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October 27, 2009

CMJ Recap: Part I

I agree with The Village Voice in that CMJ shows are more like coronations than introductions. While I had a press badge for CMJ via BTR, I didn't end up using it at all. Instead, I took a pretty low-key approach. The shows that I went to were free, unofficial CMJ, non-CMJ, or someone was kind enough to put me on a list. Instead of running around between downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn to see the buzziest of the buzz, I kept to a small list of bands that I'd been wanting to see and bands that I can always count on for a good time. As a result, I actually had fun during CMJ and didn't completely burn out. But, I know I missed out on some awesome bands.

Tuesday (Cake Shop)

Dinosaur Feathers is a band that I've been wanting to check out ever since I heard "Know Your Own Strength." Lush vocal harmonies, backed with tropical beats and strums, serve as a focal point of their music, and it’s a refreshing change from the bands who turn up the vox reverb to the muddled maximum. Dinosaur Feathers are currently working on wrapping up their new album. Can't wait to hear it! In the meantime, check out Dinosaur Feathers' set at Standing Room.

Know Your Own Strength - Dinosaur Feathers

Little Girls was one of my first fuzz pop loves. What I remember the most about their set at Cake Shop was frontman Josh McIntyre's intense stage presence. He had a crazy stage persona, and it was amazing. Even more amazing, Josh is one of the nicest, down-to-earth guys. How he's able to harness that kind of energy in the middle of the afternoon, I have no idea.

Tambourine - Little Girls

Motel Motel's "Coffee" had been on my iPod shuffle for ages, but I had no idea, with no screen and all. I finally went to their MySpace over the summer when D. recommended the band. 1 + 1 = 2 (except when it equals zero). Motel Motel is a band that's meant to be enjoyed live, and their performance of "Coffee" was absolutely stunning.

Coffee - Motel Motel

See here for my thoughts on Surfer Blood.

Floating Vibes - Surfer Blood

Small Black is one of my latest obsessions. Warm, hazy electro sounds were executed perfectly live. I was impressed by how precise they were and how good they sounded at Cake Shop, which doesn't always have the most reliable acoustics. After seeing Small Black, I've officially put the Roland SP-404 on my holiday wish list (seen in the picture above).

Despicable Dogs - Small Black

Thanks to Pop Tarts Suck Toasted for putting on the awesome showcase. It seriously started off the week with a bang. Most of these sets are coming soon to Standing Room.

Wednesday (Pianos, Monster Island Basement)

I started out my day with Surfer Blood to redo their set for Standing Room.

At night, I headed over to an unofficial CMJ show presented by Group Tightener. This was my first time at Monster Island Basement. There's a record store inside that's supposed to be pretty sweet and is somehow connected to Eat Records.

Fluffy Lumbers is one of the NJ bands that are keeping the suburbs cool. Sam was on drums, which I don't think is the normal set-up, but they still sounded pretty good. After seeing this band, I've been giving their music more rotation on my players. I love going to a show that helps me discover my own music library. Seriously, I need some help on that front, especially when it comes to sifting through the fuzz.

Harry Dolland's - Fluffy Lumbers

Coasting is a relatively new band that I heard about through gvsb. Apparently, this was their first show ever. I don't remember too much about Coasting's fuzzed-out goodness, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for more stuff from them in the future.

Coasting - Coasting

I've been loving HIGHLIFE ever since I heard "F Kenya Rip" via gvsb, which could easily make my list of favorite songs of 2009. Since that was the only song I'd heard of theirs (and I don't think there are any more floating around), I thought HIGHLIFE would be a band that played structured songs. Their set was mostly samples with some vocals (i.e. oohs and ahs) layered on top, which wasn't what I'd expected.

F Kenya Rip - HIGHLIFE

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast was one of the best frontwomen that I've ever experienced. She made me feel so comfortable, and her Cali charm reminded me of my best friend. Also, I enjoyed Best Coast's songs way more in person, and they stuck more than any recording I'd heard. Where have I been? "Sun Was High (So Was I)" kicks ass. No live drummer at this show, but they said that had found one.

Sun Was High (So Was I) - Best Coast

Awesome video from The Great Pumpkin:

I had to leave before Ducktails and Small Black hit the stage, but I heard that Small Black started a dance party that went on into the wee hours.

To be continued...


david on October 27, 2009 at 7:32 PM said...

small black is the bestest band of all times. "despicable dogs" is genius.

Nate on October 27, 2009 at 8:57 PM said...

did you see delorean? i saw them at the pitchfork thing at market hotel, shit was soooo real

mimi on October 28, 2009 at 5:51 PM said...

david - agreed. loving their EP.

nate - nooo i couldn't make it out to the showpaper benefit. did you end up seeing neon indian?

Nate on October 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM said...

no! i didn't see dent may or neon indian, and those were like the only bands i initially wanted to see. but i was at market hotel for like 4 hours and i saw a bunch of bands there. real estate and delorean were out of control. i went to santos at like 11 and ate banh mi and saw javelin and then terror pigeon dance revolt (<333333) and went home. that plus friday night equaled me feeling like i 'experienced CMJ'

also the jmz line is basically suicide from columbia

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