Impose Not-CMJ Party, 2

Post Author: , Nate Dorr

Head still hurty, as some have noted. Here’s the second half of our Not-CMJ CMJ launch show 2008, starring Parts and Labor, the Coathangers, Double Dagger, Flying, Rahim, Dinowalrus, Boo and Boo Too.

If you are hoping for some sort of introduction, you are currently in media res. The night started earlier, and you can read about that too.

Dinowalrus insisted on putting the PA speakers up until you could hear a full four rounds of their vocals sent through a delay pedal. They benefit from the ability to remain rhythmically honed-in to each other while allowing their alter-ego’d arhythmic delay loops to peter off into digital decay. They’re the kind of band that could get scooped up at any moment by whatever guy is behind the curtain plucking buzz bands from their natural environs and guiding them through the media mincer. Don’t quote me on that, because that would be cheesy.

Boo and Boo Too are from Lawrence, KS but from the other room at DBA, they often sounded like they were from early 90s London. Maybe from the same room, too–I wasn’t in early 90s London so I don’t know what people looked like back then. If that sounds like a lazy comparison, then you go take your ear plugs off and watch them play from five feet away! They’re sonically ferocious, stacking their wall of sound high and thick and they don’t let up until they need life guards to monitor the pool of sweat they’ve filled their little fortress with. Bet you wished I’d stuck with the shoegaze comparisons.

I was very pleased to have Rahim on this bill, because they’re too often clumped with going-ons on the other side of the East River. They’re one of my favorite pop bands: often too polished to fit in comfortably with the regular DIY sound, and too weird to be quickly picked up by more mainstream tastes. They’ve been making amazing music in that nether-region for years, and their last album was my favorite so far. Last night was more of the same, though not at the swanky sound stages at Pianos or Mercury Lounge.

On a recent drive to Ithaca with Fiasco, we listened to Flying and passed through the changing upstate New York foliage and their quiet, careful pop music complimented. It’s perhaps their chameleonic ability to translate the delicacies of their studio work to a rougher, readier live setting that was most exciting for me, previously a live-version-of-Flying virgin.

Parts and Labor, the moment most had been waiting for. I only began following Parts and Labor about halfway through their life as a band to date, if you consider its origins at some crappy Knitting Factory office jobs in 1999. I first met them when Chris Weingarten was their drummer, on the roof of BJ’s house at the time in Williamsburg. Since then, the lineup’s been expanded and altered, and you can read more of that sort of stuff in a roof in question for a pair of videos I did for the Voice.

I know, there’s nothing gonna stop you from slogging through this whole goddamn post. So let it be said: I love Parts and Labor’s new album, but I wasn’t sure how it would translate onto the stage. Their work on Stay Afraid and Mapmakers still sounds barely contained, waiting for the right time to jump the gate and storm the stage. The more placid Receivers actually suits the new lineup better than their older material, allowing the four adept instrumentalists to take on the new tracks systematically, instead of cutting up old songs into the hypothetical parts that could be played, had they been written originally with both a keyboardist and guitarist. This is getting lengthy. All I’m saying is they remain one of the best live touring bands on the underground circuit and their new album will help them prove it.

P.S.: Loving the nasty front page bitch slap Pitchfork gives the new album, (“stubbornly reconstructing punk anthems from the same raw parts”), while doling it out an 8.1. Cool, doods!

The Coathangers rolled in hungry and tired from Atlanta around 8pm, but by the time they started blasting out their dirty, ratty punk music, they seemed back in their boots, in that slouchy, nasty sort of way their music begs of them to be. (Actually, Coathangers are sweet people, often the case, it seems, with bands that create abrasive, jarring music… right?) Nate Dorr pointed out at the end of their set (he previously being a Coathangers virgin), that their punk carried traces of No Wave dissonance and anti-tonal concepts, in which slapping the keyboard rhythmically without respect to chords or notes is completely legitimate.

By the closing of this utterly epic night, Double Dagger was hosting the greatest dude-fest mosh this side of the 12-hour Fucked Up show from last week. So bad-ass was this romp, that our ever-forthright and faithful photographer stowed his camera with the bartender to join in the fray. Concussions go away if you sleep them off, right?