Unlike my first day of CMJ, which was well-thought out, Day 2 had no agenda and hoped to pleasantly collide into something good and that i did. Starting with Brooklyn's Zaza at the Cake Shop for the Terrorbird showcase. The trio's shoegaze impressed many in the basement including LA's very own Warpaint, who were on deck to go next. Zaza have just been signed to Kanine Records, who has been very active in signing many of the finest artists at the festival this year, including buzzed artists Surfer Blood, The Depreciation Guild, and local LA faves, Princeton, who are currently touring with Art Brut. After the cake shop, i ventured early to see a free show from one of my favorite new artists this year, New Jersey's Real Estate. No need to get the government involved to help bail out this Real Estate. They are amazing live and will prove to be a permanent fixture in the lo-fi psychedelic indie rock property.
I then went over to the Babelgum/Hype Machine party at the basement of the Santos Party House to catch charismatic young electro-soul emcee Theophilus London. He was pretty captivating on stage, supplemented by sharp production work including a remix of Amadou and Mariam's "Sabali" and Jack Penate's "Pull My Heart Away"..both available for streaming on his myspace page. Midnight Juggernauts, the headliner of the show, were pretty explosive, showcasing a lot of their new material.
If i were to pick another label that is poised for a huge run this year, I'd go with IAMSOUND. I therefore made a sure bet to finish the evening at their showcase at the Bowery Poetry Club, opening the night with New Villager, an unlikely pairing from bedstuy NY, who produce very catchy pop with a great vocal range, comparable to Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio). The rest of IAMSOUNDS hot new signings followed with Apache Beat, a five piece NY dark art-rock outfit in the vein of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who will be featured in their debut release in 2010 and following them were Brooklyn experimental punk rockers Suckers, similair in style to the shower of shouters Wolf Parade. Although this all had made an evening defly worth the price of admission, the last two acts stole the show. London's Golden Silvers won the gold and silver prize for best new act at CMJ thus far. The showcase rightfully finished with LA's very own Fool's Gold, who've been the subject of much talk at the conference. A very patient crowd of hundreds filled the poetry club, withstanding over one hour of sound setup past 1am with over a dozen different mics ensuring the sonic fidelity of the 8-piece afrobeat ensemble. They were in such a groove that they played only a handful of epic jams for over one hour, the last of the bunch culminating in a march through the crowd and onto the streets. This was the final show of their first tour before they return home to LA. Many of the people i had talked to in the crowd has said that this was their second time seeing them in a various opportunity costs. Another new bright star on IAMSOUND's roster, Florence and the Machine were busy on their own tour but will be traveling through NY and LA before the end of the month so be sure to catch them as well.
I was able to capture snippets of the live performances from all of these bands through my new Ultra HD Flip cam, so make sure and go to FoundTrack's CMJ Youtube page to check out our extensive coverage.