Posts Tagged 'CMJ 2011'

CMJ picks from the other side

Well, I managed to see about 46 bands last week. (47 if you include the 30 seconds I saw of Idiot Glee.) You can read about it here, on Brooklyn Vegan. But you can listen to it here.

At the end of the week, these are the artists that stood out to me the most:

(First, the weird)

Chelsea Wolfe – easily one of the most talked about artists all week… and one of the most interesting to watch. Wolfe sang from behind the veil of her long black hair. The next Zola Jesus / Austra? We’ll see.

Chelse Wolfe (photo Eliot Lee Hazel)


Young Magic – the balance this Brooklyn group strikes of hip-hop and dark electro pop had me transfixed.

album art for Young Magic (someone get these guys some press photos)


Tropical Popsicle  – This San Diego group embodies the popular lo-fi, shoegazey garage rock of the moment… but they do it better. Instead of boring me, Timothy Hines’ deadpan delivery sucked me in.

Tropical Popsicle (photo Marissa Parsons)


John Maus  – Seeing Maus was like stepping back in time to a place when people still cared about music and really felt it. That can’t be conveyed in an audio clip. See him. The crowd’s allegiance to this man is truly cult-like.

John Maus

(Then the lovely)

Sea of Bees – I simply cannot get enough of Sacramento’s Jules Baeziger. Her honesty, earnestness, and charm are so refreshing. And her lyrics! I love it all. (And how good does this recording sound, right?)

Jules Baeziger of Sea of Bees (photo Nick Miller)


Gem Club – a heart-meltingly beautiful three-piece out of Somerville, MA. Totally unlike anything else I saw all week. Instead of rushing out to catch another set, I stayed and wanted more.

Christopher Barnes of Gem Club (photo Charlie Engman)


Who did you fall in love with?


CMJ picks, round one

Oh man. Is it that time again?

Well, the schedule is finally up, and man is it overwhelming. Instead of big, must-see showcases this year, it seems like the majority of the festival is populated by uknowns and trendy artists on the rise. I haven’t started looking at times/locations closely yet, but I have started to do a little research. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Headless Horseman – a New York-based duo whose name I’ve been seeing around a lot lately, and apparently for good reason. Their sound is kind of weird, glitchy, and folky all at once – kind of like a more hip version of Loney, Dear on uppers. I dig.

Show times: Tuesday at Cameo (9:30 p.m.), Wednesday at the Delancey (11:45 p.m.), Thursday at Cameo (11:30 p.m.)


A Lull – For having such a light, whimsical sound, this Chicago-based five piece also packs in a surprising amount of confidence and competence.

Show times: Tuesday at Pianos (9:15 p.m.), Friday at the Knitting Factory (8:00 p.m.)


Casiokids – They’re Norwegian, so pay special attention! We can’t see these kids play on any old Thursday night. Tribal-flavored electronica with dreamy Norwegian lyrics. Who knows what they’re saying half of the time, but it sounds beautiful.

Show times: Wednesday at Public Assembly (1:35 p.m.), Thursday at Pianos (12:00 a.m.), Saturday at Spike Hill (12:00 a.m.)


That’s all for now, but there will be more! Stay tuned…

"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being