Thursday. Weird vibe all day during the day. Had planned on rushing to see The Kickback and then hit up the Texas Takeover Party at The Delancey but Sprout's camera that she graciously let me borrow just did not want to be BFFs with my computer so getting photos sorted for Wednesday's wrapup took longer than I had ever dreamed of. I was bummed about missing The Kickback, Catch Fever, Ravin' Symone, and overall just not making the most of my time off during the day. I guess the lack of sleep attributed to my inability to move more quickly, but I was reminded throughout the evening that you don't need a perfectly planned itinerary for CMJ in order to have a good time. Sometimes you need to just roll with it and some really cool bands end up right in front of you.
I tried to stick to my schedule. I really did. As soon as I was set free from the chains of SD card insanity I scurried down to The Delancey to see if Flavor Raid and the rest of the Texas Takeover party was all that it was what I had been stressing over. I think the best word to describe the half hour I spent there was...lackluster? Nothing on Flavor Raid. I had been genuinely excited to check them out. It was just the wrong night, wrong set up, wrong everything basically for me.. I did get a kick out of their song about shitty high fives and the need for elbow fives though. Overall, there weren't gonna be enough strobe-y light sticks in the world for the crowd to play with for me to really connect. If you're relying on your stage gimmicks to get people to like you, it's likely that you won't get very far. Not giving up on those guys, but this just wasn't their night in my opinion.
That set made me decide not to mess with Texas the rest of the night. I needed to shake the vibe of the day so I hit up my friend Dan who was already making a go of it in Brooklyn to see if we could meet up and maybe catch something worthwhile. You know when you're in a weird mood and you put on a bunch of different records trying to shake it and nothing seems to work? That was totes my feel bro between the time I left the LES and by the end of Bo Ningen's 1st song at Baby's All Right.
We just showed up. We were open for anything. While Dan was having a cigarette we chatted about how the music industry has reached this crazy saturation point where things come and go so fast and there's so much of the same thing that things like CMJ seem like marathon moments of futility. I was hardcore feeling that and wasn't sure how to make that feeling in the current moment.
But then Bo Ningen, y'all. Dang. Did not see that one coming. The Japanese four-piece brought the fury down on all of us in the form of blazing guitars, screeching vocals, and enough long jet black hair that I don't even want to imagine what the shower drain in their hotel room must look like. They played with such intensity that by the end I felt like I had eleventy billion shots of espresso. I was PUMPED to hear more music, specifically with all the guitars I could find. I texted my friend who was over at Shea Stadium to see if my needs would be met there. As luck would have it, they had some Canadian bands that unbeknownst to me were about to make my evening.
When I arrived Toronto four piece noice punk outfit HSY (pronounnced "hussy") were just finishing setting up. Admittedly, I'm not sure that they're for everyone, but man they just hit the spot like nobodys business for me. I especially enjoyed how few fucks they gave, specifically guitarslinger Anna Mayberry, who made several laps into the crowd screeching and howling the whole way. It was terrible in terms of being able to get any snaps of them since it was dimly lit inside Shea, but they left a lasting impression on me that no photo could.
And then came Weaves. *SWOON*. I was already riding on this high of fuzzing guitars from HSY and the intensity of Bo Ningen when singer Jasmyn Burke opened her mouth and starting sassily wagging her finger at the crowd. All of my insides tightened up like someone just informed me that Beck was coming over to my house for a tea party. I was smitten almost immediately. It's been awhile since I fell that hard that fast for a band. I couldn't keep it together as a "professional". I kept leaning over to the other photogs there and yelling, "OH MY GOD I LOVE HER SO HARD I JUST WANT TO TAKE PICTURES OF HER FACE ALL DAY". I was so in awe of the way she managed to just yank everyone in the room to focus and give her their undivided attention. I tweeted it that night and I will say it here again: This is a band is about to blow the heck up. I give it less than 6 months. Their self-titled EP that dropped back in April does not do them justice, in my opinion. It does a pretty good job bottling up Burke's energy, but then again she does not seem to be the kind of woman that you simply contain.
When the show ended it took everything in my being not to run up and hug her. I settled on stammering to Anna from HSY that I thoroughly enjoyed them as a compromise, but I was in East Williamsburg and not acting terribly Williamsburgy, so I split shortly thereafter to avoid any further embarrassment.
You can check out all the photos from my night out for CMJ Day Three in the slideshow below: