Bell House, Brooklyn
I hate to slap on labels like “buzz” or “bandwagon,” but when every song intro in some way replicates The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and then develops into a more Japandroids concoction, it’s hard not to. The resurgence of, often over-calculated, garage music has fully breached Brooklyn boarders, and New Zealand’s Surf City is wallowing in the flood zone. Though pleasant sounding they lacked innovation, making it harder to appreciate the soothing melodies and hints at surf rock that my ears usually welcome.
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Mercury Lounge, New York City
It’s tough to perform electronic music live. The availability of reliable, touch-sensitive MIDI interfaces has made this somewhat easier, but still, if you don’t have a Daft Punk LED pyramid or a primo sound system it’s difficult to keep people interested if they’re not moving their feet. But when Javelin began setting up their day-glo boom box collection—which they use to amplify their music using an old FM radio transmitter—I thought for sure they’d have a shot a bucking this trend. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Javelin’s 45-minute set was plagued with sound problems that muddied their infectious brand of dance pop from the start. Couple that with a dead audience and Tom Van Buskirk feeling the need to rap-sing over several songs that had no lyrics to begin with and I had had enough. Javelin has a few more CMJ shows this year, but I think they need to take a mulligan on this one.
The chorus of Little Boots’ “Earthquake” announces itself with great fanfare, transitioning abruptly from the verse into a bang-bang shout-along dance floor stomper. While the trappings are there, it lacks a certain exuberance that takes a pop song from catchy to truly memorable. You may sing along, but you won’t be terribly excited about it.
The Bodega Girls
Piano’s, New York City
The Bodega Girls know how to throw a party. Unfortunately, that’s about all they know how to do. While three out of five in the mostly-male-group take turns yelling catch phrases into a microphone, dancing, and playing drums on a computer, only two members play actual instruments. The face paint and general “we only came here to party” attitude did nothing but subvert any noticeable talent these guys had, only adding to the idea that sometimes a basement party should just stay in the basement.
Ten years ago this week:The Eurythmics released their album Peace, their first album since 1989. It delivered two hits, “17 Again” and “I Saved the World Today”. The album was re-released in 2005 with remixes and b-sides. Enjoy the videos of Lennox and Stewart below.
“I Want It All”