4.15 A wknd w/ Grand Army Reapers
The band on brunch, brown-baggin' at Prospect Park and their basement banger of an album release (+ Ukraine benefit!) show Saturday night at The Nest
Members of the Gen-Swipe dating generation understand more than anyone the gap that exists between digital and IRL—the occasionally double-take-inducing difference between what is presented online and delivered in person. A first date can either be a very pleasant surprise or a real fuckin’ Fyre Festival sometimes. And this phenomenon isn’t limited to your love life.
Given the fact this isn’t a dating blog (YET!!!), despite the slight stretch of a metaphor, you probably know where this going. Bands sometimes sound very different on stage than they do on the record (+ the other way around), and it’s a bit of a buzzkill when you fall absolutely in love with music in one format only to be disappointed when you experience it in the other. The record rules, butttt the live performance is a little lackluster. The artist tears it up onstage buttttt the magic is just missing when you put the album on at home. And while it’s totally okay to shine in just one area—different people have different strengths, as well as different priorities—well, it’s pretty damn great when a band manages to deliver on both.
With that, we bring you Alive, Alive (from King Killer), the new record from Grand Army Reapers—out tomorrow!—and the Brooklyn band’s attempt to capture the fun, energy and unpredictability of their live performance in EP form.
Self-recorded in the band’s practice space in two days last December, the (mostly) live album—three songs on which are out now—was created as “a reaction against the sterilizing and homogenizing effects of studio production, social media, and streaming services on our punk and indie rock peers” and with a set of ground rules, including the band limiting themselves to just three takes per song. Less stress (maybe). More fun (definitely).
As the group described the EP:
“This album is an invitation to weirdness and spontaneity in the studio, improvisation of performance as well as production, even if you have to make your own studio, even if you’re not sure what you’re doing, and even if quality objectively suffers. Fuck ‘em.”
Here’s the good news: We’re extremely stoked to share that this was a successful endeavor. What you hear here is what you get live—and very much vice versa. And this weekend, you can go out and find out for yourself.
This brings us to SATURDAY NIGHT! Immediately following the EP’s release, the band is celebrating the record at The Nest with Sunny Delight, Street Rules and TV After Dark, giving you the ultimate opportunity to cross-compare. And as a bonus, it’s also a benefit show for the Ukrainian National Bank, giving you the chance to do a little good as well.
As for the rest of the weekend (unnecessary drum roll here), READ ON! Grand Army Reapers very kindly provided a three-day/night itinerary for you below, and while we don’t know how many takes it took to create this work of art, we very much approve of the final write-up—and we can’t wait to go out and live it liiiiiive.
SO! Plz do us a favor and have the best weekend you’ve ever had in your life. The sun is shining, we’re wearing shorts and there is much good music in store. You’re great, and we love you. Be safe and enjoy enjoy enjoy it all~
[BUT FIRST: PRESS PLAY]
Morning – Grab-n-go coffee n pastries at Gold Star Beer Counter’s pickup window. Their beer and music selection is always on-point, but their coffee and pastries are a life-saver on your way out the door. Josh, Morgan, and the boys are all super friendly dudes, so go support them.
Afternoon – Brown bag it around Prospect Park, and take in some light chaos at the dog beach down in the middle of the park, kind of across from the picnic house.
Night – Keep going south for some rad world music at Hotel Barbes. It’s always an eclectic mix of highly-danceable Latin, afrobeat, Balkan orkestar, and “Nawlins” jazz. Don’t even look up who’s playing, just show up.
Morning – Pollen allergies? Too bad. It’s cherry blossom season, and mother nature will not be denied. Go to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and smell what nature’s cooking, you slime.
Afternoon – Refuel at Chavela’s with whatever friends you can rally. It's a fun spot with large portions and margarita pitchers for sharing. Look for the giant artichoke on the corner of Sterling and Franklin.
Saturday – GAR album release party and Ukraine benefit show at The Nest (405 flatbush, just off the Q). There’s no other music happening that night, so don’t even bother checking your feed. Dress up and get down to the nasty sounds of TV After Dark, Sunny D, and Street Rules. It’s gonna be a basement banger for sure.
Morning – Rise-n-shine, buttercup. Time to face the day. Go to Cheryl’s Global Soul for brunch. It's small inside, but they’ve got a massive back patio, terraced and canopied with trees. It’s a jungle with breakfast n booze.
Afternoon – Feel your hangover abating, your mind elevating. God is whispering to you. Are you listening, you uncultured swine? She's telling you to go to the Brooklyn Museum down the block and check out the new Guadalupe Maravilla multimedia exhibit about displacement, disease, and healing through sound (“Disease Thrower #0” looks insane).
Night – Sharlene’s on Flatbush is the local post-up on a Sunday night. You Grubhub a spicy chicken sandwich from Sweet Chick because you're lazy and don’t want to lose your spot at the bar, and the Zapp’s Voodoo chips aren’t sufficiently soaking up the $8 beer-n-shots. There’s a jukebox in the back, but it’s out of service. Ask the bartender to DJ for you and enjoy their reaction. Congrats, you’re their new favorite patron. Stumble back to the Q. Try not to fall asleep on the subway home. Fall asleep anyway. Goodnight, Alice.
Feature image provided by the band.
HUGE THANKS to everyone who made STRONG LITTLE SONGS 3 such a huge success — to Slight Of, War Violet, Bill Waters and Arlo Indigo for their time, art and generosity and everyone who participated and/or donated. Between contributions, direct-through-IG donations and BdBK matching the first $100, we raised more than $460 (!!!!) for Razom for Ukraine. (Couldn’t make it? We missed you! And, ya know, if you want to you can always donate directly to the org here.)
Today is the LAST DAY for bands to apply to Punk Island—an “all ages 100% free DIY punk fest/community in NYC.” Submit your application here. (They will also be looking for volunteers if that’s more your thang.)
New(ish) stuff from local (+ once-local) artists we love, listed in no order whatsoever:
“Number One Fan” video // Forever Honey
“Goodnight, Goodbye” // Mary Shelley
Letter Blue (Reprise) // Wet
“STM” // Purr
Here’s a look at the shows we’ve got coming up next month and beyond. Mark your calendars and come hang!
5.22 BdBK x New Colossus Fest Summer Sunday @ 18th Ward Brewing w/ War Violet + NEVVA + Marinara + Shred Flintstone + Mary Shelley
5.25 BdBK Presents: Phranque (album release) + Nuclear Family Fantasy (album release) + Ouster Nash + Hot Knives at Our Wicked Lady
Around the blog + on the radio + from the archives: