October 29, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Pianos
October 23, 2009 | Terrible Records CMJ Showcase
Brooklyn band Arms opened Saturday night’s Terrible Records CMJ Showcase with a breezy, blissed-out pop set, their casual tone clashing distinctly with frontman Todd Goldstein’s jagged movements and nervous between-song banter. Though clearly uncomfortable under the spotlight, his guitar playing was effortless; unfortunately, like the rest of the set, it was also somewhat passionless. The band seemed to be in a hurry to finish, neglecting to put emotion into the music – there was a lukewarm smiliness that persisted even through a song that was, according to Goldstein, “about the end of everything,” and while the lyrics were crisp and audible on the venue’s excellent sound system, they were delivered in a nasal monotone. The music was pleasant enough – barring an irritating excess of ooohs and aaahs in the backing vocals, sung in stock harmonies that wobbled off-tune occasionally to turn the dreamy pop into the stuff of nightmare – but quite bland, and easily forgettable.
The next set was all too brief. Toronto act Little Girls wasted no time in creating a stormy atmosphere, sending whorls of dark noise over ominously simple minor chord progressions that teetered on the edge of control. Frontman Josh McIntyre’s vocals wove skillfully in and out of the noise, shouting and singing with equal effect. The thrashing guitars piling up over the main chords threatened to descend into total anarchy at any moment but never did, drummer Anthony Gerace’s speedy yet metronomic percussion keeping them in line. Even when McIntyre started flailing around the stage, savaging the keyboard and then jumping into the audience, no one missed a beat, merely speeding up to match his convulsive dancing. The legendarily-jaded CMJ audience was surprised, to say the least, when this energetic tornado with his weird brillo-pad haircut landed in their midst, and he helicoptered around shouting his way through the last song all too briefly before crashing to an end and taking the set with him.
August 14, 2008
The infamous annual CMJ Music Marathon returns to NYC, October 21-25. Among the many bands performing are A Place to Bury Strangers, Beach House, Broken Social Scene, Crystal Castles, Death Vessel, Deerhoof, Gang Gang Dance, Jay Reatard, Juliana Hatfield, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Minus the Bear, Takka Takka, They Might Be Giants Violens, Woods, and Wye Oak.
Despite the marathon-sized roster, some fans are displeased with what they feel to be the festival’s narrowly cast net, believing a lineup consisting of bands that perform less regularly in NYC would have more appeal.
For more information and to see the full lineup, visit http://www.cmj.com/marathon/.
In addition to live performances, the festival also hosts music industry panel discussions. Topics include Essential Resources For Independent Labels, Internationally Licensing The Future, Artist Managers: The New Labels?, A New Media Fat Trimming Session, and Bands As Brands.
Tickets for the event can be purchased here.