This CMJ was my best in a few years. Every since CMJ stuck my friend Teddy Blanks in the back room of some bar that should never have had bands play there I have been down on the festival. The last two years I sort of avoided it completely and was planning on doing so again but luckily I got a gig working for Sailor Jerry Rum and they got me off my ass and I had a great time in the process. Every event they had me cover was a good time and I was psyched to work the Brooklyn Vegan Day parties at Public Assembly. I have worked for Brooklyn Vegan in the past and I was glad to be working with them again, plus it was in Williamsburg so I didn’t even have to get on a train. On top of that there were free Sailor Jerry drinks so everyone was clearly going to be properly partying all day.
Friday’s party ended up being a lot of fun but musically a little down tempo for my liking. I walked as A Place To Bury Strangers were midway through their set. They were good performers and so fucking loud which of course I was into, but they are just a little bit droney for my personal tastes. Everyone else I talked to was psyched about them though. Plus I took some pics of them in the Sailor Jerry air stream and they seemed like good people. Chelsea Wolfe was another performer that everyone seemed really into. Her music was really pretty and I get the attraction but it was a little too sleepy time for me to listen to at a rock club. When I am out and about I want to rock. For me the highlight of the day was Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis who did things with an acoustic guitar that I didn’t think possible. He didn’t exactly put on a wild show or anything but the guy is a legend and he impressed.
Saturday’s party was a bit more up my alley. I was kicking myself because Peelander Z was leaving right as I go there. I have seen the crazy Japanese rockers a half dozen times over the last 10 years and they are always amazing. They were a highlight of this years SXSW for me. Luckily I grabbed them and took some photo of them in and around the Sailor Jerry air stream before heading into check out the New Orleans booty bounce madness that is Vockah Redu. He did an insane NWA cover and I found out that I had actually met his dancer before and we have some mutual friends. If you get a chance to check out Vockah you fucking owe it to yourself to do so. The band that I would most likely go home and listen to (I am actually listening to them now) was a California punk band called Fidlar who headlined the second stage. They are no Fucking Bullshit of course but I would go see them any time. Headlining the main stage was Idle Warship a hip hop/soul group fronted by Talib Kweli. They were great and I am pretty sure they covered Devo and there was just awesomeness all over the place. Oh, and also there was a guy dressed like a stegosaurus. Wild.
After that I headed home for 90 minutes and then right back to Public Assembly for another Sailor Jerry party… but we will get to that another day.
PS. Shout out to the cute girl with hot dog tattoo who is a big fan of Driven By Boredom. Keep me bookmarked!