It’s Day 3 of Speak Into My Good Eye’s CMJ diary and I’m really genuinely surprised I can still see straight. Ocular, among other, deficiencies aside the strong soldier on this time with a trip all the way over to Manhattan’s upper-west side to Terminal 5. On an additional personal note, if you catch me tonight on a NJ Transit train with a McDonald’s bag in my hand, please just take it from me. Looking forward to eating real food again!
It’s not often that a band gets to play the 3,000 plus capacity Terminal 5 without a full album to their credit. Enter the London based trio Daughter, originally the solo outlet of Elena Tonra. Flanked by guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella, Tonra stood supplanted on the audience’s right side of the stage with an intense focus and stark vocal work not unlike her fellow 4AD label mate Indians at Brooklyn Bowl the night before. First official single “Smother” and the breakthrough hit “Youth”, which was performed a week prior and a few blocks away on David Letterman, highlighted Daughter’s quiet compositional power and lyrical brilliance. 2013 will see the release of a debut LP and perhaps a repeat trip to Terminal 5 for Daughter as the headliner.
Dum Dum Girls
The conditions were certainly more favorable to Dum Dum Girls from the last time I caught them wearing all black in 100 degree heat at Lollapalooza, and coincidentally, so was there performance last night. I guess not feeling like you’re melting parlays into it. This time Dee Dee, Jules, Sandy, and Malia played an attention grabbing set to the many uninitiated in the crowd who came to see the headliner and laughed at their name when they saw it coming into T5 (this happened more times than I can accurately count). The atmospheric cuts off of Dum Dum Girls’ most recent EP End of Daze was masterfully interwoven with the up-tempo, garage rock material from their latest LP Only in Dreams. As the sound and dynamic of Dum Dum Girls continues to evolve in the studio, their undeniable chops and presence will continue to win them new fans, as it certainly did last night, in the live realm.
Although it’s tough to pin down the exact origins of the veteran indie rock outfit The Walkmen, perpetually well dressed singer Hamilton Leithauser called the band’s latest New York appearance a,”homecoming,” so that’s good enough for me. The Walkmen show has managed to evolve over the years without ever dovetailing into the pomp and circumstance necessary for lesser bands to thrive. No video screens, no smog machines, no elaborate lighting needed. Just a gentle balance between the single spotlight shone on Leithauser in the more tender moments and the square banner that hung unwavering behind the band for the entirety of the show. All of the tracks chosen off of The Walkmen’s latest Heaven complimented and seemingly presented additional dimensions to some of their older stuff including set and personal highlight “In The New Year”. Here’s hoping the next homecoming is even more rewarding to The Walkmen and their fans than last night’s show was. Regardless, both sides seemed to be having a tremendous time together in catharsis.
We’re headed towards the finish line, and I was just starting to have some fun. Bring it on Day 4…