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Brooklyn Favorites: Lio Kanine, Kanine Records

Chances are, Lio Kanine is the reason you’ve heard of bands like Grizzly Bear, Chairlift, Drink Up Buttercup, Surfer Blood and slew of others with indie cred and broad appeal—all are signed to his Brooklyn-based label, Kanine Records. The musical tastemaker moved to New York in 2000 and settled almost immediately in Williamsburg, where he’s been ever since. His first job was at the West Village record store Rebel Rebel. Kanine soon began DJing and then landed a job at ADA, the big-time indie music distributor, which gave him the know-how to start his own label, a move he made with his wife in 2003. The rest, as they say, is probably playing on your iPod as we speak.

Read on to take a tour through Lio Kanine’s Brooklyn …

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

Favorite cocktail: I’m a beer guy. By far my favorite place to get good beers is Mother’s. I also love Kent Ale House, Mugs Ale House, and Burnside.

Favorite clothing store(s): 2nd Nature Skate Shop, KCDC Skate Shop, Pilgrim Surf + Supply

A Wall of Vans at Pilgrim Surf + Supply

A Wall of Vans at Pilgrim Surf + Supply

Last item you bought in Brooklyn: Some vinyl records from Academy Records

Last place you had brunch: Le Barricou

Your perfect Saturday in Brooklyn: Wake up early and walk my dogs in Cooper Park, then go to the skate park under the BQE Bridge for a couple hours. Around noon, head to Bedford Ave for some shopping. Find a cool toddler music t-shirt for my son Santi at Smoochie Baby. (I got him the best Nirvana t-shirt there.)

Around 2pm, head to Peter’s for lunch with Santi and my wife Kay—best roast chicken, mashed potatoes and greens around. Around 4pm, grab some beers at the Brooklyn Brewery or Kent Ale House, then head back to Graham Avenue for dinner at La Locanda. Later, skate back to Bedford Avenue to meet up with friends at Spike Hill for preshow beers. Around 10pm, walk down to Glasslands to see some bands play. End the night with a beer at Mother’s.

Favorite Brooklyn band(s): Beverly, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Grizzly Bear, School of Seven Bells, The Depreciation Guild, Chairlift

Favorite place to see your favorite Brooklyn band: For up-and-coming bands I like Glasslands and Cameo Gallery. For more established bands I love The Knitting Factory and Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Glasslands (Photo by Tracy Morford for New York Magazine)

Favorite record store: Academy Records

Brooklyn trend you love: Microbrewing, and I love the fact that there are now tons of shops that sell hard-to-find microbrews. Many of them are set up to let you drink their beers in the store.

If you had to leave Brooklyn, what would you miss most? The ease of just having everything right here at my doorstep. You have great food, entertainment, shops, sports—an endless amount to do without ever having to get in a car. Hardly any other cities in the world have that.


- by Sarah Stodola

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