By Shawn Connelly
Tis’ the season. Music invades New York City unlike any other time of year. Perhaps in the near future, when cloning is more in vogue, you’ll be able to be at multiple shows at once. But until then, stick to the SSS approved list and you won’t be disappointed.
Ghost Beach has been gracing the bill of the All Things Gold (formerly Popshop) monthly NYC show a few times over the years. This month their dance heavy, electro-pop sound will be at the Santos Party House October 16th to kick off the festival right.
Icona Pop – From beat driven, damn-the-man-style, heavy club tunes like I Love It to more subdued, yet still very much house, tunes like Nights Like This and Manners, the Swedish electropop duo should not disappoint when it comes to a bouncing venue. Catch ‘em Oct 19th at Brooklyn Bowl. For you New Yorkers, they’ll be back at cha on Dec 6th at Terminal 5…. but we don’t suggest waiting that long.
You Won’t – Fresh off their full-length debut album Skeptic Goodbye, this group is an earful of “infectious, frentic, smartly crafted folk-pop,” to quote KEXP. This acoustic driven sound, reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper jamming with the Shins, can be heard on Oct 19th at the Bowery Electric.
Hey Champ – While they’ve graced the CMJ stages before, this still under-appreciated band is worth your time with their indie-electro sound featuring a crunchy synth bass, bright guitars, and movable grooves with memorable hooks. Exact dates and venues haven’t been released yet, but they are listed as playing this year, so keep your eyes open.
Mean Lady – I’ve had the absolute pleasure of performing with this drumbeat-based, chillwave folk duo at the Local 269 on Houston Street. Since then, the band has released two albums this year. Pitchfork has even gotten a hold of them, reviewing their song “Bop Bop.” After their CMJ performance, the crowd will be asking lead vocalist Katie Dill “Why’d’ya Hafta Be Sucha” [Mean Lady], even though she sounds pretty friendly as her mellow alto vocals float gracefully over her electronic backing. You can check them out at Pianos on Oct 16th and in Brooklyn at Muchmore’s on Oct 18th.
Tall Tall Trees – A must see if you like high energy neo-bluegrass. Saw these fellas at last years CMJ and super pumped to see them back on the bill coming off their latest album from Feb 21, 2012. For more on these guys check out the article we posted last year. No dates yet, keeping checking CMJ.com.
Vagina Panther – Not gonna lie, the name of this artist drew me to click on her band bio on the CMJ page. But the loud distorted guitar and driving drum kit combined with her 80’s style rock vocals kept me interested. Wanna head bang during CMJ? Be at Trashbar in Williamsburg, Oct 17th 9pm.
Room Full of Strangers – Hadn’t really heard of this band until the CMJ line-up came out, but if you check out their picture on the CMJ artist’s page, you’d be interested too. Their hard rock sound, complete with fuzzy bass guitar, matches their ski-masked presence on stage. The music is nothing virtuosic, but their show at The Paper Box on Oct 18th should be quite entertaining.
Joy Kills Sorrow – They utilize mandolin, cello, and tight harmonies to create music with strong conviction. This Boston-based string band has been on the road in Europe, but will make it back state side just in time for CMJ, playing Union Hall in BK on Oct 18th.
YACHT – With tunes like Dystopia & Psychic City, this electroica/indie band pumps out dancable sound. They were recently featured on Hulu’s A Day in the Life, which gives great insight to the band and their philosophies. Catch this Portland based band at Terminal 5 on Oct 19th.
Even with just these ten suggestions, you already have to make some tough decisions. Best of luck.