ESBMusic’s CMJ 2011 Highlights

With 1300+ bands there is a lot to see and do over the awesome five day festival known as CMJ. We had the joy of seeing some old favorites and found some great acts. Here are ESBMusic’s highlights from the week:

Portugal. The Man was playing at The Ace Hotel Wednesday morning. The place was jam packed, but I was able to squeeze in and get a good view of the band by the back bar. After a few technical start ups, they shifted into playing their awesomely, feel good vibes. Their music has a happy, psychedelic and soulful groove. I was familiar with a few songs, but everything they played had such a great sound. They looked like they were thoroughly enjoying what they did and the crowd was loving it. Watch a piece of the performance below and for more information on the band check out their official website.

The Wombats
Wombats- this England band is amazing. They had a great, up beat feel with lovable synth pop. Every song was better than the last.
Watch below for a snipet from the show and for more information check out the band’s official website.

Lightning Love– this trio from Michigan had a great set late night Wednesday at Le Poisson Rouge. Their simple combination of guitars, drums and keys creates delicate, eloquent, and bubbly indie pop. The addition of sweet vocals creates a sharp and catchy sound. For a sample of their music watch below and for more information on the band check out MySpace page.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Jacuzzi Boys set at Mercury Lounge. Their noisy surf rock was humorous and entertaining. It was a crunchy guitars, speedy drums, and cool vocals. It was reminiscence of a 60’s beach party with a 90’s flare.

Sometimes when on your way to check out another band you stumble upon a band you were never knew about. This was the case when I went to the Lit Lounge. Due to set delay or a change unknown to me, I had the pleasure of seeing Runon Sentence. The band consists of Dustin Hamman. A singer song writer from Portland, Oregon. He was breathe taking. He had a powerful voice that blew me away. It was just him and an acoustic guitar and he did not need anything else. His sound had influences of Spanish and country. The coolest thing had to be the fact that he was able to do the mouth trumpet sound like he was actually playing the trumpet. It was really awesome. After playing solo, he invited Josh Fox up to play the banjo with him for a broader sound. It was good but I liked him solo better. who had an amazing mouth trumpet. For a sample of his music watch below and for more information check out his official website.

Active Child was a group I caught Saturday night at the Hyundai Remix Lab. They were an interesting band. The high falsettos in their music was something that would make for some great background music.

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