don't you tell me how i feel.

cmj. part 2 of 3 by v
October 27, 2010, 10:55 am
Filed under: New music, Shit I Like, Shows

The second day of my CMJ adventure brought me to Public Assembly in Williamsburg, where Brooklynvegan was putting on a noon-to-5 show with two stages…an ideal setup in the event that one band sucks.

It was humid and sweatsocky inside the club. We arrived in time to catch Titus Andronicus, a buzzed-about New Jersey group. They played a short, high-energy set of blue-collar, Springsteeny rock: lots of shouted, artless vocals, lots of jumping. Not my thing, but they were obviously the draw for much of the crowd — the place cleared out immediately once they were done, and the temperature dropped a good twenty degrees. Thank god.

No Joy

I checked out the room next door and briefly caught No Joy — shoegazey, flannel-clad drone-rockers. Not objectionable but not especially engaging. Next.

Big Freedia and co.

Back to room 1, where the magnificent Big Freedia was creating a spectacle. The androgynous, authoritative Louisiana rapper brought a DJ and a stripper (who wore a frozen-faced smile the entire time) onstage, and performed a series of party anthems, including a song called “Ass Everywhere.” This is one of those titles, like “Move Bitch” and “Smack That,” that makes me wonder how it’s possible that it wasn’t written before. He invited hipsters onstage for ass-shaking, stripper-butt-slapping mayhem, while his portly compatriot (in yellow above) stood around and snapped photos. Definitely not what I expected after the rock shows I’d seen thus far, but more than welcome.

Jamie Lidell

Last on the bill (and the reason I came in the first place) was Jamie Lidell, the Warp Records soul-singer-slash-musical-genius. Lidell was flanked by a keyboard dude and a guitarist and stood surrounded by a giant electronic setup of his own. He began by sampling and looping his own voice to create beats, then performed feats of knob-turning and button-pushing that I cannot understand. It was seamless magic. After each song he would turn to the audience with a giant, proud grin while they applauded — like, “goddamn, I did it!”

He concluded with a stripped-down version of “Multiply,” above. I only regret that he didn’t play “Completely Exposed,” the best track on his latest album, Compass.

If you have the chance, see this man. He will dunk your brain in soul and you will thank him.



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