I spent Thursday night bumping around the Lower East Side, mostly between on the Ludlow St. corridor that is the unofficial hub for all things CMJ. At the M for Montreal showcase at Arlene's, The Luyas were led by the pixieish Jessie Stein, who was both cute and strange, like Stereolab meets Victoria Williams. (Pietro Amato, who also plays with Bell Orchestre and Torngat, added resonance with his french horn.) Red Mass, who were just written up in Rolling Stone as Band of the Week, played a kick-ass set full of feral energy. And, girl duos Random Recipe and The Pack A.D. were good, familiar fun. (See my past posts about them here and here.)
The Deli Mag showcase at the Living Room started off with the amazing Buke and Gass, who I last saw at the Bang on a Can Marathon back in June. Aron Sanchez made both his own hybrid bass guitar ("gass") and lead singer Arone Dyer's bass ukulele ("buke") They were followed by Kendra Morris and her big band, who sang old school R&B in a form-fitting leopard jumpsuit.
I also had time to catch the strange and soulful Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson at The Delancey, sounding like a cross between Dylan and Hendrix. A bit of a loon, mumbling to himself throughout.
More pics on Flickr.