Welcome to issue one of 1.21 Gigawatts. It’s been a long road to reach this point. This magazine originated as an idea I had while interning at Paper Magazine late last year and I immediately brought videographer Megan McCredie and Illustrator Brandon Elijah Johnson on board. After months of planning and a stressful Kickstarter campaign it has become a reality. I’ve only lived in Brooklyn for about a year, but I knew when I first came here last May that this place was streets ahead of anything else I’d ever experienced. I guess the seeds for this publication were planted when I first set foot in Brooklyn. I remember it very vividly. I went to see Widowspeak and Vivian Girls at 285 Kent and the moment I walked in the venue I knew I was going to move to Brooklyn. Since then 1.21 Gigawatts has gone from concept to magazine and along the way we assembled one of the best teams I could hope for. This issue includes tons work from all of the artists involved in the publication. Despite their crazy schedules, Brandon, Tenzing and Emily worked like crazy to crank out all of the illustrations for this issue. Dan fielded many angry phone calls from me and worked late nights to get the layout done. On top of all of that we have a bunch of other great people working on online content and iPad content. This issue contains work from six amazing artists, articles on five great Brooklyn bands and a fashion spread put together by myself and our amazing fashion editor with the help of one of my favorite makeup artists I’ve ever worked with. It’s been a crazy, fun, stressful ride from start to finish and we’re nowhere near done. This is just the beginning. 1.21 Gigawatts is going to be evolving constantly and experimenting with the limitations put upon independent publishers. We exist to bring a voice and a spotlight to artists that the mainstream magazine world might have skipped over or haven’t given a fair shot. Thanks for reading the first issue of our little publication. -Danny Krug Editor-in-Chief
Editor in Chief / Photographer
Brandon Elijah Johnson Illustrator
Pete Marvelli Associate Editor
Melissa Vance Associate Editor
Tenzing Gyari Illustrator
Megan McCredie Videographer
Ellie Fallon Web Editor
Dan Lisowski Layout
Emily Arlington Illustrator
Brandon Elijah Johnson 4
Deserted Wasteland 26
Tenzing Gyari 6
Life Size Maps 17
Yo Look At That! 32
Emily Arlington 8
Yellow Dogs 18
Brian Russo 10
Bear in Heaven 20
John Malta 12
John P. Dessereau 14
Brandon Elijah Johnson is one of the hardest working illustrators and students in New York. Heâ€™s currently attending SVA for illustration but originates from Seattle, Washington. In addition to school and personal work, heâ€™s also the lead illustrator for this magazine. He has developed a very distinct style at a very young age which is rare and also very exciting. A lot of his work is inspired by skateboarding and skate art as well as other influences. DANNY KRUG
Tenzing Gyari is the best thing since sliced bread. With a flair for pretty much everything she tries her hand at, her illustrations are super fun and refreshing. She has recently returned from adventures in far away places, and one day will climb a mountain somewhere. BRANDON ELIJAH JOHNSON
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Arlington has a seemingly sunny disposition that shows in her vibrantly colored art. Her ink-drenched work is an intriguing combination of creepy and cute. The contrast of the image and the subject matter presented is a common theme. Arlingtonâ€™s portfolio ranges from painted murals to crocheted guns. ELLIE FALLON
Brian Russo is the artist that most people probably refer to as “that guy who draws people in the subway.” You can often times see him in Union Square or at the Bedford stop sitting on the ground with his drawing pad and a tip jar. Brian now works full-time down in the subway drawing pictures of interesting people that walk by. He said that it originally started as a part-time thing when a friend suggest that he go out and busk as an artist, and the first time he went out he made $50-$60 in six hours. Drawing in the subway has also led to other commissioned work for Brian. People have just walked up to him in the subway and inquired about hiring him for a commissioned piece. He also works on other projects including a series of drawings of bunnies doing yoga poses and he’s currently working on a children’s book. DANNY KRUG
A PORTAL BY
John P Dessereau
Gaining notoriety within the art world may seem like an impossible task. A task that John P. Dessereau has overcome. Not only has this native New Yorker recently been featured in L Magazine, but painted a billboard for Southern Comfort’s “100 Proof Project,” created art for Philadelphia’s “4th Annual Roots Picnic,” and has been featured at various Brooklyn galleries. His works posses a rare raw element which provokes a touch of dark humor and distinctive ideas. Dessereau’s distinguished style which is enriched in deep colors marked with a true attention to detail has paved the way for this talented artist. MEGAN MCCREDIE
Words by ellie fallon Photos by danny krug illustration by emily arlington
ood luck trying to google Habibi. Chances are the only thing you come away with is the meaning of the band’s name: Arabic for darling or my beloved. With less noise and more bass than Vivian Girls, the band is a spin on the classic girl garage group with a minimalistic and 60s inspired vibe. For all of their success, the girls have only been playing together since last July, and only with their current line-up since January. Singer Rahill talks of their good luck and good connections—their very first show they headlined at Cake Shop, and opened for Hunx and his Punx for their third show. Since their first 7” came out in February on the French label Born Bad Records, they’ve played countless shows and have gained quite a bit of notoriety around the Brooklyn scene. Repetitive harmony laden tracks that will seep into your mind for hours are their specialty. The girls’ single “Sweetest Talk” has even managed to catch the attention of James Franco; it’s featured in a short that he directed for 7 For All Mankind jeans. Just back from SXSW, Habibi played ten shows in total on the same bill bands such as Turbo Fruits, Natural Child, Thee Oh Sees, and Strange Boys. Referring to it as “summer camp”, the girls recount stories of new friends, partying, and skating around Austin. Expect a single out this summer, but until then look forward to their upcoming music video for the ultra-catchy “Tomboy”.
words and photos by danny krug illustrations by brandon elijah johnson
n any random night you can walk into 285 Kent and see a myriad of great bands. One night in February that band happened to be Life Size Maps. Their sound was unlike anything else in recent memory. It was reminiscent of bands from a couple decades ago, yet it still sounded fresh and new. Fast forward to a few nights later and the 1.21 Gigawatts crew is sitting in an old bus on the patio of a bar in Williamsburg with the three members that make up Life Size Maps, Mike McKeever, Rob Karpay and Jordyn Blakely. They spent the night talking about the band and where the music comes from and normal band interview things, but Life Size Maps is far from normal. They’re a three piece made up of guitar, drums, cello and an iPod. The songs go from extremely loud and noisy to accessible sing-along parts. McKeever talked about how he goes about constructing the songs, “I spend half my time listening to the poppiest, hookiest stuff I can get my hands on, and the other half of my time listening to weird noisy stuff that’s maybe orchestral or strange.” Jordyn chimed in saying she was into everything from Grunge, Rock and Punk to Avant-Garde Jazz, and Rob came out of left field with his influences citing “Video game music and Uber Russian Classical music.” Mix all of these to-
gether and you get Life Size Maps newest release, the Weird Luck EP. Our relationship with Life Size Maps goes far beyond that night on the weird cold bus though. After checking them out live countless times since February, it’s become clear that Life Size Maps is constantly growing and changing. The past couple gigs they’ve been playing a new song here and there. After telling McKeever one night that his new song sounded a lot like My Bloody Valentine he got excited, and then I woke up to a text message the next morning asking “What part of the new song reminds you of MBV?” It’s this kind of attention to their music that makes Life Size Maps so interesting. They’re constantly growing and taking things that the listener might be familiar with like My Bloody Valentine, capturing it in their own way, twisting it and turning it into something unique yet familiar enough to draw you in.
he Yellow Dogs are an interesting band in that most people seem to be equally interested in their story as they are their music. A year ago when they were playing gigs on their “In the Kennel EP” that was understandable. They were a relatively new band to Brooklyn with just a handful of tunes, an energetic live show, and this story of being refugees from their homeland. Now, that’s all bullshit. Yeah, The Yellow Dogs are from Iran. We get it. It’s cool. What most people seemingly failed to realize for the past year is that behind that crazy story is a band of solid musicians making quality tunes and constantly striving to improve as artists. The Yellow Dogs have been holed up in their apartment/ rehearsal space for what seems like far too long working on their newly released EP titled Upper Class Complexity. Debuting early and exclusively on emusic, The new EP hit number two on emusics charts beating out the likes of Of Monsters and Men and Katy Perry. The new music stands on it’s own, it needs no crutch like an interesting back story behind the band. If you were to play the new EP for a fan of garagey, punky tunes they would immediately find something to identify with in the music. This is an EP written by people living in Brooklyn and writing about New York from their point of view. Songs like “This City” which has become a crowd favorite at Yellow Dogs’ live shows lend some familiarity to the new material allowing
fans to dive into this release more easily. Although, as bassist Koory points out, the version of “This City” that you might have heard them play almost a year ago is far different from the version in your iTunes. They’ve spent an ample amount of time honing the songs and nitpicking every little detail in order to put out the best possible recording. The Yellow Dogs have played all around the US, but just recently they were cleared to leave the country and come back. All of the Yellow Dogs fans throughout the world will finally get a chance to see what they’ve been missing. The music is raw yet meticulously refined and their live show is a loud, high energy affair that most music fans here in Brooklyn can attest to.
words and photos by danny krug illustrations by brandon elijah johnson
espite a lengthy interview with Bear in Heaven they might be more of an enigma now than they were before. Here are the things that we know about Bear in Heaven: they like David Cronenberg, they’re excited for a lot of albums being released this year, Adam Wills has a taxidermy coyote on his kitchen table and Jon Philpot claims that the world will end in 2012. If Jon’s prediction is true, at least Bear in Heaven is going out on a massive high
words and photos by danny krug illustrations by brandon elijah johnson note. Their new album, I Love You, It’s Cool, is one of the best records so far this year and if someone makes a list of best album titles of 2012 their album should top that list. Bear in Heaven has done with electronic music what more bands should. They’ve incorporated strong electronic elements into their songs without using them as a crutch. There’s no Daft Punk or Justice style electronic ear candy in this record like many musicians have been using recently. Bear in Heaven has found a perfect balance of electronic and indie rock on their latest release, and they’ve been touring the record around clubs in the US with reviews as glowing as their intricate on-stage light set up. They’ve been touring almost non-stop since SXSW and will continue to tour through June. Bear in Heaven sounds like a completely different band than they did
on their previous record and in the best way possible. This is how bands should evolve. The band put more work into this record than most bands will put into their whole recorded career. As a promotional piece, the band made an ambient version of their album that lasted thousands of hours and played online from the time the album was announced until the album was released. Bear in Heaven is not just another â€œanimalâ€? band. Theyâ€™re doing something original and new and constantly taking chances and experimenting.
words and photos by danny krug illustrations by brandon elijah johnson
berhofer is on the rise like no one else in the Brooklyn scene right now. Brad Oberhofer, the band’s front man and namesake, is a transplant to Brooklyn from Washington state where a lot of players in the Brooklyn scene have originated from. When we met up with Brad to do this article he was getting ready to head on tour for almost a year with his band including stops at SXSW, Coachella and The Andy Warhol Museum. That tour has now grown to include stops at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo as well as appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Fuse’s Hoppus on Music. Oberhofer’s debut album, Time Capsules II, produced by Steve Lillywhite was released on Glassnote earlier this year. It included a handful of new songs as well as re-imagined versions of tracks that he’d released prior. It’s arguable that the original versions of
songs like “Away Frm U” and “Landline” are better than the re-recorded versions included on Time Capsules II, but it’s also obvious that the album versions will appeal to a much larger audience than the originals. None of that matters much though because Oberhofer’s strength as a band is in their live show. On any given night you’ll see Brad running around the stage kicking his amplifier, jumping off the kick drum, breaking a string and covering Kanye West’s “Runaway” while it gets fixed, and in the case of
Coachella he climbed the stage supports and dangled from the top of the stage kicking his legs back and forth while throwing flowers into the crowd. Oberhofer has become an incredibly tight live band balancing on-stage antics and noise with perfectly played songs. All of the band members have an individual playing style and are a pleasure to watch live. At the Fuse taping yesterday, they took the stage like pros. Chatting it up with Blink-182 bassist and show host, Mark Hoppus, before the camera’s started rolling. Once the show started, Hoppus asked Brad a series of questions and then introduced the song. Oberhofer tore into “Away Frm U” as if they were playing in front of a packed theatre as opposed to an empty soundstage. Back in his Bushwick apartment, Brad told us about his cover of “Runaway.” When he heard it, he thought it was the most beautiful thing that Kanye
had ever done. He figured it out on piano, transferred that to guitar with a few added notes and then recorded it with his band. He hopes to release the recording as a B-side eventually, but for now it’s just something that a small crowd at Mercury Lounge heard last fall and that Brad has on his Macbook. When asked, Brad said that he’d love for Kanye to hear the cover d he really hopes that Kanye would enjoy the Oberhofer version of the hit. Even though it doesn’t come across in his music or persona, Oberhofer has an affinity for hiphop. When talking about Coachella, the one band he was most excited to see was Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg who headlined the festival the same day that Oberhofer played in the Mojave tent.
During the photo shoot for this issue, Brad talked about his friend Dan who painted mural in Bushwick and took a few photos in front of it. The same friend was enlisted to art direct Oberhofer’s “Away Frm U” music video. Brad seems to have surrounded himself with great musicians and artists. All of which is helping not only Oberhofer as a band, but in situations like the “Away Frm U” video he’s also helping artists get their vision and style out to a larger audience. Oberhofer also booked Brooklyn-via-Washington band and friends of his, Jeane, to open his packed show at Bowery Ballroom. During their set Brad was fixated on
the band only diverting his attention in between songs to mention that they were friends of his from back home and that he thought they sounded amazing. Over the course of this year and probably well into next year, we’ll be hearing about Oberhofer as they continue to tour and play bigger and bigger shows and festivals. While the critical reception of Time Capsules II wasn’t overwhelmingly positive, it seems to be striking a chord with audiences which is all that really matters. The only question is, what happened to Time Capsules I?
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANNY KRUG STYLED BY ARIEL EXPOSITO MAKEUP BY LAURA BUCK ALL CLOTHING VINTAGE
ONE POINT TWENTY ONE GIGAWATTS’
FASHION EDITOR I’m a lolita living in Brooklyn with two other lolitas as roommates. I’m studying fashion design at The Fashion Institute of Technology. I use Japanese street style as my main influence. Fruits magazine is where I draw style inspiration. I feel like the people who do dress in J-style are very unique Brooklyn. I usually buy all my clothing from regular stores, etsy, and Japanese online stores. When designing clothes, I like to draw style inspiration from Yohji Yamamoto, comme des garcons, Luella, and Meadham Kirchoff. ARIEL EXPOSITO
DOWNLOAD your copy AT GIGAWATTSMAG. COM FOR FREE
Published on Jul 31, 2012
Issue one of the Brooklyn based arts and music magazine. Featuring John Malta, John P. Dessereau, Oberhofer, Bear in Heaven, Habibi and more...