At this point anyone can have a CMJ-week party. You don’t even need a sponsor, in part because you don’t even need a proper venue. (Lofts, yards, and empty space above auto parts stores will suffice, aspiring Todd Ps.) So in a sense there’s something less impressive, if only because the party-gatekeepers are less exclusive, about playing 10+ shows during the industry fest’s vice grip on the city. Unless you have the live show and songs to back up the prefabricated buzz, of course; then you might find yourself the pivotal case study of a New York Times post-mortem.
That’s where Floridian Sleigh Bells-affiliates Surfer Blood find themselves, playing at least 12 times and generally impressing through most. Where their studio cuts like “Swim (To Reach The End) can flirt with the epically raucous end of things, onstage the the band tends to pull back from those grander postures for something more visceral and punchy with their surf-Afro-power-pop, bar-room dropkick hooks in place of big-room reverberated clamor. I caught them a few times through the week, intentionally and not, including their early Wednesday set at Pianos for the ForceField Party — as did DIY one-continuous-shot video specialist Ray Concepcioñ, who launches his one-continuous-shot-video-a-day-for-fourteen-days CMJ exposé with this clip of “Take It Easy.” It’ll give you a good idea of where Surfer Blood is at, with a side of lots of hyper-zoom action.
A few MP3s:
[Photo by Amrit Singh @ Pianos 10/21/09]