If CMJ-goers weren’t at MSG Wednesday night having their minds blown by Phoenix and Daft Punk, chances are they were at Santos Party House for the Stereogum/PopGun showcase, which featured an impressive lineup of some formidable newcomers.
Hundreds of fans packed into the venue’s two floors, which alternated acts to keep a non-stop flow of sound throughout the night. Outside, a long line formed as dozens more hoped to get in to see what the showcase had to offer:
DOM DOM plays again Saturday at 11 p.m. Saturday @ Bowery Ballroom
At first glance, Diamond Rings appears to be nothing more than a guy who color coordinates his makeup with his shirt hunched over a laptop blaring blippy beats. But about a minute or so into the set, that impression dissolves as the one-man band delivers teeming, heartfelt vocals dangled above vibrant synth beats. Diamond Rings is the stage name for John O’Regan, a Toronto native formerly of the band D’Urbervilles, who is bringing his solo act stateside for the first time at CMJ. Lookout for Ring’s debut album, Special Affectations, out Monday.You can still catch Diamond Rings on Thursday @ Cake Shop 5 p.m. or Friday @ The Knitting Factory 3:30 p.m.
Marnie Stern Marnie Stern will make another appearance Sunday at midnight @ The Delancey
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Likely the most-hyped act on the bill (championed by Spin and Pitchfork, among others) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, they got off to a rocky start. Beginning almost a half hour later than their allotted time, their set ran head-on into Wild Nothing, who were the main stage. Things quickly settled in, however, as the Detroit duo dove right in to their unique electro-folk groove beneath several disco balls and a large, illuminated “JR JR” sign.Unfortunately, a good chunk of the crowd had already ventured upstairs to catch Wild Nothing. See DEJJ at The Studio at Webster Hall on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. or Midnight Saturday at Mercury Lounge.
After the lengthy delays Jr. Jr. suffered downstairs, it was actually surprising to hear Wild Nothing front man Jack Tatum walk up to the mic, introduce his band and jump into their first song right at midnight. With some blue lighting and an all-too-eager fog machine, Wild Nothing played through their full-length Gemini and some choice selections from their follow-up EP Evertide. The band’s sound–a nod to the indie rock of yesterdecade with a slightly looser song structure and some synthesizers–filled the upper floor of Santos’ really well, reaching a high point when they played “Confirmation.” Probably the only thing off about Wild Nothing’s performance were the hipster girl dancing like a spastic Jack Russell terrier on stage and the far-too-drunk girl in the crowd knocking into everyone around her. Wild Nothing also plays Saturday @ Pianos at midnight and Bowery Ballroom at 10 p.m.
Apache Beat playing again Thursday at 8 p.m. @ Rock Shop and Friday 8 p.m. @ Rockwood Music Hall