There’s something comforting about being across the country and seeing familiar faces on a stage you’ve only seen in show review photos across the blogosphere. At the 2011 CMJ Music & Film Festival, there was a considerate amount of Bay Area bands playing on the unofficial circuit — including (but not limited to) Weekend, White Fence and Sea of Bees — and those were the handful that we managed to catch out in New York this year.
Arguably the tightest set I’ve ever seen this band, or ANY band play, White Fence ultimately shattered any perception I had of their songs as originally recorded. It would almost be an interesting experiment if the band were to re-record Presley’s debut LP White Fence or even Is Growing Faith to reflect the way the songs have been sounding live lately, intensified by the multi-talented Jarvis Taveniere (Woods). White Fence delivered the highlight set of the entire week, hands down.
Sea of Bees
Jules mustered all of her charm for an intimate performance in what felt like a train car in Williamsburg at Pete’s Candy Store for the Riot Act Media Happy Hour. Getting help from the audience with starting a few songs, Sea of Bees hammered out a few fresh tracks expected on an album she’s currently recording. This may have been the most intimate set of her trip, but was just a brief stop in a fairly hectic CMJ schedule for Sea of Bees.
Under all the noise, there’s still enough pop to Weekend‘s songs to warrant some shameless head-bobbing at the ultra-hip Glasslands Gallery last week. Weekend kept pretty busy at CMJ this year, hopefully turning more people on to their newest batch of songs, the Red EP out on Slumberland now.