Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thank You, Good Night: The Beast of the East CMJ 2010

With all those critics and FANatical critics out there, we often get a chance to hear what they think of a band and a specific show. But how often do we get a review from the band that's played the show? Not often. So in order to fill that gap, we give you another installment of "Thank You, Good Night" with Bridges & Powerlines' Keith Sigel. They played the "Beast of the East" CMJ Day Party last week and the praises abound. As Ryan Spaulding from Ryan's Spaulding Life tends to be one of our favorite bloggers, we tend to agree wholeheartedly with the commentary. In addition to Bridges & Powerlines, the organizers put together an all star lineup with Bodga Girls, Mean Creek, Aloud, Kingsley Flood, Son of the Sun, and David Wax Museum.

"I don't think it would offend the planners of 'beast' (the 10/22 day show) to know that we had muted expectations of our show. It's not that they hadn't put together a great line-up or that we thought that there were any major problem with the logistics or the planning of the show, it's just that CMJ day shows are really tough. We've played quite a few; this is our 4th year playing at the CMJ Music Marathon, and we've played a variety of day showcases. Despite our efforts and the efforts of many talented promoters and bloggers it can be tough to get people to your day show, even with great bands and great buzz.

But with Beast of the Northeast, a showcase put together by blogger Ryan Spaulding (, promoter Annie Rock, and Boston weekly The Dig, something magical happened. I don't know if it was detailed preparation or old fashioned PR, but they really got a great crowd out to enjoy the lineup of hardworking indie bands.

We had our own issues to deal with; our regular drummer Mason had been offered an opening slot for Daniel Lanois that afternoon with his side-band (poor guy!) so we were going to do the show with a back-up drummer with whom we had only rehearsed twice. Nonetheless, our show went great. We kept our set simple, not employing any of the complicated live drum and guitar loops that we've worked in over the years. Just four guys, in the classic set-up, hanging out and playing some songs.

Arlene's Grocery, a small rock club in the heart of the NYC Lower East Side was the venue for the showcase. We hadn't played at Arlene's before, but it is well-located and has top-notch sound, and appeared to be the ideal location for a day show.

During our set the energy was great, the crowd was great, and there was even one celebrity twitterer in the crowd enjoying the afternoon show as well (see image). After our slot was over, we hung out with the other bands and compared notes on different venues we'd played on previous tours.

So thanks Beast, for changing my tune on CMJ day shows -- I hope that you have many iterations and change the jaded outlook of other bands!"

Now we know Adam Duritz loves Bridges & Powerlines but we think you should check them out for yourself.

Bridges and powerlines- Mirabell by greenlightgo

"Thank You, Good Night" takes a birds eye view of what it's like for a band to play a show that can only described as a pinnacle experience for the band themselves.


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