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.
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.