The Luaka Bop showcase was just what CMJ needed as the week began to wind down. Instead of taking things seriously, Christmas decorations were placed all over Santos Party House, Tropicalia jams were on the stereo, and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt was about to commence with less of a performance, and more of a dance party. These guys were concerned with nothing but a positive message and having a good time; a massive amount of relief in a week of bands taking themselves extremely seriously. Basically chanting one-liners and dancing around the room in every costume you can possibly think of, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt involved everyone in the audience. It was by far the most fun CMJ has seen so far, and I’m beginning to think this is the kind of set that will be remembered over all the rest.
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After a full day of watching music, it’s often difficult to fully appreciate the last thing you see, which is why I’m going to be fair to the Noisettes. After a few songs, they couldn’t hold my interest anymore, and it’s not because they were bad, but because the liquor induced haze had worn off and my body was failing me. As I was walking out, I actually considered staying as they started to play a ballad (I believe it was “Break Free”), and Shingai Shoniwa’s voice sounded better than I think I’d ever heard it sound before. But Noisettes operate better when they infuse elements of soul music into their songs. The whole artsy punk thing doesn’t quite work in their favor, but when the hooks present themselves, they do so in the same fashion that soul music plays on a hook. And that, despite my tired demeanor, is a compliment in the highest regard.
U-God is the Wu-Tang member that probably gets the least respect out of any of them. Last night at Santos Party House, I figured out why. Has this guy not been paying attention to anything in hip-hop for the past decade? His beats are beyond bland and his rhyming is sub-par compared to everyone else in Wu Tang these days. He kept talking about his new record coming out, and by the end of the show I was wishing he would never release it. Not moving from his position center stage the entire time, by the end of his set it felt like a Republican preaching to an audience of Democrats—nobody gave a damn what he was saying.
Implementing more into their sound than just metal influences, these guys find glory in the use of guitar pedals to design their sound, building thrashing power chords into layers of hell-infused volume. Drummer Dale Nixon fills more space than I think I’ve ever seen anyone fill with a kit that minimal—the perfect metal drummer. Being Brooklyn residents, they had one of the larger crowds of the night and everyone was left in some kind of volume-induced trance. After the set, there was no way you could talk to the person next to you or even communicate with the bar tender unless you physically pointed to whatever you wanted.
These guys scared the crap out of me. I forgot how loud music can get, and yeah it was like an actual herd of bison coming at you full force through those speakers. Never banking too much on guitar solos, this East Vancouver quartet used the power of numbers to play as loud and hard as possible, with their constant interplay providing some of the best low-end riffage I’ve heard in recent years. On their MySpace under the “sounds like” section it says, “Your heart exploding in your chest.” My ears are still ringing the morning after.
// Sound Affects
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