Tag Archives: The Antlers

Kind of Bleu’s CMJ 2012 Recap

CMJ’s annual Music Marathon recently took over parts of New York City (mostly Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Williamsburg, Brooklyn). Even without an official badge, it was easy to find a mix of old favorites and bands that could be the next big thing. Here’s our recap:

Paper Garden Records Showcase

While CMJ didn’t start until Tuesday, we spent Monday night watching the Mountain Goats at Bowery Ballroom. The following day, we headed to the Paper Garden Records showcase at the Living Room. Although we didn’t win any of the Schwinn bikes the label was giving away, we did get to see Washington, D.C.-based Pree and Conveyor, one of the buzz bands of this year’s CMJ.

Conveyor at the Paper Garden Records showcase -- The Living Room, Manhattan, New York -- CMJ 2012 -- Tuesday, October 16, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel

Terrorbird Media/Impose Showcase

Terrorbird Media and Impose’s showcase at Cake Shop on Wednesday featured some of the best performances we saw all week. Early sets from Wild International, Win Win and Michna started the day off great, but the highlight was producer Flume. The 20-year-old Australian performed songs from his upcoming debut album and even mixed in a bit of Notorious B.I.G. into his set.

After Flume, cross-dressing rapper Mykki Blanco gave a fiery performance, moving spastically around the small stage. And then, Prince Rama played songs from their new album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, in which they don the personas of ten fictional bands who perished in the apocalypse.

Tell All Your Friends PR Showcase

Tell All Your Friends PR held their party a few doors down at Pianos. Wooden Indian Burial Ground played a gritty, psychedelic rock set in the upstairs lounge to a fairly small crowd, but we did spot NPR’s Bob Boilen right up front.

The Delancey

Finally, we finished off the night by stopping in to see Rochester-favorites the Demos play a set at the Delancey. Despite the weird setup of the venue, the band laid their power pop on thick enough to leave an impression on NYC.

The Demos -- The Delancey, Manhattan, New York -- Wednesday, October 17, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel


On Friday, we camped out at Union Square Ballroom for KEXP’s annual CMJ event. The Seattle radio station broadcast music and live performances there throughout the week, and on Friday, the tiny room hosted some incredible bands.

Wild Nothing played early in the day, followed by one-man-band Kishi Bashi, who looped his violin and voice to create complex arrangements in the vein of Owen Pallett.

Wild Nothing at KEXP at CMJ -- Union Square Ballroom, Manhattan, New York -- CMJ 2012 -- Friday, October 19, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel

The Antlers headlined the event, playing mostly songs from their new Undersea EP, like “Drift Dive,” and a few from Burst Apart“No Widows” and “Hounds.”

The Antlers at KEXP at CMJ -- Union Square Ballroom, Manhattan, New York -- CMJ 2012 -- Friday, October 19, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel

AAM Showcase

On Saturday, AAM hosted their CMJ party at Knitting Factory. The Denzels got rid of any CMJ hangover with the first set of the day. The group, who recently released their new EP, Easy Tiger, gave a powerful performance that got even the most tired concertgoers on their feet.

Fleet Foxes side project Poor Moon filled the room with harmonies, and later, Free Energy closed out the show with a bunch of new jams and favorites.

Free Energy at AAM CMJ Party -- Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY -- October 20, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel

BrooklynVegan Saturday Day Party

In between Poor Moon and Free Energy, we skipped over to Public Assembly to catch a not-typical CMJ set from Miguel. After some initial setup problems, Miguel charmed the packed room, which left many standing outside. The set was short, only four songs, but he more than proved himself.

Miguel at BrooklynVegan Day Party - CMJ 2012 - Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY - October 20, 2012 - Photo by Peter Cauvel

The Launch Pad

We finished CMJ at Spike Hill, where Baeblemusic held their Launch Pad event. Choir of Young Believers played their final show at CMJ. All the way from Denmark, the band’s dark orchestral pop was definitely a standout of this year’s lineup.

Choir of Young Believers at Spike Hill, Brooklyn, NY -- CMJ 2012 -- October 20, 2012 -- Photo by Peter Cauvel


The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

The Antlers - Drift DiveThe Antlers released the first song off their upcoming 4-track EP, Undersea, the follow up to 2011’s Burst Apart.

“Drift Dive” is the EP’s majestic opener. Solemn horns, faint slide guitar and harp glissandos create brilliant underwater imagery. It’s not entirely a classic nautical soundtrack, though. The Antlers still add their usual distortion hums and falsetto.

Undersea is out July 24 on ANTI- Records.

Kind of Bleu’s Top 20 of 2011

Kind of Bleu’s top albums of 2011, with links to each review in the countdown.

Honorable Mentions:
Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan & Chris Thile – The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today
Panda Bear – Tomboy
My Morning Jacket – Circuital

20. Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Sleep With One Eye Open 

19. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

18. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What

17. Wild Flag – Wild Flag

16. Tom Waits – Bad as Me

15. The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart

14. James Blake – James Blake

13. The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck

12. Wilco – The Whole Love

11. Feist – Metals

10. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s a Corporate World

8. Middle Brother – Middle Brother

7. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire

6. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

5. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

4. The Antlers – Burst Apart

3. Destroyer – Kaputt

2. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Top 20 of 2011: 4. The Antlers – Burst Apart

4. The Antlers – Burst Apart

The Antlers - Burst ApartPeter Silberman has been making music as the Antlers since 2006. It was originally a solo project, but he recruited Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci to record Hospice in 2009.

Hospice was a concept album — an incredibly sad story of a terminally ill patient. While Burst Apart is nowhere near as depressing, it maintains the heaviness of its predecessor.

The album is a musical expansion. Burst Apart blushes and blooms with electronic shimmers that weave around the instruments, and “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” features the darkest banjo I’ve ever heard. But it still sounds very much like the Antlers — especially with Silberman’s haunting falsetto.

Burst Apart is thick with emotion and dark undertones that can often weigh on the listener — like an anti-catharsis. “Putting the Dog to Sleep” is as sad as anything on Hospice. It’s definitely not perfect for every mood, but it is still a great record.