Hold hands, here we go… headfirst into the dizzying, manic-depressive week that is CMJ. Faced with over 900 possible bands to see during the course of five days, we offered a handy, alphabetical guide to help whittle them down to a manageable amount. Neat! Except, shoot, there’s more than just one band for every letter of the alphabet that comes with our stamp of approval. And Gross Magic, our pick to rep the letter “G,” recently canceled all of his U.S. tour dates. Let’s talk about Givers and Grass Widow then, shall we?
If you recall, we are really sorta digging both of these bands, having already commended Louisiana-based whippersnappers Givers for their take on Vampire Weekend-meets-Dirty Projector pop. But we never really discussed just how much positive energy exudes from the stage when they play live, as Phish fan-esque as that may sound. To be honest, we always assumed they would’ve taken off a bit more popularity-wise once their debut album hit shelves this summer. The dexterity these kids showcase creating something that is exotic, peppy and geometric really is impressive. Listen here, you’ll see what I mean.
As for Grass Widow, we’ve long been nursing a love affair for their San Francisco-baked garage rock, always happy to mention that their melodies are far weirder, more off-kilter, than what has become typical for the been-there-done-that genre. The girl group in question doesn’t necessarily wade in the psychedelic influences common to their hometown’s scene either, though their sound is just as skewed. Here, listen.
Givers are playing 10/20 at Terminal 5 and the Ace Hotel, as well as 10/22 at Brooklyn Bowl. Grass Widow (not part of the official CMJ lineup, mind you) are playing two unofficial shows, one on 10/18 at 285 Kent and another on 10/19 at Death by Audio.