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Friday, Oct 23, 2009
by Caroline Shadood
The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival invades New York City this week. Here's the latest from PopMatters' writers on the beat.

Paleo
Partisan Records Showcase
Bowery Ballroom, New York City
The subtle, wiry tunes of David Strackany (aka Paleo) launched the Partisan Records showcase at the Bowery Ballroom last night.  Reminiscent of the late Eliott Smith, Paleo’s warbly, delicate vocals stood out against his charmingly modest demeanor, also reminiscent of M. Ward or a less jarring Conor Oberst.  Privileged onlookers parked themselves on the floor and were treated to an array of poetic acoustic sounds with torchy hints aplenty.


 


 


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Friday, Oct 23, 2009
The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival invades New York City this week. Here's the latest from PopMatters' writers on the beat. Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

Male Bonding
Piano’s, New York City
The Windish Agency showcase was eclectic in sound and personality, but it didn’t begin with Male Bonding.  The UK trio’s rhythm section was tight and its drummer rigorous, propelling their songs at Slayer-speed.  Vocals and intonation were at odds, but that seemed to be their MO.  Sadly their dejected attitude made it seem like they were just trying to finish the set at soon as possible. Above it all, loud guitars and racing beats—not entangled pitch, however—made for a respectable opening.



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Friday, Oct 23, 2009
The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival invades New York City this week. Here's the latest from PopMatters' writers on the beat.

Emmanuel & the Fear
The Living Room, New York City
It takes a lot of ambition to write rock songs that could serve as the score for a dramatic opera, but Brooklyn’s Emmanuel & the Fear do not shy away from it, nor do they fail to live up to the task.  Intricate arrangements for an 11-piece rock orchestra are the driving force behind this band, which provide the groundwork for passionately sung lyrics.  After only a year and a half together, it’s quite a feat to be at such a level of talent, and this accidental audience member is glad the Living Room’s schedule ran 45 minutes late so he could catch the show.


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Friday, Oct 23, 2009
The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival invades New York City this week. Here's the latest from PopMatters' writers on the beat.

YACHT
DFA Records Showcase
Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn
“We are the new stepchildren of DFA,” is how Jona Bechtolt put it, and he’s right on the money.  The guts and gusto of his band are at times obviously distilled from his label’s parental figure, LCD Soundsystem, but only some of those elements worked.  Chunky industrial kick drum sounds: yes; Travolta-in-Grease programming thereof: no.  Some of the group’s lineage here is questionable, and although mutts typically make great pets, that doesn’t mean you should bother trying to mate a lab with a marmot.


 


James Murphy
DFA Records Showcase
Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn
Uh oh, papa’s home.  I’m still a little astonished that I didn’t spend Murphy’s entire DJ set wishing it was an LCD Soundsystem performance
instead, but he arrived swinging hard with glitzy house, falsetto-laden nu-disco, and golden time capsule obscurities.  Montana Sextet, anybody?  Predictably, the younger contingent bum-rushed the door the moment he started upstaging his new protégés. Let’s hope they stick around next time. I’ll need a crowd for cover in order to get away with stealing his iPod.


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Thursday, Oct 22, 2009
The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival invades New York City this week. Here's the latest from PopMatters' writers on the beat. Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

Free Energy
Santos Party House, New York City
“This is all we got tonight,” sang Free Energy in raggedy, homespun harmonies.  It was the sentiment, however, not the vocals, which resonated in their early set.  They played an agreeable synthesis of classic, at times psychedelic, rock (two raging, and dueling, Epiphone Les Pauls) and post-punk dance music (propulsive rhythms and a skinny, dancing front man), instantly becoming the best bar band around without even playing a cover.  Whether their sound could convince a dance floor is dubious, despite their tambourine and cowbell qualifications.  As new additions to the DFA family, though, I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong reasonably soon.



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