On Tuesday, for the first night of CMJ proper, I picked up my badge and put myself at the mercy of Amanda Marcotte, who was up visiting from Austin. Amanda is a veteran of countless SXSWs and is exactly the kind of hardcore concert companion you want for this kind of event. She suggested we start with the English band Angry Vs The Bear at Bowery Electric, but when we got there we learned their show had been cancelled. (Still no idea what happened.)
Undaunted, Amanda suggested we head down to Santos Party House, which had bands going in the downstairs bar as well as the main upstairs space. The downstairs bands turned out to be a lot mor entertaining. We heard Dinowalrus, Harlem (who are actually from Austin), Flexions, Lovvers, and Unnatural Helpers.
Unnatural Helpers made the best impression on us. Their drummer contributes the lead vocals -- normally this is a sonic nightmare, but in the tiny downstairs space the open vocal mic actually gave the cymbals a presence they'd been missing for the early bands. (It always makes me crazy when the guitars are louder than the drums. This is so deeply wrong I can't even begin to tell you.) Anyway, these guys rocked hard and definitely won over the smallish but appreciative crowd.
PREVIOUSLY:CMJ Day Zero
MORE:CMJ Day Two
CMJ Day Three
CMJ Day Four
CMJ Day Five