CMJ 2009

Day 3 - Male Bonding + Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt + Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers

by Thomas Hauner

23 October 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
Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt at Piano's 

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.

Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt
Piano’s, New York City
Where do I begin?  The music:  there was none.  Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt relied on their trusty iPod Touch, trading instruments for wardrobes.  Not to worry though because they brought enough costumes for everyone.  Including scuba-eating sharks, a human light signal, and a “Spiderman number two costume that is still up for grabs!”  While some might dismiss Terror Pigeon as costumed clusterfuck karaoke (not unlike what Dan Deacon was trying to achieve on his most recent tours), Neil Fridd’s electronic anthems are euphoric;  “We’re alive, we’re in love, we’ve got hope just because.”  The overall result: ridiculous, blissful mayhem that was hard not to love—except for the few uncomfortably walking out.

Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers
Piano’s, New York City
Shilpa Ray sang like the bar-room brawler implied in her band’s name.  In between primal screams Ms. Ray’s throaty alto emulated Patti Smith’s assertive ethos.  Still, she innocently sounded off each song, “One, two, three, go” before launching into another scathing blues number.  Her irreverent rock is at once disarmed and catalyzed by her harmonium, which stood front and center.  While her left hand pumped the right twisted funereal melodies all backed by a thunderous rhythm section.

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