Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Holiday Shores, Small Black, Blondes, Best Coast, Surf City @ Cakeshop CMJ Showcase, October 20th, 2009

CMJ 2009! This line-up was too good to pass up... and the price was right... FREE!

I had to leave work early to catch Holiday Shores, but I'm glad I did! They were my favorite of the night! They looked really young (or maybe I'm just getting old!) but that only means they have lots of potential, right? Did I mention their drummer was scary good? Yeah, he is. Not that the rest were bad, they were all good. But the drummer played some really rhythmically complicated beats almost effortlessly. How does he do it? Probably years of practice and instruction. So it's second nature. I'm jealous. =)

Small Black have a nice new record out, and this was a good chance to check 'em out. I really liked their bass player. He's not afraid to play up high on the neck, and he was jumping around, getting into it. They also did it all without a guitarist, only keyboards and samplers, which isn't common. Nice job guys. Keep at it.

Blondes do the whole 2-man-drum-machines-and-synths-into-effects thing very well. Almost to a point where you have no idea how they are doing it. They were LOUD too, which is good for this type of electronica-psych, and to keep the audience at a safe distance. Oh wait, that's not what you want...

Best Coast probably drew the biggest crowd with the pop-iest sound. Bethany Consentino has a nice voice, but I just couldn't get into the band itself. Where's the energy and excitement? Must be all that west coast sun...

Surf City were definitely the most ALT of night. Kinda like if Dinosaur Jr. formed a band today and weren't all depressed and angsty and shit, but still had those big guitars, drone-y vocals, and diy mentality. I think I caught them smokin' weed in the green room before their set. Can you blame them? They're from New Zealand!

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