Bushwick Music Studios launched its first annual Do-It-Yourself Music Festival on Tuesday evening. With about 150 bands in nine different venues, the shows will run March 24-27 and provide the artistic Brooklyn neighborhood a local, grittier alternative to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin - which ended last week.
My first band was David E Beats and the White House Band, who played an energetic set at BMS at 9. The man blends hip-hop with rock and electronica, rapping and playing guitar over strong bass chords. At 10, Jennings (Mary Jennings), a singer/songwriter/pianist with a powerful, expressive voice and simple piano melodies, performed at Eastern District art gallery. Meanwhile, at Brooklyn Fire Proof, old time Deli favorites Bern and the Brights (in the picture) showcased Bernadette Malavarca's wide-ranging, emotional voice that harmonized beautifully over the band’s catchy melodies.
Back at BMS, I stumbled upon Shinobi Ninja, who played a fun, high-energy set, captivating the packed crowd with their combination of hip-hop, punk, soul, and other styles. The singers, Baby Girl and Dave Aaron, had a tight chemistry, leading the audience to sing along, stomp their feet, and jump and dance endlessly. The band’s guitarist, bassist, drummer and DJ weren't afraid to showd off their chops as they launched into flashy solos. The colorfully-dressed band’s wild energy, fun rock beats and captivating grooves gave no signs that they had just driven 34 hours from Austin to play the festival.
My night ended with Not Blood, Paint (in the picture), who performed at Brooklyn Fire Proof at midnight. Their songs were theatrical, carefully choreographed and cerebral, but with strong dynamics and tempo changes, they were also moody and dramatic. Laden with tight harmonies and strong guitar, their dramatic performances are not to be missed.
Stay tuned throughout the week for more updates!