This past Saturday the Life or Death CMJ Showcase went down at the 92YTribeca. Many a people boasted it would not be one to miss, so I didn’t… miss the first half.
Jozef Van Wissem got the party started with his mad lute skills. Yeah that’s right. I never thought I would see someone whip out a lute during this particular showcase but Mr. Wissem did, and he killed it. He likes to keep it purely instrumental; no vocal distractions or synth sonatas; just the man and his lute.
Next, in complete contradiction to the sounds that warmed the stage, came SLUG GUTS. They’re so good they deserve all caps. Their sound is reminiscent of the early 80′s post-punk goodness. Like Joy Division if they were more angry than depressed, with a bit of The Cramps’ lead Lux Interior coming from Slug Guts lead Jimi Kritzler. Since their music is so gritty it has the potential to be sloppy live and being a fairly new band I was worried, but they sounded even better live than recorded. Check out their most recent album “Playing in Time with the Deadbeat”.
Photo credit: Leila Morrissey
Recorded, Mac Demarco sounds like some sort of David Bowie lovechild (listen to Rock and Roll Night Club, Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans.) Live, however, him and his band resemble more of an after-work jam band, rather than a baby Bowie. A really good and humorous jam band, though. You can tell he really enjoys being onstage and getting little hipster moshpit’s going (yeah that really happened.) He also likes to talk about the sucking of his cock a lot. At this point MGMT’s bassist could be seen observing the scene, though he bailed right before Sky Ferriera. Smart man.
I expected to be disappointed by Sky Ferriera. Not because she was going to suck but because her catchy ass songs would lure me in and I’d like it but not want too. I did end up being disappointed by Sky, but only because she truly was disappointing. You can’t deny she actually can sing, but she just sounded like she was karaoking to her own music. Despite the utter pop-ness of her most notable singles, live she sounded way more punk rock than you’d expect, which could be nice and I hope she develops that some more, but on Saturday it wasn’t all there yet. She also has this blonde-chick-from-Gossip-Girl-decides-to-launch-a-music-career-and-a-heroine-addiction-at-the-same-time thing going on. It probably works in her favor a lot, but it didn’t on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Mindy Bond
After that some other people did their thing: Maria Minerva, Kilo Kish, Dog Bite, DIIV and The Twerps, maybe more. I regret missing some of them, but lack of a fake ID and a growing thirst for alcohol led me to other places.Tweet