The CMJ Roundup:

Once again, upon entering the NYC College Music Journal (CMJ) marathon season, I was expecting this year to be a relative disappointment to glories of CMJs past, but once again, as in years past, I left CMJ 2007 pleasantly pleased. This year is particularly impressive since I missed half of it (ahem!) to a friend’s wedding. Even so, it was far from a disappointment as this week of Sound of Indie posts will indicate. Each day of the week will highlight a live track/video from CMJ 2007.

The CMJ bands to be highlighted with postings this week will be: Dean and Britta, Child Ballads, Xiu Xiu, Film School, and Hot IQs, so be sure to check back every day this week.

Here is a quick CMJ synopsis in no particular order of all of the other bands I saw at CMJ this year (Note: if there is interest in any of live tracks of any of these other bands caught at CMJ, let me know and I will post them if I got them.):

HeadSet : The first band I saw on CMJ 2007. I only caught one song, but based on the small sample, they sound like a cross between The Walkmen and Maroon 5.

The Picture : At every CMJ you will run into at least one over-aspiring young buck band out to prove that they are arena-rock ready-made: if you just give them a label deal, they will fill your stadiums. The Picture filled that slot this year. Needless to say they kinda sucked. They probably would be pretty good, if they weren’t trying so damn hard trying to suck. An example of a similar arena-ready band of CMJ past that comes to mind was this awful band called Gay-Dad.

Rosebuds : Unfortunately I missed this band that came as a high recommend. I was too agitated in missing Child Ballads that I unnecessarily left early and missed the Rosebuds. Bummer. My wife stayed and saw them and liked them. She said they had a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs in their backing vocals. Good sign.

No Age : I caught a few of their songs at their Other Music instore performance. They seemed like fairly decent garage thrash hardcore band. A lot of jumping and leaping about.

Mika Miko: After spending all last night chilling with the Child Ballads and having to slog through work the following day, I was destroyed by the time the thrashy punk all girl Mika Miko started up for the Kill Rock Stars Showcase. I wasn’t too impressed with them, but I was dead tired so perhaps I should withhold judgment.

Mary Timony: This was next at the KRS showcase is another one I should perhaps withhold judgment due to my grumpy and exhausted state. Mary Timony was the lead singer in the much heralded (although I know little about) bands Helium and Autoclave. This is her new band. I believed I slept through most of her set, so I suspect that her songs are pretty mellow.

We are Wolves/Black Kids : I attempted to go to this hyped show but was bounced out. I am generally pretty good in sliming my way through guest list only events but I wasn’t on my game tonight and also there were other fishes in the sea anyway.

1990s: This is a southern rock tinged outfit from Chicago . This might have been the band if Belle & Sebastian had grown up listening to Credence…or perhaps, more accurately, 1990s are what would happen if Credence grew up listening to Belle & Sebastian. Although not really my thing, they were pretty good and probably worth another listen.

Let’s Go Sailing: I caught a few songs from Let’s Go Sailing and can say they seem to be pretty accomplished mellow female fronted pop song outfit that, as an informant has told me, has landed some tunes on Scrubs.

Imperial Teen : Imperial Teen are a band I have been meaning to see for quite some time and glad I finally got to it. Imperial Teen is the improbable precision pop outcome of Faith No More keyboardist Rodney Bodham. They were fun and impressed live so I will start poking into their catalog.

Autodrone: I caught a bit of Autodrone who opened the show at Europa for Child Ballads. They were a loud as hell industrial atmospherics keyboard driven electronic band. I didn’t see enough to comment on them but they seemed promising.

Dean & Britta

Dean & Britta
Bowery Ballroom
New York City, NY

Starting the CMJ week is a Monday set of Dean and Britta. Dean Wareham and Britta Philips are members of the mighty band Luna, that, for over 10 years, could be considered NYC’s house band and quietly knocked out album after album of psychedelic singed pop gems. Their breakup was much lamented here in NYC, but not by me since I saw the formation of Dean and Britta in the wings. Their first album, L’ Avventura was damn near perfect and the follow up, Back Numbers is quite good as well. Having seen them live a few times, I get actually annoyed when they play a Luna song, if only because it might be at the expense of a Dean and Britta selection. One of the highlights of this particular show was the ending Joy Division cover, “Ceremony”. What is even more impressive is that “Ceremony” was initially covered some 20 years ago by Dean’s first seminal band, Galaxie 500.

[audio:|titles=Ceremony (Live)|artists=Dean & Britta]

Download: Dean & Britta – New York City, NY – 10/16/07 – 281 MB


  1. Hi, just to be slightly pedantic, unless there’s 2 bands called the 1990s, they are not from Chicago, they are from Glasgow and their singer, Jackie, used to be in a band called Yummy Fur with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand. Their debut album, Cookies, was produced by Bernard Butler. It’s damned catchy too.

    Cheers for the MP3’s :).

    You is right. My bad. Believe it or not there is a band from Chicago called The 1900s and a band from Glasgow called the 1990s. I am referring here to the 1900s.

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