IT’S KID ROCK
Music school opens Williamsburg outpost
COURIER L 46 IFE, DEC. 13-19, 2019
Good guys wear black: Plain White T’s will perform at Warsaw in Greenpoint
on Dec. 13 with the Mowgli’s and New Politics. Photo by Colin Lane
Men in White
Plain White T’s to play
at Greenpoint venue
By Jessica Parks Hey here, Delilah!
The band behind the
2007 mega-hit “Hey
There, Delilah,” will return to
Brooklyn this week for the first
time in nearly a decade. The
frontman of the Plain White T’s,
playing at Greenpoint’s Warsaw
on Dec. 13, said that the show
might include a sighting of the
New York City resident who
inspired his most famous song.
“Something about playing
‘Hey There, Delilah’ in New
York is awesome,” said Tom
Higgenson. “She used to come
to all of our shows there. You
never know, she may make an
Plain White T’s had the
number one hit in the country
in July 2007 with “Hey
There, Delilah,” a quadrupleplatinum
single about a woman
Higgenson had been introduced
to and was hoping to impress
with a song — one that was later
nominated for two Grammy
Since then, the Chicago
band has released four more
albums. Its most recent,
“Parallel Universe,” strays from
the band’s distinctive acoustic
sound to incorporate electronic
undertones and synthesizers.
It walks a fine line between
futuristic and retro, which
Higgenson described as an
experiment for the five-piece.
“‘Parallel Universe’ is more
adventurous than our other
music,” he said. “We decided
to just have some fun finding
some new sounds and getting
out of our comfort zone.”
Plain White T’s will play
a mix of its classic hits and
songs from the new album
that have proved popular on
the music-streaming service
Spotify, which Higgenson said
typically turns out to be the
band member’s favorite songs
“The songs we like the most
usually end up being the songs
that the fans like the most,” said
Higgenson. “It makes it easy to
play those songs. We love this
song and we are glad you guys
love it too.”
The upcoming show is part
of the “Three Dimensional
Tour,” featuring Plain White
T’s, Los Angeles rock band the
Mowgli’s, and Danish dancerock
group New Politics —
with all three bands named as
co-headliners on the tour and
rotating slots for each show, said
“We are doing it as
co-headliners,” he said. “No
band is more important than
the other bands. Each band has
really good songs and its own
good unique live show.”
Before landing on the
title “3-Dimensional” tour,
Higgenson said the triad
pondered names like “threeheaded
monster” and “threeway
tie” to find a title that
highlights their co-headlining
“We were looking for a cool
name that emphasized there are
three different looks to the tour,
but we are all doing it together
equally,” Higgenson said.
“The Three Dimensional
Tour” at Warsaw (261 Driggs
Ave. between Leonard and
Eckford streets in Greenpoint,
Dec. 13 at 7 pm. $30. (VIP $149).
By Kevin Duggan Talk about a smash hit!
A new music school
opened its doors last
weekend with a ceremonial guitar
smash. The School of Rock’s
Williamsburg location — its
second in the borough — will
tutor local youngsters in how to
rock out, with a curriculum that
teaches the stars of tomorrow how
to handle their instruments as well
as how to hit the stage with flair,
said the school’s manager.
“Performing live and learning
in a band type of setting — it
gives them something to work
towards,” said Ken Kramer.
The school’s teaching methods
are specifically geared towards
performing on stage as part of a
band. This approach gives the kids
a strong sense of camaraderie,
according to Kramer.
“It’s a sense of community, you’re
part of a bigger thing,” he said.
Kramer officially opened the
school with a traditional ribbon
cutting, followed by smashing a
guitar, and a performance from
the school’s first class of students,
along with some tiny stars from
a School of Rock branch on the
distant Isle of Manhattan.
Shredders as young as 3 can
start in the school’s Little Wing
program — named after the Jimi
Hendrix ballad — where they
Record breaking: Ken Kramer performs a ceremonial guitar smashing to mark the opening of the
School of Rock in Williamsburg on Dec. 7. Photo by Caroline Ourso
learn the very basics of music,
including rhythm patterns and
different types of singing.
For those aged 6 or older,
the school offers a “Rookies”
program, with weekly one-on-one
sessions and group sessions where
the kids get a chance to play
various instruments before they
settle on one (or more) to focus on.
Burgeoning guitarists, bass
players, drummers, keyboard
players, and singers learn the
essential skills to play particular
tunes, with teachers bringing
material from a variety of
different sub-genres, including
1990s rock or the 1960s British
Invasion, according to Kramer.
“We’re focused on learning
songs first and then breaking it
down on more theoretical level,”
the Park Slope resident said.
Later students can enter the Rock
101 and Performance program,
where the youngsters learn to take
their skills to the stage.
Prices vary depending on
the program and location, said
Kramer, but the Rookies program
is generally around $100–$200 per
month, according to the School of
The Philadelphia-based School
of Rock franchise, which inspired
the Jack Black movie and the
subsequent Broadway show, set up
its first Brooklyn shop in Gowanus.
Kramer — who describes himself
as a serious amateur guitarist
— is happy to provide northern
Brooklynites a chance to learn the
ropes of rock too.
“I wish something like this was
around when I was a kid,” he said.
“It makes kids better musicians.”
“School of Rock” 294
Graham Ave. at Powers Street
in Williamsburg, (718) 210–1720,
Tue–Fri, 2-8 pm, Sat, 10 am–5
pm. Prices vary.
By Ben Verde It’s Stockholm for the holidays!
A country known for its
furniture and excessive ümläüts
will showcase its creative side
this week, when a dream team of
Swedish music stars descend on a
Williamsburg night club.
The Sweden Makes Music
showcase at Baby’s All Right on
Dec. 17 will feature some of the
most exciting names in Sweden’s
burgeoning pop music scene,
including Elias, Mapei, Le Sinner,
DJ Clea and Morabeza Tobacco.
The annual festival, now in its
seventh year, is hosted by Export
Music Sweden and the Swedish
Consulate General, and is designed
to create a North American
audience for the Scandinavian
country’s creative community, said
the event’s organizer.
“We wanted to find a way
to basically showcase Swedish
music but also in a more general
sense, Swedish creativity,” said
Niklas Arnegran, head of Cultural
Affairs at the Consulate General
The Swedish pop music scene is
one of the most prolific in Europe,
said Arnegran, thanks in part to
the country’s welcoming and techsavvy
“The scene is very progressive
and very creative,” he said. “I think
a lot of the Swedish music scene
mirrors Swedish society in a great
Brooklynites wary of
embracing tunes sung in a foreign
tongue need not worry, he said
— all the musicians performing
this week sing in English, which
is widely spoken in Sweden.
About 80 percent of people in the
Northern European country speak
excellent English, he said.
The musicians take many cues
from American artists as well.
Elias, the top-billed artist, makes
soulful pop with hints of Bon Iver,
while Maipei’s club-friendly tracks
have been remixed by both Frankie
Knuckles and Chance the Rapper.
Sweden Makes Music at Baby’s
All Right 146 Broadway between
Driggs and Bedford, Williamsburg,
(718) 599–5800, sweden-makesmusic.
confetti.events. Dec. 17 at 7
pm. Free with RSVP.
How Swede it is!
The devil you don't know: Swedish
rapper Le Sinner will play Baby's All
Right in Williamsburg on Dec. 17.
Consulate General of Sweden