by staff (pics by amy davis and brittany bartley)
The whirlwind of CMJ week has finally drawn to a close and we’re happy to report that QC’s Anti-CMJ Showcase presented by Fruitsential was a huge success. Housed at Brooklyn’s Market Hotel, the loaded bill featured five bands and was highlighted by high energy and innovative performances by UUVVWWZ and Sleigh Bells. Roughly 160 people passed through Market for the fiesta including a guest appearance by M.I.A. To top it off, Pitchfork said the night’s closing Sleigh Bells set “just might be the best thing I see all week.”
Though the participating acts all played various CMJ shows throughout the week, it was kismet to bill them together and an accurate snapshot of the emerging indie scene, delivering on what CMJ was originally intended to be about.
One of the strengths of the show was a one-two punch of strong female-lead bands. UUVVWWZ’s Teal Gardner brought a bravado and presence reminiscent of Janis Joplin or Grace Slick, while the band’s classic-rock meets post-punk sound provided a perfect backdrop to her voice. Mean while, Alexis Krauss of CMJ-breakout Sleigh Bells brought sex and confidence to the stage, enthralling an audience that instantly fell in love with her.
The male species also brought their a-game. A short but sweet set by Surfer Blood was an amouse-bouche for the evening, which was followed by Grandchildren’s 6 course spread: Two guitars, Two synths, a Bass, two drum sets, trombone and trumpet. French Miami bombarded us with a racket unlike your typical three-person band, mixing hot Synth riffs with crushing guitar squall.
Here’s the night in photographic review, in order of set times..
► SURFER BLOOD
► FRENCH MIAMI
► SLEIGH BELLS