The L's Lauren Beck went to CMJ last week and probably had more fun than you -- because she actually braved all those terrifying "limited badge" shows -- and totally got in. Was it luck? Or the fact that Broken Social Scene made her their 701st member? Find out in her recap of the week in music that was.
The Muslims at Mercury Lounge, Thursday 10pm
The Muslims played 10 shows during their time at CMJ. I'm not sure what number their show at Mercury Lounge put them at, but they seemed to have gotten pretty comfortable with playing on a strict schedule -- six songs in 18 minutes, each one impeccably tight and incessantly catchy. I like to call them "San Diego's answer to the Strokes" because I have a penchant for unoriginal music writing, and also, because they sound like a sun-baked version of the Strokes. For a man with exactly one facial expression (the I-don't-care-enough-to-move-my-face gaze) and few words ("Thank you, we're the Muslims"), frontman Matt Lamkin may have been blasé, but was also miraculously far from boring. He cupped the mic like he was holding on for dear life and sashayed his long-limbed body around the stage as if feeding a nervous tic. Needless to say, every low-cut Converse All-Star in the crowd was moving, albeit ever so casually and coolly.
Jukebox the Ghost at Mercury Lounge, Friday 1am
There's something to be said about mothers who coerce their children into piano lessons; it's because of them that bands like Jukebox the Ghost exist. Thanks to three Suburban Moms, we now have three recent college grads playing bouncy piano-laden pop with a quirky, theatrical flair. High-pitched "Ooohs!" and "Ha's" punctuate lyrics that could've been lifted from a meticulously folded note passed between homeroom and algebra ("Oh my God, if I tell him, he'll tell her, and then she'll know I like her!!"), save for the three-part ballad involving the apocalypse and outer space. ("This one's about fire and brimstone," they explained.) After an unfortunate series of van breakdowns and lost auto parts that left them stranded along the Nevada border earlier in the week, Jukebox the Ghost drove two days straight before arriving in NYC just an hour or so before their set. Despite self-professed exhaustion, they were nothing but eager, earnest and utterly enjoyable -- and, damn, those songs are still playing in my head.
Broken Social Scene at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Friday 10pm