Manhattan Downtown Music Scene

The members of the band Gang Gang Dance never wanted to be a band exactly, let alone a trendy band. Formed around 2000, incubated on the Lower East Side, they were opposed to the new wave of downtown rock having its New York moment at the time.

“We were really grossed out by a lot of the guys in leather jackets walking around Ludlow Street, and the aesthetic of the Strokes representing New York,” said Lizzi Bougatsos, Gang Gang Dance’s lead singer. The group — Josh Diamond, the guitarist; Brian DeGraw, the keyboardist and electronic maestro; and Tim DeWit, the original drummer — saw themselves as experimentalists, building a cult following over the years for their largely improvised shows.

Ms. Bougatsos is ready for the attention. “There’s no such thing as selling out in my mind,” she said, adding that she would love to have her music featured on a TV show soundtrack: “A Jeep commercial, a tampon commercial, anything,” she said. “We’re a band, we make music, and that’s what we want to be known for.”

If not the unapologetic allegiance to capitalism, what exactly about The Strokes’ aesthetic was so gross? The leather jackets?


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