The Brooklyn music scene didn’t just magically become “The Brooklyn Music Scene” overnight. It became a magnet for bands, venue proprietors, promoters, writers, producers and your out-of-their-mind-neighbor-who-sometimes-drums-in-that-one-band because of the hard work of countless talented, dedicated people. Here are five of them — those influencers at the forefront of pushing the scene forward:
Michelle Cable, Agent and Founder of Panache Booking
Contacting touring bands to ask if they’d play in the sleepy town of Eureka, California, as a zine-publishing teen eventually grew into Cable establishing one of the most zeitgeisty booking agencies in the game. The Panache team is responsible for setting up Ty Segall, The Men, Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees and over 100 others on well-coordinated tours crossing Brooklyn and beyond, with a special penchant for seeking out upstart talent. If you fall in love with an unknown band after seeing them play at, like, Death by Audio or Baby’s All Right, there’s a decent chance Panache had something to do with it.
Brandon Stosuy, Senior Editor and Director of Events, Pitchfork
As the head of Pitchfork’s expanding events empire Stosuy continually manages to pull off expertly curated, smoothly ran shows of varying degrees of scale and grandeur, locally and far beyond. If we’re keeping count in 2014 alone: three showcases at Northside, a stage at Primavera, multiple events at SXSW, the upcoming Basilica Sound Scape festival, the newly launched Nightcap series, and, oh, Pitchfork’s own ENTIRE festival.
Nick Sylvester, Founder of GODMODE
Between time as a music writer and drumming in Mr. Dream, Sylvester has been slyly building Brooklyn’s next great record label, home of the borough’s best noise band YVETTE, rising house-music star Shamir, and (only?) disco-tinged outfit with conga drums, Motion Studies. His ear is to the ground, and it only seems to only be picking up the good stuff.
Jake Rosenthal and Rami Haykal, Founders of PopGun Presents
Rosenthal and Haykal front the Brooklyn-based team largely responsible for stocking Glasslands with grade-A local talent and on-the-verge Big Things on a nightly basis. In recent years they’ve expanded their reach into various Manhattan and Brooklyn venues with one-off shows (like The Orwells and Skaters at Irving Plaza in October, let’s say) while launching a promotional arm to the company. All the while they tend to keep tickets in the $10-$12 range for bands playing home turf Glasslands — bands who could very well be playing Music Hall of Williamsburg, or bigger, the next time they’re in the city.
David Castillo, Booker at Saint Vitus
Just because a venue is named in honor of a doom metal band from the 70s and situates itself at the hub of the borough’s art-metal scene, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be pigeonholed into exclusively booking like-minded acts. Led by Castillo’s adventurous curation, Saint Vitus is slowly expanding into hosting spectacles dipping into varied subgenres. Case in point: the Nirvana reunion of 2014.