CMJ Preview: Who's headed out, and some notables
Music festivals are an odd thing, and College Music Journal's annual New York buzzathon is absolutely no exception. Well over a thousand bands play officially and unofficially during its four days, attempting to attract some of the game-changing eyes milling and handshaking around lower Manhattan and west Brooklyn.
The feverish pace and body density at all of the higher-quality shows make it hard to breathe and hard to focus, and, as with everything, there's far less good than bad.
At least 15 bands from the Cities are saddling up to make the trip, here's a roll call:
- The Arms Akimbo
- Communist Daughter
- Dada Trash Collage
- Dark Dark Dark
- Fort Wilson Riot
- His Mischief
- The Idle Hands
- Me and My Arrow
- Pictures of Then
- The Poison Control Center
- S. Carey
- Spirits of the Red City
We'll certainly be checking in with them throughout the proceedings, and if we've missed any please let us know below.
For my part, after sifting through as much of the official list as I could stand (I read it backwards for maximum retention), here are the bands I'm most excited to see.
Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates
Gary Wilson was a downtown outsider in the 80s, writing eccentric and oblongly sexy teeters for his debut You Think You Really Know Me, then and quickly disappeared. He's enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in the past 6 years after that record was repressed, and he seems like a plastic-wrapped toddlergenius to me.
AIDS Wolf has a sorta-counterpart in Gay Beast, at least as frenetic but less melodic, a scorched-motherboard thrash itch-scratcher, and the lineup at this show is sure to be a good one as well.
Brooklyn's The Drums obviously aren't traveling far to play CMj, and will actually be here on October 13th at the Varsity Theatre (www.varsitytheater.org/), but their snide, Robert Smith cop sounds will soundtrack perfectly me necking with some amoral account executive.
I'm way more interested in why this band is so goddamn polarizing than I am what they sound like. But this is what they sound like.
Dark Dark Dark
Dark Dark Dark's morose meanders always liltingly tug, and their instrumentation make seeing them live a time machine set to "somewhere in the woods, a while ago."
Corin Tucker Band
Sleater-Kinney's dissolution a few years ago had a lot to do with the birth of Corin Tucker's son among other things, and she's now returned to the fold with a less-polished and straightforward rock backing band anchored by that singular howl of hers.
Clutch in New York is just one young man's tip of the hat to a rock legacy act that few people seem to understand, or care to (myself sort of included).
Children of Bodom
The biggest no-brainer in history.
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