Home Compilations Events Contact Us

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I've been a real sad sack on the blogging tip the past few weeks since I went on the road, it's been one show after another and it's kept me far from my laptop. CMJ is CMJ, an overload of industry and bands and industry talking about bands and sheep chasing other sheep, all waiting for the next Arcade Fire/Arctic Monkeys/Clap Your Hands/Etc. No one wants to miss the boat on saying they were at one of their shows before they blew up, so that double edge sword of hype can really hurt artists that get the buzz label too early. Festivals such as these show the full spectrum of the music industry in all it's glory and shallowness. You get those bands from places like Ireland that are thrilled just to be here and play in a distant place with the glimmer of hope that their big chance is waiting, and you get bands that ooze ambition and well-healed business teams behind them that deliver all fashion and very little substance. It's a weasel-fest of A&R and industry chums at one sponsored party, and little labels showcasing their proud signings at another dark, dank bar around the corner. Again, you end up seeing it all and hearing it all, and hopefully you can keep your wits about you and maintain your own perspective about the music that moves you for the right reasons.

I do my best to avoid slagging other bands or wading too far into negative posts, but I have to say that I'm disappointed in a couple of bands that had HUGE expectations on them coming into CMJ. The first one and arguably the band with the biggest buzz surrounding them at the festival that are unsigned, the FS30 tipped BLACK KIDS were that such band. Sure they had some sort of technical difficulties, but the build up for this band didn't even come close to living up to the line to get into The Annex. Ok, CURE sounding vocals, Arcade Fire-like stage energy (I hear they now share management), and maybe a song and a half. Early days, but there is no time for development or early days in times like these, someone will jump on it, and hype will drill it home. Other letdowns were bands like DARK VEINS and WILD LIGH
T, lots of pre-show gush, lots of post-show grumble. If I see another band with a megaphone or described like a "new Flaming Lips", and I still go to the show to see it, then I only have myself to blame. I also had a real let down from an act I've been waiting to see for ages, WE ARE WOLVES, who are really LCD Soundsystem JR.

So let's move on to some of the high points. WHITE DENIM at Galapagos were every bit the band I had hoped they'd be, with that rough-around-the-edges sound of a band that has everything still in front of them, but riding enthusiasm and a "love for the game" that every hipster band around will never find. I also thought MGMT lived up to my expectations and then some with that big sound to them - real muscle. A young band from Brighton called THE LATE GREATS played like classic indie rock/90's alt rock heroes like MISSION OF BURMA, THE PIXIES and even DINO JR at Fat Baby. Talking with them after their set, I felt like I had stepped back to those college days when you caught bands in great clubs, drank lots of beer and watched bands that played their brains out with little regard for looking so cool. The band's drummer played the entire set with the biggest smile on his face, playing in New York City with his band with not one thought past that moment in time. Perfection.

I was 'gutted' to just miss Dublin's FIGHT LIKE APES at the Irish showcase 205 Chrystie, but singer May Kay was a delight just to talk with in any event. VOXHAUL BROADCAST delivered their usual classic set, BANG CAMARO set the TF sponsored Skewer Party off at Pianos on Friday.

I mostly saw average bands playing average music or knockoff music, but hell, it's New York, it's still live music for free, so it still beats an office job.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment