Tom Gallo

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Tom Gallo is the host of Look at My Records on Radio Free Brooklyn.

Radio Free Brooklyn and Bushwick Daily are proud to announce a new weekly local music column that will focus on artists that call Bushwick home. Each week, a Radio Free Brooklyn personality will pen a record or performance review of a different Bushwick based artist, with a curated selection of the best upcoming local gigs in the neighborhood for the following weekend.

Artwork by Ana Asnes Becker

2018 was a milestone year for one of Brooklyn’s fastest rising acts, Big Bliss. The group released their highly anticipated debut album, At Middle Distance, on Exit Stencil Recordings, and quickly surpassed the expectations of many. The band’s ever-evolving brand of distinctly New York sounding post-punk garnered high praise from Billboard, Nylon, and The Deli.

The band is kicking off the new year with a very special remix of “Surface,” the hook-infused lead single off of At Middle Distance. James Stark, the frontman of the goth-influenced post-punk trio Veda Rays, helmed the remix, adding what he describes as his own “weird and hypnotic” imprint to the track.

The collaboration between the two groups was a long time coming, as Stark originally met Big Bliss frontman Tim Race more than half a decade ago. As fate would have it, their paths crossed again in early 2018. Stark remembers running into Race at the Lower East Side venue Pianos on New Year’s Day in 2018, as the two were reacquainted through mutual friend Ben Hozie of Bodega. After Big Bliss played one of Veda Rays’ February 2018 residency shows at Sunnyvale, Stark offered to do a remix of one of the songs that would eventually appear on At Middle Distance:

“He took me up on it a few months later. I had the honor and pleasure of hearing some of the early mixes of a handful of the songs from At Middle Distance. I eventually picked “Surface.” I lived with the track for the better part of two weeks. The chorus was playing in my head even as I slept. It became a perpetual mantra for a minute. I had three objectives: I wanted to present a kind of alternate version of the song, I wanted it to get weird and hypnotic, and I wanted to kind of destroy it in the end (in a good way).”

Stream the infectious track below:

Big Bliss is performing live at Market Hotel on January 18th with Acid Dad and Poppies. You can purchase At Middle Distance via Bandcamp.

Veda Rays’ next gig is on February 13th at Sunnyvale with Harms, Winded, and Wolf Diamond. You can purchase their latest record, For The Rest To Rest, via their website.

Big Bliss. Photo by Kevin W. Condon

Temperatures are dropping! So, stay warm by attending one of these HOT GIGS: 

Wednesday, January 9th

Long Neck, Queen of Swords, Antibodies at Trans-Pecos, 8pm

Jersey City’s Long Neck are poised for a big 2019 after a remarkable 2018 that saw the group release their stunning debut record, Will This Do?. The four-piece also played a ton of shows! All that gigging earned the band a top spot on the Oh My Rockness Hardest Working Bands of 2018 list. They’re looking to carry that strong work ethic into 2019 for their second show of the year on Wednesday night at Trans-Pecos. You’ll also see performances by Queen of Swords, the dark dream pop project of Aerin Fogel, and Antibodies, who are back in the mix after a killer show last week at Sunnyvale.

Long Neck

Thursday, January 10th

Jak Lizard, Savannah Jeffreys, Sentry Sinvil at Elsewhere, 8pm

You’ll be hard pressed to find a dude as stylistically diverse as Jak Lizard. The supremely talented 23-year-old just shared his debut EP, Shine To Rise, an eclectic, genre-bending take on jazz, soul, and hip-hop.  To celebrate, Jak will be performing alongside R&B/soul prodigy Savannah Jeffreys and hip-hop artist Sentry Sinvil this Thursday night at Elsewhere.

Jak Lizard

Friday, January 11th

Tommy Siegel, Jesse Dylan & the Scaredy Cats, Fort Gorgeous at ALPHAVILLE, 8pm

Although he’s most well known as the frontman of Jukebox the Ghost and Drunken Sufis, Tommy Siegel also writes, records, and performs stripped-down bedroom pop under his own name. He’ll be performing a rare solo set on Friday night at Alphaville along with Jesse Dylan & The Scaredy Cats, the solo project of his Jukebox the Ghost bandmate, Jesse Dylan. Opening the show is Fort Gorgeous, the musical moniker of songwriter/guitarist Billy Libby and Company.

Flyer courtesy of Alphaville

Saturday, January 12th

The Nuclears, Daddies, Lumps, Powersnap at Our Wicked Lady, 8pm

King Pizza Records is throwing a bash jam-packed with some of their finest acts to celebrate the latest release from their newest signing, Daddies. The group’s first EP mirrors their live performances, as it features four tracks of high-energy, charismatic rock n’ roll. Expect more of the same synergy from the frantic sounds of Lumps and Powersnap, the latter of which released their awesome debut EP, Delatency, last year.  Topping the bill are The Nuclears, a raw, five-piece garage rock group who are well known for their intense live performances.