CMJ Musicfest 2003


RAINER MARIA+MATES OF STATE
Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard, 212.219.3006

Quirky, skewed pop label Polyvinyl signs bands who wear their weird wounded hearts on their sleeves. Rainer Maria wrap their gender politics in a sweeping swirl of guitars and melody. Mates of State are a married couple who use a keyboard and drums to craft bewitching and infectious pop songs. With Aloha. At 11. ROSEN


[FRIDAY 10/24]

DEATH COMET CREW+ROGERS SISTERS+GLASS CANDY
Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard, 212.219.3006
See the Short List. At 7:30.


'GIRLZ GARAGE TOUR': NORTHERN STATE+LILLIX+THE START+CANDY ASS+BRASSY
Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212.777.6800

Bubblegum in several different musical varieties, but only one color: pink. Local favorites Northern State are bubble-rap, Candian sisters Lillix are bubble-pop, Warped Tour vets the Start are bubble-punk, Don Hill's regulars Candy Ass are bubble-metal, Jon Spencer's sister's band Brassy are bubble-Beck. Metal Mike Saunders noticed that the Girlz Garage logo looks like the New York Dolls'. He's right. At 6. PHILLIPS


JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS+ANDREW WK
Warsaw, 261 Driggs Ave, Bklyn, 718.387.0505

Sometimes, proof of God's existence is overwhelming. Example: Rock 'n' Roll's King (Joan Jett) and Little Prince (AWK) are appearing on the same bill. After worshiping the party of life with AWK's zany power metal, Joan Jett will bring the masses to their knees with consecrated psalms of rock. I get wet, for reals. Also: Juliette Lewis & the Licks, the Eyeliners, Christiansen. At 8. FURY


'KILL ROCK STARS PRESENTS': HELLA+GRAVY TRAIN!!!!+ SEMIAUTOMATIC+CASUAL DOTS
Luxx, 256 Grand St, Bklyn, 718.599.1000

KRS still leads the indie label pack in terms of quality and integrity after all these years. Hella play incredibly dense, technical spazzcore, Gravy Train!!!! make deliciously nasty lo-fi booty-bass jams, Semiautomatic do experimental punk songs about dogs, drugs and Slushee machines, while Casual Dots are a new band featuring Christina Billotte of Quix*o*tic and Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill. At 9. PHILLIPS


TED LEO/PHARMACISTS+THE REPUTATION
CBGB, 315 Bowery, 212.982.4052

The former Chisel frontman and his Pharmacists hit their stride on their most recent album Hearts of Oak—this collection of Thin Lizzy-meets-Elvis Costello nuggets is damn near a power-pop-rock masterpiece. Not nearly as exciting is the Reputation, which features Elizabeth Elmore, former singer/guitarist for Sarge. Simply put, her new band is pretty generic—'90s-inspired indie rock that's striving to be radio-friendly alterna-rock. Also: Your Enemies Friends, Small Brown Bike, Washdown, Communique, Evening. At 7. SWITZER


THE MARS VOLTA+THE RAPTURE
Roseland Ballroom, 239 W 52nd, 212.247.0200

The Mars Volta (At the Drive-In's better half and friends) have been known to incorporate bass solos into their shows, but what do you expect from this millennium's greatest prog-rock punks—a laser light show? Brooklyn rock poster boys the Rapture will bring their own glorious mess, leaping from spring-loaded guitar shards to pounding house beats to cowbell boogie. With Enon and Recover. At 7. CATUCCI


THE MICROPHONES+THE BLOW
Tribeca, 16 Warren, 212.766.1070

Practically the entire K Records roster is playing, but the highlights are the Microphones (Phil Elvrum and his dazed high-concept/high-layering psychedelia, in their "Mount Eerie" incarnation) and the Blow (Khaela Maricich, a performance artist whose work involves scary little songs as a central element). With VVRSSNN, Landing, Mirah, Dennis Driscoll, C.O.C.O., Karl Blau, and Old Time Relijun. At 8. The Microphones also play Sat at Maxwell's. WOLK


RADIO 4+ELEFANT+STARS+BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212.533.2111

Skip the local buzz-generators; you can see Elefant and Radio 4 any time, and they're both overrated. Come for the personnel-sharing Canadian bands. Stars' heartbreakingly beautiful coed synth-pop sounds like swooning teenagers in love, while Broken Social Scene are a glorious mess of a collective whose sprawling space-rock adventures are kept grounded by a healthy pop sensibility. Also: Jason Collett, DJ Kit Chaps, DJ Carlos D. The Stars play Fri and BSS play Sat at Hilton Hotel. At 7. PHILLIPS


SUBTITLE+ASPERA+KILL ME TOMORROW
Lit, 93 Second Ave, 212.777.7987

Blurred by groggy studio fog, L.A. bongsmoke-rap up-and-comer Subtitle's arrogance-free vocals never reach out and grab, but his tape fuck-ups can be fun. Fruity-voiced, Philly-rooted, acid-backwashed, formerly shoegazey space cadets Aspera lately combine early-Bowie falsettos with Berlin-Bowie atmospheres. KMT are an engagingly songful (odd, considering they avoid actual songs) early-Fall-influenced San Diego punk-plus-synth trio who cover Suicide amid plenty of totally fucked-and-clogged found sound and dense dub space. Also: Square Johns, Vaz, Red Eyed Legends, Ghost Orchids. At 8. EDDY


THROTTLEROD+FIVE HORSE JOHNSON+HALFWAY TO GONE
CBGB's Downstairs Lounge, 313 Bowery, 212.677.0455
See the Short List. At 8. EDDY


ZEA+CAESAR+VOICST+BETTIE SERVEERT
Sin-é, 148-150 Attorney, 212.388.0077

A showcase of Dutch bands: Zea is a fun, easy to dance to, jokey duo that would fit right in on a bill with BS2000. Caesar are textured and pretty, and when they get going, you can almost hear hints of Radiohead. Voicst are poppy as hell and huge-sounding and great—they suggest a collaboration between Queen, Yes, and Ted Nugent in the grungy '90s. Bettie Serveert have been around for awhile, and they've never sounded better—their beautiful, melancholy, indie rock-inspired tunes are balanced off perfectly by pleasing, melodic, pop gems. With zZz and Seedling. At 8. SWITZER


[SATURDAY 10/25]

'BLOODSHOT RECORDS BBQ': BOBBY BARE JR.+PAUL BURCH+WAYNE HANCOCK+SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD
Union Pool, 484 Union Ave, Bklyn, 718.609.0484

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