CMJ 2010: Day 4 – The Babies, La Sera, and Neon Indian

I’ll admit, by Day 4 I was hurting a little, so I took it relatively easy with a night filled with some low-key shows.

First stop was to catch The Babies, featuring Vivian Girls’ Cassie Ramone, at the FADER Fort on the Lower East Side which was sponsored by… er… hmm… I can’t seem to remember…

Next stop was Pianos to see another Vivian Girl with VG bassist Katy Goodman’s side project, La Sera, but with this group Katy gets the spotlight as front woman. Strongly influenced by ’60 girl pop, with lovely melodies and a cheery vibe, the three piece was truly charming.

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CMJ 2010: Day 3 – Braids, Lia Ices, Tamaryn

I dubbed Day 3 as “ladies night” since the three bands I’d planned to see were all fronted by women.

First up was an extremely early set by the Montreal, Quebec-based quartet, Braids, who were playing the opening spot at the showcase at Arlene’s Grocery. As the crowd waited for the show to start, they filled their bellies with cups of the Canadian comfort food poutine, which was being served in foam cups to the audience.

I absolutely loved their set. Lead singer Raphaelle Strandell-Preston kinda looks like an even tinier, dark-haired Alyson Hannigan, with a wide-eyed look and an innocent face. But when Raphaelle sings, she has a sweet yet piercing voice that can quickly turn a beautiful croon into a surprisingly edgy growl. Her voice seemingly skips, jumps, and hops slowly building swells of the keyboards, guitars, and drums. Their music is quirky and beautiful, much like the Dirty Projectors, but with a bit more playfulness.

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