How quickly I forget... a brief synopsis of my now hazy experiences at the CMJ Music Marathon
NYC October 15-21 2007
The Monday trip 10:30 PM Bus from Montreal to NYC with Andrew Ward
Soundtrack: The Go-Betweens, Belle and Sebastian, Sonic Youth
So I got this neat little adapter thingie from Futureshop where two people can plug in two sets of headphones and listen to one iPod at the same time. I love sharing music and ideas so that was a fun thing to do on the bus ride to the Big Apple.
Day 1 Tuesday No sleep Til...
I didn't sleep at all on the bus ride to New York, so my recollection of the first day is kind of hazy. Port Authority, Starbucks, and standing in Times Square with Andrew at 7:00 am or something looking for a metro only to realise we were standing right in front of the subway entrance. Then off to the St. Marks hotel, got my room, ran to the Puck Building to get my badge, and ran to the first panel...
It was something about Sylvain Sylvain and Richard Lloyd reminiscing about the good old days in NY. I don't know. Apparently punk isn't dead. If that's true, then how come there were no Nymphets at any of those CMJ showcases?
What else... did I go to a show that night? Did I even eat?! I honestly can't remember.
Day 2 Wednesday Happy Happy Birthday to Billy Bragg
[The Future of] Pirate Party with Canada M. Fox @ Arlene's Grocery
The best surprise: Billy Bragg played! I loved Billy, and was so happy to get to see perform him again. Most Serene Republic from Toronto followed, and I made sure to meet the hot red-headed dude from that band and gave him my DJ flyer because I wanted to be his girlfriend haha (he never contacted me boo! and I missed their Montreal show last week, double boo!).
Most Serene Republic
That night I went to the Happy Happy Birthday To Me (a record label out of Athens, Georgia) showcase at the Tank in the West Village with my friend Kevin. I had gone to the label's showcase last year as well and since then have happily spent lots and lots of money buying music from the bands of the label.
We got to the showcase late, and caught the tail end of this awesomely cute band called The Smittens. Just two songs and I knew this band would be perfect for my show so I bought their first CD.
A lot of the same musicians from last year performed (Keith John Adams, Casper & the Cookies) plus a few new ones (Velcro Stars).
Keith John Adams
The big stand out band that night was Fishboy from Texas (newly signed to HHBTM, their new CD is set to be released Nov. 13th). Fishboy had added me on myspace ages ago, and like an idiot I didn't really pay attention. Suffice it to say: they were The. Awesome. I mean, a band that has this dude rocking out on a cow bell is totally cool with me.
That guy Eric on guitar and vocals also appears to have such a great sense of humour, smiling and close to laughing throughout the whole show. And he can totally rock out on that guitar of his. The way he was dressed reminded me a bit of the Luke Wilson character from the Royal Tenenbaums, but geeky. Indeed, quite pleased that the geeks could totally rock out too. Those were my people.
The night ended with a quick chat with Patrick from the Poison Control Center, the nicest guy who serenaded me at the same showcase the year prior. I tried to talk with Mike Turner (who runs the label) but he totally snubbed me.
Day 3 Thursday Iconic Songs Panel and not such a blast at the Canadian food platter
Andy Rouke from the Smiths was supposta be at that panel! But he wasn't. So I hereby remove any Smiths song from the list of "iconic" songs, so there HA! Besides, did any Smiths song really influence a generation? Well, Mele Mel and the Message sure did! And Mele is hot. I loved his blue valour outfit. I wish he performed, but Rick Carnes (the president of the Song Writers Guild of America) played Buddy Can You Spare a Dime? and that really impressed me so I left happy.
Mele Mel and Rick Carnes, iconic songs panel
That night I went to the Canadian Blast showcase at Fat Baby. Basically that night consisted of me sitting at the food table stuffing my face because no one from CJLO showed up until later and I was completely alone, uncomfortable and miserable. I got to talking to the drunk guy and the other not-so drunk guy from the band Winston. The night ended with a lot of standing around, ice cream, and turning the big Cube with Cody who told me his injury stories.
Day 4 Friday ...Brooklyn
Went to the Lost in the Supermarket? panel. It was about the Clash. I don't think I've ever heard someone speak quite like Mike Watt does. I wasn't quite sure what what he was talking about, but if it was about the Clash, he'd throw in the weirdest statements at the end of his sentences and the sky was red, man bang and all.
Joe Strummer memorial mural
I don't know, I think I was at the Fillmore that night? There was this awesome group, they sang about reading, and one chick was dressed up like Superman, and these dudes were go-go dancers and it was really hip hop and glam. I don't usually drink anymore, so the few beers I had made me loopy and I danced up a storm.
Then it was off the Studio B in Brooklyn to see MSTRKRFT (one dude formerly of Death from Above 1979). When we got off the metro it was raining something fierce and we got soaked. Cab drivers in Brooklyn are assholes, and so was that huge scary fuzzy-headed girl and her gay boyfriend who kept knocking into us (man, ask Katie Selene, I mean, just MAN).
Anyway, MSTRKRFT was neat, interesting to watch, and very loud. My feet were killing me by the end of the night, I was covered in other people's cold sweat and thanks so much for the water Andrew!
Day 5 Saturday Brother Ali RULES
The final CMJ panel, If I had a Hammer, was amazing because Brother Ali performed. Ahhh... protest music. I really love people who are true and who, unlike myself, don't just have their cause of the week, later abandoned.
Brother Ali and the guys from CJLO
For shows that day, I started off at the Ace of Clubs. Random. There I found myself listening to Christian Country/Rock. So not my thing. I asked the bartender if all the music will be Christian music all night, and he said he didn't know and asked why and I said "because if it is I have to leave" and the bartender laughed. Yeah, so I left and hopped on over to the Cake Shop.
At the Cake Shop these cute high school kids called the Shackletons were performing that night. It was adorable. I tell you, I wish my parents were hip enough to let me be in a band and play in New York fucking City when I was newly pubescent.
Robot showed up to see UNGDOMSKULEN because the band name seemed cool. The band was kind of weird, so we left and then headed on over to Ace of Clubs to see Total Fucking Destruction.
I was blown away. Best band ever. I am now a bonafide metal fan. It was hilarious, even their sound check was like a performance. Man, could that dude drum and those guys scream. Glad I ended off the trip seeing something cool and completely out of my element.
At the Total Fucking Destruction show
The Sunday trip home 8:30 AM Bus from New York City to Montreal with Cody Hicks
Soundtrack: Modern Lovers, Television, Television Personalities
I actually got some sleep on the bus ride home, and they have these neat little robotic arm vending machines in Albany. My adapter thingie came in handy and I found another Television Personalities fan in one Cody Hicks. Decided not to share anymore ideas, though.
Y'all know how much I love blasphemy. I took this at some shop on 2nd Avenue.
Fried Dumpling meal for 3.50$, 99 Allen Street (near Delancey)