Monday, June 21, 2010

'Fiery' talk on the Northside Festival

Ten years ago, Eleanor Friedberger didn’t have too many places to play in Greenpoint.

As one half of the duo Fiery Furnaces (her brother, Matt, makes up the other), she moved to the neighborhood looking to be close to Williamsburg, but not pay Williamsburg prices.

“There were hardly any bars, just Polish restaurants and a couple Thai restaurants,” remembered Friedberger. “I think Enid’s had just opened, but that was the only bar around here.”

Today, Greenpoint and its neighbor to the south have a wealth of bars and music venues — enough to support the whirlwind four-day Northside Festival, running June 24-27.

Friedberger is most excited about a gig that’s not even at a venue, but at the Newtown Barge Park in Greenpoint, where Les Savy Fav will be playing on June 27.

“It has the most spectacular views of the city,” said Friedberger. “There’s never anybody there, I kind of don’t want to talk about it. But I’m excited people are finally using the space here.”

Friedberger is thrilled there’s such a vibrant music scene today in and around her neighborhood.

“There’s new things opening every day,” said Friedberger. “Every time I go on tour and come back, it’s so remarkable to see how much of it has changed. I ride my bike around and I’m constantly doing double-takes.”

When not riding around Greenpoint, Friedberger spends most of her time rehearsing with the band on the opposite end of the borough in Dyker Heights.

“It’s going to be the next Williamsburg,” joked Friedberger. “There aren’t any bars or restaurants there at all. It’s prime to be taken over.”

Fiery Furnaces at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3369], June 25 at 9 pm. Tickets $10. For info, visit


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