CMJ Day Three: GEMS, Jensen Sportag, Ejecta, and Shine 2009 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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CMJ 2013, CMJ 2013: Day Three, Young Ejecta, Jensen Sportag, Shine 2009, Gems

CMJ Day Three: GEMS, Jensen Sportag, Ejecta, and Shine 2009, October 17th, 2013

Oct 22, 2013 CMJ 2013 Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

By the third day of any festival, it takes a lot to get fans to come out to shows early. And even though 3pm in any other circumstance is late afternoon, after three days on your feet it might as well be the crack of dawn. Which makes the fact that GEMS packed out Pianos all the more impressive. The Washington, DC-based duo (Lindsay Pitts and Cliff Usher) didn’t disappoint, playing a set that won’t escape the descriptor “cinematic.” They’ll probably also be slapped with comparisons to The xx (although GEMS actually have a pulse), and Purity Ring (albeit with more straightforward melancholy). Perhaps the most shocking discovery: GEMS are unsigned. Will someone please get on making these people (downtempo) pop stars?

Due to illness, only half of Jensen Sportag made it to New York for the Cascine showcase. However, the remaining member left standing, Austin Wilkinson, made the best of his DJ set, playing cuts from the band’s forthcoming album Stealth of Days. While doing the least amount of work of any act that evening, he was—by far—the happiest. He may have even pulled off the impossible…making watching a DJ fun.

Ejecta caused a stir a few weeks ago when they posted a single accompanied by a nude photo of their lead singer, Leanne Macomber. While it would be unfair to judge the band too harshly based on their first live show, it’s tough not to wonder if a pretty face is all Macomber has to offer. From muttered, off-key vocals, to barely there guitar work, the band’s set was extraordinarily underwhelming. Could the hype machine be wrong?

Although adopting a similar laissez-fair attitude, Shine 2009 managed to deliver a satisfying set with little more than samples, a guitar, and singer Sami Suova’s flat-footed vocals. Splitting the set between their two electro-pop albums Realism and Our Nation, they demonstrated two very important facts. 1. Being from Finland makes you cooler. 2. If icy electro is your jam, then Shine 2009 has yet to write a bad song. (Even if Paula Abdul was unavailable to perform her part on “So Free.”)

Check out a gallery of day three photos here.







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September 26th 2015

as in the scene as they once were to awesome and cool music from all over. You shuold check it out for so many reasons, not the smallest one being that my band, The Dont’s is this week’s