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James Murphy, Pat Mahoney, YACHT
We're in the thick of things now... three days in, two more to go, and you must've seen at least a few terrible bands at this point. Perhaps some pretentious prog-rock Radiohead rip-offs? Here's your chance to shake off any bad memories. New York's resident dance-punk label, DFA Records, has made it easy for you: LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and Pat Mahoney will be there (we assume DJing), as will YACHT. And do you know what YACHT's "Psychic City (Voodoo City)" is? The best dance song of 2009.
Small Black, Pomegranates
The Bell House
Those dudes up on stage look strangely familiar. Maybe they're your second cousins? Or work at your neighborhood coffee shop? Or, maybe, you've seen them play at the CMJs of yesteryear as part of the original Brooklyn blog band. Ah, yes. Uninhabitable Mansions, a new-ish project from two guys in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and a member of Au Revoir Simone, is a no-holds-barred outpouring of shimmery melody and earnest sentimentality. They should be complemented nicely by fellow indie-rock romantics Pomegranates, Freelance Whales, Hawk and Dove and Small Black's sad-eyed, lo-fi jams. It's all part of the party that Gothamist is throwing, presumably based on the credo that pop music trumps all.
Male Bonding, Bear Hands,
Antlers, Delorean, Suckers
This is hard. We really love TV, and Thursday night's lineup is difficult to resist now that 30 Rock is back in action. We also really love Suckers. Bear Hands too. Antlers, not so much, but that doesn't seem to stop many of you from fawning over them anyway. In the end, the British rock overlords at NME have put together a far too solid lineup (between the lightly dusted electro-pop of Delorean to the fuzzed-out punk rage of recent Sub Pop signees Male Bonding) to make us forgo this show. Plus! The titillating promise of "special guests" come early morning. Probably Paul McCartney.
Alec Ounsworth, Hockey, Local
Natives, Sean Bones
We have a distinct memory of seeing Wolf Parade at Sub Pop's CMJ showcase in 2005. They weren't the headliners that night, and we were only there based on word-of-mouth recommendations. Let's just say that by the time they broke into "I'll Believe in Anything," we were fated to love them forever. The point being, the bands on this bill, as much as we love Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's Alec Ounsworth and the fizzy, worldly pop of Local Natives, they might not ever live up to the unexpected surprise of Wolf Parade. It's nearly impossible to be completely blindsided by a band in the days of music blogging, but these guys do make us excited to get out and support music, which, at the end of the day, is all we can really ask for.