Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

CMJ Closing

Posted by xneverwherex on November 6, 2006

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Dave & Pete - Birdmonster

Dave & Pete – Birdmonster,
originally uploaded by xneverwherex.

The Annex – Brooklyn Vegan Show – Takka Takka, White Whale
Sin-E – Underrated Show – Birdmonster, Ra Ra Riot, Division Day, The Head Set

Well CMJ came to a close on Saturday, but there were enough shows to keep someone busy all day. I ended up only going to see the day-shows as I just was exhausted from about 20 shows in 4 days. It was rough! But there were no complaints, as I had an amazing time.

Showed up at The Annex just around noon on Saturday morning. It was definitely an interesting experience seeing this club in the light of day. Most people showed up, looking half asleep and/or hungover, with lots of coffee. There were free sparks to definitely help wake up the crowd, and it was needed.

Takka Takka started off the morning. I must say, from the stuff I had heard I was not a big fan, but after seeing them live, it changed my mind. It was a perfect way for the morning to begin, with great melodies, and just a calmness to their whole set. The music all fit together really well, and the band performed a very solid set. It was enough to make me want to go see them again.

Next up was White Whale. I really liked their stuff, but for me it was a bit too loud for 1pm. I’m not sure my body was entirely awake, and the crowd was near packed at this point. It was hard to see at points, and I just found myself thinking about other things. Its definitely a band I’d need to see again, hopefully a bit later.

After a short stroll over to Sin-E, I was on for the best day of CMJ. While neither of these were actually CMJ shows, they still honored CMJ badges, so I’ll call them CMJ shows. Hannah and I arrived at Sin-E, to see the guys of Birdmonster hanging out outside the venue. Friendly as always, they seemed excited. We walked in to catch a handful of songs from The Head Set. The Head Set are a very pop-friendly band, and reminded me at times of U2. Soaring guitars, and great melodies. And what seemed like big songs. It was easy to get into their music. I really wish I had gotten to see more of their set, but that will have to wait for another time. Luckily for me they are NYC band.

Next up – Division Day. I was really excited to see Division Day, as the first time I saw Birdmonster one of the band members was wearing one of their shirts. I had noticed that the two of them play together quite frequently. So, I figured if Birdmonster were big fans of Division Day, I would be one too. And so right I was. The music was easy to get into, and with Pete up front cheering on the guys with such enthusiasm, it was hard to not be enthusiastic with him. They sound very indie pop and could easily be one of the new next big things. Pete joined them for a song onstage helping out with the drums, and it was fun to see everyone jam together.

After that was Ra Ra Riot. I had missed them the night before. The band consists of a violinst and cellist which is pretty cool. They really get into the music and their sound is a nice change from all the other pop. It stands out, and they are talented. Fun, pop music, it was hard not to start dancing. Their cover of “Hounds of Love” from Kate Bush, which also was recently covered by the Futureheads, but the Futureheads version to same. With all the other instruments the song is just beautiful. Granted, The Futureheads do have absolute incredible harmonies on that song, so they are each equally good. I cant wait to see them again.

And finally was Birdmonster. I had spoken with Pete before his set, telling him I had seen him the prior night, and how great the band was. Also was hoping that on a trip to SF, I might be able to see them in their hometown. Its looking very unlikely. Birdmonster is like a huge ball of energy, that just gets bigger and bigger until it has to break and the energy comes flying out at high speeds, full of emotion and intensity. And this describes the band to a tee. The guys have such a great time on stage together, in any picture one sees of them, they always have huge smiles. Its nice to see a band thats really happy to be playing and love what they do. Their set was beyond amazing, and Pete sounded great as always, while Dave was incredible on guitar, Justin solid on bass, and Zach excellent on the drums. Dave really rocked out on the guitar, so into the music feeding off of Justin and Pete’s energy.

All in all, this was by far the best set that I had seen. All the bands were so excited to be playing with each other, that it was a perfect line up.

Which means- how can I afford another trip to SF to see them on NYE?


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