The Essential Weekly Playlist of: Brooklyn Pets


Brooklyn Pets is a new band based in Highland Park on the east side of Los Angeles, making music they call “Spacegaze” – a mix of Shoegaze & Space Rock.

The band consists of James Poulos and Mark Reback, two friends who’ve been making music together for years in various incarnations. Our new batch of songs were conjured at Mark’s studio shack in Highland Park, and the two then went to record them properly at the legendary Coast Recorders in San Francisco, where noted independent rock and roll producer Andy Freeman whipped the guys into a frenzy and captured the sounds that became their new ‘MEGA IDIOT’ EP.

You can find Brooklyn Pets online on Twitter and Facebook. You can also check out their ‘Mega Idiot’ EP on their Bandcamp page.


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Brooklyn Pets gave us their Essential Playlist: the first five are James’, the second are Mark’s.
David Bowie – ‘Beauty and the Beast’

‘Heroes’ isn’t all about the title cut, put in literally pretty dark shade by this opener, wherein the paranoid goose-step of Station to Station becomes freer and more joyful without getting any less Bowie. One of my favorite arrangements and productions.

dEUS – ‘Little Arithmetics’

Belgium’s biggest band, not that anyone’s the wiser, turned in this jangly Byrds deconstruction just as Britpop was reaching critical mass. From jovial to winsome to poignant to a noise-rock freakout, all in the space of a few very Eurotrash minutes. My gateway drug to their ’99 opus ‘The Ideal Crash’.

Bloomsday – ‘Tuesday to Thursday’

The centerpiece track on the best EP you’ve never heard – thick, rich power emo from 1997 that finds the earnestness in being heavy even more than the heaviness in being earnest. I swooned when this love letter to loneliness finally hit YouTube.

Claudine Longet – ‘Hello, Hello’

Suspected of murdering her ski champion boyfriend (Spider Sabitch, profiled for Playboy by Hunter S. Thompson), super-French chanteuse Longet kills with this no-frills wisp of chamber pop. It’s even more seductive than it’d be if she didn’t sound so marvelously bored. My dad has it on 45.

Phantom Planet – ‘By the Bed’

From the ‘California’ band’s criminally underrated self-titled record, this is the kind of deep cut that made album rock an object of bedroom worship. But instead of a proggy ’70s opus, it’s a twisted mid-’00s confessional, warm where Interpol was too cold, cool where the Killers were too hot. My trusted aesthetic advisor in the guyliner years.

The Verve – ‘Life’s An Ocean’

Hard to beat the groove laid down by the rhythm section here… Everyone talks about Richard Ashcroft, but for me The Verve was more about the band reaching amazing highs and lows with Nick McCabe’s soaring guitar magic laid on top of some of the best grooves ever by bassist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. This song from their best album “A Northern Soul” sums up what The Verve is really all about.

Queen – ‘It’s Late’

One of the most powerfully emotional songs by one of the most powerfully emotional bands of all time. The OTHER anthem on ‘News Of The World’, overshadowed by ‘We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions’, but no less stirring.

Oasis – ‘Live Forever’

Easily their best song, Oasis never topped this 4:36 of rock n’ roll perfection. Youthful dreams of immortality declared with an undeniable melody that one just cannot help but sing along with…If any song was meant to be played at Wembley Stadium, it’s this one.

My Bloody Valentine – ‘Only Shallow’

Very few artists can say they have created music that sounds absolutely like no one else. Kevin Shields and MBV changed the sound of rock music with this song and the album ‘Loveless’.  This is a touchstone for the vibe and sound created, as much as the song itself.

Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Tristessa’

Billy Corgan would be nowhere without the percussive genius of Jimmy Chamberlin. He makes their first album ‘Gish’ their best with drumming that humbled me and just about every other rock drummer around when it came out.  The guitars & drums lock in so tight but keep a fluid groove like few bands have ever done before or since.  This song in particular made me up my game and dedicate myself to being the best drummer and musician I could be.

Check out ‘Mega Idiot’ by Brooklyn Pets:

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There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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