Sound of the City’s staff has opinions about which bands to see at the CMJ festival, happening around the city this week. In our final installment of recommendations, music editor Maura Johnston offers her picks. (Check out Nick Murray’s and Martika Finch’s selections, too.)
Face-melting metal with just a touch of Southern-rock swagger from deep Brooklyn. Saw them last Monday, was completely blown away. Sample an MP3 from their new album Beyond The Lightless Sky here.
Where to catch them: Friday at 11 p.m. at Union Pool; they’re playing the Tee Pee Records showcase.
The Duke Spirit
Moody, dark, and grand, this UK band—led by the formidable Liela Moss—finally has a new album coming out after way too long.
Where to catch them: The Union Square Puma Store, where they go on at 2:30 on Wednesday. Take a late and dramatic lunch!
Machine Gun Kelly
Hypereverything MC from Cleveland who can leap tall amp stacks in a single bound, and who recently got the co-sign from Diddy. Phillip Mlynar profiled him for the Voice back in August.
Where to catch him: The XXL showcase at Highline Ballroom, which is the late show on Friday.
Nitty Scott MC
Up-and-coming Brooklyn MC whose BET Awards cipher piqued quite a few peoples’ interests, and whose smooth bravado makes her both relatable and likeable.
Where to catch her: Thursday at Southpaw, where she’ll be performing at 8:30.
This Brooklyn band combines Kiwi-indie gloom with surfy riffs for an album that’s just melancholy enough to be well-suited to the autumn.
Where to catch them: The lady-drummer-centric magazine Tom Tom‘s party on Thursday at The Woods. Coasting goes on at 7:45, and it’s only five bucks!
Is “Don’t Let Go (Love)” the most underheralded ballad of the ’90s? Maybe!
That guitar counterpoint is so thick!
Where to catch them: Friday, BB King’s, 9 p.m.
This Athens-based band takes the concept of “post-punk” to the point where it sounds like it’s actually going to fall apart right in front of you. Not in a bad way.
Where to catch them: The Ace Hotel on Sunday night (show starts at 10). Because what better way to recover from CMJ week than to watch a band that knows how to tear down the entire concept of “rock” music?