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Best of the Best from Cmj 2012

Posted on the 26 October 2012 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

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CMJ came and went quickly, and this one, for us at least, was one of the best in recent history. With so many acts playing in such a short amount of time, we undoubtedly missed some of the bands we really wanted to see. For each band we weren’t able to check out, though, we were caught off guard by someone else who blew us away.  Check out our favorites below!

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There is a place in everyone’s heart for straight up rock music, and that’s where Foxygen lives. With a sound that harkens back to the classic rock of yore with just enough of a post-modern raw edge to make it interesting, Foxygen (@foxygentheband) wowed us at every turn. No matter where they played during CMJ, the band put on a Show (with a capital S). — Hannah Angst

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With sweet and slow melodies that would lull you to sleep were it not for their harmonic loveliness, Australia’s High Highs (@highhighs) are proving just how amazing the music scene is down under. Considering the mellow nature the band’s collection of light indie rock, captivating crowds should be somewhat difficult to achieve, but the glow of the Christmas lights they bring to every show and the pure engrossing beauty of the music makes each set one to remember. — Hannah Angst

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My Kind of Woman – Mac DeMarco // Buy

Freaking Out the Neighborhood // Buy

What a guy. Mr. Mac DeMarco definitely stood up to the pre-CMJ hype surrounding his music and then round-kicked it in the face. Despite having a relatively early set at Public Assembly, Mac and band still played to a packed room.  And even with their long list of CMJ gigs obviously taking it’s toll, they presented one of the most energetic and amusing performances I saw at the festival. With just enough skater/stoner cheek to keep the crowd giggling, the band rocked out as if they had not a care in the world. — Nikki Williams

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It’s not that I feel obliged to put another Australian band on this list, but Big Scary are a band you should check out. Catchy-as-ever melodies, combined with slightly complex drum beats and an unmistakably beautiful pairing of female and male vocals, they’re a band for all weather or emotion. Lead singer and keyboardist/guitarist Tom Iansek has a fragile undertone to his voice but when he reaches for those piercing notes, it’s as if he’s the king of the world.  – Nikki Williams

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After waiting anxiously for the “special guest” slot to be filled on a night of music at Brooklyn Bowl, I was stoked to hear Unknown Mortal Orchestra would be gracing the stage. The half New Zealand, half American line up play an incredibly tight combination of lo-fi, psychedelic, and indie rock with some of the best musicianship I saw during the entirety of CMJ. There’s no wonder these guys receive praise from every major music hub from NME to Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. – Nikki Williams

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When landed in my inbox earlier this months, I was instantly hooked.  The Danish 23 year-old only has two tracks available online, but has a growing catalog of seductive electronic pop that she put on display during CMJ.  Playing some of the very best shows, including the Danger Village, Yours Truly, and Dirty Laundry TV parties, had no shame in her pre-recorded backing vocals and presented them cleverly by projecting video of herself in different outfits singing the various parts.  While fans of Purity Ring and Grimes are going to fall in love with this chick, people that find both of their music annoying may actually be the ones that love her more. This is just the beginning for . — Eric Weiner

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Our hopes and wishes were absolutely fulfilled with Opossom’s set at our CMJ party, The Beehive.  The New Zealand three-piece was at ease on stage, switching instruments, charming the crowd, and replicating the sounds on their album pristinely.  As with any band that has heavily effected vocals on their record, I was concerned that maybe it wouldn’t translate live, yet frontman Kody Nielson sounded spot on — a perfect mix of warped and true vocals.  Of course, ours wasn’t their only CMJ party as they had 5 (count ‘em 5!) other performances during the week.  From what I’ve heard, each and every one was a smashing success.  Smashing! Bonus: They’re playing Cameo Gallery with ARMS and Blue Hawaii tonight in case you missed them last week.  – Eric Weiner

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There are times when something is so perfectly within your taste that you can’t help but wonder if they made it for you. Savages, the all female UK post-punk group, not only sounds just like the noises that I have in my head, but they are so effortlessly cool it’s hard not to be captivated. The shows they played at CMJ were universally packed, and Savages didn’t disappoint, playing fierce sets to crowds that hung on their every move. — Hannah Angst

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I didn’t not like Brooklyn’s Slam Donahue before seeing them during CMJ, but I certainly wasn’t an avid listener of their music.  With their set at Pianos on Tuesday night, I was officially won over.  These dudes are full of boisterous energy and play a poppy yet rough brand of indie rock that’s even better live than recorded.  The Brooklyn-based group has recently gone through a small lineup change as former drummer Keenan Mitchell left the band to further pursue his other project Fort Lean.  But this change hasn’t seemed to affect the band as they didn’t miss a beat. The band just released their Hemlock Tea EP, which was produced by Ayad Al Adhamy (Passion Pit, Team Spirit), this August. You can buy it here. — Eric Weiner

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Deap Vally’s highly addictive Wednesday night set at Bowery Ballroom was all tiny outfits and big attitude. The California duo keep it simple and play raw blues on just guitar and drums. Lindsey Troy’s screeching rock and roll vocals are reminiscent of a no-rules 1980s mentality while Julie Edwards’ simple drumming patterns provide the perfect skeleton to songs that are easily memorable and exciting. Deap Vally were a refreshing reminder that you only need to be as good as your grooves and your energy — they’ve got both in spades. — Caitlin Devlin

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If you’re one of the unfortunate ones who still haven’t caught a glimpse of English band, Daughter, you need to get moving, pronto. Going only by the fact that the same guy responsible for the latest The xx album, Coexist, recorded Daughter’s most recent EP, you’d expect this to be a band to watch.  Boy, do these guys live up to their hype! Their stunning, heart-achingly honest songs and devastating-yet-calm stage presence make them our pick for the best band of CMJ. Eighty percent of people watching the band at Mercury Lounge had their eyes closed during the set, meanwhile I had tears rolling down my cheeks. — Nikki Williams

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