Tag Archives: The Smith Westerns

Recommended Monday Show: Wavves, The Smith Westerns, and Total Slacker at Bowery Ballroom

Smith Westerns

Wavves hater or not, you have to admit that his new album, King of the Beach, is at least a lot of fun.  Personally, I think it’s more than that.  I might even say it’s a perfect slacker anthem album, and it will be on repeat in my apartment until the weather stops making me want to go to the beach every day.  If his recent show at the Knitting Factory is any indication, Wavves’ live show keeps getting tighter and better, though I’m not sure he can carry a space as large as Bowery (his show at the large Brooklyn Bowl was abysmal).  The Smith Westerns put out one of my absolute favorite albums of last year, and their tough-as-nails-teen-heartthrob vibe makes for a fun live show.  Plus, it’s Total Slacker’s Bowery debut!  After months of constant playing, they totally deserve this next step.

MP3: “Idiot” – Wavves


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CMJ: Recommended Saturday Shows


I took last night off.  I fell asleep in front the newest It’s Always Sunny at 10, awoke two hours later to zombie-walk into my bed, and just woke up again a few minutes ago.  This CMJ business is a lot more tiring than I remember it being.  I hope everyone rested up for today, because it’s going to be great.  It’s your last chance to squeeze in all those bands you haven’t managed to see yet.  I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day for sure.

I’m combining today’s posts into one, because so many of the shows start at 3ish and go all night.  There’s a lot I’d recommend checking out, so here goes.

First of all, stop reading this right now.  Get yourself ready for the day and head to Pianos immediately.  At 12:30 Beast is playing and they’re serving FREE Bloody Mary’s.  After that, stick around for awhile.  There’s free Miller beer all day plus an amazing line-up: Sharon Van Etten, Smith Westerns, Pete and the Pirates (these guys have been getting amazing buzz), Dent May, Surf City, Deastro, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and LA’s Local Natives.  You could be there all day!

You could, though, make your way to Williamsburg (where you’ll probably want to spend the evening) at 3pm for the Impose Magazine showcase at Don Pedro’s.  It’s the usual Famous Class Records crew that I mention often on here: Snakes Say Hiss, The Tony Castles, Boogie Boarder, Darlings, with the added benefit of JEFF: the Brotherhood (go see them, I love them!), Dinowalrus, and Future Islands.   You could also go to Brooklyn Bowl at Noon for a pretty good party including Harlem.  I won’t be attending because I’ve somehow caught all of the other bands already, but they’re good, too: Lovvers, Soft Black, Surfer Blood (fun, but overhyped), and Grooms.

Now, nighttime offers more difficult decisions.  If you want to stay in one place from 1pm to 4am, Market Hotel is THE place to be.  Weirdly enough, Pitchfork joined with Todd P to put on a Showpaper benefit (not free, a badge will not get you in).  Todd P has been very, very quiet during CMJ, especially considering his overwhelming presence at SXSW.  I assumed this was because he really dislikes the evil organization that is CMJ, but the Pitchfork/Todd P pairing seems weird to me for the same reasons.  Anyways, there’s a sick line-up: Surfer Blood (1pm), Small Black (4pm), Javelin (5pm), Smith Westerns (6pm), Real Estate (7pm), Delorean (8pm), Cymbals Eat Guitars (10pm), Special Guests (11pm) and then DJ sets from The xx, Neon Indian, Lemonade, and Moses Archuleta from Deerhunter.

Mercury Lounge has a good line-up tonight, especially if you’re into harder rock.  It starts off with Dum Dum Girls (whom I’ve never seen but would really like to) and then Dutchess and the Duke and Golden Triangle.  Then, things get thrashy with Pissed Jeans, Obits, and Male Bonding, all highly recommended.

There’s so much other great stuff going on.  Too much to process.  There’s a lot of really wonderful things happening in Williamsburg, and your best bet is to probably run around seeing who you want.  Look at Oh My Rockness for help.  But I would like to finally recommend that you check out Double Dagger at Death By Audio.  I saw them at Market Hotel once before and I love their music.  They remind me so much of a tougher Pavement.  They are also responsible for this amazing company.

Below is a song from Atlas Sound’s Rough Trade EP I picked up at the show on Wednesday.  I’ll be on Twitter all day.  Have a great day, and good luck.

MP3: “Nightwork” – Atlas Sound

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CMJ: Thursday Night’s Recommended Shows


Thursday night there’s not really one place with a line-up of truly stand out bands that I’ve never seen before.  It’s probably going to be the running around from place to place the entire night.  Still, the Delancey has a pretty great lineup if you’re feeling kind of tired.  Male Bonding, Bear Hands, Delorean, The Antlers, Yes Giantess (weird electro band, for fans of Passion Pit), and Suckers.  The Antlers and Suckers alone would enough for a killer bill, but adding on these other interesting little bands makes this the showcase of the night.

Also of note is the Smith Westerns from Chicago.  They’re playing twice, once at Shea Stadium and once at Don Pedro for Impose Magazine’s party (free Colt 45!).  I really like their lo-fi scuzz, and definitely plan on making it to the Impose party.

MP3: “Imagine Pt. 3” – The Smith Westerns

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Recommended Saturday Show: These Are Powers, Grooms, The Smith Westerns, Knight School at Under the Tracks (High Line)


Sometimes does it feel like we need some new blood in this Brooklyn scene?  Even with so many bands, I’m starting to feel like I’m posting about the same ones over, and over.  Eh, who cares?  It’s because they’re good.  These Are Powers are weirdly awesome, with a great live presence.  Their music may be a bit hard to digest for some, but I promise they’re very entertaining.  Grooms are ex-Muggabears, and also play interesting music a bit harsh on the ears.  I was never really that impressed with them as the Muggabears, but they’ve been putting out some really cool stuff recently.  Smith Westerns and Knight School are also solid, simple indie rock bands.  Plus, on a beautiful day like today, who wouldn’t want to go hear music at the High Line?

MP3: “Life of Birds” – These Are Powers

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Recommended Wednesday Show: Titus Andronicus, The So So Glos, and The Smith Westerns at Monster Island Basement


This is the kickoff night of the Titus Andronicus/So So Glos fall tour.  A truly wonderful pairing that’s complemented at Monster Island Basement by The Smith Western’s own brand of modern punk- jangly, scratchy, with some Richard Hell snarl thrown in for good measure.  Listen to the anthemic “Be My Girl” below.  Titus and The So Sos have two of the highest energy shows I’ve seen in awhile, though I can’t speak for The Smith Westerns.  Titus have an energy that’s all about bucking the established norms, and the So Sos ooze a positivity I’ve rarely seen in any live acts.  There’s lots of good stuff tomorrow, but go to this show instead.  It will be the most fun.

MP3: “Titus Andronicus” – Titus Andronicus

MP3: “Be My Girl” – The Smith Westerns

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