Which of these undiscovered musical acts should be crowned Brooklyn’s best?
The Greene Space’s 2014 Battle of the Boroughs continued on Friday, June 6 with a showcase of the borough’s most exciting hidden musical talents. From hip hop to cabaret pop, 12 acts representing the energy and diversity of Brooklyn’s music scene competed for their borough title. Now, the votes are in! Here are the five finalists…
UPDATE: Voting is now closed. See which band voters chose to represent Brooklyn in the Ultimate Battle.
Video Favorite Award
Your favorite band didn’t make the finals? Help them win a produced behind-the-music video of their band. The video with the most YouTube views during their borough’s weeklong voting period wins!
Text BK3 to 69866
Describing themselves as “circus tents and gypsies, traditional blues and vaudeville,” the cabaret band wowed our audience and judges with their cheeky, entertaining act. “You guys are so much fun to watch…but you [also] have wonderful musicianship to back it up,” said Battle judge and producer Bob Power. Soundcheck host and Battle judge John Schaefer agreed, saying the band had all the right ingredients: a front woman with charisma, a sense of humor and the musical skill to pull it all off.
Text BK5 to 69866
Blending progressive rock with elements of electronic, Western and Indian classical music, the band gave an instrumental performance that Battle judge and “hardcore-soul queen” Tamar-kali said was bold, but skillfully handled. “Brother was definitely rocking the tablahs,” said judge Bob Power. “You kind of channeled [guitarist, singer and songwriter] Randy California, and if you know who he is, that’s a very high compliment.”
Text BK7 to 69866
The alt-soul band describe their sound as “Gnarls Barkley meets The Black Keys.” But their Battle performance was more “meets The Kinks,” with their up-tempo song paying homage to the English rock band’s “You Really Got Me.” The judges agreed the band was tight and displayed great musicianship. Judge Bob Power lauded the group for its inventiveness and a bass player he called adventuresome. “And you also had a great song,” he said, “which is the thing in the shortest supply these days.”
Text BK8 to 69866
The funk-soul group gave a high-energy performance that won high praise from all three judges. “You have a wonderfully big and powerful and soulful voice…and a funky bass player with a big, funky bass sound,” said Tamar-kali. John Schaefer said the six-member band’s song arrangement, with all its instruments to consider, worked really well together. “You guys, you found the right people,” said Bob Power. “That’s a beautiful, beautiful marriage in this band.”
Text BK11 to 69866
The three-member alternative band describe their sound as “shoegaze meets beats and synths.” Judge Tamar-kali praised the band for creating “an awesome soundscape that…built up over the length of the song.” Judge Bob Power called the performance, “startlingly beautiful” and lauded the musicians as “beautiful texturalists.” He added, “popular music needs more people like you guys to move things along.”