really more the internet rather than brooklyn. all the music industry (not counting country) in the US is either in LA or NYC so if you don't move to one of those places you are seriously hampering your chances of being successful.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 5:58 PM

^ As someone who lives in Detroit: Please, none of you fucking move here, EVER...

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:02 PM

I miss the days that guys like him would be shot in DC. He is the problem and he doesn't realize this.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:04 PM

6:02. I won't move to your shithole town EVER, so you're safe

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:11 PM

Should be titled "How the Pitchforkization killed regional music scenes", aka "Follow the leader". NO independent though music.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:14 PM

The northern part of Brooklyn is no longer Brooklyn. The things Brooklyn used to be known for (amazing old-school Italian food and the Guidos that go along with it, Jewish enclaves, rough housing projects, Russian immigrants, etc) all lie south and east of Prospect Park.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:15 PM

Excuse me, No independent thought music.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:15 PM

None of you read the fucking article.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:17 PM

6:11 Yes, I know you won't. I'm aware that despite the fact that your type pays lip service to diversity and "edginess", you don't actually prefer to experience it. Opting instead for boutique cupcake shops and all natural vegan dog food stores.

At least you're honest though. To the average upper east coast white yupster douche like yourself, a town where black folk are actually visible = shithole. Again, thanks for staying the fuck out.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:18 PM

I like what North Brooklyn has become. There was a time not all that long ago when you wouldn't want to walk down Bedford at 2am.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:20 PM

^ Countdown until some frail hipster longs for the good old days when this is how brooklyn was, despite not having lived there during that time...

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:25 PM

North Williamsburg Loft Spaces are the top echelon of living in 2012.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:30 PM

wahhhh!

everyone left me. now im all along in boring DC.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:31 PM

6:30 - I'd rather have a loft in Dumbo or in Tribeca.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:33 PM

6:02/6:18 - You don't know a thing about me. I do know a thing about you, you live in a shithole town.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:41 PM

That article is poorly written. And dumb.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:44 PM

hologram frohawk

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:49 PM

Thank heavens that Manhattan is still the center of the universe.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 6:55 PM

I don't have time to think about thinking.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 7:07 PM

@6:17's right. None of you read the article.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 7:10 PM

I've lived in Brooklyn all my life and I must say, Brooklyn is much better now than it was before. I've never understood what people found so appealing about run down, beat up neighborhoods that you could possibly get killed in if you're out too late. I bet half the people that now complain about Brooklyn stayed far far away from the very places they now frequent and hypocritically complain about.

Posted by Anon | September 13, 2012 7:24 PM

Is Brooklyn part of Queens?

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 7:56 PM

Does anybody think that in about 20 years, williamsburg will attain the souvenir shops you see in the haight-ashbury region of San Fran?

And if so, what would the souvenirs be?

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 8:17 PM

thought provoking and topical in our jacked-in hive-mind current situation.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 8:20 PM

An engraved porcelain pita triangle would make a fantastic souvenir.
Perhaps the engraving would say something like, "I came to Williamsburg and loaded up on phyto-nutrients".

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 8:21 PM

Well we should defintely be moving to Buenos Aires in droves. And I hear they have good pizza down there and speak spanish, so basically just like home.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 8:27 PM

Let me know when Brooklyn gets to be as cool as London, Manchester, or Berlin.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 8:40 PM

Imagine how I, and the very few others in here that actually GREW UP in Brooklyn (Williamsburg no less), feel when things like this pop up, online or in live conversation..

I lived the transformation. I grew up in a Williamsburg where the now demolished Commodore Theater was playing TMNT II, where you didn't wander past Berry Street unless you were going to work at a factory or going to the then completely run down East River park. Somewhere down the line, after enough artists and intellectuals moved in, Brooklyn became internationally known (as if it wasn't already.. but even more so now) and it's odd that people feel compelled to write what Justin Moyer did.. Really odd. It mean, as far as safety goes, the gentrification of Williamsburg and Brooklyn in general is a good thing, but there are quite a few negatives.. and the feeling that one needs to write about how something is 'dead', so to speak, is one of them. Just a town, my hometown.. except today I feel like a tourist in my own hometown. Don't live there anymore, haven't seen 2004, but the sentiment stands.

It is what it is.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 9:28 PM

8:40pm

Brooklyn as cool as London, Manchester, Berlin....

.......


are you aware that London, Manchester, Berlin are all cities, not boroughs/neighborhoods/wards/etc.. though those are contained within them..

It's like saying, 'Tell me when Islington/Kreuzberg/Trafford are cooler than New York City'

Utterly foolish..

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 9:33 PM

Newark is the new Brooklyn. Brick city bitches.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 9:44 PM

He's using brooklyn as a metaphor. Did any of you read the essay?

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 9:56 PM

9:33, are you aware that Brooklyn was once it's own city? Don't be such a dingledong

The essay wasn't terrible, love all the butthurt brooklyn boyzz bitching about it, essay was all over the place, he's basically bitching that music has become gentrified and Brooklyn is the embodiment of this, I think he's just pissy nobody likes his band

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 10:03 PM

Thanks, 9:28. Nice to get a perspective from a non-transplant and non overly bitter native about the state of things. Sounds like an adult who is matter-of-factly explaining how the world works to a bunch of children who have already commented.

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 10:23 PM

Spickwick is the new Williamsburg everyone.

And the fuckhead who wrote this is probably from DC

All ya got is Post-Hardcore, bitch.

Posted by Sam | September 13, 2012 10:31 PM

New York in general:

One of the only cities where rent and buying are the same price. Fucking unbelievable in my opinion.

The fact that the city will probably be flooded over in the next 50 years makes me steer the fuck away honestly.

Posted by Anonypie | September 13, 2012 10:35 PM

I didn't really like the essay until I read these comments. It's great seeing pissy brooklyn kids get defensive

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 10:49 PM

Still, this article evokes memories of scrawny more-PC-than-thou kids i know who were "NO" to moshing at shows in the 90's who are now 40 years old and have giant sailor anchors tattooed on their chests and are slamming hard to OFF!

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 11:33 PM

Let's just admit that the counter-culture is in a state of arrested development.


Maybe partying will help?...will it???

Posted by Anonymous | September 13, 2012 11:36 PM

11:33 PM Now that is funny. Can there possibly be anymore kids in North Brooklyn with old school anchor tattoos etc. that look so identical?

It's the commodification of pop culture subculture or however you would like to put it,
its rather artificial now.
The evidence is in the fact that indie, metal esque, experimental, & everything in between has been done.
There still is some original music out there, more so from the past, but the younger kids in Brooklyn along with the likes of Beacons Closet Buffalo Exchange contingent, & the carbon copy metal bands are really sheepish which is happening in other cities without variation. Plus theres the cell phone culture which has ruined peoples attention span.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:52 AM

Brooklyn is Manhattan. Manhattan is Brooklyn. Fuck the river. One subway system people. New York is New York. Enjoy the music, or go back to Iowa. Pretty simple.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:26 AM

Who cares? Go to work, go home... Shut the fuck up.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:29 AM

God listens to Slayer. I am still a cat.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:30 AM

It's really unfair of you to share only this excerpt, much like a Republican choosing and misrepresenting a sound bite by Obama. This is one of the best articles I have read about music in a long time. And maybe if all your readers weren't 19 year old dickwads they would have some amount of clue that music is not just a fashion show where one goes to get wasted and laid.

Posted by Kelli | September 14, 2012 7:36 AM

"I now reluctantly climb back into the ring to write about one of the greatest bands of the 21st century: The Gossip."

I get it now....this guy writes for the Onion

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 8:10 AM

so all the cool kids these days are calling the internet "brooklyn" I must be out of touch

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 8:26 AM

why did brooklyn have to take a member of Q and not U?!?!?!? WTF

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 8:54 AM

At least "Girls" is a great tv show...

Posted by Bushwick Free Press | September 14, 2012 8:59 AM

^ Uh, no.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 9:09 AM

8:54, Q and Not U was awesome, but how did Brooklyn take a member of it? Did one of them decide to move there? I just remember they each had new projects, Georgie James (eh, the 1 song 'evil ways' was ok), President (eh, 'gliding' was ok), and Ris Paul Ric (enjoyed that album) - one of them was based in Brooklyn?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 9:21 AM

10:31 PM (Sam), he is from DC, or at least is a musician active on the DC scene - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Moyer

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 9:22 AM

@Harris from Q and Not U is "President." He is now the touring bass player for the Rapture.

Posted by Colonel K | September 14, 2012 9:35 AM

he has a totally self written wikipedia entry. and has played in terrible nobody gives a shit bands and writes for a totally no one gives a shit paper and is totally fucking bald.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 10:02 AM

Colonel K, thanks for the info

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 10:18 AM

Everyone understands that he is using "Brooklyn" as a metaphor. The problem is that it's a STUPID metaphor.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 12:31 PM

black is the new brooklyn

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 12:32 PM

it should have been 'williamsburg' in the essay instead of 'brooklyn.'
but, point taken.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 1:15 PM

Give brooklyn another 5-7 years and it will be manhattan 2.0

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 1:32 PM

11:36 PM- "counterculture"? Hilarious. Pretty safe, homogenized counterculture you have there with your bike lanes and artisanal cheese. Counterculture uniform is more like it.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 1:40 PM

Brooklyn is the next Vietnam.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 1:47 PM

countercultural boners

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 2:10 PM

a lot of ppl here missing the point of the piece. although, I have to say I don't necessarily agree with all of it.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 2:10 PM

Vietnam is the next Brooklyn.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 2:50 PM

Ballot measure in November: Astoria is apying to become part of Brooklyn

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 6:00 PM

Six more months Williamsburg will be all boutique hotels & hostels.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 6:26 PM

What will Della wear to Marry Land? Her New Jersey.

I don't give a fuck about Brooklyn. It smells like yeast infection. Seaside Hts is where it's at.

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 12:33 AM

^
hahahaha

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 12:37 PM

no one is being forced to participate in the "subculture"

reason this person is noticing these things is b/c it's easier to start a band that sounds like beach fossils or whatever and get blogged abt than it is to get noticed doing something new... this is probably even truer in cities smaller than NY where the internet is your main marketing outlet

blame the bullshit indie PR cycle and people who don't have the courage to do something new, don't blame boroughs/neighborhoods

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 1:17 PM

Hey folks, Jon Fischer of Washington City Paper here. Justin Moyer's doing a live chat about his "Brooklynization" essay today at noon, right here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/music/2012/09/18/live-chat-justin-moyer-discusses-our-band-could-be-your-band-and-the-brooklynization-of-culture/

Posted by Jon Fischer | September 18, 2012 11:18 AM

Brooklyn is what you make it. If you hang with a bunch of worthless, bad tattooed, shitty dog-owning twats who wear pork pie hats and think that they are unique by looking like every other wee prick with a beard, then you've missed the point of art. Do your own thing. If you are talented the crowd will come. London is not Brooklyn, I assure you. London is everything and anything. You want a basement 60s garage night, its there. You want jazz, you want a squat party banging out acid techno, whatever you want. If you dress like a hipster and join their mediocre bullshit then you are just a cartoon retard.

Posted by Adey | November 18, 2012 8:48 AM

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