This weekend we’ll celebrate a stacked line-up of our favorite independent artists at one our our favorite independent art spaces, Bushwick’s Secret Project Robot. For those unfamiliar, Secret Project Robot has been offering an alternative space for the arts in NYC for an entire decade, and Saturday’s show is part of their summer-long 1o year birthday party.
Secret Project Robot’s long history starts with Mighty Robot, the name of the loft (inside a former spice warehouse) where the owners threw parties in Williamsburg in the late 90s. In 2004, they took on the name Secret Project Robot, and helped take over a seven-year lease on that building, which eventually all blossomed into the legendary Monster Island complex. In 2011, everyone who was renting space in that particular warehouse lost their lease, so the Secret Project Robot folks moved to a former auto-body repair shop in Bushwick, where they still are today, providing two stages and gallery space for art and music, and a bunch of refurbished storage units in the backyard that are used as art studios. (Check out photos from the festival we threw at Secret Project Robot last summer, here.)
As they explain on their site: “Secret Project Robot is a place where art is taken seriously in so far as it helps create a world outside of bureaucracy and the mundane and hopefully inspires people to realize that culture can be interpreted through a multiplicity of simultaneously correct and changing view points.”
If you really want to learn more about the space, though, come by Saturday; and if you really want to learn more about some of the line-up we’ve curated for the show, read on below for our previously published coverage on Malportado Kids, Princess Nokia, Jawbreaker Reunion, Try the Pie, Heaven’s Gate, and Adult Mom.
Destiny (a/k/a Princess Nokia)
Following 2014’s Metallic Butterfly, Destiny Frasqueri has retired her Princess Nokia moniker in favor of performing under her own name. While the drum n bass and jungle inspired Metallic Butterfly found Destiny inhabiting the personalities of “clever hacker girl, fearless cyborg, spiritual earthen goddess, indigenous woman,” her new music seems to focus on the final two identities.
Try The Pie
Try the Pie was formerly the intimate, sweet-sung solo endeavor of Crabapple drummer Bean Tupou, expanded into a full-band for their full-length, Domestication, released this spring via Salinas Records. “I wanted to call it Domestication because it has a lot to do with private life,” Tupou told us in April. “The decisions that we make with ourselves, our instincts, and our subconscious desires create expectations of how we should act and how other people should act.”
Malportado Kids is the danceable propaganda project of Downtown Boys members Victoria Ruiz and Joey DeFrancesco. “In Downtown Boys I sing a lot about police, the borders and surveillance, but in Malportado Kids I get to be more personal,” Ruiz told Suzy Exposito last summer. “I get into the cops that live inside the bodies of those we love. Not the cops with guns and badges.”
READ: “Wonder Twins of the Working Class” by Suzy Exposito
To the continued dismay of emo nostalgia diehards everywhere, Jawbreaker still has not reunited. Instead, their name has been adopted by pop-punk feminists and Bard college students Lily, Dre, Bella, and Thom, who perform together under the moniker Jawbreaker Reunion. Their 2014 tape Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club continues to be one of our favorites.
“The impulse to write about myself and other women on this record was probably an attempt to process and master these circumstances and stories of violence against women, and to take back some power and control,” Heaven’s Gate singer Jess Paps told us earlier this year, surrounding the release of “Amanda Berry,” the first single from their forthcoming Woman At Night. It’s out this summer on Dull Tools.
Within the past two weeks, we interviewed Purchase, NY songwriter Steph Knipe about their debut full-length record Momentary Lapse of Happily, debuted the full-length stream, and deemed it the best record of July. Needless to say, we are huge fans. So it only makes sense that Steph will kick off our fest with a solo set on Saturday afternoon.