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
$5 at door