CMJ 2011: Day 5 – 10/22/11 – Purity Ring and Wavves at Fader Fort

My last CMJ 2001 musical journey was held exclusively at Fader Fort, for two acts I was really pumped to see: Up-and-coming Canadian band, Purity Ring, whose song “Ungirthed” has made them one of my favorite new bands, and existing TMA fave, Wavves.

Knowing that the crowds would be pretty insane for FF day 2, I tried to get there relatively early to catch Purity Ring. Apparently I didn’t calculate on being their early enough — because most of my “earliness” was chewed up waiting for people to leave since the venue was at capacity. But the music gods were on my side, and I managed to get in before Purity Ring got up on stage.

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Shrouded in near darkness, singer Megan James and bandmate Corin Roddick took the stage. I hesitate calling Roddick the “percussionist” only because the musical instrument that he plays is a contraption that can only be described as equal parts electronic drum machine, hand bells, Lite-Brite, and Pipeworks.

Frontwoman James is a petite little creature with an innocent face, long brown curly hair, and an apparently affinity for slightly gothy gear (demonstrated by her flowy knee-length dress and pendulum-style metal necklace thingy swinging from her neck). But while she may be small, she has a very strong stage presence.

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I’ll admit, the sound was absolutely terrible so close to the stage, but from what I could hear, it sounded pretty darn good. Exhibit A and B below:

After some confusing stage shenanigans, Danny Brown and posse gave what felt like a crazy short set — which involved a Tiger-style sweatshirt (see below).

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Then the last act of the evening took the stage — everyone’s favorite tattooed spritely punk, “your boy” Wavves, and his merry band of musical bandits. As expected, the crowd situation got a little crazy, so I cowered in a corner to the the left-side of the stage, staying clear of all the bouncer pushback and impromptu crowd surfing. (Getting hit in the head — like I did at my last Wavves concert — was not something I was aching to repeat.)

Wavves

The fast and furious set was definitely fun. Afterwards, when Nathan came out from “backstage” (aka – from behind the makeshift stage area), eager young ladies and lads huddled around him as he gladly posed for pictures with his fans.

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CMJ 2011: Day 2 – 10/19/11 – Stop the Virgens and Twin Sister

Day two of CMJ turned out to be a free form day. A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn got us tickets to the new Karen O psycho rock opera at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Stop the Virgens, with me totally not realizing it was smack dab in the middle of CMJ. Whoopsies!

After the show, I decided to push it and headed over to Williamsburg to try to catch King Krule at Glasslands, but by the time I got there they were no longer letting badges in. As I was standing there, I heard someone call my name, and low-and-behold it was Scott Stereogum, who then invited to come into the ‘Gum showcase next door at 285 Kent.

Before heading in, Scott warned me that it was extremely hot indoors and sure enough, it was in fact a “hipster sauna” inside. So who were the kids all waiting to see? Strong Island (seriously???) buzz band, Twin Sister. Dreamy disco music, with a lead singer who looks like an Olsen, it’s not hard to understand why the room was 75% Sausage Fest.


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CMJ 2011: Day 1 – 10/18/11 – Young Magic and Quilts @ Public Assembly

Scenes from tonight:

Day 1 of CMJ was a great start. Caught NYC via Australia band Young Magic‘s killer set at Public Assembly in Williamsburg. Dreamy, and dead sexy songs.

Also managed to catch a few songs by Boston band Quilt at the Mexican Summer showcase in the back room at PA. Some solid sonic noodling.

Who I’m Excited to See at CMJ 2011

Quickly, some recommendations for this year’s CMJ:

These shows are bound to be completely packed. Attend if you dare: Zola Jesus (Knitting Factory on Tues; LPR on Wed); Wild Flag (Bowery Ballroom on Tues)

My picks: Young Magic at Public Assembly at 10pm on Tuesday. If you can stay up late, check out Dent May. Last year I caught Class Actress, who is ending the night at 1am, when she showcased at Cameo Gallery, but sadly was unimpressed. Maybe her live show as gotten better since then?

Other bands I’m hot to check out: Guards, Grimes, Boy and Bear, Active Child, and my (and seemingly everyone else’s) new favorite band, Purity Ring

Would love to check out Bleached and King Krule, but the scheduling gods seem at conflict.. but you never know…

James Blake @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/6/2011

I just came back from the James Blake show in Williamsburg. I now know what the sound of a room full of ovaries exploding sounds like: basically faint squeals of ecstasy for about 1 hour non-stop.

Master of the subtle, slow build, James Blake has you wrapped around his youthful, tiny little British finger without you even realizing it.

Oh don't mind me, I'm just blowing your MIND right now

As I Rock, I Roll so aptly described it: “James Blake shows are like being masterfully seduced by the most unassuming hot guy ever. SAHWOOON”

Swoon indeed! In addition to creating some of the sexiest music created in a long time, this dude is clearly a hit with the ladies. I swear, I could actually hear hearts breaking as he crooned. One girl screamed, “I LOVE YOUR HAIR!” about five times throughout the show. Another gave James a bouquet of flowers at the end of the initial set.

Are flowers the way to James Blake's heart?

I nearly DIED when I realized that for the encore he was doing a cover of “Case of You” — probably one of my most favorite Joni Mitchell songs EVER. UUuuuggghhh! Absolutely brilliant. Well played, James Blake, WELL PLAYED.

If you listen carefully, I think you can hear my brain exploding in this video:

There’s really only one way to describe James Blake: an extremely attractive musical angel sent down from heaven to remind us that God really does still exist.

Note the heavenly glow

Coldplay Live on Letterman in NYC – 9/20/11

Longtime readers of this site will already be accustomed to my undying, uncool devotion to the British “rock” band Coldplay.
But it is due to this broadcasting of affection that people end up being so generous whenever the band rolls into town.

Waiting to head into the Ed Sullivan Theater

Thanks to the unbelievable kindness of Product Shop NYC, last night I was lucky enough to attend Coldplay’s Live on Letterman webcast taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater right here in NYC.

Amazing lasers and lots of crazy colors filled the stage.

It was basically 50 minutes of pure joy for me. The band played a handful of new songs off their upcoming album Mylo Xyloto — “Major Minus,” “Hurts Like Heaven,” “Charlie Brown,” and my personal favorite, “Paradise” — as well as all the greatest hits (“Yellow,” “The Scientist,” “Viva la Vida,” “Fix You,” etc.).
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Things From Last Month: Foster the People, Cut Copy, Johnny Marnell, Kalli

Hey y’all. Sorry I have basically fallen off the face of the planet in terms of updates. August was a great month — saw lots of good music. Here are some of the shows I witnessed:

The biggest blowout I attended last month was on August 11th for Celebrate Brooklyn‘s last concert of the summer, featuring Aussie dance party gods, Cut Copy, and California wunderkids, Foster the People. So much crazy dancing, so much fun! (And a damn near Lindsay Lohan sighting!)

Lead singer Mark Foster told a story about how when he was a teenager he approached Rivers Cuomo at a party and tried to get him to listen to his demo. Fast foward to 2011, and now Weezer has been known to cover “Pumped Up Kicks” in concert. As an homage, FTP did a cover version of “Say It Ain’t So”:

Cut Copy wants you to feel the power!

Crowd during Cut Copy finale
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Hurting This Way: Sweating Through Friendly Fires @ Summerstage – 8/7/11

Sure I had back sweat, front sweat, side sweat, and butt sweat, but today’s FREE Friendly Fires + Naked and Famous + Cults show for Summerstage at Central Park was SO FUN.

I was dancing up a storm, making a fool of myself. If you were in the crowd, you may remember me from such things as screaming really loudly and terrifying The Music Slut at the start of “Hurting,” or doing a whirlwind dance past you on the way to the front of the crowd during the performance of “Hawaiian Air” during the encore.

Never ever before have I seen this, but guitarist Edd Gibson actually had REVERSE sweat stains on his denim shirt — as in, the entire shirt was drenched with sweat except for this 2-by-3-inch space under his armpit. SWEATMASTING! Ed Macfarlane was of course wearing a hideous printed shirt and dancing like a possessed samba instructor. There was a sax player and a trumpet player. I SAID, I SAID, I SAID THERE WAS A SAX PLAYER. Sax at a show = Brilliant. <3 [caption id="attachment_9254" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="I'd like to buy a "F" for $200..."][/caption]

Openers Cults were perfectly dreamy as per usual, and New Zealand’s own Naked and Famous were no where near naked, but good times nonetheless.

"So hey, I'm going to this show, do you want to come?" "Sure!" "OK, well just MAKE SURE you wear all denim. It's kinda a thing."

SETLIST: Lovesick, Jump In Pool, Blue Cassette, True Love, On Board, Chimes, Skeleton Boy, Show Me Lights, Live Those Days Tonight, Hurting, Pull Me Back to Earth, Paris ENCORE: Hawaiian Air, Kiss of Life

The Raveonettes @ Beekman Beer Garden – 7/31/11

Last Sunday I had a pretty radtastical casual day at the Beekman Beer Garden at South Street Seaport watching those oldies, but goodies, The Raveonettes do a free show by the Manhattan waterfront.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw the Raveonettes in concert — probably the mid-2000s time frame — but I’m happy to report that they still rock out. Admittedly, you’ve heard one Raveonettes song, you probably have heard them all (heavy guitar sound, pretty light vocals and harmonizing), but they are enjoyable nonetheless.

On a normal night the Beekman Beer Garden crowd is basically B&T and tourists, but the concerts crowd was a mix of enthusiastic youngsters (free! during the day!) and old timers who crawled out of the woodwork to relive the adventures of their younger selves. Lots of little rocker kids as well, adorable!


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