Monday, October 22, 2007

CMJ: Day 4

More CMJ coverage can be found in the WSN Arts Blog.

It was back to Brooklyn on Friday, the second-to-last day of the Marathon. My first stop was Sound Fix, an excellent music store in Williamsburg that hosts weekly events in the attached cafe. Although not technically a part of CMJ, I got a chance to check out one of my picks for the festival. That lightning bolt was mine was also at the show. Afterwards, I finally made it back to Studio B for some much needed raving. Why can't all the DJ sets be at that venue?

The Brunettes

New Zealand pop ensemble the Brunettes charmed the Sound Fix crowd. Singer Jonathan Bree was positioned on the floor, but assured the crowd it was “not because I am trying to put myself as the leader this establishment,” but due to the fact that there was not enough room onstage for the band’s six members. Although he traded lead vocals with Heather Mansfield, it really was a group effort. On “Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth,” the entire band chanted “B-A-B-Y,” stretching their arms together and apart to form A’s and Y’s. They incorporated an impressive number of instruments, including trumpet, wood block, xylophone and triangle, which made for a pleasantly varied sound. The band introduction encapsulated the egalitarian quirkiness of the group, as Mansfield pseudo-rapped each band member’s name to a 4/4 beat as the audience cheered. The only downside of the set was that it was too short, as is the nature of in-store performances.

The Brunettes play one more show in New York. It's at Union Hall on October 26th.

MP3: The Brunettes - Small Town Crew
MySpace: The Brunettes
Official Site: The Brunettes

The Fun DJs

DJs Rok One and Eamon Harkin are the regulars at Studio B’s weekly Friday FUN Parties, but they opened to a mostly empty dance floor. Initially, their electronic beeps and bloops were mere background music for head-bobbing purposes than a concentrated rave soundtrack, but a medium-sized crowd eventually formed in front. The only recognizable sample of their mostly instrumental set was LCD Soundsystem’s “Get Innocuous,” whose female voice was scattered and distorted. The percussion became more frantic as the male voice entered the mix, making it a notable moment in a decent, but unremarkable, set.

MP3: LCD Soundsystem - Get Innocuous (Geek Chic's Harm-Free Retouch)
MySpace: Fun at Studio B

Los Angeles native Troublemaker spun everything from hip-hop to mainstream pop and even classic rock. “Get a girl, get a drink,” he urged the crowd, which had significantly grown. With Girl Talk speed, he switched and mixed, sampling everything from The Clash’s “Rocking The Kasbah” to Tag Team’s “Whoop! (There It Is)” to The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil.” In a particularly impressive sequence, he played a high speed remix of Rihanna’s “Umbrellao,” layered it with Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ayes” from “Crazy Train,” and then finished with the “tick-tocks” from Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For.” Troublemaker finished with an obligatory Daft Punk selection in “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” which eventually mrphed into Kanye West’s “Stronger,” a fitting conclusion to a genre-spanning set.

Lazaro Casanova

Miami’s Lazaro Casanova focused on extensive beats, preferring to settle into grooves instead of bombarding the crowd with endless samples. For the most part, his patience was rewarded. Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” became an anthem with its relentless “we don’t need no education” chorus. House of Pain’s “Jump Around” made the crowd follow suit, and the song marked the set’s energy peak. The MSTRKRFT remix of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” was initially received with much enthusiasm and cheering, but when Casanova scaled back the instrumental in favor of the vocals, there simply was not enough punch – or bass – to keep the crowd moving. Thankfully, his instrumentals compensated.


hunter wry said...

Hi-- I must have missed you at the Brunettes. In any case, hope you had a good time!

Christy T. said...

That was a fun night. Glad to have made it with you.

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