Monday, 17 October 2011

Calm Before the Storm: CMJ 2011 Preview | 5 Bands to Watch For

It's not unlike Christmas Eve, the Monday before CMJ Music Marathon kicks off...

High anticipation of the veritable feast of stimuli to tickle one's senses in the days to come. 

Uncertainty as to the highlights of what we'll unwrap this year. 

Anxiety at the distinct possibility of falling into a drunken stupor on the Friday night and sleeping through 'last chance' Saturday.

All in all, despite the questionable hype/discard/hype again cycle that such occasions undeniably breed, there's a chaotic hunger to them that feeds our inner music obsessive to the point of bursting. There's another Christmas similarity.

As it's impossible to really lay out a schedule for other folks - as I've become all too aware in recent years - I thought this time around I'd simply highlight 5 bands that I believe you'll be well advised to catch, should you find yourself in the musical neighbourhoods of NYC this week. 

The Minutes

Who? Blues-tinged Irish rock n' roll trio, heavily touted in these here pages.

Why? Big riffs and bigger quiffs. Possibly not the latter, but the pure rock grooves will be in full flow as these lads hit the stage.

Where/When? 10/18 - Brooklyn Bowl (Williamsburg, Bk) - FREE
10/20 - Fat Baby (Lower East Side)

The Duke Spirit

Who? Wide ranging rock band from England, fronted by the silver-tongued, not-so-secret weapon Liela Moss.

Why? Aside from being on the same bill as The Minutes, meaning you need not destroy your feet too early in the marathon, these guys fuse all the raw power of garage rock to the huge melodies of stadium rock, meeting with one colossal bang in the middle. 

Where? 10/18 - Brooklyn Bowl (Williamsburg, Bk) - FREE. Also playing a guest list only show at Bowery Hotel earlier in the day. 

Active Child

Who? Highly lauded, wide ranging indie solo outfit of New Jersey native Pat Gross.

Why? It's always tough to cut through the hype, but it does seem justified after a few glorious spins of lush, dense new album 'You Are All I See'. It might be tough to get in to the evening shows, but if the impact is anything like that of the album, it will be worth those long, snaking lines down a stanky street (here's looking at you, Delancey).

Where? 10/20 - The Delancey (Lower East Side).  
10/21 Puma Store w/ SPIN (Union Square/17th St). 
Also Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) 
10/23 - Spike Hill (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

More information:


Who? Norwegian death n' roll act making waves around Europe.

Why? Because you're going to need to lose your shit at some point during the marathon, so why not save it until the final day and some of the most serrated riffs with a heavy groove that you'll hear all week? The perfect antidote to almost falling catatonic after hearing your 100th chillwave band of the week.

Where? 10/21 at Europa (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

More info:


Who? Floaty light duo of Aleksa Palladino & Devon Church, based right here in NYC.

Why? Because they channel all those enigmatic, ethereal artists that you know and love, force them into a pulsing, unnerving body of sound, and give the end product meaning with Aleksa's smooth, evocative vocal delivery. 

Where? 10/18 - The Delancey (Lower East Side)
10/19 - Piano's (Lower East Side). Also Union Pool (Williamsburg, Brooklyn).

More info:

Who are you busting to see? 

Wish you were here, or glad you're nowhere near the whole bloody hype parade? 

As always, hearing your thoughts is a very welcome thing indeed. The comments and our Facebook page await...

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