The prospect of rock before sundown is a strange jubrous expenditure of time indeed. It was Wednesday at Cakeshop. I had a CMJ badge, and I walked it down to the lower east side. For the uninitiate, the L.E.S. is the area South of Houston St., East of China town, and West of Allen St. It's Southern border is unclear.. petering out around East Broadway where no one cares.
Coming up the block I passed a block of Frighteningprospect posters, wheat-pasted to a plywood sidewalk enclosure. There was graffitti on the walls, filth on the pavement and trash on the sidewalk... goddamn I miss this city. On the way up Ludlow St. I passed the crowd outside Pianos. I made a mental note that I need to return for The King Left.
What fine club Cakeshop is. where else can you see some nice refined rock n' roll show and eat tasty snacks? I arrived mid-set. Starfucker was laying down the lo fi keyboard pop and had packed a dark basement out of the reach of the sun. Poughkeepsie station WVKR had wallpapered the downstairs urinals with their bumper stickers somewhat missing the purpose of sticker placement. I'll award some consolation points for enthusiasm.
Starfucker was my "surprise" band for CMJ. I hadn't really intended to catch them, but they surprised me in their gravitas and their energy. All too often lo-fi also means low-impact, low fiber, and low-milage. Starfucker attacked the crowd, distributing nerd-glasses and their strange brand of man-boy love. Their shameless affection was devoured and rows of ironic ballcaps bobbed bounced and gyrated while new fans gripped fresh copies of Starfuckers Burning Up pink 7-inch in their sweaty hands. They are undoubtedly the best band ever to be named after an obscure censored Rolling Stones song.
I retreated upstairs to find Stranded in Stereo's assistant editor Rusty Roberts again swarmed in women: leggy blondes, diminutive brunetts with bob haircuts, and a Palinesque milf sporting a naughty-librarian outfit. It's hard to get at his ear for even a moment, there might be a band on stage there might not, but understandably his attention is elsewhere. I had to abandon him there on my way to the next show as we all must. At CMJ, this non-stop week-long festival drives us to move, move, move, stopping only to eat and drink supporting the most minimal needs of our frail physical bodies, and for Rusty, to scrawl yet another phone number on the back of his hand.