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CMJ Musicfest 2002

Wednesday 10/30

'CMJ OPENING NIGHT PARTY'
Bowery Ballroom, at 8
See the Short List.


JURASSIC 5+NAPPY ROOTS +BIG DADDY KANE+SKILLZ
Hammerstein Ballroom, at 9
See the Short List.


MODEY LEMON+SOLEDAD BROTHERS
CBGB's Downstairs Lounge, at 9

Pittsburgh's Modey Lemon, who like their fans the White Stripes and Toledo's also-Stripes-endorsed hard-blues Soledad Brothers are only two people, crank the living fuck out of brain-damaged boogie-punk as dynamic as it is grimy. They're obsessed with babies, grandpas, body snatching, making Ralph Neilson and the Chancellors scream, and (for nine minutes!) eating Jesus Christ for dinner. With Washington Social Club, Whirlwind Heat, the Jets. (Eddy)


PEDRO THE LION +MILEMARKER+DENALI+OWLS
Warsaw, at 7

Indie stalwarts Jade Tree showcase their post-Promise Ring lineup: One of America's great lay-intellectual twentysomethings, Tim Kinsella now fronts Owls, his most joyously inventive band to date; David Bazan's anguished molasses voice still dominates a more raucous Pedro the Lion; recently noisy and gothic, Milemarker have never sounded better; and the ethereal, female-fronted Denali counterbalance the rest of this bill's throwback hardcore. With the Explosion, Strike Anywhere, Onelinedrawing, Trial by Fire, and Paint It Black. (Catucci)


PORCUPINE TREE+MIKE DOUGHTY+OURS
Irving Plaza, at 8

Mysterious Brit prog-revival weirdos Porcupine Tree are said to bring an excellent light show, and they wrote their own fake history once. Their recent two-disc 1991-97 box set is more Hawkwind-like (hence more fun) than their heavier-but-less-hooky new album; the latter, though, still has a catchy single where they talk about books they never finished reading. With bullshitting Soul Coughing beatnik Mike Doughty, plus Ours, which is mainly some Jersey nitwit who wishes he was Jeff Buckley. With Gandhi. (Eddy)

Thursday 10/31

THE AISLERS SET+SIX PART SEVEN
Village Underground, at 8

Those seeking hot, sweaty r 'n' r action are advised to search elsewhere, but if you're into pleasant, inoffensive prettiness of the indie variety, this Suicide Squeeze/Overcoat split label showcase will feel as warm and cozy as a cardigan sweater. Highlights include headliners the Aislers Set, who masterfully blend '90s shoegazer guitars with '60s girl-group production, and moody Ohio instrumentalists the Six Parts Seven, who just might get under your skin and refuse to leave. Also: Kingsbury Manx, Minus the Bear, Boas, Knife in the Water. (Phillips)


PAUL BARMAN
Makor, Thu at 7

Goodsong Professor Barman is back; get out your dictionary. Paulellujah!, if you can imagine, is even denser and more narratively intricate than any of the Brown grad's earlier work, and as he's been hanging out with the likes of Masta Ace, his flow isn't nearly the drizzle patter it used to be. Seeing how this is a Halloween show, I wonder what he'll dress up as . . . With Baby Dayliner, Metric, and Minamina. (Caramanica)


BOBBY BARE JR.+REX HOBART & THE MISERY BOYS +WACO BROS
Mercury Lounge, at 8

The right moment to catch up with Bloodshot twang-and-clang merriment: Bobby Bare Jr. brings the fullback up for his change-up, revealing career record; the Wacos have brand New Deal agit-cactus material for a day that demands it, Hobart's taken his honky-tonk sounds up by more than a notch; and the way we hear it, it's even one co-founder's significant birthday, which should add to the always restrained decorum. With Trailer Bride and Puerto Muerto. (Mazor)


CEX+FOG+SOVIET
Knitting Factory Main Space, at 8

Fog makes moody rapstrumentals that a decade ago would have been called trip-hop but now seem positively noodle-ish and indulgent. Be on the lookout for his illegal remixes, though. On the Modern Hits EP, he gives Jay-Z, Nas, MF Doom and others a makeover that, if they ever heard it, they'd never forget. Cex used to worry about other rappers, speedcore-remixing the fuck out of them. Now that he's found his own voice, though, he's an oddly complete package, his rhymes as eccentric as his post-IDM beats. Soviet revisit '80s synthpop inna Williamsburg stylee, which is sometimes devastating, and sometimes groan-worthy. With Stereo Total, VHS or Beta, and Waxwings. (Caramanica)


JACK DANGERS+OUTHUD +DJ SWINGSETT+SEAN B +ALEX ATTIAS
Opaline, at 10

A fittingly eclectic and left-of-center lineup coming from XLR8R magazine, with Jack Dangers—of Meat Beat Manifesto fame—headlining (perfect timing: Out with the electro revival, on with the acid/industrial revival!). Also playing is Brooklyn-based band Outhud, a sort of slowed-down, stripped-down hazy mass of dance rock. Swingsett, playing more experimental down-tempo beats, joins Sean B, one of the locals who stuck by 2-step after its brief little moment in the sun, and jazz fiend Alex Attias. With Gold Chains, Karla Calderon, Greens Keepers, Lindsey, and Tomas. (Romano)


THE DIRTBOMBS+VON BONDIES+DATSUNS
Bowery Ballroom, at 7:30

The irony of Motown's finest sharing a stage with a band of Kiwi interlopers with a Japanese-car fetish is outweighed by the psychic bond between the concerned parties. Motor City guru Mick Collins splices the DNA of the Funk Brothers with that of the Ashton brothers, while his disciples in the Von Bondies immerse the ferocity of the White Panther house band in a vat of (Jeff) Beck-ola. New Zealand's Datsuns, meanwhile, are freak-flagwaving feedback disciples of the most unadulterated sort, brothers and sisters. Also: the Kills, Electric Six, Rock 'n' Roll Machines. (Sprague)


THE HIGH & MIGHTY+CAGE+NIGHTHAWKS +COUNT BASS D
S.O.B.'s, at 8

Dirty, dirty, dirty white-boy rap is on the agenda here. The High & Mighty are responsible for one of the hip-hop underground's naughtiest records, 1999's Home Field Advantage, which paved the way for folks like Cage and Copywrite to get their freakishness on. Sleeper picks of this show are the Nighthawks (Cage and Camu Tao), a concept project about corrupt cops, and Count Bass D, a hip-hop eclectic with lots of ideas and not nearly the audience he deserves. Also: Eastern Conference All Stars, Prof. Harshkovitz, Metal Fingers, Bo King, Problemz & the League, Al Tariq, 7L & Esoteric, NorthEastShore. (Caramanica)


TED LEO/PHARMACISTS +PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES+PATTERN+ORANGES BAND+WASHDOWN
Warsaw, at 8:30

Used to be, if a band was on Lookout! Records, they probably played mediocre pop-punk. But now Lookout! is throwing all kinds of stuff at us. Some of it's pretty good (Pretty Girls Make Graves' anthemic post-hardcore, Ted Leo's Elvis Costello-ish bedroom pop), some of it's eh (Oranges Band = the Strokes with a lower recording budget), and some of it's blah (the Pattern and the Washdown's lukewarm garage rock), but at least it isn't the Mr. T Experience. (Phillips)


YEAH YEAH YEAHS+!!! +BLONDE REDHEAD+THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION
Irving Plaza, at 8
See the Short List.

Friday 11/1

LOU BARLOW+IMPERIAL TEEN+ALASKA
Southpaw, at 8:30

Dinosaur Jr. bassist and founder of the amazing indie rock outfits Sebadoh and Folk Implosion comes out of hiding to showcase songs from his new CD, Free Sentridoh Songs From Loobiecore. Alaska feature Sebadoh drummer Russell Pollard and Folk Implosion guitarist Imaad Wasif . . . and Sebadoh bassist Jason Loewenstein is playing in town, too, but on a different night . . . Something might be up? Imperial Teen's sugary pop tunes should provide the perfect lift after Barlow's super-sad breakup songs. With Earli Mart. (Switzer)


JAMES CHANCE+RYE COALITION+BROKEN SPINDLES
Warsaw, at 8

Nowadays Chance's sax freak-outs are supported by near-disco beats rather than "seedy" punk smashing, which actually places him in line with Broken Spindles, whose dark, smart electro-punk finds a middle ground between new-wave revival and blip-and-glitch futurism. Rye Coalition skip over the '80s entirely with a dope retro amalgam that sounds dazed, confused, and post-hardcore aggro all at once. Also: Lo-Hi, Mercury Program, the Dears. (Hoard)


CHERRY VALENCE+BAD WIZARD+BOULDER +ALL NIGHT
CBGB's, at 7
See the Short List.


DEERHOOF+HELLA+SEMIAUTOMATIC
Knitting Factory Knitactive Stage, at 8:30

Deerhoof are punch-buggy-playing, music-box-rhythmed minimalist-prog San Franciscans who (especially when Satomi Matsuzaki is chirping) are recommended to anybody who ever loved the Sadistic Mika Band, Kleenex, Azalia Snail, Frank Chickens, or Unknownmix; 11 of the 16 songs on their most recent CD last less than two minutes each, though the one about the swan goes eight. Hella, from Sacramento, are easily the catchiest and (at least musically) funniest of the many prog-skronk duos who've surfaced in Lightning Bolt's wake, if only because they sound exactly like the Meat Puppets did in 1982. Semiautomatic are a Brooklyn boy and girl whose two albums' charming lo-fi electro-new wave gets louder and more extroverted than you'd expect live. (Eddy)


MICHAEL GIRA+DEVENDRA BANHART
CB's Gallery, at 7

Banhart is Gira's newest signee to Young God Records, and he's an excellent find. Creepy, minimal, British-folk-influenced tunes that, no matter how normal the subject matter (which it usually isn't), comes across as scary chidren's fairy tales—like the soundtrack to Struwwelpeter performed by Marc Bolan (the folk years) and Nick Drake. Gira's orchestrated Americana-pop group, Angels of Light, is the Cain to American Music Club's Abel; solo, he's just as intense and marked, just more minimal. Also: Blake Babies, Virgil Shaw, David Dondero, Howie Beck, Nik Freitas. (Bosler)


THE GOSSIP+BANGS +QUIX*O*TIC+SLUMBER PARTY+KIMYA DAWSON
Knitting Factory, at 7:30
See the Short List.


HEELWALKERS+MOONEY SUZUKI+SAHARA HOTNIGHTS +FLAMING SIDEBURNS
Elbow Room, at 7

The Heelwalkers are four balding Nova Scotians who bite from Motörhead as well as obvious '60s primitives, managing to toss in some butt-stupid (in a good way) lyrics worthy of the Dictators. Both Sahara Hotnights and Flaming Sideburns hail from Scandinavia; the former are female hellions who vibe a much glammier version of the Donnas, while the latter are strikingly similar to the Mooney Suzuki, whose totally cliché 1968 schtick gives "adrenaline-fueled" a bad, bad name. With White Light Motorcade, Donots, and Raveonettes. (Hoard)


KID KOALA+PUSH BUTTON OBJECTS
Knitting Factory Main Space, at midnight

Koala is often called furry, which is a cute pun on his name and on the fact that he's just friggin' adorable. But can you really use such superficially adulatory adjectives for a man whose sense of turntable pastiche is practically unrivaled in the world? Push Button Objects have been making an edgy, avant blend of hip-hop for the past few years, and it really works well. (Caramanica)


MOLDY PEACHES +DANIELSON FAMILIE
Irving Plaza, at 11:30

Rumor has it that this is the bedroom-punk Moldy Peaches last show, which sounds as true as Jack and Meg's sib story. I mean, they're closer than blood—they're a collective. But just to be safe, you may wanna pile on the goose-top with scads of Thundercat 'hos from the collegiate hinterlands to catch this bill with the mighty Danielsons, the falsetto-absurdo familie that prays, plays, and stays together on the frayed fringe of hip. (Sinagra)


NEED NEW BODY+ARAB ON RADAR+BLUEBIRD +L'SPAEROW
Tribeca, at 7

Pranksters both merry and scary will contribute to the revelry at this cavalcade of lysergia. Philly's Need New Body are more squirrelly than surly, evoking images of Sun Ra's ghost cavorting with Crispin Glover on poker night. Arab on Radar take the bad-cop approach, squirting the sonic equivalent of pepper spray with cackles and muscles alive, alive-oh. Both Bluebird and L'Spaerow (with former members of Braid and the Firebird Band) split the difference, emphasizing controlled menace over convulsive fits of fury. Also: Square Johns, Helio Sequence, El Guapo. (Sprague)


OXES+HAR MAR SUPERSTAR
North Six, at 8

With facetious success, Oxes wax nü-metal riffs and tongue-in-cheek prog rock via a pair of wireless guitars and a beat-up kit, proving the old saying in reverse: Flattery is the best form of imitation. Last show I saw, one guitarist stripped down to tighty whities and oxford shirt, Risky Business-style, in time to cover Bob Seger with the other. Bookended by Minneapolis's Har Mar Superstar—ringleader of new-wave rock-in-your-jocks evangelism—Flower Booking's showcase is sure to be a hot ticket. With Shiner, Schatzi, Blood Group, Common Rider, and Armor for Sleep. (Viera)


'RAINBOW QUARTZ NIGHT'
Arlene Grocery, at 7

A record label that boasts a stable of the very best up-and-coming garage and power-pop acts is certainly a must-see event. International in scope, with 10 bands hailing from five countries, highlights include Israel's Rockfour, the tri-state's own Asteroid 4, and the Gripweeds. Without a doubt, get there early to see the fantastic heir to the early-Who and Jam throne, Montreal's the Datson Four (not to be confused with New Zealand's the Datsuns) and beg if you must to hear their tune "I Am the Eye." (Aber)


THE WALKMEN+FRENCH KICKS
Bowery Ballroom, at 12:30 a.m.

The Walkmen—preppyish delegates from the Brit-influenced camp of the NYC herd—have mastered a classic, atmospheric sound that often recalls the earlier days of U2. Here, they team up with fellow Brooklynites the French Kicks, a group that can be an easy throwaway if you lack the patience for their brand of swoony garage-pop. Their unabashed indulgence in pretty, layered vocal harmonics—coupled with the charm of a front-and-center drummer-singer—makes for a disarming live act, though. With the Caesars. (Yadao)

Saturday 11/2

BRIGHT EYES+AZURE RAY +NOW IT'S OVERHEAD +DESAPARECIDOS
Irving Plaza, at 6
See the Short List.


BURNT SUGAR
Joe's Pub, at 7

Greg Tate's open-source, Afro-futurist big band draws a sublime musical narrative out of what seems like a chaotic freak-out. Imaginatively tripping through the black diaspora of the last 30 years—inspired primarily by electric-era Miles and stewarded with Sun Ra-like regality—Burnt Sugar epitomize the grand ideas that only the cultural ecology of New York can birth. (Patel)


CHEMICAL BROTHERS +CASSIUS
Hammerstein Ballroom, at 8

The Chemical Brothers have relied on the same formula since their second record Dig Your Own Hole—namely squelchy noise paired with hard, mid-tempo breakbeats, and quick samples (or featuring Beth Orton or Richard Ashcroft on vocals). They play a live set (flashing lights, lots of fist-shaking). Cassius—former French house darlings—spin. With fellow Astralwerks artists Simian (whose music is as inexplicable as their name and album covers), Erlend 0ye Sound System, and Audio Bullys. (Romano)


GLASS CANDY & THE SHATTERED THEATRE+WOLF EYES+SONG OF ZARATHUSTRA+THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS
North Six, at 7

Troubleman's underground lineup: Song of Zarathustra play searing, borderline-chaotic doomcore; Glass Candy & the Shattered Theatre's theatrical frontwoman, Ida No, caterwauls over beat-wise neo-no wave; Michigan duo Wolf Eyes wrench pounding noise out of homemade electronics; and the ever-shifting Flying Luttenbachers currently consist of two bassists and a drummer who sprint through mazes of seizure-prog riffs. With the Rogers Sisters, ABCs, and Trance & the Arcade. (Catucci)


IMPERIAL TEEN+CROOKED FINGERS+BRITT DANIEL
Knitting Factory Main Space, at 7:30

CMJ's best indie showcase stars Imperial Teen, who've spent five years doling out note-perfect indie pop that's truly witty and also catchy as fuck. Crooked Fingers finds ex-Archer of Loaf Erich Bachman toning down the guitar skronk in favor of equally effective acoustic arrangements and ambient electro, while fellow croaker/Spoon frontman Britt Daniel busts out first-rate songs that were minimalist even with his crack band playing on 'em. Also: Radar Bros, Destroyer, Portastatic. (Hoard)


(INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY+DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN+DIVISION OF LAURA LEE
Warsaw, at 8

The (I)NC plunge a little deeper into the '60s than most garage revivalists, attaching jokey Marxist rants like "Capitalism Stole My Virginity" to JB-via-the- Who mod attack and typical guitar frenzy. Fellow Swedes Division of Laura Lee will inevitably draw Hives comparisons, which ain't a bad thing, only they're the darker (and slower) of the two acts. Odd-band-out Dillinger Escape Plan are punks with prog chops. Also: Ikara Colt, Sunshine. (Hoard)


JASON LOEWENSTEIN+UGLY CASANOVA
Mercury Lounge, at 8

Like the songs he wrote for Sebadoh, J. Loew's solo stuff (At Sixes and Sevens) is raw, edgy, punk-inspired, and highly energetic, but with some classic-rock influences now poking through, and some dark, evil-sounding, throw-your-devil-horns-in-the-air-inducing heavy-metal guitar riffs appearing from time to time—it fucking rocks! Ugly Casanova features Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse fame, and there's no mistaking it. But that doesn't mean that it's a carbon copy of his other band, either—it's country-tinged, folky in a Beck's-Mellow Gold kind of way, and somewhat Tom Waits-influenced. With Hot Hot Heat, Arlo, and Iron & Wine. (Switzer)


SECRET MACHINES+TURING MACHINE
Luxx, at 6

Secret Machines are one of those bands that don't get nearly as much recognition as they deserve—but that's bound to change. Their songs are hypnotic, yet hyper-aware; desperate, yet ultimately triumphant. They sound a lot like Pink Floyd, and they've certainly spent their fair share of time spinning Spiritualized and Flaming Lips records, but they've also managed to find plenty of room for originality. Turing Machine, another trio, but of the all-instrumental nature, combine the earnestness of bands like Fugazi with an ability to build and release tension like the Melvins, and an appreciation for driving, post-punk melodies and rhythms not unlike Slint and Unwound. With A.R.E. Weapons, Natural History, and the Vexers. (Switzer)

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