Heartbreaking Bravery

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Shea Stadium: It’s Not Over Yet

While the Kickstarter drive to help secure Shea Stadium was wildly successful in terms of generating fiscal resources (nearly $100,000) for the beloved DIY Brooklyn venue, their fight’s only just beginning. The musical haven and cultural staple of Brooklyn’s landlords essentially refused the option of renewal to those running its operation, citing plans to convert the lower space into a nightclub as a reason for withholding the required signature to keep Shea Stadium alive at 20 Meadow St.

However, the Kickstarter campaign wasn’t the only thing funding the venue’s efforts of a greater revival. All of the people who had a hand in running Shea Stadium are resolved, now more than ever, to keep Shea Stadium going. The relocation costs provide a much steeper challenge than what would’ve been required to keep the venue alive on 20 Meadow St. and while the Kickstarter certainly helped, Exploding In Sound Records (who have maintained a very close relationship with the venue over the years) recently announced Exploding In Sound: Live at Shea Stadium.

Exploding In Sound: Live at Shea Stadium‘s a compilation of the best live cuts from the venue by the bands that have had a working relationship with the label and all of the proceeds will be directed towards the re-opening of Shea Stadium. To offer a glimpse of what’s on the tape, the label’s offered up a characteristically invigorating Pile performance, which sees the band tearing through “Baby Boy”. It’s a tantalizing preview of what’s destined to be one of the year’s most essential compilations.


In joining the communal outpouring of affection that’s swelled up around Shea Stadium, I’ve compiled all of the Heartbreaking Bravery videos that I personally shot at the venue over the summer of 2015, a near 50-video playlist which includes performances from the following: Attic Abasement, Charly Bliss, Diet Cig, Pupppy, Rivergazer, Clearance, Leapling, Lost Boy ?, Mumblr, Eskimeaux, Mitski, PWR BTTM, Model Train Wreck, Fern Mayo, Fruit & Flowers, Boytoy, & Sharkmuffin. It’s those kind of acts that inspired a loyal following that eventually became something greater: a legitimate community that’s ready to rally behind what’s developed into one of New York’s most important — and necessary — musical institutions. Buy that Exploding In Sound compilation here and revisit some highlights from the venue circa summer 2015 below.

Waxahatchee – Silver (Music Video)

Throughout the past six or seven days, great music videos by the likes of Pale Grey, Meat Wave, Tim Kasher, Mark Lanegan, Fuzzystar, Special Teams, Gurr, Chick Quest, EMA, Street Eaters, SOFTSPOT, No Vacation, Mayflower Madame, Airpark, Real Numbers, Hoan, Exit KidMurlo, M.I. Blue, Kurt Swinghammer, The Broken Hearts, Skye Steele, and Morning Teleportation have found their way into the world. All of them made several very good impressions but none of them seemed to go quite as deep as the considerable indent Waxahatchee‘s “Silver” left in its wake.

Katie Crutchfield’s projects were always going to be a staple of this site for however long either wound up being around. Ever since becoming accustomed to the songwriter’s work during P.S. Eliot‘s tenure. Fortunately, Crutchfield’s kept busy under the Waxahatchee moniker, releasing one sterling record after another and Out in the Storm looks ready to carry that unimpeachable run. “Silver” the first song to be released from the record also came equipped with an appropriately DIY-leaning video.

Throughout the clip, Crutchfield’s shown in a variety of ways, from running through the song with the band, to lip-syncing along to “Silver” while bathed in confrontational strobe lights, to black-and-white footage of the artist simply walking around. All of it forms a coherent whole that seems to enliven the song driving the whole affair. Clever editing, an easygoing charm, and a sense of place all congeal into something striking. When all’s said and done and the storm has abated, Crutchfield remains calm, standing proudly as one of this generation’s essential artists.

Watch “Silver” below and pre-order Out in the Storm from Merge here.

Pleistocene – Your New Life (Music Video)

Over the past week, there have been outstanding records by Real Life Buildings, Yellow Paper Planes, Molly Drag, Bluffs, pickle darling, Guilty Optics, Eric Slick, Good Good Blood, cooking, Sundae Crush, Monograms, Exhibition, Go By Ocean, dead man hammock, Kelly Moran, BENT, Raj and the 100’s, Tara Jane O’Neil, and Priests all finding release. Records weren’t the only things making an impact over the stretch. There were more than a few great music videos to surface and one of them came from site favorites Pleistocene.

In the most recent edition of A Year’s Worth of Memories Pleistocene bandleader Katie Preston talked a great deal about camaraderie and fostering healthy relationships, especially through shared interest. Those values are all reflected in the band’s new BUBL-T-directed music video for “Your New Life”, Spear‘s excellent lead-off track. The clip turns the focus onto the world of roller derby, where physical toughness is brought out with feverish intensity.

In addition to that toughness, there’s a dedication to the sport’s virtues that turn the people who immerse themselves in that world from casual spectators to role players to near-obsessives. There’s an undeniable ferocity to the game that manifests itself in the players, who, in turn, support each other. Since it’s not the most visible sport, that kinship intensifies considerably.

All of the values that are clearly evident in the sport wind up being analogous to the ones that Pleistocene have preached over the course of their discography, whether it be the inherent power of sisterhood, the willingness to stay resilient, or the importance of camaraderie. “Your New Life” distills everything into an energetic, effective, honest, and oddly moving portrayal of one of the great fringe sports. It’s a powerful piece from a band that, like derby, a lot more people should grant investment.

Watch “Your New Life” below and pick up a copy of Spear from the band here.