In 2007, a small Brooklyn-based effects pedal manufacturer opened its warehouse doors and began inviting bands to play shows in the space. Around the corner from the newly opened Glasslands, the block was otherwise uninhabited, the abandoned hulk of the Domino Sugar Factory the only thing obstructing quiet, twinkling views of the New York City skyline as seen from Kent Avenue. Death by Audio was not the first venue of its kind; its operations blueprint was drawn from the DIY model upon which basement parties and loft shows flourished, but did it on a scale that was slightly more accessible, and grown straight out of a community of bands that already practiced there, already used DBA pedals. The all-inclusive domain name for the space's events page said it best: entertainment for everyone.
Lightning Bolt photo by Lindsey Rhoades
See also: Photos: The Final Show at Death by AudioMore »
Better Than: Disclosure covering Darkside
All photos Lindsey Rhoades
Fourteen years ago, Ontario crate-digger Dan Snaith embarked on a musical endeavor that would come to be known as Caribou, largely a bedroom recording project long before that phrase warranted eye-rolling over the notion that anyone with Avid could become a producer overnight. Snaith, no doubt, has inspired many a Johnny-come-lately with Pro Tools, but he has always been of a finer breed, interpreting hip-hop beats and samples, soul, psychedelia, and Kraut-rock through his unique lens. Each of his records is a brilliant meditation on a particular range of ideas and styles, taken apart, examined, and reassembled as a painstakingly realized masterpiece brimming with thoughtfully constructed songs.More »
Better Than: Wandering through the Warhol Museum with iTunes on shuffle.
Photo by Rebecca Greenfield for BAM Dean Wareham in front of Andy Warhol's Nico/Antoine
Andy Warhol once said, "The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do." This is the quote with which Dean Wareham introduced "Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films," 15 films set to original scores by Television's Tom Verlaine, Suicide's Martin Rev, former Fiery Furnaces frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound fame, and Wareham himself -- formerly of veteran dream-pop acts Galaxie 500, Luna, and Dean & Britta; the diverse troupe has toured from Pittsburgh to the West Coast and stopped for its final three nights at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.More »
Better Than: Festivals that take place in 90 degree weather.
All photos Lindsey Rhoades Liars
Summer may be over, and with it, festival season proper, but that didn't stop the organizers of Modern Sky from bringing the Beijing-based festival stateside this weekend. Taking over Central Park's Rumsey playfield, the two-day line-up boasted Cat Power, Liars, Stars, the reunited-for-tour Blood Brothers, and an ensemble of esteemed musicians performing renditions of William Onyeabor's recently reissued synth-funk epics. Those were just the headlining acts--sprinkled into the line-up was an array of Chinese artists spanning various genres: Clash-era throwbacks Re-TROS, folksy experimental guitarist Deserts Zhang Xuan, drag-donning psychedelic outfit Second Hand Rose, hardcore rockers Shuh Tou, and surf punks Queen Sea Big Shark, all of whom have large followings at home but have yet to gain much recognition outside of it.
Better Than: Never loving again, I guess?
All photos Jena Cumbo Lykke Li at Radio City Hall
Lykke Li is one of those strange situations that happens now and again these days: someone who's talked about as a pop singer, is sort of presented as such, but in reality is a bit weirder, a bit too idiosyncratic to fully fit that mold. She, of course, has some indelible hooks out there, and who wouldn't want to hear "I Follow Rivers" on a Saturday night at Radio City Music Hall? But it's not exactly a pop show where you're going to go dance your weekend night away. This is especially true now, as Li tours behind her most recent record, I Never Learn, perhaps the best and most thoroughly heartbroken break-up album of the year. These are all songs about mistakes made, love lost, and a conflicted take on the past that runs the spectrum from yearning to regret to resolve. I mean, that's how you spend all of your Saturday nights, too, right?More »