I thought Tuesday was supposed to be my craziest day of CMJ, but apparently it's just a slow build. I'm terrified but obviously still excited to see how Thursday goes. After trying to get photos edited in a timely manner for yesterday's post I had to haul ass to Pianos to make it in time for Car Seat Headrest. They played some cuts from their new record, Teens of Style, which I'm really excited for everyone else to hear once it drops on October 30.
Then came the comical portion of the day where I proceeded to run back and forth from Pianos to other venues in the area that the door guy at Pianos kept greeting me with, "welcome back!", "back so soon?", and " hello again". First I darted over to Rockwood stage 2 to catch the little fireball of energy that is Luna Aura. My first coffee hadn't quite kicked in yet so it took me a moment to be able to harness the explosion of energy that she exuded in photographs, but we got there. In addition to a solid cover of Destiny's Child - "Say My Name" which she got some extra special audience participation from, she gave the crowd a sampling of her latest EP Supernova.
I shot back over to Pianos to catch Pinact. I can feel myself pulling back towards more rock/punk rock this fall after a long stint mostly focusing my attention on electronic-esque bands as of late. I can't put my finger on it, but I found their bassist to be the most amusing person on the planet. I think it's mostly because he looks like he will never give any fucks about what anyone thinks about him. I think I may secretly want to be him when I grow up? Jury is still out on that one.
I ducked out from Pianos the second Pinact finished to go be blown away by Austin duo BLXPLTN. They were another one of those bands that I hadn't gotten to spend a ton of time listening to prior to catching their performance so I'll admit I sort of forgot what I was getting myself into. Their set was as powerful as much as it was inspiring. It's been awhile since I came across a band that had something to say and said it in an approachable enough way that once you're lured in by their badass genre-bending sound that they're doing what they can to inspire change. Once they finished their set I forced myself to not be intimidated by their badassery and beg them for an interview, which you'll be able to hear in full (albeit I need to air it in two parts because it's longer than the standard #skoaradio segments). I also apparently fulfilled a dream of Jonathan from BLXPLTN's by interviewing him while he ate cauliflower? I hope that's not the biggest dream he's ever dreamt, because I see much bigger things for them.
I was so overwhelmed by how awesome the interview with BLXPLTN was that I decided to sit out any other bands I had intended to see and wrap up my Day One recap and use Weaves' set as a reward for pushing out #content even though I wanted to keep running around. By the time I finally wrapped up and got to Pianos they were about halfway through their set. Thankfully, Jasymn is such an performer that I didn't have any trouble getting some fun shots of her. As she would later confirm after their set, they played a couple of new cuts from a record that is in the works in addition to selects from their debut self-titled EP. Jasymn also was kind enough to give me a button after their set, so I'm taking that as a cue that we're going to be best friends any day now. *FINGERS CROSSED*
Upon fueling up on margaritas and a little food I scurried over to Santos Party Haus to see Hooton Tennis Club, who I missed at the Music Is Great Showcase the night prior.
Fun vibes + crap lighting + had to duck out early to make sure I got to Brooklyn in time to interview Magic Swords = not much visual proof of their awesomeness. Oh yeah, speaking of that interview with Magic Sword, that was a fun thing to arrange, especially when you exchange texts like these:
I booked it back to Cake Shop as fast as my taxi could get me there to make it in time for Slum Sociable, who I can say with confidence was my most anticipated show of the week. Two things: #1 - I think I'm going to buy Cake Shop more lights for Christmas so everyone isn't always doused in only red light #2 - if singer Miller Upchurch could bottle the energy he releases for every performance I would buy it immediately and not be complaining on Twitter about how tired I am this week.
After Slum I quickly realized that it would have made sense for me to just stay in Brooklyn but you know, the heart what the heart wants. Either way, I made it back to Cameo Gallery with more than enough time to catch Magic Sword. In fact, they were running fairly late so I had a chance to try to practice the ultra low lighting there on Street Fever. I came in on the tail end of his set so I'm not sure if this is a normal occurrence, but within minutes he picked up a synth, threw it on the ground, and proceeded to beat the shit out of it with a mic stand a la the Office Space printer scene....like a foot away from me. It all happened so fast that I only managed to get this one shot, but even sorta blurry it speaks for itself.
At that point I was feeling the darkness creeping into Cameo in a big way, but it wasn't too long before The Keeper of the Sword and The Seeker aka Magic Sword took the stage and put darkness in its place. I loved that there were a few fans that had their own light up swords to cheer the band along.
When their set ended it was a little after 1:30am. I remember thinking to myself that Slum Sociable's publicist told me that they were playing another show at 2:15am at Baby's All Right. At that point I was sleep deprived enough that I managed to convince myself that if I walked slowly enough from Cameo Gallery that by the time I got to Baby's that I'd be right on time to see them and then I could go home to bed.
Upon arrival I was a few minutes early,which gave me just enough time to somehow accidentally trick some Australians who were apparently friends of friends of Slum Sociable that I bought them the free Tiger Beer that was being given away that late. They thought I worked for CMJ? I don't even know. At any rate, as you could guess the turnout for a band that's organically growing into their own didn't pack out Baby's at almost 3am. My new Aussie friends took advantage of the minimal audience to capitalize on the number of selfies they could get while the band was playing. They even demanded a few times that I stop trying to enjoy the slightly better lighting vs Cake Shop to take photos of them.
Gotta point out though, even with the turnout being less than ideal those guys played they were headlining a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom. Much respect to bands who aren't easily affected by turnout (or in this case lack there of). I crawled into a cab as soon as I could get away from my new Aussie friends when Slum ended. That was about 3:30am. So much for sticking to my healthy schedule to keep me sane!!
You can listen to all the bands I talked about in this recap in the CMJ 2015 playlist below in addition to having a look at all the photos I painstakingly edited today. Be sure to check this week's #skoaradio for an extra special CMJ edition of the show!