BALLROOM BLITZ!

Moby, Armand Van Helden and Artful Dodger join the party...

Showing few signs of fatigue, New York goes out for a last hurrah before

saying sayonara to the 2000 edition of the CMJ Music Marathon.

Over at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Moby closes out three sold-out dates with

Hybrid. The packed house responds most to Moby‘s fastest, hardest stuff, as

well as anything from ‘Play’. When he veered off this

course, the response was milder; a cover of The Doors‘The End’, a few bars

of ‘Freebird’ and acoustic versions of ‘Feeling So Real’ and ‘Everything Is

Wrong’ are treated more as novelties than causes for reckless abandon.

No-one is getting wild at the Bowery Ballroom, where a reserved crowd

witness strong, short sets by Dutch quartet Bettie Serveert and New York’s

own Luna. Relying heavily on material from their latest album, Private Suit,

Bettie Serveert are at one point forced to improvise while guitarist Peter

Visser fixes some broken strings. Luna focus on older material during a

solid but uneventful gig.

At the Wetlands Preserve in TriBeCa, Juliana Theory delight with their brand

of “emocore” that highlights new material from their

Emotion is Dead LP. The Pixies-esque punk band Weston follow, paying

tribute to Liz Phair on one song, covering the Pixies‘Where Is My Mind?’

and encouraging the audience to take acid. Weston is lucky to play for a

crowd that don’t care about missing game two of the World Series, in

which both New York teams are facing off.

The hip downtown club Centro-Fly hosted CMJ‘s final send-off, a goodbye party

featuring Mint Royale, Artful Dodger, Armand Van Helden and Juan Atkins. A

diverse crowd embrace Artful Dodger‘s infectious garage and stellar MC, who

gets New Yorkers chanting (in British accents) “Dodge-ah” to his “Aaht-ful”

and “Selecta” to his ‘Re-wind’.

Then, with his very large posse crammed into a very small DJ booth, Van

Helden takes it up a notch for a house party all night long.

And frankly, considering the amount of good music that has flooded into New York over the past four days, a celebration is in order.