don't you tell me how i feel.

cmj: the final days by v
October 22, 2012, 8:11 am
Filed under: cmj, Shows | Tags:

I spent some of Friday night at Glasslands in Brooklyn, where I caught the hip-hop act Ratking — two DJs, two MCs, solid beats. I was assured that the group were not only good, but also “really nice guys” by a woman hanging out in front of the club who apparently rents a practice space to them. An excerpt from their bio: “While Sporting Life and Ramon weave a teeming Big Apple backdrop, Wiki and Hak act not only as our mischievous tour guides but dual ends of our own conscious: one sharp witted, vulnerable and seemingly anti-social, the other feral, poetic and almost philosophical. Call it ‘no wave’ rap. Call it ‘no school’ hip hop. Call it RATKING.”


After RatKing came another set by Night Panther, followed by a band called Evy Jane that reprised the dude-knob-twiddler/ethereal-chick-singer configuration that I’d seen about 700 times over the last week. Time to go home.

On Saturday I assessed my options for day shows, realized the best lineup was at Pianos (Born Ruffians, Foxygen, Sky Ferreira, Ava Luna), but also realized that I couldn’t possibly spend another hour inside Pianos without losing my mind, nor could I handle the idea of standing for six hours again. So I skipped it. And thus, with little fanfare and much exhaustion, ended my CMJ 2012 experience.

However, our musical compatriot Lehtola reported that Eola’s set at Death By Audio in Wiliamsburg was Saturday’s noteworthy show: “It’s just a guy singing who puts all these effects on his voice with a pedal. I’d never heard anything like it. It almost sounds like an old guy from the 1920s singing blues with no accompaniment. There’s real emotion in it, and his voice has incredible range.”


Other assorted CMJ reflections/discoveries/regrets:

1. CMJ is a total bro-fest. The male-female ratio seemed completely unbalanced — in terms of both attendees and bands. Where are the ladies?

2. I did not see Prince Rama. My own fault. But at least they’re from Brooklyn, so I’m sure I’ll get another chance.

3. I DID see many an electronic bedroom musician with a not-so-exciting live show. Is this the future?

4. I paid exactly zero for all of the shows I attended, proving my theory that a $400 CMJ badge is both overpriced and unnecessary. In fact, I don’t remember even SEEING any badges all week.

5. I learned about Mykki Blanco, a ballsy and badass transgendered rapper, via CMJ-related Tweets, although I regrettably didn’t witness his live show. I am now officially obsessed. Check out “Wavvy” and The Fader’s “At Home With” interview.

6. I clearly do not have the endurance for a full week of shows — they call it a marathon for a reason — but I tried, dammit. I have nothing but respect for people who can attend both day and night showcases without falling over, likely through some combination of youthful energy and chemical aid.

7. And that’s to say nothing of the bands, who are often performing 10 or more times over the course of the week. THANKS BANDS. For real.

8. All that being said, I’m really looking forward to a long concert-free stretch of time. Then I will choose one show, happily pay for my ticket, and enjoy the hell out of it without worrying that something better is happening at the club next door.



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