WE'RE ON THE SCENE, CATCHING THE NEWEST MUSIC ON THE MARKET, AT BROOKLYN'S CMJ MUSIC FESTIVAL
CMJ 2013 PART 1
Yesterday marked the second day of the CMJ Music Marathon and the performances continued to impress.
Lou Doillon drew an expectedly large crowd to the Highland Ballroom, where she crooned with that famously husky, mournful voice, singing songs about cheating men and jealousy. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Doillon, charming as ever and clutching a coffee cup, entertained the room between songs with requests for “snogging” and dedications to her mother, Jane Birkin.
Further downtown, plaid and paisley ruled the day at a set from Courtney Barnett and her three-piece outfit out of Melbourne. With lyrics channeling the narrative wordiness of Bob Dylan, the tempered enthusiasm of Barnett’s voice played perfectly against the energy of the music, a psychedelic combo of country and folk.
Michael Nau of Cotton Jones, dressed up in head-to-toe denim and topped off with a knit cap, started his set with a half-apology for the “wheels coming off” on a plan to get the whole band in the room. Accompanied by singer Whitney McGraw and a duct taped guitar, it didn’t seem to matter. Nau gave one of the most intimate performances we’ll likely see all week.
The most memorable show we’ve checked out in the last two days was not part of the CMJ official lineup, a fact announced outside of the venue with a handwritten sign screaming “THIS IS NOT A CMJ EVENT.” If you haven’t seen Danish punk band Iceage live yet, it’s time to lock them into your bucket list. With skin like milk and the raging angst of post-adolescence, the band shredded their way into oblivion, presiding over a reverent audience and a thrashing pit. This writer left with ears ringing so badly her jaw hurt—just another successful day at CMJ.
PHOTOGRAPHY JENNY BAHN