Minnesota does CMJ: Doomtree, Me & My Arrow, Melismatics rock NYC

Categories: CMJ, Local Music
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Photos by Allegra Oxborough
Doomtree's Mike Mictlan
BY ALLEGRA OXBOROUGH

Brooklyn took two heaping spoonfuls of Minneapolis this Wednesday at the CMJ marathon. Early in the day the Green Room Music Source booking agency curated an all-Minneapolis showcase at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. 

The show featured eight bands--Virtual CH, Savannah Smith, the Brutes, Communist Daughter, the Melismatics, Maudlin, Pictures of Then, Me and My Arrow--all before 5:30PM. Though the daytime crowd was sparse (mostly a few former Minnesotans and band members) spirits were high and performances were compelling. The Melismatics, in particular, demonstrated a range of energetic theatrical moves, notably Pony's dancing and pink feather boa tosses, and three-person synchronized guitar lifts.

Much has been said about the sheer size of headlining band Me and My Arrow, but it is impossible not to comment when so many layers of sound fill a room, mesmerizing everyone in it. The group was cut short without warning, leaving a genuinely disappointed handful of captivated listeners. Fortunately they have booked a show for nearly every day of the marathon.

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Photo by Allegra Oxborough
Sims and P.O.S. rapped together during a song from the new album, No Kings
Hours later, and just down the street from Spike Hill, Doomtree took the stage at the Knitting Factory. The crew is long past the days of having to win over an audience of indie-rock kids, but I'm still thrilled every time I see an out-of-town crowd shouting the lyrics to almost every song, unreleased material included. The audience was continually asked to participate and never declined, from Mictlan's chorus of "hello, hello," to Dessa's microphone malfunction-turned audience sing-a-long (she ended up borrowing P.O.S.'s mic and double-fisting for the rest of the song).

Doomtree is celebrating their forthcoming crew record No Kings (which drops November 22nd) and they premiered some songs on the album. Their darker moments are as characteristic as their dancey ones and "Bolt Cutter" proved to be one of the former. The heavy, raw track was disarming in the best way.

Maybe the best indicator for a successful show on a cold and rainy New York day: the room felt something like 20 degrees hotter by the time it was over. Minnesotans know how to heat a room.



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