Sam Sumpter: BANDS do BK [Book Review]



Sam Sumpter: BANDS do BK [Book Review]

Oliver and I met Sam Sumpter four summers ago when she greeted us as the host of a Sofar Sounds show on the Upper West Side. Since then, the small music world that New York is, our paths have crossed several times. Most notably, in May 2019, when all of us attended Campers Welcome. This is just to say that we knew about

Sam’s wonderful and ambitious project, interviewing bands, meeting them at their favorite spots in Brooklyn, and blogging about it regularly.

Thanks to Lit Riot Press, Sam’s project will be available for broader audiences and in different formats because BANDS do BK – A Guide to Brooklyn By Bands For Everyone will be available physically and digitally everywhere come September 6th, 2022.

Bands Do BK serves as a guide for bars, restaurants, and venues in Brooklyn recommended by bands and musicians living and roaming in Brooklyn. At the same time, the book is also very much a meet me at the bathroom style oral history, with little tidbits thrown in.

It’s great fun to approach the book from different angles: Reading it from page 1, the author’s note, to page 289, the acknowledgments, is one way to do it. (Thanks Lit Riot Press for the advance copy!) Or maybe simply browse around, head to the index and check for your favorite bands and read what they have to say. Or use the index to hop to your favorite places, and check out which bands like to hang out at your favorite places, whom you could potentially meet there, or what makes it a ‘cool’ place. We did a little bit of all of the above, and of course, we were eager to read what some of our favorite Brooklyn-based bands and friends came up with.

But maybe it’s the most fun to read the book serendipitously, browse around and keep on exploring. It’s truly a coffee table book – something we know Sam always envisioned. And while the visuals are missing in the paperback copy, the words are powerful even without many photos. This book is for people seeking inspiration beyond the obvious and beyond Instagram and Facebook. In addition, the book is accompanied by a vibrant website featuring the interviewed bands, including several cool playlists.

It is an instant classic, a time capsule, and one I feel very much part of. In a recent edition of our weekly glamglare newsletter, Oliver dubbed BANDS Do BK “a new Meet Me-style scene bible,” which summarizes Sam’s impressive and highly delectable work in just a few words.

For more background info, playlists, buying & pre-order opportunities, and more everything, go to Lit Riot Press.


About Sam Sumpter

[from the press copy]

Sam Sumpter is the founder and editorial director of Bands do BK. She is a journalist, MC, and host of the popular radio show, Bands do BK on Radio Free Brooklyn, featuring live interviews with local artists. She is the manager of the punk band Mary Shelley, and produces, books, and promotes live shows on stages across Brooklyn and in Manhattan. Since founding Bands do BK, Sumpter has spent time in recording studios, music venues, performance spaces, restaurants, bars, and cafes in the borough of Brooklyn interviewing her favorite musicians about their favorite places while using Bands do BK as a platform to share and promote the amazing music of the artists she loves.


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