Thursday, October 28, 2010

CMJ Music Marathon 2010 Photos and Discovery

Headed out to see some
Awesome Music

The concerts, films, roadside shows and all-around CMJ madness left town as quickly as it arrived.  And, while it didn't quite have the same effect on me as a nuclear explosion, I did feel a bit beat up after the weekend.  Some of the images and stories below.

Littlefield's stage

As I mentioned in my previous post, CMJ has become a good friend to me.  A trustworthy amigo, I use to gauge what type of music I should be paying closer attention to and venues I should check out more often.  This year, I found an awesome new venue and an amazing artists (this is where I'd pat my CMJ blow-up doll on the back if I had one).  So my theme for this year is, 'Discovery.'

On Friday night, Belinda, Erick, Jerome and I headed over to Littlefield's out in Brooklyn.  I'm not to sure what to call the neighborhood this venue is housed in, but it's between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, so let's call it Carroll Slope for now.  Littlefield's in Carroll Slope turned out to be an awesome venue, with a unique set up that provided guests with a realized, quite entrance and bar space and open, semicircle lounge and concert space.  The concert space is tucked away neatly in the back of the venue, and only accessible through a long hallway, covered in art pieces and brightly colored walls.  The thick metal doors open to a typical style small concert space with random chairs along the walls and an open space for dancing, listening and cheering in the center.  We were mostly the listening and cheering type, but I certainly got my feet moving a bit. 

The bands, of which Brass Bed from Layette, LA was my favorite, all had to deal with a severely challenged sound engineer, or lousy soundboard (I couldn't quite tell whose fault it was), but overcame the odds and put on a great show.  Once the sound is fine-tuned and the system is back on track, it will be rated as one of the coolest NYC venue's I've ever visited.

Then, Jerome and I went to Piano's on Saturday afternoon to catch one of my favorite songwriter artists, Dan Magan.  We arrived early, to score some prime seating in the small upstairs lounge, unsuspecting participants in a musical experiment.  I'm no music producer, but usually acts are clumped together in genres or at least similar sounds.  The artist who played before the Dan Magan Band was absolutely nothing like them, or like anything I've ever seen before.  

K.Flay at Piano's

The artist, K.Flay tore up the small space by what I could only call a DJ's dream of a Renaissance woman.  She stood on stage with nothing more than her laptop, a turntable, and a mic.  She began each song by laying down a couple of beats (drums, melody, etc.) and edged her way in with her lyrics and pre-recorded chorus.  And, seriously, I had no idea a white girl could rap like this.  She spilled her words into the mic as fast as any MC I've seen and lapped up the applause like a champ.  She also has a somewhat strange, relaxed stage presence I had trouble pin pointing.  She dressed in a t-shirt, jeans and over sized sneakers reminiscent of RUN DMC.  She bounced to the lyrics she rapped, but rarely bordered on dance.  And, while speaking to the audience her voice eluded to an Irish accent (perhaps due to her Irish via San Francisco roots).  She was incredible and I'm so happy I was turned on to her.  Check her out if you're interested.

Robots Need Love Too...

Annnnd, headed home

Of course, the Dan Magan Band also put on a stellar performance and spent some time chatting with me and my group after the show.  They even did one of my favorite songs, Robots Need Love Too, from the bar stools.  Funny, funny fellows.  Check out their rendition of Robots at Mercury Lounge the Friday night before -

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