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NJ bands you need to check out next week at CMJ

Waking Lights

Waking Lights is a band I can't recommend enough. Last January they were our #5 pick on our list of bands to conquer 2010 and come this January they may place even higher. I guess you could classify them as folk-rock, but don't expect the slow and sometimes boring songs you'd maybe associate with the genre from Waking Lights. As someone who got a chance to listen to some of their new material, take it from me you won't be disappointed. Preview a live clip of a new song on their website.


River City Extension

An NJ band that almost needs no introduction. Since the release of their sophomore effort The Unmistakable Man last May, the group has gone on to play with Dashboard Confessional, Gogo Bordello, Saves the Day and even toured with Lydia. It would also be an understatement to say the folk-rock group received their far share of good press over the past six months. Now comes CMJ 2010 and River City Extension are of course not messing around, which means you'll be able to see them opening for Kevin Devine and Miniature Tigers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, a CMJ showcase not many bands would mind being on. More info on that date at MS.

The Front Bottoms

This pop-indie trio is as unique as, well, a pop-indie trio can be. Though most of their songs will follow a typical song structure, I have to stress that the last thing you think when you hear this band is "typical". Singer, Brian Sella isn't whining about a girl breaking his heart or how beautiful his girlfriend is; instead his blunt lyrics fall on the subjects of drugs, one-night stands and taking steroids to win the heart of a girl who likes a man with muscles. How romantic. Stream The Front Bottoms latest release Slow Dance To Soft Rock at their band camp.

Andrew Cedermark

This ex Titus Andronicus member may finally have people stop referring to him as an "ex Titus Andronicus" member very soon. Now that Andrew Cedermark's solo work has been Pitchfork approved, as expected more and more people seem to be jumping on his indie-rock ship. AC is also slated for some of the better CMJ showcases that focus on his genre. If I had to pick one of the shows for you to see him at, I'd tell you to make sure to be at the Underwater Peoples showcase at Glasslands next Thurdsay, October 21st. More info here.


Brick + Mortar

This NJ duo's sound is not just unique, but also universal. The group has opened for a legendary funk band (Galactic) and a legendary pop-punk band (Jimmy Eat World). While I don't think they quite fit perfectly with either, I do believe they left both of those shows with a bunch of new fans, cause after all, recognition of talent knows no boundaries. Brick + Mortar released their debut EP 7 Years in the Mystic Room last March. You can stream it here and I highly suggest you do.

Delicate Steve

The newly signed instrumentally driven experimental pop group's strongest point is probably their live show. Maybe that's why their Union Pool residency was attended by members of TV On The Radio, Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer and even best selling authors? It also may have a little something to do with why they landed opening slots for Dr. Dog, Here We Go Magic and a tour with Fang Island. Either way as someone who has had the "Delicate Steve live experience" I can say, it doesn't matter if you are an indie snob or a top 40 listener, the chances that you'll leave a Delicate Steve show pleased are considerably high. 

Big Troubles

Big Troubles is yet another band from the prestigious Ridgewood, New Jersey and yes they are lo-fi and yes they do play in Brooklyn more than in NJ, but that doesn't mean they don't put out music that gives them their own identity in the tight-knit Bergen County scene. In fact, with the exception of Real Estate, I've probably listened to Big Troubles more than any other band from Rigdewood. If you give their new LP Worry a listen you might find out why. Stream their entire debut full-length album at their band camp. 

Reader Comments (4)

I'd add Jack Skuller, a Weehawken H.S. freshman whose rockabilly sound has been favorably compared to the young Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. He's at Pete's Candy Store on Tuesday night.

There are also a bunch of high-profile NJ bands playing CMJ, including the Screaming Females, Gay Blades, and Tris McCall (who hasn't been rocking out too often since taking a full-time music-writing job at the Star Ledger last summer.)
October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Testa
River City Extension for the win!
October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa
Delicate Steve is some serious emperor's new clothes bullshit if you ask me. River City Extension sounds like Dave Matthews Band.
October 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteriouhw
yep, Delicate Steve is too hippie for me, but River City have some good songs.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess

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