How Foster Care Saved Punk Rock In NYC

There was a time about a year and a half ago that I was getting ready to declare myself officially over New York Music. I generally enjoy hating on whatever, but at that point I was kind of scared, and I had no idea where my next fix was going to come from. “Without local music to love,” I thought, “I’ll be miserable and totally boring.” I’d rather be a miserable bitch with purpose.

Then, with just a sliver of time to spare before I let the love/hate balance in my relationship with the city slide out of whack forever, I found Foster Care, the punkest band in New York. My friends and I became addicted to their shows and drummer Karen Isabel’s unpredictable beats. Isabel drives Foster Care’s Killed By Death-esque party punk with a fast, dynamically controlled style that is both reverent of her band’s forebears and completely uninterested in becoming any particular one of them. In style and in spirit, she’s a true—if as yet mostly unsung—original.

Foster Care is currently recording its debut material. Outside of the studio, Isabel can be found (as she was photographed here, exclusively for Tom Tom by Jackie Roman) at Honeychiles’, the brand-new Cajun restaurant (within the Charleston bar) she runs with, among a couple of other musical friends, her Foster Care and Peace Killers bandmate Jesse Martinez. She also has plans for a record label that will support bands from her two home bases, New York and Puerto Rico, and help them break into eachother’s scenes. It’s an awesome prospect, especially considering that Isabel was among the first people to see Davila 666 in the States, and is ultra-passionate about and clued into new Puerto Rican rock and roll. Probably the only thing she could do that would be almost as cool as releasing a million records with her own bands.

These pictures were taken for you by the awesome Jackie Roman ( The one with two people is Karen with Honeychiles’ chef/co-owner/Foster Care bassist/Peace Killers guitarist-singer/Ex Humans drummer (OMG HE IS SO GREAT IN THAT BAND)

By Davie Kaufmann

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1 Comment

  1. You go girl……….. keepin’ the beat, fixin’ great eats, spannin’ the globe, bringin’ tasty rhythm treats………

    Hope a beautiful bunny blesses your day!

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