"I want to write Screaming Females in a font bigger and bolder than all the rest. They won CMJ hands down." - Jamie Peck (NY Press)
So 2009 was the first CMJ for Screaming Females. Past years we have stayed away from this beast. Though giant industry festivals really aren't our thing, this year it seemed appropriate to make the hour drive into the city at least once during the week. So we planned one official CMJ show at Mercury Lounge. The Merc is a very cozy, good-sounding, traditional, on-the-island CMJ venue, so it seemed like the right spot. We sat about for hours watching the lines around the block for The xx, a band I had never heard of a month ago and then in the two weeks leading up to CMJ couldn't stop hearing about. The were probably the 'buzz' band of the year for the festival. Screaming Females has never really been a buzz band. We were never the popular kids in school. I'm definitely not bitter so don't let it come off like that. I prefer the fact that we have had years of work and a steady increase in press and crowd size, etc. But this is part of the reason we always stayed away from CMJ. Having two or three (or twelve) showcase shows in one week with the hopes that the papers and the bookers and the bloggers would discover Screaming Females was never going to work for us. Sooo, there were definitely no lines around the block for us like there were for The xx but we played a fun show (even though I had to use a house drumkit which always messes me up). As CMJ themselves put it in their review of the show:
"Their might be buzzier and more fashionable new bands than (New) Brunswick’s Screaming Females, but there’s not many as good. And they’re certainly a sight to see. ...it seems like nothing could stop this group at this point. Playing raw, stoner-friendly classic rock with gleeful punk vigor, the Screaming Females throw one chaotically precise anthem after another, and Paternoster is just a beast on guitar. Seriously, the guitar leads towards the middle of their midnight set were just scandalously dirty, though they still couldn’t steal the spotlight from her impassioned, mile high wail." - Michael Tedder (CMJ.com) - full review here - http://www.cmj.com/relay/?p=8399
photo credit - John Liang (baeblemusic.com)
More pictures from Mercury Lounge here - http://www.baeblemusic.com/musicblog/10-28-2009/cmj-screaming-females-
Then we were asked to do another unofficial CMJ show in Brooklyn. It would be Saturday night, all-ages, co-curated by myopenbar.com and Todd P, and the bill would feature JEFF the brotherhood and Sisters. We're in! Can't turn down a night like that even though we had to miss Jeff and Miranda of Black Wine's wedding party. Congrats! Also about a week before CMJ was to get going I got a call from Jake Orrall of JEFF letting me know that a band had dropped off a free all-ages day show at the new Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, also on Saturday, and "would we like to take the spot?" Sure, why not?! If we are making the drive into BK anyway we might as well take the opportunity to see JEFF play more than once! It was cool to see the Knit's new space. Glad that they have decided to stick to their tradition of all-ages shows even in their new, smaller space. I have some rad memories from the old Knitting Factory, including the Arm over Arm/ Zoo of Death 7" release show and the Kill Rock Stars CMJ showcase (2007?). Radio Flyer Review had this to say about the afternoon show:
"To put it simply, Screaming Females represent everything that has ever been good about rock and roll. That may sound like an exaggeration, but I mean it genuinely... If the future of rock music rests in their hands, I feel pretty sure we'll be OK. They've got it into them to defeat the reign of hipster crap once and for all. Let's hope they do." - Radio Flyer Review
Read the rest of what she/he had to say here - http://radioflyerreview.blogspot.com/2009/10/cmj-summary-part-3-last-part.html
Theendofirony.net caught some pics.
photo credit - Jason Glastetter (theendofirony.net)
More here - http://www.theendofirony.net/2009/10/screaming-females-played-during-day-at.html
After chatting with some Nashville buddies (including Infinity Cat's Heavy Cream, awesome band that also played the day show at Knitting Factory), we watched JEFF play at Don Pedro's and then ate some killer burritos to make up for our string of bad burrito outings on our last tour. Then we loaded into Above The Auto Parts Store for our Saturday night show. What a wild time that ended up being. Even though the free PBRs got drank up pretty quick it was totally a night to be remembered. The following pictures and reviews do the night better justice than I can. But first, it has come to my attention that NJ's own Darren Mabee (of We Are The Seahorses fame) has become somewhat of a star. Every review of the night mentioned that Darren was in attendance of our show, apparently quite the hip stamp of approval. I've know Darren for going on four years and I can honestly saw I've never met a person with more star power. The way he so confidently displays his flesh and lack of social boundaries is a living performance that is not to be missed. Someone get this guy a job as a fashion correspondent. Seriously though, how amazing would it be to see Darren Mabee and Alexa Chung giving it the old Siskel and Ebert on a red carpet somewhere? Darren had quite the CMJ week of his own being immortalized smack in the middle of the Village Voice's graphical depiction of the Brooklyn music scene. Check it!
Now for Saturday night!
From Village Voice.
photo credit - Rebecca Smeyne (Village Voice)
More of Rebecca's shots here - http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/archives/2009/10/cmj_saturday_in.php?page=2
Equally intense pictures @ Brooklyn Vegan!
photo credit - Leia Jospe (Brooklyn Vegan)
more here - http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/10/jeff_the_brothe_5.html
"I want to write Screaming Females in a font bigger and bolder than all the rest. They won CMJ hands down. The petite and unassuming looking Marissa Peternoster morphs into a powerful guitar goddess onstage. Singing, shredding and (occasionally) screaming, Paternoster reminded me of Corin Tucker, Siouxsie Sioux and Jimmy Page all rolled into one. Needless to say, the kids went crazy for it, moshing and stage diving non-stop, and one excited girl even bared her breasts... So I will just say, holy shit. Guitar-driven rock will never die so long as bands like this keep happening." - Jamie Peck (NY Press)
The rest of Jamie's write up is over here - http://www.nypress.com/blog-5295-jamie-does-cmj-the-final-chapter.html
You Twitter people even got a shootout at NJ.com in reference to this show. Power to the people? The headline read "Tweets agree: Screaming Females were amazing Saturday" and included these tweets:
PeepHoleBand: Screaming Females stole the show last night at the ol' auto parts store...the next Thin Lizzy!
heybrown: Onion Party, Knitting Factory: Screaming Females just killed it. Singer was doin some nasty shreddin' up there.
pcimprezzive: the guitarrist for screaming females is no joke! Ill take her w a knife fight anyday! She can slice & dice on that guitar!
You can read that blog over here - http://www.nj.com/bands/index.ssf/2009/10/tweets_agree_screaming_females.html