Friday, October 21st:
Friday at CMJ kicked off with some time well spent with Daniel Glass and Matt Pinfield at NYU’s Kimmel Center. It was the final stretch for panels and so we had to be choosy. So, why should college radio care about these two names?
As CMJ notes, “[Daniel Glass] is the Founder & President of Glassnote Entertainment Group…the home of Grammy-winning band Phoenix, the platinum-selling and Grammy-nominated Mumford & Sons, as well as The Temper Trap, Two Door Cinema Club…Royal Bangs, GIVERS and recent signings Oberhofer and Childish Gambino…in April of 2010…Rolling Stone named Glassnote ‘Best Indie Label’…
“[Matt Pinfield is a] critically acclaimed music personality and show host…[who] started his career working as the on-air Talent and Music Director at WRSU-FM, the official radio station of Rutgers University.” Pinfield went onto work with MTV, Columbia Records and VH1 and currently hosts MTV’s ‘120 Minutes’, one of MTV’s longest-running shows.” Good enough reasons for college radio!
With Pinfield doing the majority of the moderating, Glass gave an insider’s perspective on ‘discovering’ exciting new musicians and working with them based on sheer inspiration. He spoke highly of his experience with French pop group, Phoenix, relating that it was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of his career (initially chatting with the band). “I never drink coffee, and I’m in this cafe in Paris, and all of a sudden, I’ve had five espressos,” he laughed. Despite his caffeine-addled presence, Glass had enough presence of mind to form a fast bond with the band which would take them to a Grammy win in 2010 for ‘Best Alternative Music Album’.
After panels cleared out and cleaned up, , we headed over to Brooklyn to meet up with fellow college radio folks and spend some time checking out Waters and Yellow Ostrich at The Knitting Factory. Call it a stroke of good (Midwestern) luck, running into Muzzle of Bees’ main source, Ryan Matteson and The Shepherd Express’ Evan Rytlewski, just in time to catch a beautiful set from the former Wisconsinite, Alex Schaaf’s, Yellow Ostrich, who just released his album Mistress on Barsuk Records.
Saturday, October 22nd:
Saturday was devoted to the last hurrah’s of CMJ, with the final panels done. Now, all that was left was to nab some time with a couple showcases, compliments of the musicians’ promo companies — all bands with brand new music being played right now on WMSE. Much of the music was so brand-brand new and there was a little hectic-ness of schedule shuffling, trying to catch it all. So when encouraged to check out these bands, we readily complied, but had to plan ahead. We checked back in at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn for a string of performances by Vacationer, Casiokids, Memoryhouse, 1,2,3, and DOM.
Casiokids were the highlight, all the way from Norway, bringing an energy to the stage that was reminscent of Jens Lekman’s theatrical versus droll performances, full of deadpan humor and musical energy all at once. The band’s new album, Aabenbaringen over aaskammen [Polyvinyl] might be a tongue-twister, but their music is not hard to wrap one’s head around. Simple dance-pop + humor, and Casiokids had a roomful of young and histrionic music pros at rapt attention.