While most music festivals are spread over acres of land, it’s quite difficult to navigate seeing your favorite acts. Throw that festival in NYC and watch how difficult it is to be in Brooklyn and Manhattan at the same time. Luckily we have put together a list of bands that certainly will leave New York with the CMJ buzz.
Dum Dum Girls
This quartet’s modern, lo-fi take on girl group pop has been steadily growing more popular every year. Their latest EP, End of Daze, may be their best work yet, exploring a darker side of the band’s music prompted by the personal turmoil in the life of singer Dee Dee. Their showcase with modern New York rock lifers The Walkmen may provide them with their biggest audience yet.
THUR 10/18 Terminal 5 8:00 PM
Zachary Cole Smith’s departure from Beach Fossils may have left you down and out but the magic he’s laying down with shoegazing DIIV offers a change of heart. Along with childhood friends and an ex-Smith Westerns member, DIIV stands on its own pedestal in the bevy of indie bands. Lo-fi textures playfully conjure a trance of aquatic and interstellar nirvanas, making you want to be in its epicenter..
THUR 10/18 Music Hall of Williamsburg 8:00 PM
FRI 10/19 Villain 8:00 PM
The Atlanta, Georgia boys of Turf War continue punk rock ethos and they will be making their way back to the city for CMJ. After releasing their Years Living Dangerously, (produced Ian St. Pe of the Black Lips) last December at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Turf War comes back to the concrete jungle with more stamina and a solid SXSW set, as well as several east coast summer music fest performances under their belt. Eliciting the debauchery and thrill reminiscent of their influences, Turf War takes the nuts and bolts of rock, and screws on an alternative edge.
TUES 10/16 Bell House 10:00 PM
WED 10/17 Webster Hall Studio 11:30 PM
THUR 10/18 Pianos Upstairs Lounge 10:00 PM
The legacy of loud, scuzzy bands like Jesus Lizard and Shellac is alive and well with METZ, a Canadian trio who only function at one very loud volume setting. Their self-titled debut on Sub Pop Records is one of the most righteously vicious albums to come out this year, and it may be one of the best. Live, the power trio kicks even more ass, delivering pile-driving riffs at breakneck speed.
After landing a record deal with the Kings of Leon’s Snakes and Serpents after their highly anticipated SXSW performance, Turbo Fruits have gone on to make quite a splash. From tours with Deer Tick to releasing Butter, Turbo Fruits may not necessarily need the springboard that CMJ offers, but you better catch their set before they get swallowed by the masses.
FRI 10/19 Cake Shop 2:15 PM
Pianos 4:00 PM
Public Assembly 8:00 PM
SAT 10/20 Living Room 5:00 PM
Grand Resort play the sort of light, airy jangle-pop that stays fresh and eminently listenable with each iteration. Their work indicates a fondness for C86-style pop, but with a distinctly modern take that puts composition and arrangement ahead of simple tribute. They’ll be playing with Elmore favorite Delicate Steve to open CMJ before playing some shows in Brooklyn’s DIY circuit. Get to one of those, and you’ll see why they’ve become local favorites.
TUES 10/16 Webster Hall 6:30 PM TUES 10/16 285 Kent 8:00 PM
Growing up screaming Chuck Berry songs at the top of his lungs, this 23-year old Brooklynite puts his mark on the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum, sounding like a cross between the Kinks and the Strokes. Frenchkiss Records has put together an exciting showcase which also includes Fletcher C. Johnson and Bad Cop. Trust me, you want to be at this one.
The So So Glos are a New York DIY institution at this point, forging down their own path in the face of a music scene that is becoming more and more trend-based. It works for them, too, as their blue-collar take on classic punk and pub rock is practically timeless. They’ll be playing a showcase at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium, the venue that also doubles as the band’s home. It’ll be the best house party you’ve ever been to.
TUES 10/16 Shea Stadium 8:00 PM
The Ugly Club
After being hand-picked by actor Adrian Grenier to record in his Brooklyn Wreckroom Recording Studio, the Ugly Club are gaining quite an audience around the tri-state area. Their infusion of indie, rock and soul, make it quite difficult to sit still and we are already anticipating Wreckroom’s showcase, which also includes the Skins, highlighting this Jersey group to be packed to capacity.
SAT 10/20 Fontanas 7:00 PM
Making the trek from Nashville, the Kingston Springs are excited to dish out tracks from their newly released self-titled debut. Comparisons link them to the Black Keys, but this Nashville quartet’s delivery of heavy blues-infused surf rock is completely their own. After winning over the hearts of 5,000 festival-goers at Starry Nights Music Fest last month, as well as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, we have no doubt this group will have any trouble winning over the New York crowd.
FRI 10/19 Fat Baby 7:00
Five years ago, you could have seen King Tuff playing alongside J. Mascis in Witch or promoting his self-released album, but here we are in 2012, and King Tuff’s future has taken a leap. Under Sub Pop Records, King Tuff flaunts his craving for retro-pop melodies in a way that keeps you coming back for more.
Laura Stevenson cut her teeth in the punk rock scene, playing with stalwarts Bomb The Music Industry! before setting off on her own. Her work with the Cans is an interesting amalgam of music styles: not quite punk, not quite gypsy, not quite rock, not quite anything other than really, really good.
TUES 10/16 The Delancey 11:20 PM WED 10/17 The Rock Shop 7:00 PM
Every CMJ, New Zealand’s best musicians make the leap across the Atlantic to test their sounds stateside and this year, we look forward to Popstrangers who take their pop influences, drive it full-force into the ground where an angsty punk vein runs deep. “Take It To the Grave” has been on repeat here at the office for the past two hours.
THUR 10/18 Cameo Gallery 10:00 PM
This group of New York natives play a prog-rock take on shoegaze, melding complex time-signature shifts with waves of reverb and distortion. While they’re definitely devotees of shoegaze legends like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, Suā’s songs rise above their influences to become something relevant in the music landscape. Catch them before they take off.