October 11, 2012

AS Approved: Pacing the 2012 CMJ Marathon

All six of AwkwardSound's regular readers will be ticked to find out that for the second time this year, AS has been snubbed the opportunity to hold a party at one of the music industry's premiere showcase events, as the CMJ Music Marathon will overtake every venue and corner across Brooklyn and Manhattan between October 15th and 20th of next week. Swarms of bands who are either unsigned and looking to make a name for themselves out there or are simply established and pushing a new release will be rubbing elbows together at brand name blog and label events, while badge-wearing industry insiders and the mainstream indie press' elite tastemakers will join in on a gigantic circle jerk session to congratulate themselves whenever one of the bands they "discovered" turns dozens of plebeians away at the door, allowing them exclusive access to a show they've already seen thirty times in the past month. There's a lot happening in this six-day span, with many bands both near and far from the Big Apple whom AS approves of highly heading out that way. If you're lucky enough to as well, be sure to spot them. Pace yourself with AwkwardSound's CMJ cheat sheet...

Life Size Maps

Monday, October 15th - Pianos
Thursday, October 18th (7pm) - The Gutter
Thursday, October 18th (8pm)- Muchmore's
Saturday, October 20th (2pm) - XPO 929
Saturday, October 20th (TBD) - Secret DIY rooftop show

A few years ago, Life Size Maps were hailed as "the hardest working band" at CMJ. Based on the number of showcases the Brooklyn noise pop trio has lined up next week, Mike McKeever and company should easily defend that title, as the BUZZSound defines both the "marathon" and breakout aspects that CMJ was created for. Their newest EP Excavate brilliantly refines Life Size Maps's sensory overload of glowing pop and static-driven guitars, and despite recent line-up changes, their live experience only appears to be getting better.


Thursday, October 19th - Villian

Hey. New York City, are you sick of Merchandise yet? When they came through a few weeks back, AS' Twitter feed couldn't go 10 minutes without reading a gushing tweet about them. Not to slant against this Tampa-based post-punk trio, but the breakthrough honorees and BUZZSound have what AS can only describe as the most agreeable new sound to come out of the woodwork in 2012. Punk past cred? Check. Loud enough to keep those punks baited? Check. Fashionable gender-neutral vocals? Check. For those reasons, Children of Desire will likely make it onto countless year-end lists in just a few months, and these guys aren't even signed to a formal label yet. Once that happens, prepare for whoever nabs them to hype the shit out of them.


Tuesday, October 16th – Cameo Gallery
Wednesday, October 18th – The Knitting Factory
Thursday, October 19th – Public Assembly
Thursday, October 19th – Villain

METZ has literally gone from a virtual unknown of over threee years to a recent BUZZSound to "every body's" favorite new post-hardcore band in under a week thanks to the critical mass swarming their awesome self-titled debut. That's cool. So, apparently post-hardcore is "back" (although AS is not sure it ever went anywhere to begin with,) and these three Canucks are spear-heading the renaissance by ripping a few pages out of Drive Like Jehu and the Jesus Lizard's playbook with dinosaur-sized heavy riffs and pummeling drums. AS expects you'll need heavy duty earplugs (and maybe a hook-up) when heading out to catch these dudes.

Godmode Records (Mr. Dream, SLEEPIES & YVETTE)

Mr. Dream
Monday, October 15th - XPO 929
Saturday, October 20th (day TBD) - TBA
Saturday, October 20th (8:30pm) - Paperbox

Monday, October 15th - XPO 929
Wednesday, October 17th - Pianos
Saturday, October 20th (8:30pm) - Paperbox
Saturday, October 20th (11:30pm) - Swat Bar

Saturday, October 15th - XPO 929
Friday, October 19th - Party XPO
Saturday, October 20th - Paperbox

Mr. Dream drummer Nick Sylvester and his Godmode Records label has quite the small, yet audible army to derail the Big Apple crowd at this year's Marathon, and some audacity as well. Not only do he and his band mates have the guts to show up at one of the music industry's biggest spotlight events after failing to deliver their sophomore effort allegedly called Montreal Sex Machine in 2012 (listeners had to settle for the very solid Fatherland EP, instead, although it was six tracks too few considering Ty Segall and Death Grips gave us like, 30+ apiece this year...) but the kings of self-absorbed assholery also stand the chance of being outshone by the roster's up and coming breakthrough acts, SLEEPIES and YVETTE. The former actually was considerate enough to put out a recommended new album in Weird Wild World, while the latter has simply been one of the most buzzed about new-ish noise bands in the BK scene. All kidding aside (not really -- AS was banking on that Canadian sex mechanism to top its favorite albums list as early as last December,) Godmode Records is more of a community / collective label of like-minded sounds worth spending time with if you're not up for sitting through a mish-mash of sparring personalities and genres at a larger indie's showcase. Actually, scratch that -- It turns out Godmode has its own Frank Ocean to match their balls-deep-in-the-Wipers version of OFWGKTA. The nerve...

Pissed Jeans

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 - Knitting Factory

It's become a rare treat these days to see Pissed Jeans in action anywhere. The Philly hardcore crew has sunk beneath the radar since putting out 2009's sludgy sophomore rocker King of Jeans, limiting touring annually, with Ceremony's album release show this past winter at Le Poisson Rouge being their last NYC appearance. Even so, Pissed Jeans' role at this year's CMJ is more of a 100 meter dash rather than a Marathon, making just one appearance at Sub Pop's showcase. Here's hoping seeing them play nice with their label is an early indication that there's a handful of new thrashing jams coming our way in the near future.

Sky Ferreira

Wednesday, October 17 - Union Hall
Thursday, October 18 (8pm) - Bowery Ballroom
Thursday, October 18 (11:30pm) - Santo's Party House
Saturday, October 20 (daytime TBD) - Pianos
Saturday, October 20 (12am) - 92Y Tribeca

Normally AS isn't one to call "first!," but back in 2010 during its infancy, shape-shifting dance-pop sweetheart Sky Ferreira left an early impression on its 25 Best Songs of 2010 list with her bubbly synth single, "One." Ferreira soon slipped off the map while she figured out which direction artistically she wanted to move in with her sound next, and late this summer, she reemerged with the sensual perfection known as "Everything is Embarrassing." Now Ferreira is a Pitchfork pin-up and working with the likes of Jon Brion, Cass McCombs and Shirley Manson on her forthcoming re-introduction EP, Ghost. She is no live show pro just yet, however, which makes CMJ a great opportunity for her to either wow early onlookers or fall flat on her flawless model face.

Speedy Ortiz

Saturday, October 20th - Paperbox

Of all unsigned bands making it out to this year's Marathon, recent BUZZSound Speedy Ortiz are one of select few who stand a good chance at walking out of this thing with serious label interest (if they haven't already secretly done so already, that is.) This year's wickedly good Sports EP shows that the Western Mass-based indie quatro's cluttered punk has the right amount of jagged edges and soft corners to market itself out to both punks and lovers, and not to mention Sadie Dupuis is simply a gem in her role as the fierce yet shy frontwoman backed by a band of reformed hardcore boys.

Talk Normal

Friday, October 19th - The Knitting Factory

Talk Normal have paid their dues inhabiting Brooklyn's noise rock underbelly over the past half decade, so it's with great joy to see the BUZZSound's visibility growing beyond the city limits with their forthcoming sophomore effort Sunshine on the horizon. The duo of Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro are also one of the most exceptional live noise acts who deliver a different experience to their show with each performance, so it's a sure bet that even if you're a local dweller who has seen them in the past, you'll witness something entirely unique at CMJ.

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