Sunday, October 24, 2010

CMJ: Punk's not dead, it's old and pathetic

It smells down here. I'm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, downstairs at the bar - and it stinks.

It happens to be the venue where washed-up punks come to watch their favorite retro acts during the CMJ Music Marathon. It's between sets and their body odor is awful. I should get out of here.

Once an opportunity for college-aged independent rock bands, CMJ was the place they went to showcase their stuff for the industry folk, with the hopes of scoring a record deal. But that's not gonna happen.

Today everything is niche-ified. For the blog crowd. Wanna hear a one-man electronic act that sounds like four records played in reverse on an incessant loop while random projections run on a movie screen in the background? That's next door. But for now, we're at the '90s punk show.

A band called Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is reproducing covers of Paul Simon and 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow.' They're sporting white suits, Hawaiian T-shirts, and a misplaced sense of irony. A guy with a rooster red Mohawk is slam dancing to a version of 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina.' I am getting too old for this. Or - it is sad and pathetic. Probably a little of both.

I walk back to the car. My window is broken. Nothing was taken. Everything is still there: radio, CDs, photo albums, iPhone charger, shitload of change in the console. It's all there.

It was a shady part of town, maybe 20 years ago, but it's safe now. It's been over-run by out-of-towners, 20-somethings killing time between grad school and real life.

I put my hood up, 'Illmatic' on, and headed over the Verrazano. A shard of glass bounces off my face. Maybe I shoulda skipped that last beer or the corny cover band. I should swear off CMJ altogether.

I should get over it. Maybe somebody just felt like smashing a window. Some people find enjoyment in this droll.

1 comment:

  1. To my peoples throughout Queens God bless ya life