Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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This week’s NYC Scene Report features Boo Riley giving a tour of the LES through a musician’s lens, Pretty Sick taking us on a wild ride through the same area, and Brothertiger with a song inspired by time on the road.
* It doesn’t get much more NYC than Boo Riley’s video for his self-titled song. The clip starts with Riley busking on the subway, and follows him through Tompkins Square Park, with everything leading to a gig at one of my favorite venues in the LES, Arlene’s Grocery.
In a statement, Riley explained the inspiration for the song, and video, saying, “I was listening to Wilco's ‘Wilco (The Song),’ and loved the lyric, ‘This is aural arms open wide, a sonic shoulder for you to cry on.’ I wanted to write a song inspired by that line, but with Boo Riley’s perspective. The video is an extension of this. We wanted to visualize what we were trying to do sonically.”
“Boo Riley” is off Riley’s 2019 EP Mango Garry, and you can check out the fantastic video right here.
* Sometimes I’ll hear a song that’s just completely f*cking undeniable. That’s how I felt when I heard Pretty Sick’s latest single, “Allen Street.”
The name of the song immediately pulled me in, as Rockwood Music Hall is on Allen St., and I have spent a lot of nights there. As I was listening to the song it became clear that Pretty Sick is a band that will have an extremely dedicated fan base, and sound-wise they could possibly bring about a sea change in at least part of the indie rock world.
Pretty Sick is led by native New Yorker Sabrina Fuentes, who is now 20, but formed the band when she was just 13 years old. She explained the inspiration for “Allen Street,” saying, “It’s just about experiences being a teenager in New York. New York is a big theme in all of my music for the most part. It’s such a deeply human city, even if it’s at risk of being taken over by gentrifiers and developers. There’s nothing you can’t do in New York, and there’s nothing the city can’t handle. It inspires so much, and it inspires so many people. It’s given me everything I have.”
Check out “Allen Street,” and be on the lookout for a new Pretty Sick EP later this year.
* While the first two selections this week took us through the LES, we’re closing things out with a song by Brothertiger that was inspired by being out on the road on the other side of the country.
The song is titled “Shelter Cove,” and Brothertiger discussed its origin, saying, “(“Shelter Cove”) is about some specific times on tour, driving through Northern California on the Pacific Highway, finding swimming holes with my friend and sound tech, Will. We’d look up some spots on our days off and drive to them. Last time we did was in October. We went to Pfeiffer Beach near Monterey. It was really windy and it clearly wasn't swimming season, so everyone at the beach was dumbfounded watching two pale idiots running into the ocean.”
“Shelter Cove” can be found on Brothertiger’s just released alum, Paradise Lost, and you can dive into the song right here.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.