Friday, October 16, 2009

Upcoming Shows: CMJ Music Marathon

The CMJ Music Marathon is nearly upon us, and it's time I give you my recommendations.

Here is my recommendation: AVOID CMJ. Skip the bands from this area or any you have the opportunity to see in other circumstances. CMJ is awful. It is expensive. It always runs late. The bands are hustled on and off stage in half an hour. Forget proper sound checks. If you want to chance the latest thing, you're going to be in some filthy basement you've never heard of, crushed against the wall by boring hipsters. It is just not worth it.

That said, there are some bands you should hear at CMJ because they don't play around NYC much. Here's my list:

Dum Dum Girls (Los Angeles, CA) - That DIY crowd got old fast, but there are a few bands in the bunch still worth listening to. Dum Dum Girls (actually just one girl, plus a touring band) are one of those, with good songs sung in a beautiful voice. Check it. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Saturday, October 24 * 8 PM * Mercury Lounge (LES, Manhattan) *

JEFF the Brotherhood (Nashville, TN) - Ex-Be Your Own Pet, these brothers are brilliant musicians who slide smoothly between punk and metal, with a familiar sound that's easy to love but hard to classify (psychedelic? garage? lo-fi?). They will be back in NYC before too long, though, so don't break your neck to check them out at C(rap)MJ. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Friday, October 23 (technically Saturday) * MIDNIGHT * The Charleston (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *
 * Saturday, October 24 * 10:20 PM * Union Pool (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *

Let's Wrestle (UK) - Let's Wrestle are a fine lo-fi indie pop band with really, really catchy, lovable songs. I haven't seen them live yet, but love the recordings. [MySpace]
 * Wednesday, October 21 * 11 PM * Bell House (Gowanus, Brooklyn) *
 * Friday, October 23 * ?? * Glasslands (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) [unofficial]*

Little Girls (Toronto, Canada) - One of my bands to watch, Little Girls just put out an outstanding debut which I haven't written up yet because the release date snuck past me. Gloomy, gothy post-punk, with a very lo-fi aestethic and a nervous, lively stage show, Little Girls are the shit. (The only thing I don't like them is that pedophiles sometimes accidentally end up on my blog when I write them up, due to poor google searches. Not kidding.) [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tuesday, October 20 * 1:30 PM * Cake Shop (LES, Manhattan) *
 * Wednesday, October 21 * ?? [not on CMJ schedule, for some reason] * Union Pool (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *
 * Friday, October 23 * 10 PM * Pianos (LES, Manhattan) *

Lovvers (UK) - Fun, rowdy and somtimes nasty UK punks. Ladies, stand up front for a chance to get a smooch. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tuesday, October 20 * 11 PM * Santos Party House (Chinatown, Manhattan) *
 ? Thursday, October 22 * ?? * Pianos (LES, Manhattan) ?
 * Saturday, October 24 * Afternoon * Brooklyn Bowl (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *
 * Saturday, October 24 * 11 PM * Union Pool (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *

Male Bonding (UK) - I first paid attention to this band because I think I once read that “Male Bonding” was the name of an early incarnation of Sonic Youth and I liked the name when they used it. Presumably, this band’s name is unrelated, since that’s some pretty obscure Sonic Youth trivia (if it’s even true). But I’m glad I noticed the band, no matter the reason, because they are awesome noise punk, with simple, raw songs, endearing melodies and some loud-ass guitar. [MySpace]
 * Tues. (actually Weds.) * 1 AM * Cake Shop *
 * Thurs. * 11:45 PM * The Delancey *
 * Fri. * 11:10 PM * “On the Side” at Seaport *
 * Sat. (actually Sun.) * 2 AM * Mercury Lounge *

Ringo Deathstarr (Austin, TX) - The best shoegaze band of our generation, highly underrated, extremely awesome. Massive walls of sound, deep, entrancing melodies, pitch bends and sick beats. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tuesday, October 20 * 11:30 PM * Fontana's (Chinatown, Manhattan) *
 * Wednesday, October 21 * 9 PM * Cake Shop (LES, Manhattan) *
 * TWO NON-CMJ SHOWS - 10/22 & 10/23 - See their myspace page for more info *

True Womanhood (Washington, DC) - Radiohead-esque experiental rock from DC. Up-and-comers who put on a great live show. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tuesday, October 20 * 8 PM * Cameo Gallery (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) *
 ? Saturday, October 24 * 3 PM * Death By Audio (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) ?

Here are some other shows you might want to know about:

Atlas Sound (Atlanta, GA) - Experimental, arty low-key rock from Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox. [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 10 PM * Le Poisson Rouge *
 * Weds. * 10 PM * Music Hall of Williamsburg *

Broadcast (UK) - Highly lauded electronic duo with hints of shoegaze and post-rock, but with strong pop vocals. [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 11 PM * Le Poisson Rouge *

Busta Rhymes (Brooklyn, NY) - well, duh. [MySpace]
 * Thurs. * 11 PM * B.B. King *

Harlem (Austin, TX) - on the thrash end of the hardcore punk spectrum, Harlem are one of the best of their genre today. [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 10 PM * Santos Party House *
 * Fri. * 8 PM * The Suffolk *

Múm (Iceland) - Beautiful post-rock electronics, though perhaps a bit too gentle for some. [MySpace]

Pissed Jeans (Philadelphia, PA) - noisy, punky band in the SubPop tradition. They are hardcore but not at all off-putting, and make a real racket with their guitars. [MySpace]
 * Sat. (actually Sun.) * 12 AM * Mercury Lounge *

U-God (New York, NY) - mem. Wu-Tang Clan. Enough said. [MySpace]
 * Tues. (actually Weds.) * 12:10 AM * Southpaw *

And if you insist on checking out local bands, here are the absolute best:

Ambulance LTD - shoegaze-influenced rock with a guitar sheen and good songs. [MySpace]
 * Thurs. * 10 PM * Mercury Lounge *

The Antlers - a sad band that has some ambient influences and some electronics but is still a rock band. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 10:15 PM * Music Hall of Williamsburg *
 * Thurs. * 10 PM * The Delancey *

The Black Tie Party - some good DIY punky goodness. [MySpace]
 * Thurs. (actually Fri.) * 12 AM * The Charleston *

Cold Cave - not actually local, but they play around here a lot these days. A very interesting electronic group that can be really fucking loud and dissonant and in your face. [RFR Live Review] (...they've grown on me since then) [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 10:30 PM * The Studio at Webster Hall *
 * Fri. * 11 PM * The Suffolk *

Coyote Eyes - post-punk with interesting rhythms, guitar experiments and amazing, distinctive vocal melodies. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Weds. (actually Thurs.) * 12:30 AM * The Delancey *

Darlings - their simple, DIY aesthetic is kept interesting by their apparent insanity that makes the sometimes appear to be playing completely different songs at the same time. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Weds. * 10 PM * Glasslands *

The Depreciation Guild - massive electro-shoegaze walls of sound. And good-looking boys. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Weds. * 8:15 PM * Cake Shop *
 * Fri. * 9:30 PM * Cake Shop *

Dinowalrus - off-the-wall, edgy music that defies convention, kicks out insanely complex rhythms and rocks as hard as anything. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 9:30 PM * Santos Party House *
 * Weds. * 10:30 PM * Cake Shop *

Hunters - an experimental punk band with a lot of creativity and no pretence. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Thurs. * 10 PM * The Charleston *

Japanther - local pop-punk with a true youthful spirit and a pretty big following. They aren’t commercialized or dumbed down, they’re smart and uncompromising. They just also happen to be catchy and energetic as hell. [MySpace]
 * Weds. * 10:15 PM * Suffolk Back Room *

Knight School - lo-fi indie pop with sweet little melodies and a lot of fuzz. [MySpace]
 * Fri. * 8:15 PM * Bruar Falls *

Obits - first-rate hardcore punk. [MySpace]
 *Sat. (actually Sun.) * 1 AM * Mercury Lounge *

Screaming Females - PJ Harvey does classic rock? Gutsy guitars, hard rock common sense and a punk attitude, from one very small, very rad woman. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 *Weds. (actually Thurs.) * 12 AM * Mercury Lounge *

Screens - I don’t really know much about this band, but from the little I know, I have a good feeling about them. They are probably not the most accessible, but they are doing something original and exciting. I haven’t heard them live, but I have a hunch they’re worth checking out. [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 7:30 PM * Santos Party House *

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - bluesy and rootsy, but challenging, punkish and just plain weird music by another very small, very rad woman, this one with a hand-powered harmonium and a very foul mouth. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Thurs. * 11 PM * Pianos *
 * Sat. * 11 PM * The Delancey *

Young Boys - like the Jesus & Mary Chain, messy, feedback-laden noise with solid, head-bobbing melodies under the surface. One of the coolest bands in New York these days, and one of the few the scenesters have yet to uncover. [RFR Live Review] [MySpace]
 * Tues. * 7:45 PM * Fontana’s *

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