[TOUR DIARY] CMJ: Part 3
Saturday, October 25, 2014. Our weekend began with a morning stroll through Brooklyn to Toby's Estate for a coffee with our new friends Horse Thief. We accompanied them to a guitar pedal expo, where we had to admit we were completely overwhelmed by the room full of musos testing out every pedal possible. We ran in to our friends Matt Sucich and a couple of the guys from local bands Rocket and the Ghost and The Parlour Tricks, before we all parted our ways.
On our way to the station we stopped in briefly to Baby's All Right to see Bo Ningen's set. After meeting these guys in LA and continually running in to them at festivals all over the country, we had decided it was about time we properly saw them live. They are a unique band to say the least, and in our slightly exhausted mental states, in the middle of the day on a Saturday, we initially thought it would be too much. Weirdly enough, the combination of their psychedelic priest attire, the slightly creepy energy and wailing from frontman Taigen Kawabe accompanied by the, for want of a better word, epileptic light show made us feel like we'd momentarily stepped in to another dimension.
Stepping back out in to the daylight was a strange sensation. But we eventually gained the use of our eyes and ears again and headed back over to the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
This part of the afternoon we decided to briefly dedicate to Nicola's homeland - Australia. It felt unnatural to spend a good part of the day in a dark room, but yet again we descended down in to the basement of Cake Shop to see Dune Rats. Sometimes I (Nicola speaking) slightly lose touch of what it is to be stereotypically Aussie, or perhaps have forgotten what people here in the US think of us Antipodeans. These guys, no DUDES, made me feel right at home, and it helped slightly that Triple J's Scott Dooley was in the audience. The Brisbane three piece joked their way through their set, thanked their manager or agent for keeping them sufficiently plied with alcohol during their visit to New York, and admitted to being 'pretty wasted' before one of them threw himself dramatically across the concrete floor in an overambitious guitar solo feat. MATE.
Grabbing a quick dollar slice on the way, we headed over to the Aussie BBQ at The Delancey. While there we bumped in to our friends OXBLVD and Ernest Ellis, and learned that among the CMJ crowd, the Aussie BBQ showcase was, every year, the place to go to get day drunk. How appropriate. The leafy rooftop provided the perfect haven for having a beer and a moment to breathe before our night showcase.
We headed over to Arlene's Grocery to set up for our evening showcase with Siren Sounds PR, grab a can of Sixpoint and await the bands and night crowd. The show kicked off with Brooklyn sweethearts Darling Din, who we chatted to about some of their favourite local spots, as well as the lovely artwork featured on their album covers, website and press material. From then on the night was a whirlwind of faces, bands, bodies, friends and great music.
We're delighted to say that during The Peach Kings set, the venue was at full capacity and there was a line around the corner to get into the venue. It's certainly a rewarding experience to walk away from a show and know that the venue, bands and audience were all incredibly satisfied; to have everything run so smoothly that we had time to enjoy the night with everyone who helped make it possible, it a success in itself.
Sunday, October 26, 2014. We decided we had definitely earned a Sunday brunch with our friends at CMJ after a week of running around the city non-stop, not to mention the many weeks of organisation preceding the festival. Afterwards we ambled over to the M.Carter store for some beers and a burger from the infamous grill bike. We briefly thought we had lost our minds when we saw a dog dressed in an alligator costume walking along the street, but further investigation lead us to stumble across a dog Halloween costume competition in McCarren Park. Only in Brooklyn, I guess.
After a brief encounter with a furry Madonna, we went back to our now-local-haunt Baby's All Right and caught the tail end of Juan Wauters, who has been causing a bit of a stir although to be honest we're still not entirely sure why. We ran in to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who were all feeling a bit fragile after celebrating Stu's birthday the night before. They put on a relaxed set with just three of them on stage this time, a very different feel to the last time we had seen them as a full band, but very welcome on a Sunday afternoon as a way to nurse everyone's CMJ hangover (the free PBR's probably helped). They sang a song about "Vegemite" before their friends brought a cake on stage for Stu and everyone in the room sang him Happy Birthday, before the cake ended up all over Stu's face. He played the rest of the set with icing smeared all over his face. Pro.
After this, our sheer exhaustion caught up with us and we ambled back home along the waterfront, enjoying a gorgeous sunset and feeling like we had well and truly DONE CMJ.