They don’t call it a “Music Marathon” for nothing, New York City is a wild time every year at CMJ. Each October, more than 1000 bands scatter in venues across New York City to showcase what they’ve got goin’ on. With parties happening and bands playing from early as when you’re supposed to be waking up until the wee hours of the morning, talent buyers, music industry staff, college radio goons, and music freaks alike gather in the Big Apple to experience what is essentially the New York SXSW. Great (and crazy) times were had, and the best thing that holds it all together: the music.
This year, us lucky kids from Radio UTD were fortunate enough to attend. Don’t worry if you’ve missed out, we’re going to catch you guys up on what went down and the outstanding acts to look out for (and probably South By Southwest upcoming in March, where it’s sure to be party).
Releasing The Mistress earlier this August, it’d be hard to understand why Yellow Ostrich isn’t growing bigger by the day. The band is focused around frontman Alex Schaff alongside drummer/back-up vocalist Michael Tapper, and a recently joined keyboardist. Though Yellow Ostrich’s music and production is nothing grand, the simplicity of vocal harmonies and complex percussion leads to instant adoration of their music. Their short set at CMJ left audience members satisfied with the balance of both upbeat and melancholy in tunes like “Whale.” Catchy pop (the good kind) that’ll have you going for days, they’ll be here with Ra Ra Riot and Delicate Steve on November 3rd. Tickets are still available online, so get ready to dance and be mesmerized.
Making noises loud enough that front row fans needed earplugs to take in the music, Cloud Nothings played a Tuesday night show at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly. Cloud Nothings’ live performance took up the audience by surprise, playing before happy-go-lucky Dent May. The end result of Cleveland-based band and front man Dylan Baldi is nothing too complex. The power-pop band have morphed into the recent lo-fi, shoegaze age that has been flowing around, the likes of Wavves and No Age. Looking forward to Cloud Nothings in the next year, they’ll be on the Orange stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest next Friday, November 4th, and if you Dallas folks can’t catch that, Parade of Flesh is sponsoring a show at Canton Co-Op for a nifty price of $3. Fun, fun, fun.
Hipster Runoff, Force Field PR, and PopGun Booking Presents: Bleepy Bloop Fest
We couldn’t tell if this event, also known as the Hipster Runoff-made-famous #bbfest was really real, so we decided to head over to catch what these “DJ Sets” were really about. One thing proved to be true – a boring party is a party nonetheless. Lines were out the door, and fans were eager to see THE Alan Palomo (from Neon Indian) himself have an exclusive DJ set. What ended up being was a fest full of Macbooks and lack of turntables, essentially the respective DJs playing tunes off their playlists. Though a bust for some, the success of the event itself was the hype that had Cameo Gallery packed on a Friday night. What happens at BleepyBloopFest stays at BleepyBloopFest.
The name Class Actress itself is enough to underline what the project of Elizabeth Harper is all about. The moniker of the singer described her persona perfectly. Releasing Rapprocher this week off Carpark Records earlier this week, her stage presence easily stole the audience’s attention on Tuesday night. Rocking platform heels and a vest, Harper’s diva-like personality had less attitude but more confidence. The broken-hearted theme of the recent album does not produce slow, sappy songs, instead, Class Actress’ music and live performance includes a sequence of electronic pop that is both smart, and reminiscent of Depeche Mode, New Order, and Madonna. What more is there to love? Dance along now, why don’t ya.
For more of CMJ and who to look for in the future including De Staat, 1,2,3, The Twees, and mo’, head over to Radio UTD’s CMJ 2011 Highlights. Let’s all celebrate music all the time.