CMJ DAY 2: THE SAGA CONTINUES

by kevin and eliza

My legs hurt, my head hurts, but my heart is pumping with life. I love this festival, but it may be the death of me. How many more days do we have of this?

After picking up goodie bags and seeing 5 minutes of the awful and awfully named Talk To Angels (think Charlie’s band DriveShaft from Lost, only way, way worse) our objective became clear: let’s no longer allow ourselves to see shitty bands. And so we set out on our task, towards the Mercury Lounge and the one-two punch of Tobacco and Fujiya & Miyagi.

UH BY FUJIYA & MIYAGI:

But not before snagging a 6 dollar flask of Vodka. We aren’t rich corporate types here at QC, and these 8 dollar drinks are draining my bank account. So after ordering a couple of tonics and spiking them ourselves, we walked into the back room to the sights and sounds of Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s Tobacco. A projection screen was set up stage left, with images from B-Movies and music videos spliced together like a woven tapestry. On Stage right, masked mystery man Tobacco, and his lovely assistant, stood in complete darkness, blending the deliciously loopy lo-fi hip hop beats and swirly analog synthesizer sounds that we’ve all grown to love from the Black Moth gang. There’s not a whole lot of difference between the full band and the solo project. It’s still incredible that one man can make so many sounds from a few analog synthesizers and a vocoder, and it’s a delight to watch him do it, even when he’s standing in pitch black.

Mercury Lounge is great at keeping these guys on schedule, and at 9 o’clock on the nose Fujiya & Miyagi took the stage. Let’s be honest, these guys are one-trick ponies, there’s no doubt about that. It just so happens that one trick is pretty fucking neat. Spacey harmonies, krautrock rhythms, funky guitar lines and hushed vocals, pounding bass, drum machines and live drums coming together in solidarity. There’s no message to this song, except, perhaps, the message that catchy tunes don’t necessarily need a message. I certainly wasn’t looking for one, I was too busy sucking down the last of my smuggled vodka. And that’s when Eliza grabbed my arm and said it was time to go see Ane Brun and then the Stones Throw crew.

We made an honest attempt to check out Ane over at The Living Room, but it being a free show and all, was too fucking packed. She sounded lovely from outside the curtain, though. We caught snippets of her blurred frame on the TV in the back. Good times.

TRUCK SWEAT BY TOBACCO:

THIS VOICE BY ANE BRUN:

One drink later, we left the mass of lower east siders at The Living Room and joined a whole new mess of them at Gallery Bar. Holy hipster, it was just as packed as the last place. I don’t want to sound like tight-assed old lady, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little breathing room at a show. It wasn’t going to happen here, so we stuck to the side of the bar and enjoyed the tail end of Peanut Butter Wolf, who was again, fanfuckingtastic. Last time I saw PBW, he circled his musical manner around mostly 80′s and 90′s hip hop and synth. Last night he was all about the 70′s grooves, which was a nice change of pace for the eve. Already in a better mood, James Pants stepped up to the turntables and made me lose my shit a little bit. You watch guys like this, and realize what a real DJ should sound like. He flawlessy shifted from Tribe to Jay to Sandy Shaw. I was sad to leave, but another show was calling my name. Kev and I had to split up at that point, which was also sad, but +1′s were becoming a luxury at some of these shows.

RAWCORE (W/ MADLIB) BY PEANUT BUTTER WOLF:

[Kev] Eliza went on her own journey after that, and I was left to my own devices, looking for some down and dirty rock and roll. I had enough vodka and beer in me to get rowdy, and found the perfect spot. Cakeshop’s dingy basement stage is everything you want from a rock venue: Christmas tree lights, 3 dollar cans of beer, East Village Hipsters and Williamsburg Hipsters calling a truce to their gang war and taking in the booze and music. I came to see The Muslims, one of my favorite bands in the world. I’ll be seeing them at least two more times this week, as they’re playing something like 3 shows a day for the rest of the festival.

RIGHT AND WRONG BY THE MUSLIMS:

Openers The Browns are from the same San Diego scene as The Muslims and their cohorts The Sundelles, and they share a lot of things, not the least of which is equipment. A love for 60′s garage rock, 70′s post punk, and 80′s indie rock is their starting place; add a healthy dose of energy and enthusiasm, and you have a fucking rock and roll show.

The Browns played a quick 5 songs, and left the stage to the Muslims, who blazed through some old favorites and a couple newbies, including their new 7 inch Parasite. It’s a fast, punky number with a catchy hook that should be mandatory listening for any teenagers in this country trying to figure out what the fuck they want. This show whetted my appetite for more Muslims shows to come, including a bill tonight with Women and Vivian Girls, which should kick ass.

[Eliza] After leaving Kev, I got to the almost empty Knitting Factory and realized that 30H!3 wasn’t playing until the next night! Ahhh well, I decided to check out what these other bands were all about. Both Muggabears and Gringo Deathstar were pretty intolerable. Just plain noisy. So I wandered back to the main room, and found myself in the midst of a swing dancing electronica dream sequence. I mean, it was seriously unbelievable. These people were all going nuts over the one man band on stage, I believe his name is Juvelen Heloise, and he was actually really cool. But forget what was happening onstage, and lets get back to the dancefloor, where there were flips, turns, tops coming off. I stood in the corner, stunned, wishing I could get my hands on whatever drugs they had consumed. Sigh. Well, off to Moby to round out the night.

Le Royale is a two level bar in the West Village, where the upstairs is usually too crowded to move. Tonight was no exception, as I pushed and needled my way toward the DJ booth, hoping for a decent view of the man. I pretended to know the people at a big booth right in front, poured myself one last drink, and enjoyed the awsomeness that is Moby. I wondered if he would play hits like “Praise You,” and “Michael Jackson,” and well, he did, but only for seconds at a time, as he rolled into something new. Because this festival is in NYC and there’s not exactly a central theme or meeting spot, people don’t have the same amicable openness that they do at other fests. Not a lot of, “so where are you from’s?” filling out the room. I wanted someone to dance with, and I these people at the booth were clearly annoyed by me, so I moved onto the dance floor. After getting groped, realizing that it was nearing 2:30am, and that neither Moby nor the crowd showed any signs of slowing down, I thought it best to call it a night. Was probably a good decision since I don’t feel like hell today. Tonight look forward to The Fool’s Gold Showcase at Webster featuring Kid Sister, A-Trak, and Dave 1 from Chromeo. Great times.

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