M-TRI and DJ Leecy T Find Bliss in Hip-Hop Wedlock

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Linda Turley
DJ Leecy T and M-TRI
The one-MC one-DJ rap outfits have always shared a special bond, but none have shared holy matrimony. That is, until MTRI and DJ Leecy T. They recently released their new videos for "Rush" (with Ukraine artist Dee the Conscious One) and "Expression" (with Slovakia's Golias and DJ Muki), both filmed on their European tour, and the happily married hip-hop couple are proving the energy and style that's made them mainstays of the New York underground translates all over the world.

We spoke to the duo, who are currently finishing their new album Monday Morning Music, about bringing New York boom bap across the map, as well as the advantages and challenges of hip-hop wedlock.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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Classically Trained Hip-Hop Artist Corina Corina Teaches Us The Free Way

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Gubi Chiriboga
Corina Corina
This week, Brooklyn's favorite tattooed hip-hop songstress Corina Corina releases her anticipated sophomore album The Free Way. The album features production from such current east coast indie-rap "it"-producers as Willie Green and Steel Tipped Dove, and guest appearances from the likes of billy woods and Elucid, She'll be celebrating the release this Wednesday, March 19th, at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn at 8 p.m. We spoke to Corina about making a name for herself home and touring abroad in the testosterone-filled indie hip-hop world, as well as the maturity found on The Free Way and the story behind her eye-catching tattoos.

See also:
Onyx Reminisce About The Tunnel: "Blood and Moet on the Floor!"


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Rapper Louis Logic Undergoes Emergency Throat Surgery

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Louis Logic
Louis Logic in the Hospital
Fake Four artist and indie rap favorite Louis Logic had to have emergency throat surgery Monday night. Despite this, he hasn't missed a day of his Rhymin' Gosling Tour in support of his new album Look on the Blight Side. We spoke to Louis about his Wolverine-esqe recovery, and how he balances touring with owning/managing a Brooklyn apartment building during one of New York's most hellacious winters.

See also: Hip-Hop Classics Turning 20 in 2014

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Vivian Girls Remember: Pizza! Wild Puppies! Jean Jackets!

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Vivian Girls, breaking up after 7 years; photo by Arnaud Bianquis
This weekend, The Vivian Girls play their very last shows ever. Their band was born in Brooklyn, so it's fitting that they're going to wrapping things up, there, too, with a pair of shows: one Saturday at Death By Audio and one Sunday at Baby's All Right.

The Vivian Girls: Katy "Kickball Katy" Goodman, Cassie Ramone, and Ali Koehler (originally Frankie Rose) were a big part of Brooklyn's now officially 100% dead DiY scene. Silly, punky, approachable, enjoyable, and strangely super appealing to young teenagers, the band was the absolute best of what Brooklyn had to offer in those days (2007 ~ 2010). The picture on their Wikipedia page is from Market Hotel, for god's sake.

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10 Must-See Artists at Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival This Weekend

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Actress.

This weekend the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival once again descends upon the northwest corner of Williamsburg for the sixth year running, and it's expanding from two nights to four for Veteran's Day, including a pre-party Thursday at Output. This year's lineup promises another eclectic mix of established and up-and-coming artists, from "cosmic disco" pioneer Todd Terje and constantly evolving dubstepper Skream to sample-based experimentalist Lamin Fofana and Kanye West-approved beatsmith Evian Christ. As with most festivals, it's tough to decide who to see, what to skip, and when to wait in line, especially when that means leaving a rapidly warming space for the near-freezing outdoors; fortunately, festival founders and organizers Katie Longmyer and Jen Lyon have somewhat alleviated the fear of missing out (and hypothermia) by booking venues within walking distance of each other.

See also: Live: Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Quakes Over Williamsburg


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So, Four Midwest Musicians and an Irishman Open a Bar in Brooklyn...

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Photo by Jesse Sposato
Bobby Drake, drummer for the Hold Steady and co-owner of Greenpoint's Lake Street.
The announcement that some musicians from the Midwest were opening a Greenpoint bar called Lake Street after a major thoroughfare in Minneapolis got some mixed reactions online. Comments ran the gamut from "Let me guess, it will also feature pickled vegetables and an 'old-timey' theme with Edison bulbs and exposed brick?" to instructions on how to be Minnesota nice and pleas for nice Minnesotan men. A few homesick commenters were stoked while other proud New Yorkers told the owners to go back where they (expletive) came from. The person came the closest to the truth, however, wrote: "Isn't Williamsburg/Greenpoint already Midwestern? The whole area is full of transient transplants."

See also: The 10 Best Bars in Park Slope Not Yet Ruined by Babies

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Rabbi Darkside on Bringing Prospect Avenue Around the World

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Rae Maxwell
Rabbi Darkside
Few underground hip-hop artists in New York have had the staying power of Rabbi Darkside. From an era where everyone had a vinyl single, through rap battling at the start of the mid-2000s rising next wave of battle leagues, to being a coach on "MTV's Made" and one of the centerpieces of the Hip-Hop Subway Series, if there's been a major hip-hop event in the city, chances are he's been a visible presence. In further evidence of how he's been able to change with the times, he's recently become one of the few hip-hop artists to successfully use Kickstarter to fund his new album Prospect Avenue, which he'll be unveiling at the release show on Friday at Brooklyn's Littlefield. We spoke to Rabbi Darkside on how he's always managed to remain a constant presence in such an ever-changing turbulent scene.

See also: Peter Rosenberg's What's Poppin' Vol. 1 Takes The New York Hip-Hop Scene's Pulse

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Widowspeak's Almanac: "A Rock Band's Take on Movie Soundtracks and Country Cowboy Choirs"

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"It's almost like waiting for your birthday when you're a little kid--'Oh my gosh, I can't wait for my party! I hope people come! I hope I get a ... train!'"

Laughing, Molly Hamilton eases into a foldable chair in the middle of her practice space in Bushwick. After taking a swig from a half-gone Sierra Nevada, she brings me up to speed: Widowspeak, her band, has been practicing like mad over the course of the past few weeks because they'd recently added a member, bringing their touring outfit to five players. They've been feverishly counting down to today as it marks the release of Almanac, their sophomore album out on Captured Tracks, as well the beginning of a brief run of East Coast dates that kicks off at the Mercury Lounge this evening. Older Widowspeak material has been on the agenda for the rehearsals leading up to the show, though the songs of Almanac are what Hamilton is, understandably, especially keen on unveiling. "We'll probably still play a good chunk of them in rotation ... but we're just getting so, so excited about people hearing the record!"

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Live: Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Quakes Over Williamsburg

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Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
Various Venues
Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10

Better Than:The EDM debate

It's hard to believe the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival started five years ago in what used to be BKLYN Yard, now known as Gowanus Grove, and to those in the know (a/k/a everyone) as where Mister Sunday's afternoon dance parties go down. The first and second iterations were so successful that MeanRed Productions masterminds Jen Lyon and Katie Longmyer expanded the third BEMF into multiple venues, taking over the spaces in and around Williamsburg's N. Sixth Avenue a la Austin's South by Southwest, whose artists cluster around the bars and concert halls lining that city's own Sixth Street. This year's edition was the biggest yet (as these things tend to go), with over 40 artists and six venues -- Glasslands, Cameo, Public Assembly, 285 Kent, Brooklyn Bowl, and Music Hall of Williamsburg -- involved. Despite the continued expansion, BEMF still fulfills Longmyer's original mission statement "to show off Brooklyn, because people don't even realize what's in it."


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Bushwick's Party Xpo To Reopen as Renovated XPO 929

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Superchief
A long time ago in a Bushwick far, far away

Party Xpo, an uncommonly resilient DIY space nestled under the J/M/Z tracks, has magically withstood two years of logistical hassles. After opening in January 2010 with a typically cantankerous Japanther benefit show, local law enforcement took notice of the place, paid a few visits, and the space wisely went dry. Then the site's previous tenants--a party-supply store business whose still-lingering "Party Expo" signage inspired the spot's name--not only demanded the current occupants remove the marquee (above), but change the venue's name. The result was Party XPO.

Now, after enduring two tumultuous years of police raids, dry shows, and one especially memorable Wu-Tang video, the Bushwick storefront has evolved again--this time into a "beautiful and safe venue, bar, and practice studio" with actual bathrooms, a "smoking coffin" bar, and a (supposedly/hopefully) forthcoming liquor license. Plus, cats!

From an e-mail circulating sent by one of the space's longtime organizers, Jonny Aquadora:

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