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  • CMJ Music Marathon Report #2: A Place to Bury Strangers, Division Day, The Black Kids

    Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:21:17

    CMJ Music Marathon Report #2: A Place to Bury Strangers, Division Day, The Black Kids - Decisions, decisions—the show options add up on day two with scuzzy shoegaze, blasphemous electro and feather-weight indie vying for our ears

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    By Wednesday night the madness of CMJ had set in all over New York. Out-of-towners peppered the sidewalks, pouring over maps and flashing their badges proudly. 15-passenger vans suddenly became as ubiquitous as yellow taxis. For anyone planning the evening, decisions were mighty difficult. Eight o’clock: would you see Helium’s Mary Timony at Blender, or Baltimore grunt-punks Ponytail at Bowery? Nine: was it Marnie Stern’s flashy guitarwork, Cut Off Your Hands’ kiwi power buzz, or Tom Morello’s Nightwatchmen? Ten: The Pack, Xiu Xiu, No Age, Eagle*Seagull?

    But while everyone seemed to be losing their minds at Bowery Ballroom to the sound of Wham City wizard Dan Deacon, I headed to the Canal Room to see Division Day. Thanks to the wealth of decisions, the crowd was oddly thin, which may have had something to do with how disengaged the LA-based four-piece seemed from the stage. Even so, their light-weight keyboard-led indie rock seemed to justify all the blog attention they’ve been receiving of late. Pulling selections from the recently-released Beartrap Island, the band left the impression of a straight-forward Annuals: lush, somewhat sloppy, but no where near as ambitious.

    A Place To Bury Strangers at Music Hall of Williamsburg | by Robbie Mackey

    Across the river in Williamsburg, Canada’s naughtily-named Holy Fuck took to the stage at the Insound party at Galapagos. Approximating the textures and aesthetic of electronic music without using any of the genre’s normal tools, the trio herked and jerked in front of mounds of keyboards, processors and analog equipment, thrashing at knobs and drawing nasty squelches and burps from the sound system. As usual, the drumming was fevered and rambunctious. ”Lovely Allen,” the stand-out from the band’s forthcoming LP, was the set’s high point—a repetitive keyboard phrase played coyly with the beat, while the whole mess of sound twirled like a merry-go-round.

    Next door at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s own pedal-loving A Place To Bury Strangers played to another surprisingly small crowd. Considering the praise this band has been getting from the folks at Pitchfork, you’d think a throng of bloggers would have been on hand to check out “the loudest band in New York.” But with Vice Magazine’s first late night party at The Cake Shop featuring another net fave, The Black Kids, a bit of audience poaching definitely went down. Soldering on, the band played a rough, powerful set of noise-coated rock music, all culled from the A Place’s self-titled 2007 album. Set against a projected backdrop of pulsing white squares, the band’s noir-ish, nihilist take on Jesus and Mary Chain scuzz was a wonderfully loud way to close out the evening.

    —Robbie Mackey

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    Tags: A Place to Bury Strangers, Dan Deacon, Division Day, Holy Fuck

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