Rules for the wise (and no, I didn’t comply with any on round 1).
1. Do NOT drink! -besides the cost that might make you broke, it could be a lot longer of a night than expected. and being drunk when theres 5 more bands to go, is not a good thing.
2. Expect the unexpected. – I showed up so early, I ended up seeing some band Extra Blue Kind, and they were AWESOME! I was also the ONLY one there. I also ended up getting an invite from someone at the label to go to a party! wahoo!
3. Have a back-up plan/schedule. If you really need to see one band, you might be missing out on a few others if your schedule is too tight.
4. Bring lots of money, if you want CDs, merch, etc.
5. Bring a camera.
6. EARPLUGS, EARPLUGS, EARPLUGS! – do not leave home without them. There are probably a ton of other shows you will be going to, you dont want ringing ears after your first show.
7. Most importantly, have fun!
i showed up insanely early. i have no clue how i ended up getting there so early, but i caught an early show. and i was the ONLY one at the show. the band was really f’ing good. called extra blue kind. i met two other people there, who worked for the label and got invited to a party tonight. they really want me to show up tonight, because theres free food. LOL. so i might. the band was excited i had come. that was interesting. check them out. by far the best band i saw last night. and the one i had no clue about. just randomness! welcome to CMJ.
then — i had like 30 mins to kill. so i went up to the bar. and man its bad to drink on an empty stomach. i got pretty trashed but the drinks were good. id have drank all night talking to the bartender, but then id have been crawling home. the bartender was pretty cool. he was telling me how he was moving to LA, went to UCLA, and we were talking about the music scene out there. and how it was when we were in college. he was surprised when i said i graduated in 1996. he made the comment , oh my god i was still in high school. i said ‘ god damn, now i feel really old’.
so then the first band came on. met some chick at the show who was really into them. chris garneau. i guess it was just the singer, but he has a full band backing him up. playing everything from the cello, keyboards, and other random instruments. it was a very mellow set, but great music. the band seemed pretty excited to be there.
then next up was some girl/guy pairing. that was interesting. i couldnt really get into their music. was again, very mellow. and both of them sang. apparently they were asked last minute to play a short set, and they hadnt played in over a year. no clue who they were, as they never formally introduced themselves. a pet peeve of mine – when musicians/bands play, say your name a few times. We’d like to remember you, and when seeing a ton of bands, we may not remember each and every band who is playing.
then finally – back to the bands i wanted to see. first the affair. that was an awesome set. the lead singer reminded me of blondie. she had this incredible voice and was really into it. Dancing the entire time, talking to the crowd, her excitement of being there shined through. Surprisingly enough, they were from New York, which I had no idea. Very indie/rock music. Another woman played the keyboards, and 3 guys made up the rest of the band. The whole band seemed to feed off each other, which made it all the better. They should have played a lot longer.
Then my final show – because everything was running over an hour later than was expected. a 9:30 show started close to 11pm and there were still 2 more bands after that one. or possibly one. i have no clue, as it wasnt really said why someone was added, but no mention anywhere. So Get Him Eat Him was last. Now this is who I really wanted to see. And from their songs I had heard I was hoping for some really catchy indie pop music ala Weezer. Stuff to dance to, sing along with, but hearing them live was a different story. They just didnt have that pop vibe to them, which meant some of that catchiness that drew me to them was long gone. The guys were entertaining – making jokes only fitting for CMJ. The comment – well I guess you guys were the ones who couldnt get into the Knife show. No one said a thing, no laughs, guffaws, nada. Clearly a lot of the crowd were big followers, or just friends of the band, as they dedicated a song to a friend of theirs. A lot of people were coming in/out of the show, and seemed unimpressed. The guitarist, in gym shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt, definitely stood out.
I think at any one time the most R&R had were 30-40 people. Some bands had hardly anyone out there, and at times i felt bad. R&R should be the next hot spot for bands to play. An amazing club in the meatpacking district. Has that swanky feeling, of this new modern/posh bar/club, but the clientele is anything but. I guess its more the indie/hipster scene. It has cube chairs all around. and then lots of tables/couches with mirrors in the different rooms. the stage for the bands is similar to the mercury but an even higher stage. they have their own backroom for all their instruments, and it has this cool curtain they close after each set. the drinks are typical prices for that area, meaning to steep for my blood. its a good thing i didnt stay at the bar, if so id have been begging the bartender for free drinks.