Reader, as you may well know, the College Music Journal—or CMJ as the cool, acronym-loving kids call it—Music Marathon is upon us. And, being the diligent independent music-lovers that we are, we have our CMJ dance card filled up, as it were. We don’t have the wherewithal to go on and on about all of many talented bands playing NYC this week—we’ll leave that to the good people at Oh My Rockness—but we have put together the top ten bands we’re dying to catch at these musical 26 miles and 385 yards. Here they are, along with some of our favorite ditties by said awesome bands!Hah. Ditties.
Purity Ring • Ungirthed Despite the similar name, this band sounds nothing like The Promise Ring. Like, nothing. Canadians Megan James and Corin Roddick, who make up Purity Ring, create glitchy, spastically, creepily beautiful music. And I hear they put on quite a show. Catch them at the Mercury Lounge Friday night or opening for Neon Indian at Webster Hall…Friday night. I have no idea which set they’ll play earlier, but word on the street is they’ll be setting up one or two more shows before the week’s out. Now the real question—Would you rather see a Purity Ring/Braids bill or a Promise Ring/Braid bill. Must. Not. Finger point. Edit/10.19.11: Just announced—Paino’s just announced a free Saturday afternoon show with Purity Ring + We Are Scientists, among others. Edit/10.20.11: Purity Ring will also be playing the 1:45PM slot in the front room at Brooklyn Vegan’s Saturday party.
Born Gold • Wrinklecarver Oddly enough, Corin Roddick of Purity Ring used to be a member of another band we totally have to see—Born Gold. Formerly named Gobble Gobble, as you can see from our August write-up, we obviously publicly shamed them into changing their name (that same day, no less). Again, these guys are all about the glitch, but with a lot more…testosterone. At least Gobble Gobble was. We’re interested to see if the name change has led to a quiet evolution in the maturity of the band…or if they still throw mini shirtless sweat-soaked raves at their live shows. Only one way to find out! They’ll be playing a free show with the superb Active Child Friday night at Glasslands and then again with the awesomely smoothed out hippie jam band, Delicate Steve Saturday night at Cameo Gallery. Edit/10.20.11: Born Gold will also be playing the 3:00PM slot in the back room at Brooklyn Vegan’s Saturday party.
Keegan DeWitt • Thunder Clatter Despite the fact that Keegan DeWitt is a total dick, the dude can write some hypnotically intoxicating pop music. In fact, it’s because he writes these songs that I seriously cannot stop listening to that I loathe him so. He is like my aural crack dealer. It must stop. It cannot stop. I plan to heckle him loudly at the Canal Room Wednesday night. For free!
We Are Augustines • Chapel Song We first heard Brooklyn’s We Are Augustines this past July and haven’t been able to stop listening since. Their temperamental, emotional music and driving rhythms set a stirring base for vocalist, Bill McCarthy’s, rough, impassioned singing. Can’t wait to catch them at one of their many shows this week. They’ll be headlining at Bowery Wednesday after playing a free show with old-school indie darlings Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Ace Hotel that same day. Then they’ve got free shows at the Living Room Friday evening, at Spike Hill in Brooklyn later that night where they’ll open up for Norwegian synth-posters, Casiokids, and they’ll be playing a TBA time during the afternoon Saturday at Brooklyn Vegan‘s CMJ party at Public Assembly. We’ll update when we hear back on that one, but stay tuned to the less vegan Brooklyn Vegan if we’re not quick enough for ya. Edit/10.20.11: WaA will be playing the 1:25PM slot in the back room at Brooklyn Vegan’s Saturday party. Along with, like, half the bands listed here, it turns out.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs • Garden By all accounts, Orlando Higginbottom is a weird dude. Yes, maybe it’s all simply a ploy to have people write things like ‘Orlando Higginbottom is a weird dude’ and have us all listen to his music, but that doesn’t bother me as I 100% love listening to his music. The oddly named, usually oddly hatted fellow performs under an even more odd moniker—Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs—which weaves tapestries of electro-pop brilliancy that borders on House but is constantly reeled in by Higginbottom’s unsettling deadpan singing. Also, he looks like he’s twelve. We’ll be making sure his hand’s stamped with X’s at Santos Party House Friday, where he plays with about a billion other bands, and at Cameo Gallery Saturday. Edit/10.20.11: TEED will also be playing the 4:30PM slot in the back room at Brooklyn Vegan’s Saturday party.
Gotye • Eyes Wide Open We made a brief mention of Australian artist, Gotye, this past August when we were blown away by his duet with Kimbra (bottom of that blog page). Since then, we’ve been checking the guy out and have very much enjoyed not only listing to his most recent release but also delving into the accomplished musician’s back catalogue. So we were excited to see that he’s traversed the globe to play a free show at smartlounge Thursday, the aforementioned Santos Friday, and opening for Givers and Free Energy—both of whom we love—at Brooklyn Bowl Saturday.
Class Actress • Love Me Like You Used To Brooklyn’s Elizabeth Harper—AKA, Class Actress—releases her debut full-length this week and, from what we’ve heard of it, it’s gonna be hit, we tell ya! A HIT! You can listen to the whole thing and order it over at Insound and she’ll be opening a sold-out show for masters of minimal pop hook, Metronomy at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (RIP, Northsix). Which means we’d advise either hitting up her free show Tuesday night with Cloud Nothings at Public Assembly (RIP, former industrial space) or…eh…at the Union Square Puma Store Thursday afternoon? Maybe there’ll be swag….
Headless Horseman • SH8KR The Brooklyn-via-Allentown duo that makes up Headless Horseman creates bizarre, dreamy, lo-fi music that has a weird way of hooking you with least little musical movement. They’re also contenders for this year’s not-so-coveted Play One Thousand Shows in The Span of Five Days award, won by Oberhofer last year. We’re not even going to bother listing them all—Oh My Rockness once again has you covered.
Wise Blood • Loud Mouths We’re kinda stumped when it comes to trying to describe the music of Wise Blood‘s Chris Laufman. Maybe like if Eminem got really whacked out on shrooms and was convinced he could only rap in whispers lest the electro-demons would eat out his eyes? Something like that. Honestly, you’ve just gotta listen to the stuff, but, love it or hate, you can’t argue against it’s uniqueness. Wise Blood sounds new. And we’re psyched to see what new looks like live. Wise Blood plays with the aforementioned Headless Horsman Tuesday at Cameo, Thursday evening at (le) poisson rouge, then later that same night at the fire-hazaard-y Cake Shop with Brooklyn’s terribly named Cheeseburger, Friday at Piano’s, and then free show at Glasslands Saturday. That last one’s got a free open vodka bar from 8-9, just to make the weird-hop weirder. And more crowded.
Twin Shadow • Changes Finally, Brooklyn’s own Twin Shadow blends the smooth funk of Prince with Bowie’s 80’s-mod croon and rock sensibility. Can’t lose, right? Right. He just released a new single via 4AD Records, which you can listen to above, and will be playing two free shows this week—the first, Wednesday at Santo’s Party House; the second, a Saturday night party at The Standard New York. Also, not to brag, but we totally called Twin Shadow’s awesomeness last July. Just sayin’. We deserve some Puma swag for that or something. Edit/10.20.11: Oh My Rockness just announced another free Twin Shadow show at Converse Rubber Tracks in Williamsburg Thursday night.
That’s it, Reader! If, by chance, you totally hated all those bands, we encourage you to check out Oh My Rockness’ very thorough and very well-updated CMJ list. And yes. We totally want to marry Oh My Rockness. Now get out there and dance!