TSI CMJ 2012 Recap: Tuesday
Words & Photos by: Eleni Psaltis
The breeze has finally chilled, the jackets are out, and the fitted flannels are buttoned up. To most, these descriptions are that of autumn – but to New York music feigns, this is only a clear indication that another particular season has rolled around – none other than CMJ 2012.
Local Fordham radio station and tastemaker WFUV hosted a showcase at The Living Room in the Lower East Side on Tuesday evening. Copenhagen artist Indians opened the evening center stage to a crowd that was hanging on the end of every note. Although Indians only appeared as one person (Søren Løkke Juul), he is self-described as a musical alter ego band. And he sure does sound the part. Indians produced their multi-instrumental sound this evening through an obscure combination of various patterns on a loop, two keyboards, and an acoustic guitar. Indians’ lyrics are parallel to the mystical airy feeling that they provide (lyrics follow as “Everything floats…every sound disappears”). Playing to a room full of music industry folk and music junkies, Indians easily captivated the crowd not only for the music, but for the sole purpose that this one man was creating song after song that was reflective of at least five musicians. Now that is a sight to see.
INDIANS // SOUNDS LIKE: The smiling product of a wide-ranged James Mercer, experimental air sounds, and the echoing lyrical spirit of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver).
INDIANS // WHAT’S NEXT: Indians is currently touring through December. 4AD will be releasing Indians will be releasing debut album Somewhere Else on January 29th, 2013.
Indians website: http://www.heyiamindians.com/
Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore took the stage after Indians. The band was on top of the world, as they should have been considering they had released their latest album Our Nature the day of their CMJ performance (check it out on Spotify here). The band began with a gentle, almost fragile, song and then scored the crowd’s hearts (and shoes – everyone was dancing) during the second song. Deidre Muro, half of the electro-pop duo, sings each word with such conviction that it’s difficult to not believe every word whole heartedly. By the third song, the band had the crowd singing along and raising their arms in the air with them (“You are the loveliest creature that I have ever seen”). As their six-song set concluded, the Living Room was packed with a plethora of new fans.
SAVOIR ADORE // SOUNDS LIKE: Throw in a dash of GIVERS, a sprinkle of St. Lucia, a taste of Tennis, harmonious synth pop, and supreme charm and you’ll end up with Savoir Adore.
SAVOIR ADORE // WHAT’S NEXT: The band will continue touring through the end of the month in support of their new album Our Nature.
Savoir Adore Website: http://www.savoiradore.com/home.html
Keeping the theme of playing a CMJ showcase the day of an album release (On A Ride), New York quartet Wax Poetic took the stage with a vibe completely different than that of their precedents’. With a funky female bassist, a fun drummer (clad with a never-ending smile and a polka dot shirt), and an expressive guitarist, Wax Poetic is led by R&B singer Sissy Clemens. Wax Poetic is a perfect illustration of what WFUV itself is – there’s no simple genre, but the music is an eclectic blend of a smoky yet folky voice with harmonies of a soulful acoustic guitar. Wax Poetic sounded most comfortable in an R&B skin with their second song of the set “No Escape.”
WAX POETIC // SOUNDS LIKE: Amy Winehouse’s smoky pipes, Jose James’ sexual R&B vibes, Jessie Baylin’s articulation, and Alicia Keys’ notebook had a party. The morning after? Wax Poetic.
WAX POETIC // WHAT’S NEXT: The band has seen its days around New York, and isn’t planning on stopping any time soon.
The headliner of WFUV’s CMJ showcase was Dublin group Little Green Cars. Fitting seven people onto the stage of the Living Room is a miracle in itself, let alone trying to do it on your first show ever in New York City. The septuplet, led by female powerhouse Faye O’Rourke, humored the audience with stories on the many burgers in America and how they have “burger belly” since commencing this tour. With the wails of O’Rourke complimented by the harmonies of both voices and guitars of her counterparts, Little Green Cars create a sound that would fit comfortably in what has been popular in the folk community this year. Their set included their striking song “Please,” which has all of the ingredients of a buzz band – an airy guitar, a strong folk female lead, echoing harmonies, and a large band (see: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes).
LITTLE GREEN CARS // SOUNDS LIKE: Gwen Stefani circa “Don’t Speak” and Grace Slick time travelled to the 21st century, grabbed Kathleen Edwards and Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards, The Head and the Heart, a couple of the guitarists from Mumford and Sons and Real Estate and took a trip to Dublin.
LITTLE GREEN CARS // WHAT’S NEXT: The band is wrapping up their US tour at the end of the month and is preparing for the release of their debut album, produced by Markus Dravs (Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Coldplay), which is due out early next year.
Check out “The John Wayne”: CLICK HERE
At 10pm, I headed over to Arlene’s Grocery to catch New Orleans rock fusion group The Revivalists at Easy Apple, BBiB Records & The Vinyl District’s showcase. The second I saw the pedal steel and the saxophone, I knew this wasn’t going to be just another Tuesday night at Arlene’s. Though their studio albums are pretty decent, the Revivalists are the type of band that albums won’t do justice for – they need to be experienced live. They represent the essence of the Big Easy – they live in the moment and make sure that no one will ever forget it.
Front man David Shaw exploded onto the stage, answering fans’ prayers with the song “Concrete,” that everyone (ages 21- 60) seemed to know the words to. Throughout the first song alone there was a saxophone solo, a duel between guitars, and a roaring Shaw to top it all. Everything about Shaw is reflective of the typical lead singer – from his Perry Farrell-like stage presence to his high cheekbones. What separates Shaw from the likes of Farrell and Adam Levine is his integrity. He engages the crowd insures that the performance that the Revivalists give isn’t just that – it is a full-blown experience.
The musicianship and immediate camaraderie between members from the first song poured out into the crowd and didn’t cease for the remainder of their set, which included original songs “Not Turn Away,” new track “Monster,” “Criminal,” and “Get Low.” Saxophonist Rob Ingraham, guitarist Zack Feinberg, and pedal steel guitarist Ed Williams took control of the stage as Shaw jumped into the crowd during their finale of “Get Low.” The evening was a depiction of southern hospitality at its finest.
THE REVIVALISTS // SOUNDS LIKE: Robert Randolph and the Family Band if they were born in the French Quarter, dipped in a Florida swamp, and twisted with Adam Levine.
THE REVIVALISTS // WHAT’S NEXT: The Revivalists will be taking the east coast by storm – rocking venues through November. What show not to miss? Catch them at Brooklyn Bowl (which hosts similar bands like Turkuaz and Robert Randolph) on November 16th.
The Revivalists Website: http://www.therevivalists.com/