17 October 2007

"Wocka Wocka Wocka!" Day 1 -- Bands One (1) to Four (4); Day 1

This year a monolithic pairing between NYU and CMJ finds the Marathon's headquarters at the historic Puck Building. Think of it as a sort of indie-rock Death Star -- the center of the CMJ universe. Amidst promotional booths and piles of free swag sits the Day Stage, home to performances throughout the week. People mulled around with gift bags and free mags, Mountain Dew and energy drinks flowing like water. Dirty beards and thick-rimmed glasses were countless. On your marks, get set ...

The first stride in my marathon was Takka Takka's 1:00 PM Day Stage set. The boys from Brooklyn didn't so much kick things off as ease them in, their bright clean guitars weaving tight patches, always calming and clear. Pavement had riffs like this but they felt dirty, loose and sorta zany -- Takka Takka's intertwining grooves are polished and fine. The five-pieces' clarity was ideal for the daylight hour, sunlight shining in spears through the building's windows. Any brooding that might find itself at home in a dark, dingy club or bar was absent, replaced by laid-back, shuffling percussion and melodic bass-lines. The highlight, though, was the spirited facial expressions, winces and grimaces from the band's rhythm (and 3rd!) guitarist while providing smooth vocal harmonies. Entertaining, yes, but wholly unwarranted. An embodiment of effortlessness, Takka Takka don't toy with pain nor strain.

mp3 Takka Takka We Feel Safer At Night

My night in Alphabet City ran as smoothly as a three-wheeled wagon. Marred by my own inexperience, I tripped and ate a little mud (to 'run' with this marathon metaphor). Day 1 saw me miss three scheduled bands (sorry guys!) to be replaced along the way. Hear you me -- I will make up the ground I lost. READ THE REST

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