After keeping it chill on Day 2, we were properly rested and ready to take on Days 3 & 4 of CMJ, which were full of surprises at every corner.
Day 3: Torres, Heavenly Beat, Pity Sex, The Internet, Marijuana Deathsquads, Rey Pila
You know of those nights where you have five different plans and you want to execute them all perfectly, and then you end up backstage with a trill band from Los Angeles, you realize you exceeded your own expectations? Yeah, that was my second night of CMJ. Geared with a charged phone, I headed first to Pete’s Candy Store to check out Torres, as part of our quest of bands with latino names who AREN’T. Sure enough, Torres was a chick named Mackenzie from Nashville who crooned and wailed on her guitar. I was the brownest person in the converted train cart and definitely the only one Instagramming. Mackenzie payed homage to her grandfather who was a first generation Mexican-Spaniard. Kudos! Next up I headed to Glasslands to listen to underwhelming bands who I chose to forget. The real highlight of my evening was making my way to the front of the far-too-long line at Fader Fort. I don’t hate the game tho–where there is free rum, we will come.
Once inside, I was the classy chick double-fisting Captain Morgan and singing along to Odd Future member and The Internet frontwoman Syd Tha Kyd. White tee, no shoes, moving her body as effortlessly as her voice, The Internet’s neo-soul easy sounds had everyone grooving and swooning. After their set, I stealthily made my way to the green room where I got the chance to chat to all The Internet members including Tay Walker, Matt Martian (founder of Odd Future and maverick on the keys) and Tha Kyd herself. Drinks were poured for me (“Stefa’s getting down with us” said Tay), toasts were made to the talent present in the room, and I snapped away with my black and white camera. For a moment in time, I was part of this dope little family. – Stefa Alarcon
First stop, I headed over to Cameo Gallery just in time to catch Heavenly Beat, the project of Beach Fossils’ John Peña. His calm vocals and electro-pop sound transported me onto a yacht off of a Mediterranean coast, or maybe that was the multiple open bar rum drinks from Fader Fort settling in. Either way, I happily swayed myself over to Grand Victory, where I stood front and center for the fuzzy, distorted set of Pity Sex. The small bar was teeming with testosterone and roaring guitar riffs, which brought out my 90s angst kid. While charging my phone on their stage (no shame in this game), the speakers nearly blew my ears off so I headed back to meet with my team at Fader Fort. Once back in, we slid in right in time for The Internet, who if you haven’t heard them, are amazing. This band rolls with Odd Future crew and feature the smooth vocals of the beautiful, androgynous Syd Tha Kid, finished with 80s synth beats,neo-soul, trip-hop and all around deliciousness. The night then continued on to the confusing sounds of Marijuana Deathsquads which I guess was to be expected of a band called Marijuana Deathsquads. – Daniela Cabrera
What happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday? I must accept the fact that I’m getting old. I can no longer be out two nights in a row and expect to be fully fir for wortk the morning after (except when I’m away from NY). Feeling the effects of lack sleep, booze and long work hours, I only had Rey Pila‘s show on my agenda. I was really glad to find energy to see the show because they offer a taste of their new upcoming album and I got meet a gorgeous and talented photographer from Dominican Republic Hilda Pellerano. – Joel Moya
Day 4: Deerhunter, Puff Daddy, Cashmere Cat, Purity Ring,
I spent the work day coping with my hangover but alas, we had one night left! With our chilled drinks in hand at Fader, Stefa and I went up to the front where the surprise guest was Deerhunter. I was sashaying away when the scent of Ciroc and dolla bills wafted by to witness P. Diddy walk on stage to introduce his “favorite band out of ATL.” After I blacked out for about 3 seconds, Deerhunter played a beautiful set and we set back out into the BK night. The following is what happened when we told City Editor Andrea Gompf of the situation:
Up for adventure, we wandered to Williamsburg’s newest venue, Baby’s All Right, for the This Is How We Do It showcase. We walked in for the end of Purity Ring’s DJ set to prepare for Cashmere Cat. When we say a venue was hot, this time we actually mean like Hell’s basement engulfed by the flames of a thousand suns. After sweating our lives away to trap/bass/pop edits, we salvaged whatever eyeliner and bobbypins we had left to make our final stop at The Flat. We dropped it to trap music before our legs could no longer, and at 3:30 a.m Saturday morning on Union Avenue, my CMJ experience came to a close. – Daniela Cabrera
Getting some sleep was essential in order to accomplish Friday’s marathon. I got to see 8 different bands, in 4 different venues. As I exited the last venue, I saw a familiar face; it was one of the band members of that Australian band I checked out 2 days ago. I kinda fanned-out and I told him that I liked their performance and headed West in search of a pizza shop. I wish I had a voice recorder to record how an Aussie and Dominican guy with really thick accent were trying to understand each other. – Joel Moya