CMJ Musicfest 2003

Check cmj.com for details, cancellations, and scheduling changes.


[WEDNESDAY 10/22]

ALTERNATIVE TV+ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN+MANDA & THE MARBLES
CBGB, 315 Bowery, 212.982.4052

A double "television" bill of punk legends but sadly no Tom Verlaine in sight. ATV have proven adept with leader Mark Perry getting a jones to rock again. Electric Frankenstein aren't exactly progeny but do give off a good metal buzz for them that needs it. As for Manda and Co., Liz Phair should be taking notes. Also: Amen, TV Smith, Bantam. At 8. GROSS


THE BLOOD BROTHERS+JR EWING+THE ANNIVERSARY
Northsix, 66 N 6th, Bklyn, 718.599.5103

Art-damaged rather than simply damaged (like some older bands also from Seattle who we won't mention), the Blood Brothers are simply the most inventive and possibly least listenable screamo act out there (and I do mean out there). Norway's JR Ewing thrash in the great tradition of their Scandinavian forebears the Refused. The Anniversary's boy-gal-voxed emo-pop should at least provide a breather. Also: the Vexers, Red Light Sting. At 7:30. CATUCCI


DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE+NADA SURF
Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212.777.6800

Thank Washington's Death Cab for Cutie and Brooklyn's Nada Surf for the two prettiest indie rock albums of the year. Benjamin Gibbard and Matthew Caws, the bands' respective lead dreamers, massage their post-grad deep thoughts and teen-centric romantic mewing into something akin to revelation, while their crack bands spin sweet guitar-curlicued nothings and drop chorus drama around them. Also: the Long Winters, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Kind of Like Spitting. At 8. DCC also play Sun and Mon at Bowery Ballroom. CATUCCI


LES SAVY FAV+HOLD STEADY+S PRCSS
Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard, 212.219.3006

They jump around, they rock out, they get looney: Les Savy Fav don't just rule, they rool. The Hold Steady just finished recording their debut; if it's half as good as any of Lifter Puller's albums it'll probably make my top 10 whenever it comes out. S PRCSS MKS MNML LCTRO-RK W/LTL FUS 'R DRMATX. THT'S A GD THNG. Also: Ex Models, Cause for Applause. At 8. MATOS


THE NEW DEAL+MY MORNING JACKET+ KILLING JOKE+VHS OR BETA+ BLACK BOX RECORDER+THE FEVER
Webster Hall, 125 E 11th, 212.353.1600
See the Short List. At 8.


THE SHINS
Maxwell's, 1039 Washington St, NJ, 201.653.1703

After a pithy debut of melancholic pop, the Shins return with the even tighter and more varied Chutes Too Narrow. Bandleader James Mercer emerges from vocal effects on songs that are neither garage nor power-pop, yet still apropos; their sound remembers the new wave that reared them and the '60s pop that honed them. With Timanderic.com, All Night Radio, and the Fiery Furnaces (see Thu). At 8. Also, Sat, Bowery Ballroom. KIM


[THURSDAY 10/23]

BLACK BOX RECORDER
Maxwell's, 1039 Washington St, NJ, 201.653.1703

Sometime Auteur Luke Haines and former Jesus and Mary Chainer John Moore write spare, synth-based pop songs for one-time mime Sarah Nixey, who intones them in a crystalline whisper. Pay attention now—the songs usually reward it, although less so on the new album they'll be pumping. With Kinesis. At 9. Also, Wed, Webster Hall. CHRISTGAU


THE CAPITOL YEARS+THE REALISTICS+THE DETACHMENT KIT+BUCK 65
Northsix, 66 N 6th, Bklyn, 718.599.5103

Halfway down a bill topped by three moderately buzzed bands—the Capitol Years (sardonic modern pop), the Realistics (punk/new wave as roots music), and the Detachment Kit (domesticated industrial)—comes my choice for the greatest find of CMJ: a rapper from Nova Scotia I would call a raconteur if he didn't concoct powerful mixbeats and lead a band with a steel guitar in it and would compare to Tom Waits if he had more cynicism in him. With Read Yellow, Kicked in the Head, and the Sounds (see Mon in the Music listings). At 7:30. CHRISTGAU


DRUNK HORSE+CHERRY VALANCE+HIGH ON FIRE+ON TRIAL
Southpaw, 125 Fifth Ave, Bklyn, 718.230.0236

San Franciscans Drunk Horse are either the most ZZ Top-influenced prog band or most Stones-influenced stoner band around, not to mention fairly legitimate heirs to the Pink Fairies and early Urge Overkill. Cherry Valance's more straightforwardly obvious '70s-riff shtick comes closer to later Urge Overkill. Comic book and abominable snowman fans High on Fire do Blue Cheer ear-attacks as post-Neurosis ambience. And Denmark's On Trial take 13th-floor-elevated psychedelic punk on a journey to the center of your mind. With Tom Collins. At 8. EDDY


ADAM GREEN+FIERY FURNACES+BRITISH SEA POWER
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212.533.2111

Rough Trade presents three artists: Moldy Peach Adam Green plays wry, potty-mouthed anti-folk with debatable sincerity. Fiery Furnaces spark bluesy garage rock with a frontwoman who's got Björk's quirk and Crissie Hynde's soul. And British Sea Power blow them both out of the water with their aggressive mix between glam rock and new wave. For those who like Bowie/the Smiths/Echo and the Bunnymen/(insert '80s band here). With the Kills. At 8. KIM


PHARCYDE+PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS+ PROZACK TURNER
S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick, 212.243.4940

Back in the early '90s, the Pharcyde were the palatable ambassadors of LA's kinetic hip-hop underground. Sadly, though, their optimism got telegraphed as naïveté to later acts like People Under the Stairs and Foreign Legion, which featured silly whiteboy Prozack Turner. With CunninLynguists and Brassmunk. At 8. CARAMANICA

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