RECAP: MOKB does CMJ 2011 : Part 1 Highlights

CMJ 2011 rolled into New York City, took over its streets and wore out its avid music fans for the better part of a week. I’ve only barely recovered, having seen 20+ bands, passed through too many venues to even count, and consumed more than a fair share of free booze. Without further ado, here are five highlights from my Part 1 coverage:

1. A Lull – Day 1, Lefse Records Showcase @ Pianos
Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me that day. Though the venue is typically too dim to get any extraordinary pictures, the band itself put on a pretty convincing visual performance that would have benefited a photo or two. A Lull play rousing indie-rock infused with electrifying tribal percussion and warping digital effects.

Santah

2. Santah – Day 2, Paste & Rdio Day Party @ The Living Room
Though the band hails from Chicago, they’ve got an easy-going, rustic roughness to their brand of indie, reverb-filled rock that makes me think they must have been bred somewhere in the South for a period of time. Frontman Stanton McConnell has the kind of part-jagged, part-raspy voice that soars effortlessly and keeps me curious.

The Lonely Forest

3. The Lonely Forest – Day 2, Paste & Rdio Day Party @ The Living Room
The Washington-based band’s debut album, Arrows, was just released in May, and is the first on Trans Records — the label headed by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla. The Lonely Forest have some of the hallmarks of the aforementioned band.

Lord Huron

4. Lord Huron – Day 2, Paste & Rdio Day Party @ The Living Room
Earlier in the month MOKB highlighted Lord Huron’s video for “Mighty,” off the similarly-titled EP. Live, the Michigan band’s indie-folk is just as wistful, yearning and charming, channeling the duality of pop sensibility/stripped-down coziness much like Fleet Foxes or Local Natives.

MP3 : Lord Huron – Mighty

Tristen

5. Tristen – Day 3, NYC Taper Showcase @ Cake Shop
The Nashville musician Tristen Gaspadarek (formerly of Those Darlins) has enough personality and creativity to give her indie-folksiness more depth than just your average little pop and twang band. Her music is rapturous, melancholy, darling, and sentimental all at the same time. Her range provides toe-tapping, country-rock and saddening love songs, and everything in between.

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    […] first time at one of Paste Magazine‘s CMJ shows and was pretty blown away by their set. As I mentioned in a review that I wrote, the five-piece had such a hearty rusticity that I could’ve sworn their music […]

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