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all words and photos: Alyssa Lesser

Several of our contributors are trolling CMJ this week. We will be bringing you assorted reports as they roll in

Feat: New Zealand Showcase w/ Rhys Darby (of the Flight of the Chochords, and who is playing 930 Club in November) & Bang Bang Eche @ The Delancey,
and Miniature Tigers @ Fat Baby

I rushed over to the Delancey last night right after I got out of class to catch the CMJ New Zealand showcase, only to find that the club was packed over capacity and even listed folks could not permeate the claustrophobic club doors. In the nick of time, I was let in as a photographer to experience the Auckie heaven that awaited me. Apparently and deservedly, both Rhys Darby (who was MCing the show)’s witty antics and a plethora of New Zealand-bred talent were to blame for the mass of attendees. I caught the last two blissfully poppy songs of Naked and Famous, who Darby claimed had suffered a mix-up once when arriving clothed to a gig. Ha! A band of 18-and-19 year olds, Bang Bang Eche, followed suit with impressive, erratic noise and reckless dancing. The room recklessly danced, too. Sure, most of us look forward to CMJ for the free booze and afterparties…but I love how the festival allows you to walk into a club unassumingly and experience a totally unexpected, amazing band.

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I had to leave the Delancey before I yelled out “Hey Gingerballs!” or “King of the Dicks!” to Darby on stage, and rushed up the street and around the corner to watch one of my favorite up-and-coming LA bands. I have followed Miniature Tigers for a few years now, with a love for their keen pop and clever melody, but had yet to see them live until last night. Their debut album, “Tell it to the Volcano,” which came out just a few weeks ago, is bouncy and earnest, constantly on my iTunes repeat, and everything I had hoped for and more. Miniature Tigers execute their live show energetically and honestly, allowing their clever hooks to captivate the crowd without asking anything in return. It feels good to see a band who know how to have a good time with modern pop.

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