Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

CMJ 2009 Day Four

CMJ Day Four: self-titled magazine and Pop Mart Media showcase and Green Label Sound party, October 23rd, 2009

Oct 26, 2009 Photography by Laura Leebove Web Exclusive
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My first Friday show, self-titled magazine and Pop Mart Media's showcase at (Le) Poisson Rouge, was one with very high expectations, as all four artists on the bill had been overly hyped in the weeks leading up to CMJ. The Spanish synth-pop quartet Delorean's early performance set the bar awfully high, with powerful tracks coming from singer/guitarist Ekhi Lopetegi, two synth players (including the most energetic and exciting one I've seen all week), and a drummer who used both electronic and real drum sets. It was hard to understand lyrics, but the high-energy beats had everyone dancing along and one woman admitted it took all her willpower to keep herself from throwing her arms up in the air during the last song, "Seasaw."

After Delorean was singer/songwriter Holly Miranda, whose debut on XL Recordings will be out early next year. Miranda follows in the footsteps of chanteuses like Leslie Feist and Annie Clark/St. Vincent, who arguably have paved the way for this type of orchestral vocals-and-guitar work, often with looping pedals and mic effects. While Miranda's guitar skills are impressive and her dreamy mezzo soprano is quite stunning in its own right, her music isn't necessarily groundbreaking, at least not in this stripped-down form. Her performance with guitarist and backup vocalist Tim Mislock was captivating, but the tracks might be better on record, where songs such as "Joints" are full and haunting with percussion, horns, and more electronic effects. At the same time, the underwhelming effect Miranda's performance had on me could also have been because she was sandwiched between mind-blowing dance music and eardrum-bursting blasts from Cymbals Eat Guitars.

Cymbals Eat Guitars, a young band in terms of band members' ages and also the time the group has been together, put on a show of drastic highs and lows, switching abruptly between clean, low-key guitar and melody, and harsh blasts of distortion and screaming. The highs were overwhelming and more extreme than on the band's debut LP, Why There Are Mountains, and I found myself trying not to cover my ears (even with earplugs)-but, it's the same way I feel about the record too. To the band's credit, though, these guys were passionate and played well, even though it's not my style.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (aka the boy with the longest name ever) closed out the night with a show that proved this man is all about simply having a great time. "This CMJ did not suck for us," Robinson told the crowd. Backed by a four-man band, he showered the audience with positive vibes and his brand of straight-up, feel-good rock 'n' roll that's more exciting live than on his recent release Summer of Fear. He threw off his shoes, played guitar lying on his back, and kicked his feet around like a little kid, always with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. This guy should be playing to bigger crowds pretty soon.

The show ended relatively early and I found myself at the Green Label Sound party at Brooklyn Bowl, which, more than anything, served as a massive dance floor-something that ultimately had been missing from my CMJ experience. Amazing Baby was sort of a misfit on the dance-heavy bill, with music that, frankly, was unoriginal and ultimately an unwelcome interruption to the dance party.

Montréal duo Chromeo took the stage after midnight to chants of "Ohhhh-ohh, Chromeo." Dave 1 (David Macklovitch) and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) perched themselves behind a percussion rack and the band's signature lady-legged keyboards. Though Macklovitch was a little over-the-top, the set was fun both musically and visually. Chromeo indeed is better experienced live, for the cymbal crashes, Gemayel's talk box, or Macklovitch being a ham at the front of the stage. One of the highlights was the band's new track, "Night by Night," which most of the crowd already knew word for word. At around 1:30 a.m. I headed home in the rain, ready to be done with CMJ on Saturday.




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answering service outsourcing
October 27th 2009
10:54am

a misfit on the dance-heavy bill, with music that, frankly, was unoriginal and ultimately an unwelcome interruption to the dance party.

Vertu Constellation
November 9th 2009
10:20am

The highs were overwhelming and more extreme than on the band’s debut LP, Why There Are Mountains, and I found myself trying not to cover my ears (even with earplugs)-but, it’s the same way I feel about the record too.