I did not train as well for this year's CMJ as I have in years past. I refuse to say I'm getting too old for CMJ. I just know better than to not have perfect sleeping habits weeks prior, etc. I'm suffering in a big way from it. I decided to more than stick to my schedule of hitting up NYC Taper's day party at Cake Shop. Except for the part at the beginning of the day where, you know, I accidentally rushed to Pianos assuming that's where it was (the door guy welcomed me back the same way he did on Wednesday btw). So instead of seeing Womps I caught 15ish minutes of Hockey Dad. They were great, but not what I had been anticipating. Womp wompppp
By the time I got to Cake Shop my new local darlings Vomitface had taken the stage. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the three-piece broke my brain by playfully announcing that they were Viet Kong when they started, which set off a stint of paranoia for at least 3 more bands that I had mixed up venues etc again. I can't tell you how many times I frantically kept checking my schedule until my 2nd coffee kicked in. Anyway, I enjoyed that for a their playfulness that that they're actually a really solid band. They reminded me that I've been meaning to find more local bands to rally for (since VOWWS left a gaping hole in my heart upon moving to LA) so we gradually made arrangements to hang out later in the day.
Dirty Dishes and Mothers both delivered solid sets. The fatigue from all of the running around with little sleep was starting to set in and all of the red lighting for every single set wasn't helping me stay energized even with all of the caffeine flowing through my bloodstream. I knew I had another long night ahead of me so I decided to take a set or two off to save my energy for Dirty Ghosts, who I realized earlier in the day I hadn't seen since their appearance at our SXSW show with the Axis of Audio in 2011. I felt proud watching people dance along to tunes from their new record, Let It Pretend, which dropped last week.
After briefly running into my favorite Canadians (Weaves) and giving away the free beer that NYC Taper scored for me, I accepted Vomitface's kind offer to tag along with them to Brooklyn to go check out their friends in Mass Gothic play at Knitting Factory for the Sub Pop showcase. On the way there I invented a new barter system that I want to try on all of the bands I want to befriend: I buy you all drinks and in exchange I get merch. That's fairly mutual beneficial, no? I suppose I should just be generous and pay for both, but for the times a lady needs to be a blogger on a budget this will [hopefully] work out well in the future. At any rate, I was sad to cut my time short with them because I liked both their company and the sweet sounds of Mass Gothic, but I told myself I wasn't going to miss my chance of seeing Kevin Garrett at Rockwood Music Hall (stage 2) so I hauled it over there ASAP.
I was not prepared for the crowd for Kevin Garrett at all. Plenty of shows this CMJ have been full, but when you're lugging around a backpack with a laptop, camera, etc. you become really aware of how much space you're taking up to slip through a crowd. Everyone was irritated that I dared to arrive late to document what I assume will be a rare setting fairly soon, that being Garrett at any venue that small ever again. I mean, have you heard his EP, Mellow Drama? Anyway, "the hunger" suddenly struck me like a semi truck so I became the room's nemesis once again lugging all of my gear out to go grab food before Skaters.
Did not realize how spoiled I was for day one of CMJ when it came to how chill the energy was at The Living Room for the Music Is Great Showcase because the crowd for Skaters was nutttyyyyy. It was dark and no one was interested in sitting still, yours truly included. At first I attempted to really go for some killer snaps but by that point in the night I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the chaos. Felt good to know that I was supporting multiple NYC bands in a night, especially because someone you know has heard their new song already that comes out next week and LOVESSS ITTT.
Didn't do too badly in terms of sleep deprivation. I was only out until a whopping 2:30am. Don't worry, I made sure to put the Slum Sociable album on repeat and sing along to it walking home in Harlem so the crackheads didn't bother me. Since I'm writing this you know it worked. :)
You can check out the rest of my photos from CMJ Day Three in the gallery below. You can also listen to samplings of all of the artists I heard from this post in this nifty little Spotify playlist.