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Radar at CMJ 2011: Azealia Banks, Alabama Shakes, Fort Lean

By Matt Wilkinson

Matt Wilkinson on Google+

Posted on 22 Oct 11


So, this lot below absolutely packed out New York's Bowery Ballroom with industry peeps a couple of nights ago:

They're called Alabama Shakes, and as well as being Alex Turner's fave new band it seems like pretty much everyone here at CMJ is after them (we spotted reps from Columbia, Heavenly and Rough Trade in the audience). That gig above was their only CMJ show, and their first in NYC ever, and to be fair to them, they absolutely slayed it. Expect to hear a lot more from them in the next six months...

Elsewhere in the Big Apple, we caught Azealia Banks' set early this morning. It was at the most perfect venue for her one could imagine: An old strip club miles away from all the other CMJ gigs with a DJ who played both 'Build Me Up Buttercup' and 'Dog Days Are Over' before she came on. It was full of models, aggro guys, jocks and mentalists with really expensive drinks and sticky/tacky dancefloors, and I've gotta say I rather enjoyed it.

Was she any cop? Well, you can read the full review of her set in the November 5 issue of the mag, but until then, here she is running up and down a weird catwalk type thing in the middle of the venue, doing her thang to '212':

Don't blame me about the lighting there etc etc etc...

The most hateable thing I've seen here so far was definitely the dude form Fort Lean's hair, even if their tunes were actually pretty good:

And the funniest thing was seeing King Krule, really jetlagged, stocking up on Red Bull to keep them awake before they played one of the buzziest gigs here. But more of that later...


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