October 21, 2012

CMJ Hangover: Talking Points Picked Up 150 Miles Away

There was a bit of a dip in new content here on AwkwardSound over the past week, and there's a reason for that: The 2012 edition of the CMJ Music Marathon descended upon every inch of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and with a majority of the industry inside the Big Apple for the event, that meant barely any new songs, videos, announcements and other press-related matters were handed out to the public while those badge-carrying tastemakers enjoyed themselves to the fullest within closed quartets. It's actually a frustrating time for a small-time blog like AS, as being at a distance makes it feel helpless and that it can't do anything but watch the headlines unfold endlessly through a tweet feed, reports on larger web sites and other social media until you're drunk with envy. That's exactly what AS put itself through all week, actually, and while it's still hung over from the information overload, it took the time to compile some of the more interesting talking points to come out of the last seven days. Whether or not they're entirely accurate, who knows, but from 150 miles away, this was CMJ 2012 -- and wow -- so glad it's finally over...

Raise An Eyebrow If Your Girlfriend Tells You to Stay Home While She Goes to a Mac DeMarco Show Alone

CMJ's arguably oddest moment came about during Captured Track's up-and-comer Mac DeMarco's set at the Marlin Room on Tuesday. According to Pitchfork's recap, the audience was barely in attendance, but maybe it was the sparse crowd that allowed for one lucky(?) lady to easily make her move on the gap-toothed lo-fi rocker when she cemented a full-on lip-lock session following a guitar solo. Whether this was just another fun in-the-moment anecdote to the debauchery CMJ offers or a more troubling sign that "the groupie" is gunning for a comeback will play out in time...

Get Ready to Get Sick of Savages

Around 10:45pm on Wednesday night, a stream of similar-reading tweets and hash tags piled down AS' feed, sharing one thing in common: #savages. Stereogum even broke standard news-only tweet protocol to big up their set (granted, it was their own showcase -- But the only band they bothered to mention while they were on stage,) while others hilariously @'d that terrible new film by Oliver Stone, when in actuality they were all in reference to the rising all-female post-punk quartet out of the UK whose atypical penchant for dark violence apparently transfers greatly into their live show.

Merchandise Are Definitely Bringing Back Fashioncore

AS caught Merchandise's set at it was happening since was being streamed live from Villan via YouTube and showcase curators Pitchfork. The DIY hardcore-turned-post-punk trio and 2012 Breakthrough honorees from Tampa have gained a ton of underbelly traction ever since they caved in to a profile feature by NYC scene denizen Jenn Pelly, but this has nothing to do with their set (shaky vocals and a permanent drummer might benefit their live show) and more so about their shtick. After frontman Carson Cox continuously mocked how he "had this outfit" planned for the night, Merchandise have obliviously confirmed what AS suspected all along: Fashioncore is back.

Everybody May Love METZ, but Pissed Jeans! PISSED JEANS!! PISSED JEANS!!!

METZ are without a doubt the current hardcore darlings of the critical mass. The take away from their four CMJ appearances is that they're loud, sound awesome live and induce mosh pits wherever they go. They can even levitate, which sounds like a pretty neat trick seeing up close and in person. But leave it the hardcore bad boys from Philly known as Pissed Jeans and their one-and-done set at their labelmate's Sub Pop showcase to remind the world that they're still alive. Noisey noted that while METZ got people talking, it was Pissed Jeans's physicality which brought the crowd out of their skin by night's end.

The Exploding In Sound / GimmeTinnitus Contingent is NYC's Best Community Scene

Some CMJ experiences have a way of bringing together many genres on one stage under choppy, confusing transitions, but if there was one showcase that appeared to have its shit together from start to finish, it was the joint venture between web sites GimmeTinnitus and Exploding In Sound. Both invited a handful of like-minded artists they've wholeheartedly supported over the past year, including most of the Godmode roster, BUZZSounds Speedy Ortiz and PILE as well as other regional punks such as Young Adults, Eula and Ovlov. At a 12-hour pace of 16 bands concentrated within the tri- and Baystate areas, it truly defined the Marathon spirit of discovery and community. I think SLEEPIES tweeted it best near night's end:

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