Music Festival

Recap: CMJ 2014 (Favorite Shows and Photos)

By Will Oliver, November 13th 2014

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This year’s CMJ came and went as fast as ever. Going into the fest, I didn’t know what to expect. I ended up leaving pretty surprised about how much great music I saw. (Hell, we even threw our own showcase)

Somewhere in between the various free drinks of alcohol and catch up sessions with friends and fellow music lovers, I found time to catch a bunch of sets of music (almost 40 to be exact). From fresh-faced bands trying to make it, to the more established acts who just happened to be in town for more “official” showcase. From the insanity of Fat White Family’s live show, to the return of Slowdive, there was no shortage of quality music being performed live.

You can find all the show coverage sprinkled through the last few pages of the blog, but here were some of my favorite performance from CMJ 2014, as well as some of my favorite photos that resulted.
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[CMJ 2014]: Fat White Family at Baby’s All Right (October 26, 2014)

By Will Oliver, November 11th 2014 — with 1 comment

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It was only 11 hours or so that I caught Fat White Family at Baby’s All Right during the day, yet I found myself catching another set from them at nearly 2 a.m.

The daytime set was absolutely insane, with frontman Lias Saoudi crowd-surfing to the ceiling, and halfway masturbating while performing. Yet, all that was somewhat contained to the band’s part 2 effort at Baby’s. With the sun down, all bets were off. The show featured some half naked crowdsurfing from Lias, which eventually led to him stripping his boxers off, and jumping back into the crowd. During all this madness Har Mar Superstar suddenly showed up on stage, in a rather fitting turn of events. It would seem random, but at a show like this, it made way too much sense.
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Throughout this year’s CMJ Festival, I heard plenty of good praise from many people I trust about a band called Sunflower Bean. As it turned out they were a Brooklyn band who had taken full advantage of their surroundings to create quite a stir during the fest.

I caught a late night set from the group on Saturday night at Baby’s All Right, and as it turned out, everyone was right: these guys ruled. The three-piece of Julia Cumming (vocals/bass), Nick Kivlen (vocals/guitar) and Jacob Faber (drums) delivered gritty fuzz guitar riffs that meant business. Sunflower Bean delivered the kind of dirty punch that I hoped for during a late night set that bled into the early morning.

They got a whole bunch of upcoming live dates around the city, be sure to check them out if you can.
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[CMJ 2014]: Slowdive at Terminal 5 (October 25, 2014)

By Will Oliver, November 11th 2014 — with 1 comment

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What a better way to head towards the finish line of the epic marathon that is CMJ than with the NYC live return of beloved British shoe-gaze rockers Slowdive? Add on an opening set from Low, and you had one of the best bills that you would find during the entire CMJ festival. The epic double bill went down at Terminal 5 on Saturday October 25, for a truly unforgettable live experience.
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[CMJ 2014]: Fat White Family at Baby’s All Right (October 25, 2014)

By Will Oliver, November 10th 2014 — with 2 comments

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I’ve heard many different things, from many different sources about Fat White Family. The British group have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the most polarizing figures to come out of the scene in some time. All I knew about them was that they can get naked at their live shows, and that they had less than kind words to say about Alex Turner. So going into their performance at Baby’s All Right for Brooklynvegan’s free day party, I really had no idea quite what to expect.
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White Fence released new album For the Recently Found Innocent this past July (via Drag City).

Recently live White Fence frontman Tim Presley has incorporated Cate Le Bon into their lineup. This was news to me until I caught the group at Baby’s All Right for Brooklynvegan’s free Saturday party. It was a laid back smokey performance, a little different than I anticipated but still a good experience.

Find photos from the performance posted below.
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Hot rising Swedish pop trio Kate Boy finally stopped into New York City to delight audiences during CMJ. Although these U.S. shows are some of their first ever, the shows felt like they belonged to an artist that had been here before. That’s because in a short period of time Kate Boy have delivered unstoppable pop song, after unstoppable pop song. After one listen to “Self Control” I was hooked, eagerly awaiting more. They’re surely ones to watch.

Live the group is led by vocalist Kate Akhurst, who was all smiles as she belted out the lyrics to the groups sweet pop anthems. While “Self Control” is their biggest anthem to date, it’s not their only one. They only have a handful of songs so far, but all of them are potential singles in their own right.

We can most likely expect to see Kate Boy’s debut album sometime in 2015. Based on what I heard at the Knitting Factory that Friday night, it’s going to be one of the best pop albums that you’ll find all year.
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