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Thursday, October 23, 2008

CMJ Day 2 - Friendly Fires, Stones Throw

The first night of CMJ (for me) was filled with pleasant surprises and not so pleasant surprises.

First, if the idea of standing in line with 200 people for a show that you RSVP’d for, only to be turned away after 45 minutes, than the Stones Throw party at the Gallery Bar on Orchard St. was for you.

It wasn't for me, so Mr. Kevchino and I rambled quickly to the Annex that was just a few feet away.

When we arrived we were greeted with a band called Dirty Fuzz -a straight up rock band fronted by a Macy Gray look alike (Elida Zulu), with a soulful voice to match.

We caught about 4 tunes that all brought to mind classic rock of old. They ended with a track that packed the room. Whether it was filling for the song "Whore" or for the band that was to follow was uncertain.

The next act did, however, became the highlight of our brief evening.

Friendly Fires had a nice buzz surrounding them due to a Brooklyn Vegan endorsement. Within moments of taking the stage it was obvious why BV was a fan. The front man Ed Macfarlane was there to put on a show. That was the first thing that was noted. He slithered and jerked on and off the stage as electronic beats met organic ones and jangly guitars meshed with his quirky Devo like vocals.

Pleasant as the Devo comparison may be, the bands influence seemed to range from U2, Klaxons, Tom Vek, Oingo Boingo and The Cure.

The band won over the crowd quickly with its stage presence. They were undoubtedly on stage to perform. They ended with a percussion filled ditty called "Paris" that all but solidified them as the first CMJ break out. Everyone at this show will be talking about it tomorrow.

Check out Friendly Fires Jump In the Pool.mp3

~ Nick Greto

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