And so the crazy begins.
Last night was officially #CMJDay1 and I spent it traveling to a venue I'd never been to before: the Brooklyn Bowl. Located in Williamsburg (read: the "hip" part of North Brooklyn), the Brooklyn Bowl is somehow exactly what you expect it to be and everything you wouldn't expect at the same time. Yes, it's a bowling alley...but with a mid-sized performance space, multiple bars, lots of creepy bowling pin decorations, and vintage Coney Island freak show memorabilia abounding. Oh, and they serve hot spiked cider. (You're welcome for the tidbit.)
Because of how the relatively small (by New York standards) venue is set up, you can actually bowl a few games and watch a live performance on stage just a few yards to your left. It's a really fun concept.
I had no time for games, however. I was in the area specifically for one thing and one thing only: taste maker artist Grace Mitchell who was planning a mid-show set in the night's lineup. The CMJ showcase (hosted by The Syndicate & Conflict of Interest) was a mixture of a preexisting tour headlined by Joywave (whom I've seen live at CMJ two years ago!). Grace mentioned she'd been on the tour for about three weeks now and how it's been a total blast.
The show opened quite a bit late with sonic soundscape/one-man-band Bayonne getting the crowd warmed up. He was followed by Canadian troupe K.I.D (abbreviation is for Kids in Despair). Although much of their material was pretty heavy and dark, they had a surprisingly groovy sound and clearly had the entire crowd on their side by the end of their set, mostly thanks to the charismatic aura of their lead vocalist, Kara, wrapped up in a dark colored lounge robe. Personal favorites were: "I Wish I Was Your Cigarette" ("it's a song about wanting someone's mouth on your genitals"...yup) and "Dillon" ("this song is about my ex-boyfriend Dillon. [beat] F*ck Dillon."). Picture ARTPOP era Gaga with a more garage feel.
After K.I.D., Grace bounded on stage to the tune of the song that is giving her all this online buzz, "Jitter". Wearing a baseball tee, Grace was all energy and used the full space on the stage. I was particularly impressed by the fact that not only does she sound just as good as her recordings -- she arguably sounds better live. As much as I love "Jitter", it is a bit of a red herring in her catalog. My personal favorite of her set? Easily "NoLo".
And with that, Day 1 is done! Here's to Day 2! (Both of those rhymed and it