This past Roctober, New York hosted its yearly CMJ (College Music Journal) Music Marathon. As the name indicates, The CMJ Music Marathon is a massive concentration of 100s of bands that descend on NYC like locusts and swarm every NYC venue over the course of a week leaving hangovers and ringing ears in their wake. There are those out there that like to believe that it is an indicator of the stylistic forces that will drive major musical themes for the coming years. In years past, themes included the obligatory turntable in every band (Faithless, Bis, Whole Grand Royal Catalog, etc), the return of 60s garage rock (Strokes, White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), neo-folk resurgence (Bright Eyes, Joanna Newsome, Devandra Banhart), etc. This year, based on the bands I saw, seems a continuation of the new ‘wave’ of keyboard driven synth pop that is already fairly prevalent these days.
The most notable bands caught at CMJ 2010 are: Savoir Adore, Alex Winston, Octant, Candy Claws, Kisses, Titus Andronicus, Holy Ghost!, Matthew Dear, Dean and Britta, Crocodiles, The Blow, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Other bands caught were: Invisible Kid, Eklin, Samuel, Buke and Gass, Gold Panda, and a few others. We are in the middle of a 10 part CMJ series featuring the highlights of CMJ 2010 so check the archives and be sure to check back daily!
I believe there is a fair amount of buzz surrounding Matthew Dear. I was pleasantly surprised that after seeing one of his CMJ performances, I didn’t get where he was coming from or what his influences were. Matthew Dear is presumably (At times, this TSOI contribute is too lazy to even do a cursory research) the vocalist who stands behind a bank of keyboards while a drummer, guitarists and other instruments accompany him – all dressed in dapper black suits. My first impression was seeing and hearing a weird amalgam of Taco (80’s band behind “Putting on the Ritz”) and a Suicide – that is to say – weird. Like some aspects of Suicide, Matthew Dear employs a very unrefined vocal echo and has a similarly unformed and loose and somewhat propulsive song structures. Another similarity is that even though the setup would lead to dance friendly tunes, the actual output is not. I will have to give the recording of the show several more listens to suss out what they are about – always a good sign to this jaded rocker who has seen (nearly) it all.
I do know that this is a live take off of a track off of Matthew Dear’s new album, Black City.
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