CMJ 2012 Day Four Recap

<img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/cmj12d4.jpg" alt="CMJ 2012 Day Four Recap" />With the best line-ups of CMJ, Friday was a time to catch old favorites & more. ...
CMJ 2012 Day Four Recap
CMJ 2012 Day Four Recap

At first glance, CMJ 2012 looked to continue the long, sad tradition of CMJ not being what it once was, with a dearth of big-name acts.  But do you go to CMJ to see big-name acts?  No, it’s for catching the million-and-one up-and-coming indie outfits out there (and it only seems like most of them are from Brooklyn), as well as showcases by labels, site, PR companies, magazines, and anyone else who feels like putting one on.  Plus the free drinks.  And there was much to be found, Tuesday to Saturday, October 16th to 20th:

 

 

With the best line-ups of CMJ, Friday was a time to catch old favorites & more.

 

QRO’s Donald Lee started the day way earlier than anyone else, starting with both stages at Rockwood Music Hall (QRO venue review) for A Brief View of the Hudson, The Bengsons, Wyatt, and Jillette Johnson, Paper Garden Records’ Lovely Hearts Club at Spike Hill (QRO venue review) for The Putz and Conveyor , and Kanine Records/The Wild Honey Pie showcase at Cameo (QRO venue review) for Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow, and Beach Day:

 

Monarch showcase @ Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1

A Brief View of the Hudson

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The Bengsons

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Wyatt

Wyatt

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Imagem Music/The Press House PR showcase @ Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 – Donald Lee

Jillette Johnson

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Lovely Hearts Club showcase @ Spike Hill – Donald Lee

The Putz

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Conveyor

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Kanine Records/The Wild Honey Pie showcase @ Cameo – Donald Lee

Eternal Summers

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Bleeding Rainbow

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Beach Day

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FADER Fort – Ted Chase

Tim Vocals, 6:30pm

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Of course started just late enough to miss DIIV at FADER Fort (but others at QRO caught the band yesterday and would see later tonight – see below).  Tim Vocals came out with two backing guys, but they basically just stood there (one even checked his phone during the performance), and while Vocals had good R&B vocals, was hard to hear without any backing track – and virtually no one at FADER Fort knew who he was.

 

Hene Aiko, 7:15pm

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People also didn’t know Hene Aiko, but at least the soul singer had a band.  Was a bit distracted by free pizza, which came out twice and both times disappeared in a matter of minutes…

 

Miguel, 8:30pm

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After an interminable wait, special guest Miguel certainly delivered.  An engaging showman, it was surprising to hear the rock undertones to his R&B.

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Unofficial party @ Cameo – Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Young Magic

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QRO’s Matthew Ismael Ruiz caught Young Magic in the evening at Cameo.

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Pitchfork showcase @ Villain – Derek Klevitz

QRO’s Derek Klevitz headed to Villain for the showcase by the music mag you love to hate, Pitchfork, with Angel Haze, Holy Other, Daughn Gibson, Hundred Waters, Merchandise, METZ, Joey Bada$$, Death Grips, Le1f, and DIIV:

 

Angel Haze

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Holy Other

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Daughn Gibson

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Hundred Waters

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Merchandise

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METZ

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Joey Bada$$

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Death Grips

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The unofficial CMJ Pitchfork showcase rocked with the sonic assault of the night’s headliner, Death Grips.  Coupled with a 2:20 AM start-time, free alcohol, and an exhausted yet expectant audience the show was ripe to explode.  Capping off a night of eclectic musical styles the primal and vicious set electrified the crowd by transforming the dance floor into a frenetic whirlwind.

Immediately preceding the set an uneasy and wary security team issued warnings to the crowd stage left regarding anyone caught raucously climbing the speaker stacks would face ejection.  These forewarnings stemmed from an artist several acts earlier that provoked the otherwise demure crowd into crowd surfing and bucking the freestanding barrier between the crowd and the stage.  However, despite the forewarnings, it was only a handful of minutes after Death Grips took the stage that the barricades collapsed and security fled the crush.

The two-piece outfit consisting of Stefan ‘MC Ride’ Burnett and Zach Hill of Hella fame (sans live keyboardist Andy ‘Flatlander’ Morin) provided a monstrous presence despite their minimalist set-up.  Breaking into a wild assault on the drums Zach Hill brutalized the three-piece/cymbal-free kit before working into the bassy-electro notes of the song “Come Up and Get Me”.  Shirtless, and adorned with tattoos of skulls, devils, and variations of pentagrams, MC Ride undulated under the lone red light.  Much resembling a shaman exorcising or hypnotizing he waved his arms seeming to conjure the crazed audience.

Unable to repel the rush to the stage, the three-piece security team could not hold the masses from over-running the usually designated photographer’s pit just before the stage.  The crowd pulsed and swayed along to the rhythms of the electro-tribal underpinnings as the frenzy drew several from the floor to claw their way up onto the stage as the barricade grinded against the stage.  Obviously unwelcomed by the MC, one individual appeared to have been told in an unheard aside to exit the stage, which he did with an air of submission.  The few who were less lucky to be spoken to directly were physically launched into the audience.

Still, the deep-voiced MC barked the lyrics over a backing vocal track, which invoked a sense of earthen Gregorian chants while the synthy-leads and fat bass lines cut the grooves that allowed Zach Hill to strike the drums with rapid machine-gun styled bursts.  The aural-torrent took no pause even when the house lights came on for an extended period mid-song during “Takyon”.  Any fear of the set being cut short was allayed as the house lights again cut off and duo maintained the intense performance level.  Perhaps the most powerful set of CMJ 2012, Death Grips enraptured and mesmerized among the mass of static and dull live stage shows.

 

Le1f

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DIIV

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Berkelee showcase @ 92YTribeca – Donald Lee

Donald Lee wasn’t done, going to a showcase by famed Boston music school Berkelee for The Field Effect and Golden Bloom:

 

The Field Effect

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Golden Bloom

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Ernest Jennings Recording Company showcase @ Grand Victory – Ted Chase & Donald Lee

MiniBoone, 9:10pm

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Ted Chase caught up with Donald Lee at Grand Victory for joint local favorite MiniBoone.  The rambunctious group has settled down a bit, at least no longer changing instruments, though perhaps that was the small Grand Victory stage.  They still sound great, with “Brand New Thing” a live staple, and even got a Quantum Leap reference in.

 

Takka Takka, 10:00pm

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A couple of CMJs ago, Takka Takka impressed at Bruar Falls (QRO recap).  That spin-off of Manhattan’s Cake Shop (QRO venue review) is gone, but the space has been reborn as the far-classier WWII homefront-themed Grand Victory, and Takka Takka returned.  They were playing their first show since December, and their first show ever as a three-piece, which resulted in some nerves – and “Everybody Say” couldn’t sound as big.

 

Dinosaur Feathers, 11:00pm

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Ted Chase had to take off, but Donald Lee stuck around for Dinosaur Feathers.

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CMJ showcase @ Legion – Ted Chase

The Dunnie Bobos, 11:20pm

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Took off from old local favorites for a new one, The Dunnie Bobos, at Legion.  The backroom at Legion wasn’t a great space, but the Bobos filled it – though it was odd seeing the garage-rock outfit in suits.  Not an ‘alt-garage’ act or whatever, but straight-up rock, The Dunnie Bobos are more fully-formed than most (usually not that formed garage bands.  One almost wishes that they weren’t from Brooklyn, because then they’d stand out more.

 

Cosmonauts, 12:00am

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A long day closed with who think were Cosmonauts.

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Unfortunately missed:

-Hot Panda (QRO album review) @ Pianos (QRO venue review), 2:00pm – 2:40pm.

-Zambri (QRO album review) @ Cameo, 2:30pm – 3:30pm.

-The Antlers (QRO live review) @ CMJ Union, 4:30pm – 5:30pm.  Place was sure to be packed.

-DIIV @ FADER Fort, 5:45pm – 6:30pm.

-Fast Years (QRO photos) @ Legion, 9:00pm – 10:00pm.

-The Presets (QRO spotlight on) & YACHT (QRO spotlight on) @ Terminal 5 (QRO venue review), 9:00pm – 11:00pm.  Doubted that a badge could get one into a Terminal 5 show.

-The Forms (QRO spotlight on) @ Muchmore’s, 11:00pm – 12:00am.  Ran into main man Alex Tween (QRO interview) at Grand Victory (where I’d see them a few years ago, when it was Bruar Falls, same night as Takka Takka – QRO recap), but couldn’t make their show.

-Kimbra (QRO live review) @ Webster Hall, 12:00am – 1:00am.

 

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Concert Reviews
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