Tokyo Police Club: If you’re like us, you’ve perused the listings of New York’s annual music festival, CMJ, and thought that all of the bands performing fall somewhere between the “meh” and the “yeah, I guess I’d see them” scale. If you’re like us you’re demanding a sure thing. A band that will absolutely kill it live. We’ve done our part for the indie bands at Pianos and Baby’s All Right, now we want high production value. We want a sound system that, ye know, actually works. We want to sing with the crowd, dance till our legs are numb, and sweat bullets while doing it. We want FREE alcohol. Well, if you thought of any of this last night, your desires were answered by none other than the good people that make you that exquisite Crunch-Wrap Supreme at 3am while you’re drunk and spitting on yourself. Taco Bell and Pandora have teamed up once again to form #feedthebeat and bring the happy, Wednesday night concert goers an absolutely, positively good time. And to do so, with a little help from the amazing souls at The Syndicate, a band that hardly needs an introduction to the indie (since indie is really just pop now) scene came to join the party: Tokyo Police Club. A great band, teaming up with a great cause, teaming up with loads of free alcohol.. I’m sure you get the idea. You’ve done a fine job, people of CMJ. A fine job indeed. -JW

The Kickback: I hadn’t heard of The Kickback before last night, but oh my god, can these Chicago boys rock! In what little time he had, frontman, Billy Yost, set out to prove why if you haven’t heard of them by now, you’re living in a goddamn hole. Yost spent most of the time throwing himself across the stage, shaking the sweat from his hair and nearly bashing his guitar in, whilst simultaneously wincing with every high note and having the most wildly energetic hand motions I’ve ever seen. The band, wise as they are exciting to watch, wise because their debut album title is taken from David Foster Wallace’s, Infinite Jest, is a band that deserves any/all of the acclaim I suspect they’ll receive in the coming year. Indie Rock music is in need of a serious revival, I hope these guys are ready to take the challenge. 

I’ve done my part. Now you do yours. I’ll even make it easier for you. Check out The Kickback here. -JW

10/17 @ The Delancey

Balthazar: These guys may be a new name here in the states but over in Belgium, their homeland, they’ve amassed a solid following. They kicked off the evening set of Pianos’ seemingly 24-hour CMJ showcasing, with a buzzing line outside of the “Downstairs” stage. On this line, there were many different languages and accents spoken, a true testament to the band’s reach. Any time I spoke to an eager fan in the crowd they were quick to give me their approval of one of their favorite bands. They unanimously mentioned how large they are overseas (recently opening of Mumford & Sons) and that it was a treat to see them in such a small setting. The quintet filled the stage with confidence and the room with a fresh sound (props to Patricia Vanneste on the electric Violin, truly beautiful work). They played fan favorites as well as tracks from their most recent LP, Thin Walls. 

Have yourself a listen and catch them at their two remaining shows in NY. You probably won’t get to see them this intimately next time they come around. -DC

10/16 @ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) 5PM | 10/17 @ Bowery Ballroom