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CMJ 2009: Day 4 - Tickley Feather + Dent May

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Monday, Oct 26, 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.

Tickley Feather
Paw Tracks Showcase
Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn
The fizzy lo-fi of Annie Sachs, a.k.a. Tickley Feather, enchanted audience members at the small-space high-ceilinged Cameo Gallery on Friday.  Alongside four other Paw Tracks greats, and her self-proclaimed biggest fans (members of Animal Collective) in attendance, Sachs churned out eerie, whimsical electro bringing to mind Tracy + the Plastics with a great deal more subtlety.  Her live vocals are a different story from her records—otherworldly—even Kate Bush or Emilíana Torrini-esque, and expertly placed over budget electronics.  It was a treat to hear Sachs’ voice stand out, unadulterated.  Her tone is that of experience while her live sound remains light and accessible, however, with two bizarre albums under her belt, I’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear what fanciful direction Tickley Feather is capable of going next.



  
Dent May
Paw Tracks Showcase
Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn
Dent May (and his magnificent ukulele) plays drippy bistro pop reminiscent of the Beach Boys, Morrissey, and perhaps the downtrodden lovechild of Herman Düne and Jens Leckman.  His cheerful sound can come off as a bit campy, but it’s so saturated with musical quirks and twists it is impossible not to, at the very least, crack a smile while listening.  My favorite Mississippi crooner seemed a bit wound up and generally annoyed while playing a headlining set with a full band on Friday’s Paw Tracks performance.  Perhaps this is May’s perma-disposition, but it was hard to feel as engaged with the showman’s irresistible tunes as I wanted to be.  Maladroit demeanor aside, Dent May’s stand-out songs included “You Can’t Force a Dance Party” and “Howard,” and his rendition of “I’m an Alcoholic” was enhanced tenfold by the drunk girl spilling her beer all over my leg.  Win.


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