Unofficial CMJ at 13 Thames

With all the great shows slated for this week, it’s easy to forget that the local DIY concert scene will also be in full unofficial CMJ swing.  So if your dance card isn’t already filled, hop off the Morgan stop and check out these parties hosted on the 3rd floor of 13 Thames:

image c/o Bermuda Bonnie

Tuesday, October 18
eauxneaux * DATALOGBermuda BonniePhone TagDOLDRUMS

Wednesday, October 19
Bushwiccan * fthrsnChrome SparksSun GlittersSpanish Prisoners

Thursday, October 20
XDS (formerly Experimental Dental School)Royal BathsStarlight GirlsABADABAD

Friday, October 21

BAL Presents – The CMJ Showcase

RSVP for this shit on Facebook

What’s good Willy? As you all know, each October NYC plays host to one of the largest, most diverse, and downright chaotic music festivals in the world: CMJ. With over 1,000 bands playing in nearly 100 venues, clubs, apartments, and crackdens, CMJ has a reputation for being a hot mess of bewildering, haphazard events featuring shallow pools of inconsistent talent. If not for the free beer given away at many of these places, I’d probably stay at home, chill on Spotify, and inevitably rub one out late night.

On the real though, the CMJ madness can really take a toll on the working man who only has so much time and energy to dick around booking it across it town. Which is why BAL has once again done all the hard work for you, and organized a supremely balanced lineup featuring four of the most compelling, unique, and plainly proficient bands we’ve been bumping.

Boston’s Pile is one of my favorite unsigned bands out there, with two gorgeous LPs and a recently released 7” under their belt. Their style is infectious, memorable, and accessible, combining expressive country rock with garage fuzz and moshpit energy. The beautiful “Octopus” off their LP Magic Isn’t Real embodies everything that makes this band so unforgettable; it is an emotional roller-coaster of a track that cleverly builds on a simple melody before walloping you with a crash of pounding drums and wailing vocals, then easing you back with a comforting denouement. That this happens twice in a single song makes it all the more remarkable.

Joining Pile are three fantastically talented NYC bands who together personify our city’s rock n’ roll heart and soul. Brooklyn stalwarts Tidal Arms, a three piece experimental band exuding clean rhythms and dark melodies, have really put together an impressive first act with their debut LP The Sun Exploding. Check out this video of them performing “Heavy Brainfall” in their Greenpoint studio, Spaceman Sound.

Our boys Grandfather will also be contributing their brand of explosive, visceral art rock to the lineup. Grandfather is working on a new studio album and have already begun to play some new material at recent shows. They also play Tuesday night at Cakeshop, and a 2nd BAL HAUS party later in the week. Details forthcoming on this dubious night of Bushwick loft lunacy.

Opening the show is Brooklyn’s own King Owl, who are currently recording their debut LP at Spaceman Sound with your boys from Tidal Arms. Soulful, rhythmic, and dexterous, their music combines a folky, storytelling tradition with clean arrangements and elegant vocal harmonies. We’re beyond pumped to have this up and coming four piece grace our stage.

BAL Presents: The CMJ Showcase
Wednesday, October 19 at Trash Bar
256 Grand Street, Williamsburg
8:00 PM
$5 at door

Compete (and/or Eat) for Annual Mac-Off

Organizers for The Mac-Off are looking for connoisseurs skilled at that delicate art of combining pasta and the best dairy product ever for their annual mac and cheese competition. So if you have the expertise in creating the cheesy dish – beyond adding water to the Kraft kind and shaking some bacon bits into the mix (um. yeah. me.) – then show ’em what you got. Free to compete! Prizes too!

Image c/o the claque

For details, hit up |the claque| at [email protected].

And for those of you who prefer just to taste and imbibe, check out the event. Help a local arts conglomerate fund some exciting new theater projects.

The Mac-Off: 2nd Annual Mac and Cheese Fundraiser
Sunday, October 23
5pm to 8pm
Huckleberry Bar
588 Grand Street
$10 to judge, eat and booze

This Weekend: The Creators Project DUMBO

Portrait of Atlas Sound by Mick Rock

Portrait of Atlas Sound by Mick Rock

The Creators Project DUMBO is the place to be this weekend. If you haven’t done so already, you can RSVP here and see the full line-up of film and music here. In addition to Karen O, Florence + the Machine, Justice, Four Tet, and John Maus, Atlas Sound will perform on Saturday.

CMJ 2011 Schedule – Day 1 & 2 PICKS

CMJ 2011

Welcome to Part 1 of our 2011 CMJ picks.  We teamed with My Social List (The Most Blogged About Shows this Week) to give you the rundown of some of the best shows of the fest.  First off, a quick tip: This year CMJ show-only badges are $150; in years past (unless you were a student), trying to get an all-access pass could cost you three times that much. Meanwhile, we’ll try to help you save a few bucks by recommending primarily cheap and free shows.

This list includes official CMJ shows & unofficial shows alike.  We tried to throw in some counter-programming so that those who don’t partake in music (losers!) or those sick of it can still be entertained.

Tuesday Evening Shows:

6PM: Live4ever Media CMJ w/ The Duke Spirit, Damndogs, Figo, Pint Shot Riot, The Minutes, Fifth Nation, 1,2,3, Le Blorr, The Dirty Grand, LA Riots DJ set, VHS or Beta DJ set, Boyhollow DJ set @ Brooklyn Bowl – Free with RSVP

7:30PM: Car Park / Paw Tracks Showcase w/ Class Actress, Dent May, Cloud Nothings, Young Magic, Adventure, Jimmy Whispers @ Public Assembly – Price TBD

[Read more…]

Occupy the tundra

There’s no justice, it’s just us!

Listen to this: Small Black f. Heems “Two Rivers”

The song is called “Two Rivers” and comes courtesy of the forthcoming Small Black mixtape called Moon Killer. Heems from Das Racist gives a relaxed, mellow freestyle over the reverb-ed out Small Black synths. Could this be the Indian Summer jam of 2011?
(via The FADER)

The Vintage Crawl: a self guided shop and bar hop through Williamsburg/ Greenpoint

Do you like to shop? Do you like to drink?  Well then why don’t you do both at the same time this Sunday October 16th at the Vintage Crawl‘s premiere event: the Fall Crawl.  The Vintage Crawl is a self-guided shop and bar hop through Williamsburg and Greenpoint–this premier event will feature a designated bargain hunt through the best vintage shops- men’s, women’s and home- in the neighborhood.  All of your favorite neighborhood bars along the route such as the Commodore, Manhattan Inn, High Horse Saloon, Huckleberry bar, the Gibson and Soft Spot will be featuring various drink specials during the Crawl from 12-6pm– there will also be an after party for the the Vintage Crawl at Union Pool starting from 6pm onwards!

All involved shops will be offering special discounts to crawlers– all you have to do is show them the map to redeem. You can download and print the map here and/ or get it on your smart phone from the new Williamsburg app, Domino, at Its free and fantastic!

Below are some previews of Vintage Store discounts:

Malin Landaeus: 157 N 6th St. (Between Bedford Ave. and Driggs Ave.) — 25% off Vintage clothing, tea and Vegan baked goods served at 4pm
Antoinette: 119 Grand St. (at Berry St.) — 10% off  everything in-store, complimentary champagne drinks & indie folk band, Lightfoot performing (4pm-5pm)
Grand St. Bakery: 602 Grand St. (between Lornimer and Leonard).- Sale rack with special discount.

Horizons: 377 Metropolitan Ave. (at Havemeyer St.)–20% off nearly everything in the store including a complimentary drink.
Seven Wonders: 606 Manhattan Ave (at Nassau ave.)–20% off everything in store.
Le Grand Strip:  197 Grand St. (Between Bedford Ave and Driggs Ave.)
10% off all items in store
Sunday Love: 624 Grand St. (at Leonard St.) — Buy $40 worth of stuff to receive a gift certificate for $15 to spend at your next visit.
Fox & Fawn: 570 Manhattan Ave. (at Driggs Ave.) — 25% off select items in the store plus a $5 rack.  Also free Vintage Charms- first come first
Sanford and Sven: 106 N. 3rd St. (at Berry St.) — 10% discount
Golden Calf319 Wythe Ave (at S. 2nd St) –20% off Vintage Furniture
About Glamour: 103 N. 3rd St (at Berry st.) — 10% off everything

Brooklyn Reclamation676 Driggs Ave (at N. 1st st)— 15% off Everything

AND MUCH MORE. Stay in the loop with the Vintage Crawl via twitterfacebook and their blog for news and updates on store and bar discounts.
Such a fantastic opportunity to buy up for fall while getting your buzz on!  Don’t forget to show the map to redeem the discounts.  Happy hunting.