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Isabel's CMJ Day 3: Timbre, Siblings, and Kendra Morris

For my last night of CMJ, I started at Alphabet Lounge to see Timbre and Siblings. Timbre, a harpist from Nashville, Tennessee, took the stage accompanied by a violinist and drummer - her sound was unparalleled. Seamlessly increasing and decreasing in both dynamics and tempo, Timbre defied what I believed to be true about the harp. Each song had a driving momentum that contrasted with Timbre’s almost angelic voice floating above the instrumentation. Next at Alphabet Lounge was the NYC-based band, Sibling.  Sibling is comprised of six musicians: a guitarist, bassist, saxophonist, drummer, and two vocalists. As a larger group, their music crosses and blends genres; they merge the melodies and articulations of jazz and funk, while the vocalists blend R&B and rap. Although many of their tracks sounded similar, Siblings music undoubtedly makes you groove. From Alphabet Lounge, I headed to Drom and there I saw another NYC-based artist: Kendra Morris (pictured). Morris’ music, a fusion of soul and rock, was sung with control while still demonstrating her expansive range. Luckily, Morris’ voice, an odd mixture of operatic and Amy Winehouse rasp, was enough to distract from her backing track and the one other musician on stage. Nevertheless, there was a command of the space, and audience, that has been rare the past three days of CMJ. - Isabel Rolston

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Zach's CMJ Day 3: Second Child, Ezra Furman, The Grasping Straws, and French Horn Rebellion

Wednesday night at The Bitter End in the West Village started with the understated majesty of New York/Philadelphia quartet Second Child (pictured). Playing warm, folk-inflected songs that found notable beauty with the harmonizing of lead singer Alex DeSimine and bassist Alex Tremitiere, the band subtly moved the listener but didn't forget to straight-up thrill; their funked-up cover of David Bowie's "Fame" enlivened the previously focused crowd, several hoots and shouts flying out. While Dirty Projectors are probably more similar to them, it's exciting to see that Second Child can get loose like The Thin White Duke did on some of his earlier tracks. At Le Poisson Rouge, Oakland/Chicago rocker Ezra Furman finished his set with a gloriously riotous rendition of Arcade Fire's "Crown of Love," the gradual nature of that 'Funeral' standout reverting into sax-backed wildness and the green-haired Furman's lightning-quick guitar picks. Back at the End, New York four-piece The Grasping Straws drifted into slow, drum-marched songs that, particularly with frontwoman Mallory Feuer's drawn-out and bluesy vocals, recalled the lo-fi glory of early Cat Power. Taking their time rather than rushing towards easy shock, these tracks intrigued with their very patience and calm and, perhaps most importantly, were ultimately moving, their tumbling quality enabling the audience to both engage and reflect. Down on the Lower East Side, Brooklyn's French Horn Rebellion sent the evening out with feel-good dance tracks full of both jittering electronics and rubbery horns. Brothers Robert Perlick-Molinari and David Perlick-Molinari wore matching Glasslands T-shirts and, with their hip sways and head bobs, they seemed to throw a party not just for that lost venue but for the institution of live music itself. - Zach Weg  

 





Isabel's CMJ Day 2: Mackenzie Shivers, Lance Breakfast, Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting, and Cardiknox

My second night of CMJ started at DROM in the East Village. The lineup consisted it three NYC-based artists: Mackenzie Shivers, Lance Breakfast, and Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting. Shivers started the night at the piano. Her music can be classified as folk pop, but listening closely, both country and celtic influences animate her melodies. During her track, “Fourth of July,” Shivers' voice, harmonizing with another singer, swamped the venue in a sound that was emotional and authentically beautiful. She was also the pianist for the next two acts: Lance Breakfast stepped onto the stage wearing an NYU t-shirt and strumming on a baby blue guitar - or was that an electric Ukulele? Breakfast’s music floated between genres. His voice, gruff and weighty, suggested folk, but his band's instrumentation, which was clear, organized, and hard-hitting, leaned towards rock n’ roll and blues. Although most of his tracks were consistently up-tempo, I appreciated Breakfast’s slower, quieter, moments. It was only then I could hear his lyrics. Progressing through the night, each act amped up the volume and tempo. So, by the time Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting hit the stage, the audience was ready for some punch. Phillips commanded the stage with wide-eyed theatricalism; while watching him sing track “Born to Be Famous” I couldn't help but think that he made a good case for it. Towards the end the night, I headed west to The Studio at Webster Hall. Up next was Cardiknox, (pictured, who recently moved from NYC to LA) and it was the most fun set of the night. Lead singer, Lonnie Angle, bounced around the stage, and her performance energized me and the audience. Angle’s singing is ethereal and amplified by backup vocals, but there is nothing dreamy about Cardiknox. Almost midnight, Angle yelled into the microphone, “Let’s keep fucking doing this.” Their synth-driven anthems were so energetic and empowering, no one at Webster Hall was wishing they were asleep. - Isabel Rolston





Zach's CMJ Day 2: The Glazzies, Bird Dog, Owel, Controller and Tesha

Wednesday night on the Lower East Side started with unabashed energy as Sag Harbor, New York-hailing duo The Glazzies performed its guitar-stormed tracks at Pianos' Upstairs Lounge. Along with drummer Dave Horn, whose Johnny Cash T-shirt added to the room's ominous yet warm aura, singer Peter Landi broke into tight songs that conveyed the passionate angst of Nirvana while burning the mirror-paneled stage with its own punk fire. Just across the street at Arlene's Grocery, New Jersey quintet Owel delivered a shinier but no less fiery sound, frontman Jay Sakong and his bandmates playing soaring, violin-girded cuts that recalled the grand-rock of Muse but glowed in a unique halo of ferocity and sonority. Fellow five-piece Controller (pictured, scheduled to play our Pianos indie show on Friday) took the bustling Arlene's next, jumping into pop-bubbled rock pieces that almost sounded like Bruce Springsteen beside a synth station. There was also something of '80s dance in these delightfully loud songs, as vividly seen in lead vocalist Jon Bellinger's elastic sways and swoons, the movements of a bashful master of ceremonies. Back at Pianos, the five mustached men of Los Angeles' Bird Dog brought things down to a somewhat calmer notch, their folk-inflected rock songs reaching particular beauty with gliding harmonies and topping the high-ceilinged hall with western sun. New York-via-Israel musician Tesha closed the evening a few blocks away at Fat Baby. Before a wall that had pictures of such hip-hop masters as Tupac, the computer-decked artist dipped into subtly moving fantasias of skipping beats and sputtering synths, almost holding time in a bewitchingly nocturnal instant and then releasing it back into the wee hours of the morning. - Zach Weg

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TONIGHT! The Deli's Pop CMJ stage at The Living Room

Last CMJ 2015 show! It's pop time, who doesn't like pop? C'mon everybody - there will be FREE SWEETWATER BEER from 7 to 8pm!!!

Check out this awesome compilation with a track by each artist performing tonight.

The Deli NYC's Folks

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