Radar At CMJ NYC Part 3: The xx, Delorean, Yes Giantess, Holly Miranda and Cymbals Eat Guitars

So we had our second NME party last night, it was pretty manic. Again we had lots of good bands playing. Yes Giantess came down, hot off their hitchhiking Radar tour stint, Barcelona’s Delorean did their Balaeric bliss-pop thing. Then their was the Pitchfork-bummed Antlers, Sub Pop’s poached Male Bonding, and to round things up, quite literally with no inkling of exaggeration: The Official Most Buzz Act Of CMJ (source: Radar Music Conference Buzzometer), The XX…

Lots of people showed up. This queue was from about 11pm.


Yes Giantess were beleagured with tech problems. I guess that’s what comes from playing with a setup entirely consisting of wires and pieces of electronics and brittle plastics Pritt-sticked together in 1992. Glitch or no glitch, ‘Tuff N Stuff’ still sounded like one of this year’s biggest indie disco smashes.

I had a chat with them after. They revealed some pretty controversial news.

Then they ‘booty-bopped’, which was, erm, nice of them.

Delorean got everyone doing strange crusty hands-aloft snaking arm moves afterwards. People thought it was funny to heckle them in Spanish. It wasn’t.

We got all balaeric outside.

LOADS of people had come to see The xx, even though they were a ‘secret’ headliner. Literally everyone is talking about them in New York. I was standing by the door and some massive preppy/frat-looking dude showed up in head-to-toe Polo and asked if the rumours were true they were playing… I guess it had been a really hectic week for them, as Romy and Oliver had a little nap in their car before they played. Awww, don’t you just want to snuggle them?


‘Basic Space’ sounded really good.

I’d promised my friend Imran I’d go see the new girl that just signed to XL Recordings in the UK. She’s called Holly Miranda. She has a really strong local following from the various punk bands she’s been in through the years. Now she does her own thing, which was described to me as a female Jeff Buckley. I didn’t hold that against her, and that ended up paying off. She was quite good. Maybe that’s what Jeff was missing, female genitalia.

Cymbals Eat Guitars played after her. They’re another band whose profile seems to be avalanching over here right now. They’re from Staten Island, where the Wu Tang Clan are from. They’re not as cool as a Wu. I always bemoan bands who don’t look like ‘real rockstars’. With this ever prevalent trend of non-desrcript plaid college-rock looking dudes. But watching them I realised that if you’ve got totally killer tunes you can totally get away with looking like car valets. Imagine Built To Spill’s more magnanimous moments combined with Pavement’s sing-a-long sections.