CMJ ’09: Wednesday In Photos

As far as full-on noon-to-2AM marathon set hunting goes, Wednesday’s spread won’t be topped this year. In addition to bringing us memorable sets from two bands we’ll be watching much more closely in Sleigh Bells and Golden Silvers, the day delivered solid lineups at every turn. I joined photographer Jessica Amaya at ForceField’s day party at Pianos for lunchtime post-rock in Seven Saturdays, a taut and energizing set from the very promising (and very busy) Surfer Blood, and the ten-person, chipper chant-and-pop collective Still Flyin’ (Jessica stayed on for Stricken Sound, Hollow Paw, Real Estate, and These United States), before teaming up with Kyle Dean Reinford at Santos Party House for HypeMachine’s bill of Sleigh Bells, Theophilus London, VEGA, and Midnight Juggernauts.

After that I joined just about every available label rep in NYC for the still-unsigned BTW Freelance Whales at Bowery Ballroom.

The last I saw them, the sensitive Whales were in their more familiar busker-mode, captivating a loft party; they’re still a few shows away from being as charming plugged in and onstage, but with songs this strong and the rest falling into place I’m sure their lawyer’s got his hands full with pitches. Mercury Lounge was next for Javelin and The xx’s spellbinding set, a whipsmart, moving, and sparse album recreation (and that Womack & Womack cover) from the band that’s likely the most hunted, if not the busiest, this CMJ. (In addition to playing the Apple Store SoHo and being the secret, “x-rated” guest at the Delancey at 2AM yesterday, today they’re at the NBC Store, Music Hall Of Williamsburg, and the Tribeca Grand hotel late-night. Being 20 must be nice.)

Kyle extended his stay at Santos for the Oya Festival/Oh My Rockness showcase, shooting Beach Fossils, Small Black, Real Estate, I Was A King, Deastro, Eternal Summers, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Free Energy, and Evan Voytas, before closing it out at Arlene’s Grocerey’s M Is For Montreal showcase with Malajube and the very photogenic antics of Dutchess Says. Meanwhile Jessica met me at the single best showcase this year: IAMSOUND’s night at Bowery Poetry Club, which didn’t have a dud in the bunch: Faces On Film, the excellent NewVillager, Apache Beat, a rousing set from Suckers who just keep getting better, the Afro-Hebrew percussive stew of Fool’s Gold, and the aforementioned Golden Silvers. That’s a lot of bands. Which means, a lot of pictures. Slide through them at your leisure (we’re working on a better gallery system, promise), and check out our shots from Tuesday here.