CMJ Day 3: Jaill, the Blow, Screaming Females, and more
|Jaill joke around at Webster Hall's the Studio|
She Keeps Bees
After a late start by the interesting if brand-new True Womanhood, She Keeps Bees' set was cut far short, allowed but fifteen minutes or so for this two-piece to break some plates. Guitarist and singer Jessica Larrabee is a barely contained fount of soul and tremble, all gorgeous voice and straightforward guitar. This band singe-handedly inflamed the day.
New Sub Pop signees and sons of Cream City Jaill were at Webster Hall for a sparsely-attended evening set of straightforward garage rock that was, if not boring, somewhat predictable but polished; they've yet to write The Single, but it seems within reach.
Maybe best known for her turn as the psycho Mel on Flight of the Conchords, Kristen Schaal brought some friends along to NYU's Skirball Center for a variety comedy show that was absurd and playful and confusing in just the right ways. While I missed the last bit of the show, Schaal performed everything I saw under the guise of a self-flagellating whoopee cushion, recalling the days of yore when farts were still funny (at which point she'd press a button for a long whiner, or a short burst, depending on the punchline). Kurt Braunohler, her comedic partner, performed a breathtaking ribbon dance that put him out of breath for an alarming amount of time (I can't say much on the topic; walking up from the subway platform to the street nearly kills me every single time) and then shared some interesting animal facts, before the amazing Reggie Watts took his turn, sharing some looped songs and his take on the rules of Skir Ball, the game he's probably really good at. A comedy show of this caliber wasn't to be missed.
I don't know the technical details of the PA system at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, but this was far and away the best I've ever heard the Screaming Females in the ten or so times I've seen them. It was massive, Marissa Paternoster shredding every inch out of the place and probably psychically affecting every musician within a mile radius of her. No, Screaming Females aren't a new band - they won't be hailed as the next Best Coast or Surfer Blood or whatever - but that's completely irrelevant because they're far better and far stronger than most of them. All of them.