While CMJ officially got under way on Tuesday, aside from a panel, it wasn’t until yesterday that my music marathon (though, it’s looking like it may just be a 5K) began in earnest. Besides, it wasn’t until yesterday evening that I had my first free drink, which of course is what really marks the start of these kind of events.
So after tossing back a couple at the LimeWire Store/CMJ press mixer, I headed to Brooklyn’s fairly new venue The Rock Shop to see Cleveland’s fairly new Cloud Nothings. While Dylan Baldi recorded the band’s fantastic debut, Turning On (recently issued again, this time with a couple EPs on CD by Carpark Records) on his own, for live dates he’s got a band behind him. They sped through a good portion of that record, Baldi making quips about needing a haircut and his mom telling him that the sweater he was wearing for the show had a stain on it even between songs. The four under-age kids gave cuts like Turning On’s title track and “Morgan” a manic edge; the Nothings drummer, in particular, was a blur as he lashed out a flurry of beats. While the songs lose some of their quirks live, none of the hooks and energy are dropped.
The Cloud Nothings were the perfect start to the week, but the next two bands on the bill quickly dispelled any such euphoria. First, Blair, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter backed by a band, plied her folkie pop, but failed to impress. The world doesn’t need another Lisa Loeb (not that it needed the first), nor Blair’s soft ruminations and mushy metaphors. Montreal’s Braids were only slightly better as they wrapped an ethereal lilt over post–Haircut 100 pop.
Obviously, it was time to leave, so I headed over a couple blocks to Union Hall to catch Two Cow Garage, a band who hails from Columbus, Ohio, but spends just as much time on the road as they do in that town. They’ve got a new record, Sweet Saint Me, out next week and a good portion of their setlist was pulled from it. Even if the new songs were unfamiliar, the band’s mix of rock crunch with country accents wasn’t. Guitarist Micah Schnabel and bassist Shane Sweeney traded licks and vocals while coming close but never actually bashing into one another while bounding around Union Hall’s small stage. Highlights included “Your Humble Narrator” and “Come Back to Shelby,” as well as a rousing version of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait.” The gritty, sweat-drenched performance was a potent antidote to the sonic nullity of the prior two acts I’d seen and a good way to cap off the night.
Fuente: LimeWire Music Blog