Well, CMJ is over. We’ve got highlights from two of the borough’s best shows for you if you check out the slideshow above.
First, you’ll see pictures from the Afro-Punk showcase that took place Tuesday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Reunited 1970s band Death performed with local punks Cerebral Ballzy and hip-hop acts Ninjasonik and Jersey Klan opening. Ninjasonik and Jersey Klan had some similarities in style — both were hip-hop groups with several members onstage who passed lead vocal duties back and forth, with tons of energy and unique individual styles. Jersey Klan relied solely on a DJ for backing music, while Ninjasonik used turntable beats alongside a live band, giving them a more raucous punk-ish feel. They were followed by some legit, old-fashioned (sounding) punk with Cerebral Ballzy, who powered and thrashed through a set full of their driving and short songs. The lights were low, the crowd was amped, and frontman Honor Titus even jumped offstage and into the pit.
The main act was Death, a band that came and went in the 1970s (they broke up in 1977), then reformed two years ago. They play a style of hard rock that may not have been big at the time, but seems innovative looking back, as it was a precursor to the punk rock that would surface shortly after their split. They rocked through their classics, playing to a crowd largely composed of people who weren’t even born during their first run as a band.
Thursday night brought the Fat Wreck Chords showcase to Union Hall. The evening opened with Welsh act The Arteries, who are touring with The Flatliners this fall. After they finished jumping their way through a set, bluegrass-punk act Old Man Markley hit the stage. OMM is one of those bands that’s fun to listen to at home, but really shine when you see them live. Even when they are squeezing their huge line-up onto a tiny stage, they manage to bring enough energy and positive vibes to power the whole room. Banner Pilot followed, then Toronto-based band The Flatliners, and San Francisco’s Dead to Me. The whole evening was a barrage of sweaty, driving, ear-splitting punk.
Looking for something to do this week? Well, Halloween is almost here, and you can celebrate with some metal at The Bell House (149 7th Street). Check out some cover acts tackling the greats. You can see Misstallica, the all-female tribute to Metallica, plus Slayer tribute act Show No Mercy and Misfits cover band Violent Age. Doors are at 7 p.m., and it’s $12 in advance or $15 at the door. If you show up at 5 p.m., you can go to the pre-show tailgate party and watch the film Heavy Metal Parking Lot.