Music videos: Brooklyn bands inspired by street art, coloring books and iPhones

Brooklyn is arguably New York City’s trendiest borough.  It’s home to hipsters, rooftop bee keepers, locavores and generations of rap superstars.

The latest proof of Brooklyn’s creative power? Local indie bands are making headlines with music videos inspired by coloring books, street art and the iPhone.

Check out these innovative videos from Brooklyn’s Au Revoir Simone, Comandante Zero and Atomic Tom.

Screenshot of "Knight of Wands," a music video/interactive coloring book from Au Revoir Simone.

Coloring Books

As reported by Mashable, indie band Au Revoir Simone has launched an interactive coloring book for their single, “Knight of Wands,” instead of a traditional music video.

Having mastered coloring books as a child, I decided to test out the new video.

After entering, I was greeted by a line drawing of three young women in hipster attire standing in the parlor of a mansion.

There were no instructions, but it only took a few seconds to figure out the routine.  I clicked on a color and then on the item I wanted to fill in.  If you’ve ever owned a coloring book, you shouldn’t have any trouble here!

Although it’s a very basic task– clicking back and forth between the color and the drawing– it was engrossing.  I was startled when the coloring book task ended after a few minutes and a traditional music video started playing. I actually left the site open so I could finish my coloring.

Verdict: A valuable and entertaining ‘time suck’ for procrastinators.

>> View the video: “Knight of Wands” by Au Revoir Simone

Indie band Comandante Zero pays tribute to street art with their video for "Wake Up In New York."

Street Art

Brooklyn band Comandante Zero is known for their new wave beats and funky live performances.

Their latest video pays tribute to New York City street artists by showing a slideshow of their work. Alert viewers will notice a piece by Brooklyn artist Swoon, the lone female street artist featured in Banksy’s film, Exit Through the Gift Shop.

The images fit well with the song, “Wake Up in New York.” I fell into a semi-trance listening to the dark, haunting vocals and pondering the meaning of each work of art.

Verdict: Discover inner peace– or just enjoy five minutes of calm reflection– by watching this entertaining clip.

>> View the video: “Wake Up in New York” by Comandante Zero

Brooklyn band Atomic Tom performs their song, "Take Me Out" on the NYC subway using iPhones.


What happens to a band when all of their instruments are stolen? They pick up their iPhones and stage a live jam session on the subway!

That’s the premise for “Take Me Out,” a video by Brooklyn’s Atomic Tom.

The clip opens with band members sitting on a NYC subway and using iPhone apps instead of key boards, turntables and guitars.

I have to thank Ugandan journalist Muma Keith for introducing me to this fascinating video, which made a viral splash last month.

The best part of the video is the crowd’s reaction. The subway riders sitting near the band seem pretty interested in the performance, but people in the background ignore the band completely or cast suspicious glances.  We New Yorkers are a jaded bunch!

Verdict: The upbeat melody, multiple camera angles and reactions from strap-hangers make this a stimulating way to spend a few minutes of your life.

>> View the video: “Take Me Out” by Atomic Tom


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About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.