don't you tell me how i feel.

cmj. part 3 of 3. by v
November 2, 2010, 12:25 pm
Filed under: New music, Shit I Like, Shows, tired

the badge

I moved last week so my three-part CMJ series got derailed. But today, I bring you the closing episode of our music marathon story.

The Bowery Ballroom show I attended on Saturday night (10/23), post-Jamie Lidell, was a CMJ badges-only affair. I was able to procure this coveted item through secret means.

Lea Ices

We got there early, as a friend had heard good things about Lea Ices, first up in the evening’s showcase. She’s an angelic, breakable-looking, piano-playing blond chick with a riveting, ethereal voice. Her band was clearly just there to give said voice a landscape to live in. I wouldn’t say I’d seek the music out, but it was beautiful.

Lower Dens

Next was Lower Dens, featuring the most androgynous frontperson ever. I spent most of the set doing a gender check; later I learned the singer is in fact a she. The star-spangled hoodie should have been a dead giveaway, but you know, rock stars…

Anyway, the Dens were pretty downbeat and relatively forgettable, which my friend said was a departure from a show he’d seen earlier in the week, where they’d sounded almost surf-rocky. Hmm.

Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing followed, a band that Awesome Guest Poster Jojo had recommended to me earlier. It’s no wonder, as they clearly owe a huge debt to Ian Curtis/Robert Smith. I thought it felt too much like a straight Cure ripoff, although my friend broke into a delighted dance when they played “Chinatown,” the single.

Dom played next, putting on a truly “I don’t give a shit” rock show. The lead singer wore a mess of bleached blond hair and a trucker hat, and he had the kind of nasal, high-pitched voice I usually can’t stand and that seems to be everywhere all of a sudden (if you’ve ever heard Happy Birthday, you know what I mean). He got up there and sang two raucous songs about his ex-girlfriend and his cat (apparently named Bochicha) in rapid succession,. It was a big fat middle finger to coolness. I salute him. I didn’t take any photos and I regret this now.

At this point my energy was starting to flag after a full day of shows. We went down to the bar for the rest of Dom’s set and skipped Neon Indian’s show in favor of sitting for half an hour (what we heard over the speakers downstairs didn’t sound especially great anyway), but returned for Surfer Blood at 1 a.m.

Surfer Blood

I thought I was going to fall asleep on my feet, but the Bloody boys were lively (and insanely young looking), perhaps because they didn’t play 40 different showcases this year. I suspect they’re beyond that at this point. The show was true to the record, Astro Coast, which I have grown to love over the past year. If you’ve only heard “Swim,” I promise there’s more to them than anthemic fist pumpers. Give it time.

Then I got on the J train, went home and fell happily asleep with a belly full of music.


NOTE: I can’t imagine a full week of nonstop showgoing, frankly. Props to those energetic college music people.


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