That CMJ blog..

It’s been a whirlwind month of sessions, interviews, gigs oh and holidays.. yep my body decided it had been punished for too long and I decided to repay it by burning it out totally for CMJ in New York City and then sleeping for a week in Lanzarote.. I shan’t bore you with the details of the latter though!

If you didn’t hear it though, I did a CMJ preview show.. you can still listen to it on my radio show archive:

It was my first time in NYC though, so I didn’t get to see as many bands as I’d have liked, but I got to check out some really amazing venues and a few gigs to boot thanks to this little beauty..

CMJ started where In The City left off though.. having seen the wonderful Kisses twice at ITC and investing in their freshly released debut album ‘The Heart of The Nightlife’ before I went to NYC ..when I heard they were playing Santos House Party I made a beeline for it.. but not before catching the wonderful Travelling Band strutting their stuff on the other side of the pond.  It was a joyfully raucous display as usual with the band entering the packed out crowd to play acoustic at the end of the set.  I loved every second of it..nearly as much as the band! 😉

The ace Fenech-Soler were setting up downstairs in the same venue but as I knew I had the session on my return to the UK i decided to give them a miss and head off to Santos for the House Party.  Whilst there I fed my face with a Magnolia Bakery cupcake.. (i was trying to keep myself going and failed miserably) the venue wasn’t full this early in the night, so I assume that even for a US band the Kisses marketing machine hasn’t kicked in enough.. I adored the show as always, and took a video for you guys to check out as a taster..

After Kisses we decided to have a breather and grab a quick bite, however we weren’t expecting to be met by a huge queue outside the venue.. yep we had to choose: STARVATION and SALEM or quit while you’re ahead.. We decided to quit.. but I swear i’m not missing Salem next week when they play Salford.. New single Frost is a killer track..

After yet another late night, followed by another day of tourism and a Rock ‘n’ Roll tour, we were back on it on the wednesday for Surfer Blood and The Drums at Webster Hall.. I would post a Drums video that I took but after watching it back, I think it’s possibly the campest thing I have ever seen which detracts from the music! So I’ll just leave you with this mental image instead..

..You certainly can’t knock them for their stage show, camp as christmas but bloody good fun! they really have come on leaps and bounds in that department over the past year, shame the NYC crowd were a bit reserved on this occasion.  The Brits would have teared it up!

The Drums were supported by the sound of reverb themselves, Surfer Blood.. I adore this band and their debut LP ‘Astro Coast’ is one of the finest of the year in my view.. and you know what I loved about this show? the bubble machine!! Looksy here..

After another day or so’s sightseeing we dragged our wary feet down to Bowery to jump back on the CMJ bandwagon and catch up with KAV and my old school mate Gren (The Lysergic Suite -who was on guitar duties) much merriment was had despite the perculiar venue! I managed to grab a video of the lead single off KAV’s new Mr Nice Ep taken from the Howard Marks film, and yes as Gren says in the following video, it’s gold dust!

The final night of CMJ had so much potential.. but due to bad geography, a lack of internet access and general tiredness we failed miserably!  I wanted to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart play their secret NME headline gig in the tiny Delancey but after spending a good hour walking around The Lower East Side trying to find the venue, the band had well and truly shipped out and over the Brooklyn Bridge for party central.. Disappointing.

But on the plus side I did manage to catch two amazing Brit bands, Shrag and The Lines.. and cos i’m dedicated to the cause I managed to get some vids too..

To summarise, I loved every second of CMJ.. but tourist duties and shopping (I loved every second of that part!) had to come first! Plus a lack of NYC knowledge, a lack of working twitter/net connection as well as a wide geographical spread of venues did nothing to help me see the extents of music I would have liked to!

I got a great flavour of the festival though which was exceptionally diverse.  I didn’t quite make it to the loft party I wanted to but maybe thats a reason to return! and you know what? I’d go back in a shot! but next time, i’ll just stick to shopping and gigs eh?! 😉

The dates for 2011 were announced this week and band submissions open today, so get applying!  All the details are right HERE


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