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CMJ 2009: Day 4 - Common Loon + Motel Motel

Jonathan Kosakow

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

Common Loon

The Bell House, Brooklyn

The White Stripes and Black Keys trend of a guitar plus drums duo extends to Common Loon. Using The Cure and Nirvana as sonic examples, the two members of Common Loon write simple “alt rock” tunes. No wailing guitar solos, no foot-stomping drums, no standout vocals, just distorted chords, muffled vocals and straight-ahead drum beats. Not that these guys aren’t talented or pleasurable to listen to, but they don’t bring anything particularly new or exciting to the table--and watching them bring it is kind of boring.

Motel Motel

The Bell House, Brooklyn

Now this is what a rock band should be! Haphazardly dressed, unshaven, not worried about it, and only thinking of how to fill the room with noise that might make you move or listen harder. Motel Motel come from Brooklyn with a (finally!) new and innovative modern rock sound, taking influences from across the board (without giving you a direct hint as to which board.) Technically gifted, each member has an equal intimate knowledge of what they’re doing and is excited about doing it, shuffling around the stage like music is the only thing they know how to do.

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