The Gotobeds, S, Mass Gothic, Protomartyr & more played the Sub Pop/Hardly Art CMJ showcase (pics/review)
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
S / The Gotobeds
The annual Sub Pop / Hardly Art CMJ showcase went down last night (10/15) at Knitting Factory. It kicked off with Mass Gothic, the new thing from Hooray for Earth's Noel Heroux who just signed to Sub Pop. They were pretty good -- catchy, agreeable indie rock that was at times dancey, at times darker and a little heavier, and hit a few spots in between too.
The biggest draw for me was S (aka Jenn from Carissa's Wierd) whose 2014 album Cool Choices remains one of the most underrated albums of last year. S tours as a 4-piece band, and they played basically every song I wanted to hear from that album (except "Remember Love"). They don't have the craziest live show or anything, but Jenn's voice sounded amazing and it was great to finally hear those songs. The heartbreaking lyrics are definitely the biggest sell with the Cool Choices songs, and having them sung right in front of you is some pretty heavy stuff. If you're still sleeping on this record, you should really change that.
Next was The Gotobeds, who most people at BV have seen before but I was getting my first live taste of last night. Their live show is great in just about all the ways you want from a band like this. They've got tough fist-pumping punk rock and more brainy post-punk tendencies too. They're great musicians, even better performers (I still kinda can't believe how high frontman Eli Kasan can kick), and they've got as much a wiseass sense of humor as they do raw power. Great set, and you can catch them again at the free BrooklynVegan all-day party on Saturday.
I caught a bit of Olympia's Nirvana-ish punks Strange Wilds before heading home (our photographer had left already though). And Protomartyr wrapped up the night which Bill can tell you about...
Protomartyr frontman Joe Casey spent most of the night in Knit's front bar watching the Mets game, cracked a baseball joke (that I didn't get) at the start of their set but otherwise didn't offer up much between-song commentary. That's ok: the band were pretty on fire last night for an intense set that split its time between new album The Agent Intellect (their toughest, bleakest yet) and 2014's Under Color of Official Right, plus "Three Swallows" from No Passion All Technique. You 've got two more chances to see Protomartyr at CMJ: tonight (10/16) at Rough Trade (12:45 AM, tickets), and Saturday (10/17) at the Car Wash show (sold out).
In between S and The Gotobeds, H. Jon Benjamin (with help from Eugene Mirman and a guy claiming to work for Sub Pop) did a bit involving prank calls that got very dark very quick. Funny too. More pictures below...
H. Jon Benjamin & Eugene Mirman