Fridayyyy. I continued to lose my momentum as the photographs and writeups began to pile up. Sleep deprivation was really getting to me. I kept it low key during the day and then decided to take myself on an adventure for Friday night. I was still amped from the night before and wanted to find more fun new bands to give my heart to, but I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else. I've mentioned previously that in my heyday that I used to randomly pick up albums based on whether or not I thought their album artwork looked interesting, so I took the same approach for CMJ Day Four but with press photos that were readily available on CMJ's much improved mobile app.
First band of the night was WALTZ at Piano's for the Deli Mag Showcase. I arrived a little late and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be some dudes in speedos up on stage while I was getting stamped outside. I didn't think much of it because they were gone by the time I got to the back. It was Australian turned New Yorker Matt Hutchinson's "whatever" scowl sporting an 80s windbreaker in his press photo that had me willing to take a chance. Not sure why, he just seemed like a friend I hadn't met yet or something. At any rate, my gut did not lead me astray. His erratic movements whilst furiously strumming on his guitar with his mic coupled with his tortured monotone wailing stirred something inside of me that lives in my dark and twisty place. Oh yeah, those speedo dudes? They came back. I hadn't noticed before, but they each had a letter painted on their chest to spell out "WALTZ". That part is still a bit of a head scratcher for me. Looking forward to getting more familiar with this band. I briefly spoke to Hutchinson after the set and he said they were wrapping up an album and working to get it out the door to the public, so more on that front as the details become available.
After WALTZ I was chatting up a photographer from Pancakes and Whiskey about the wonders of Bo Ningen from the night before when the keyboardist/guitarist from the band setting up next chimed in to share his love for them as well. I hadn't settled on a next step at that point, but that interaction made me want to stick aroud to see what kind of music this friendly fellow contributed to.
The band ended up being singer/harmonium player Shilpa Ray and her band of chill dudes. I don't know how else to describe Ray other than the ultimate badass bitch that I aspire to be. I hung on to every snarl and howl that rang out with each song they played. Around the middle of their set, Ray came to a full stop and said something to the effect of, "If all these other fucking people are gonna play shirtless tonight then fuck it I'm gonna do it too." She then proceeded to finish her set shirtless as if nothing had ever happened. It didn't seem to distract her or the audience from the performance. If anything it made her all the more fierce and fearless than before. I am anxious to spend some time with her music now, but I know the experience won't be complete until I purchase a nice bottle of whiskey first.
Next I ventured into Brooklyn to have a peek at Lost Boy ? over at Trash Bar. The allure with this band was their press photo consisted of the lead singer feeding himself what appeared to be a partially eaten piece of pizza in a passed out dude's hand. I would say that it appropriately captured the essence of the band. They were witty, carefree, and super fun. I'm glad that I kept "accidentally" seeing New York bands that night. I look forward to incorporating them and the other I stumbled across into my ongoing show schedule.
As the night progressed on, I attempted to see what a band with an epic name (The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die) and another fun press photo of a dude with a slice of pizza on his face wearing sunglasses (Ron Gallo) that were both playing at the same time. If you had seen the way I darted from Spike Hill to Cameo Gallery and managed to slide my way into semi-prime positioning at both shows you would have been impressed. That said, both had me all "meh" but for different reasons. TWIABPAIANLATD was good, but in a pretentious way that I wasn't really in the mood for. Ron Gallo, on the other hand, was more goofy than playful and I found it to be off putting. Also worth mentioning that the audiences of both bands were really annoying and I didn't want to be associated with them so I bounced.
Nothing else looked terribly interesting until 1AM when Stockholm group Kate Boy were set to hit the stage at Knitting Factory so I grabbed a Criff Dog and took advantage of my old watering hole for a few drinks and a place to charge my phone. I was sort of anxious about staying out so late on the offchance that Kate Boy MIGHT be worthwhile, but #YOLOOMGCMJ2014 and all that.
I'm happy to report that I was able to end the evening on an ultra high note. Kate Boy is pure pop fire that consumes you in their pulsating beats, succinct synths, and bright vocals. I'm just mad that this didn't make it to my radar sooner. Tracks like "In Your Eyes", "Self Control", and "Open Fire" have already made it into my rotation since then. I look forward to their forthcoming debut album, whenever that is slated to drop. Don't worry, I'm already working on getting more details shortly.
You can check out photos from my night out in the slide show below!