CMJ Wednesday Wrap-Up

Wednesdays offer slim pickings during CMJ week. But Jeff and I caught plenty of memorable gigs on Day One. I’m living it up until Friday, ’cause that’s when I leave for my bachelor party (Vegas, baby … I’ve never been). Don’t worry, though — Jed and Jim will be taking over concert coverage over the weekend. Plenty more pics and quasireviews to come.

PELA @ Bowery Ballroom. I wasn’t really paying attention, and was bummed I missed King Of France. I know Glenn likes ‘em. Sorry, I can’t recommend one way or the other until I listen further. Lousy blogging so far, I know — stay with me kids…

FORGET CASSETTES @ CBGBs 313 Gallery. We tried to meet up with Jenny at regular CBGBs … DENIED. We weren’t too disappointed (heard the new LP is “outstandingly bad”). Forget Cassettes were sexy, but Jeff was itching for some Cribs…

THE CRIBS @ Bowery Ballroom. Ran into Cameron and Hartley, both of whom let me stand in front of them to snap a pic of the bloody Jarman bro. I enjoyed their sloppy rock. The new Libertines perhaps? But nothing you’ll be fawning over in 2006.

BEANS W/ HOLY FUCK @ Bowery Ballroom. Holy shit is this dude talented. And Holy Fuck were bananas with the backup beats.

At this point we walked a few blocks to Crash Mansion to see Asobi Seksu. Shot the shit with Keith, who is moderating a panel you can attend on Saturday. Waited for the band to take the stage. Waited more. Fuck it, back to Bowery for Devendra.

DEVENDRA BANHART @ Bowery Ballroom. Never felt strongly about the wacky folkie. He seemed like someone I would like: I LOVE Joanna Newsom, Sufjan, pretty much everything on Paw-Tracks. But he’s disappointed me in the past (76 recorded songs in 3 years … they can’t all be winners). Pareles sums up my preconceived notion here: “Devendra Banhart is amazing. No, he’s annoying! Amazing! Annoying!” But get this … the band actually rocked. Late in the set he invited two random audience members to take the stage and play a song THEY wrote (he’s done this before). “Anyone here write songs? Come up … you can use my guitar.” Devendra closed with that tune that’s not about pedophilia.

After the gig, we spotted Antony (& Not The Johnsons) across the street. Moving on…

JOHN VANDERSLICE at Mercury Lounge. Very cool, and he brought buzz band Viva Voce onstage for an encore of “Exodus Damage.”

A first night. It’s only gonna get better.

Who did you see/going to see?