CMJ Music Marathon Highlights

Wednesday 11.1

'Carpark & Paw Tracks Records CMJ Showcase': Beach House+First Nation+Wzt Hearts

Plenty of woozy, childlike gargling on offer at this friends-of–Animal Collective showcase, but the big draw should be the sleepy, soft-focus dreampop of Baltimore duo Beach House. Headliners First Nation specialize in a brand of barely-there postpunk that nods toward prettiness but never quite gets there. Electronic improv types Wzt Hearts have lately been spiking their dense, formless wall of scuzz with tribal drums and flutters of trancey forest noises. With Over the Atlantic, Peppermints, and Lexie Mountain Boys. Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow, 212-253-0036, 8pm. BREIHAN

Steve Earle+Allison Moorer+Laura Cantrell

Man and wife Earle and Moorer might be the Sid and Nancy of roots music—Earle forever at war with the system, and Moorer holding back her demons for dear life. He produced her latest, to middling effect, but that aside, they're both in creative primes. With Cantrell, a sweet-voiced country nostalgist whose recent Matador turn was a sonic misstep, but who can deliver a Carter Family–style tune just as well as Sara might have it, albeit with a more dulcet tone. Also: Tim Easton. Southpaw, 125 Fifth Ave, Bklyn, 718-230-0236, 8pm, $20. CARAMANICA

Feathers+Paul Duncan+Slaraffenland

Vermont's Feathers are one of the best (but lesser-sung) of the new-folk collectives; their awesome self-titled was released on Devendra's Gnomon song. Catch 'em tonight as a unified entity, since more and more of their members are winding up on/in other projects—Bright Black Morning Light, Witch, Viking Moses, etc. Duncan is a crafty singer-songwriter splitting the diff between Tim Buckley and Iron & Wine. Denmark's Slaraffenland splay open their indie rock with avant-jazz group horns (atonal and harmonious), electronica glitch, and warm and fuzzy guitars that build and crash like sheets of ice. Trash, 256 Grand St, Bklyn, 718-599-1000, 8pm.BOSLER

Ben Lee+Rooney

Last year's rootsy Awake Is the New Sleep demonstrated that one-time Australian indie-pop wunderkind Lee has more to offer the world (or at least fans of Australian indie pop) than the youthful charm that attracted attention to his mid-'90s stuff, back when he was a precocious teenager with powerful pals. For instance: late-twenties charm. L.A.'s Rooney, young guys themselves, are finishing up their second album of glamtastic powerpop. With John Ralston. Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212-777-6800, 7:30pm, $18–$20.WOOD

'Mix Tape Riot Presents': Pharaoh Monch+Jaguar Wright+Kudu

Label woes have prevented him from releasing an album for seven years, but Monch still spits tangled-up clumps of paranoid rap bravado like no one else. Lately, he's formed an unexpectedly symbiotic relationship with P. Diddy, writing the best lyrics Diddy's ever mumbled. With the Roots-affiliated soul woman Jaguar Wright and the downtown boho-boutique r&b unit Kudu. With Monster Maker, Sway Dasafo, and King Reign. Canal Room, 285 W Bway, 212-941-8100, 10:30pm, $8.BREIHAN

'Panache & Blueghost & Lovepump CMJ Showcase': The Slits+Genghis Tron+the Apes

The big news here is the reunion of apocalyptically dub-screechy postpunk grande dames the Slits, kicking off their first U.S. tour in 25 years. If a recent EP is any indication, their teeth are still sharp. But this night offers two floors of scratchy violence. Best bets: the jittery, complex spazzcore of the excellently named Genghis Tron and the terrifying Sabbath growls of the Apes. With Made in Mexico, Dynasty Handbag, Green Milk From the Planet Orange, Shellshag, Rah Bras, and the Mall. Knitting Factory Tap Bar, 74 Leonard, 212-219-3006, 8pm, $12. BREIHAN

Tapes 'n Tapes+Cold War Kids+Dr. Dog

Tapes 'n Tapes are one of the best of the new crop of American dance-rockers—their injection of loungey (almost Balkan-like) grooves rubs against the postpunky rumbles and really set them apart. L.A.'s mega-hyped Cold War Kids take opiate-soaked Britpop and flash-fry it in a little alt-country batter—but not so much as to stop the steady rhythmic clip. Dr. Dog are beloved by bloggers for their ramshackle quirky tunes, me know nots why. Also: Elvis Perkins, Robbers on High Street. Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212-533-2111, 8pm, $16.BOSLER


Thursday 11.2

'Dangerbird Records': Silversun Pickups+La Rocca+Darker My Love

This label showcase for Dangerbird Records could be one of the dark horses of CMJ. The Cali-based label scored this year with '90s alt-rock throwback group Silversun Pickups. Part shoegaze, part grunge, they're not entirely unlike the Smashing Pumpkins, to which they've been compared. But lookout for La Rocca: The fourpiece gets to the point cooking up zippy Strokes-like grooves, and the frontman actually seems happy to be there. Darker My Love will set the mood with a stylish, somnambulistic dirge or two. With Peter Walker. Pianos, 158 Ludlow, 212-420-1466, 7:30pm.O'DONNELL

'Solid PR Showcase': Blue Cheer+An Albatross+Jacob's Ladder

New and old strains of riotous rock go toe-to-toe tonight. Blue Cheer—the '60s-born, bell-bottomed, freak-flag-flyin', LSD-monikered dinosaur-metal seniors—will unleash their psychedelic bluesy vamps right after Philly's An Albatross, the quintessential neo-extremo screamo freakout outfit, have burnt down the stage. Call these large waterfowl "grind-dance"—grindcore in the hands of a new wave dance troupe. With Jacob's Ladder, who sound like Tool and Slipknot. Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard, 212-219-3006, 8pm, $13–$15.BOSLER

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