Posts tagged Pianos
[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2015 Day Four & Five: Controller, Slum Sociable, Good Morning, Methyl Ethel, Step-Panther, Pierce Brothers, Kingswood, Sui Zhen, Client Liaison, & SAFIA @ Pianos & The Delancey
Controller @ Pianos

Controller @ Pianos

The last 48 hours of CMJ were a total blur. My big brother came to town early before a cruise he was going on and since family comes first my venue hopping came to a screeching halt. Bro was a champ and helped me pick out the featured images in Day Three's post and got an exclusive first listen to the interviews I did with Good Morning, Jake Isaac, Jesse Ruben, BLXPLTN, and Magic Sword. I did manage to drag him out to Pianos go see my good friends Controller. He also got to finally meet Sprout! It was nice to have my two favorite people in the world in one room. We decided to cut the night short after Controller finished so I could rest up to go all out of the last day of the fest.

After spending the afternoon on Saturday with my brother I scurried over to The Delancey or as I will be referring to the day as "Aussie Heaven" (but really it was the Aussie BBQ). I soon realized as I was confirming which stages Slum Sociable and Good Morning were playing that I haven't been exaggerating all week when I've told people that Australia dominated this CMJ in a huge way.

I'd soon get some intel from Alex Laska, Kingswood's guitarist, about why it felt like I had been hit by a semi truck of awesome Australian music all at once. It never occurred to me that in Australia because it's such a huge country that's mostly populated along its coastlines that being a committed band is a hell of a lot more effort than anything anyone in the US could ever imagine. He explained that driving from one major city to the next could sometimes take at least up to 26 hours. We are spoiled rotten, my fellow Americans! That all said, Laska went on to say that because this is the case that the bands who want to tour are the ones who put in the time to make it worth their while so they're all very talented individuals. They're also very supportive of each other because they usually end up eventually all touring together. He really wasn't kidding when he said, "Every single band that's here deserves to be here." It was really great chat overall, I can't wait to air it next week on #skoaradio.

Kingswood getting their face-melty on @ The Delancey.

Kingswood getting their face-melty on @ The Delancey.

Post-my interview with Laska I saw the entire day completely differently. He was totally right, you could tell by the way the bands all interacted with each other that the community there was incredibly close knit. It was actually really refreshing to see bands watching each other perform. I know that's not a rarity here per say, but it felt more genuine and less obligatory. I'm sure that has to do with the abundance of bands that are at one's disposal here so the air is more competitive vs communal. That's really a bummer when you think about it. It'd be nice to find a way to swing that there. I guess maybe that has to happen state by state?

Anyway, the only bummer on Saturday night was when I had to call it a night and head home. After finally having a moment to befriend the Slum Sociable guys I tagged along with them going from stage to stage to see all their friends play. I finally got to see Methyl Ethel after Good Morning told me during our interview that I *had* to see them! I caught a total of 9 bands whilst in Aussie Heaven and I loved every single second of it. Glad to have caught Good Morning and Slum Sociable multiple times. Can't wait to get to know Step-Panther, Pierce Brothers, Sui Zhen, Client Liaison, and SAFIA better. Side note: Client Liaison is crazy in the best possible way. Really glad the Slum fam made me stick around for them. Kingswood was face melty. I'm really excited that I'm getting pulled back to gritty guitars to compliment all the synth-driven pop/rock I've been into lately.

I honestly can't think of a better way to end a CMJ than how I did. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sleep for 72 hours and see how long until the caffeine withdrawal headaches go away.

Have a look at the photos from Day Four & Five in the gallery below. You can also have a taste of Aussie Heaven for yourself courtesy of this handy dandy Spotify playlist I put together.

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2015 Day Two: Car Seat Headrest, Luna Aura, Pinact, BLXPTN, Weaves, Hooton Tennis Club, Magic Sword
Car Seat Headrest @ Pianos

Car Seat Headrest @ Pianos

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.

Luna Aura getting a little help from a friend at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

Luna Aura getting a little help from a friend at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

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.

Pinact @ Pianos

Pinact @ Pianos

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.

BLXPLTN slaying my face @ Arlene's Grocery

BLXPLTN slaying my face @ Arlene's Grocery

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*

Jasymn Burke, my future BFF of Weaves at their Pianos set

Jasymn Burke, my future BFF of Weaves at their Pianos set

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:

Actual convo with a band I interviewed earlier. Never a dull moment at #cmj2015

A photo posted by [stephanie] kibbe (@heylookitskibbe) on

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.

Slum Sociable bathed in red at Cake Shop

Slum Sociable bathed in red at Cake Shop

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.

This was moments before he threw it on the ground in front of me and tore it apart.

This was moments before he threw it on the ground in front of me and tore it apart.

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.

The Keeper of The Sword!!!!!!

The Keeper of The Sword!!!!!!

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.

Slum Sociable being lit the way they were meant to at Baby's All Right

Slum Sociable being lit the way they were meant to at Baby's All Right

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!