Live - Tim Williams + Bad Veins @ CMJ

With a belly full of mediocre Mexican food, it was time to haul ass over to Fat Baby for two of our most anticipated performances of the day. Even though it took place at a less than desirable location, we crammed into the funky basement venue within the meathead walls of Fat Baby for the last half of Tim Williams' CMJ showcase performance. Don't worry Tim, we know you didn't pick the venue.

This marked our second On The Cover artist performance of the day, and Williams did not disappoint. I would love to be able to tell you the exact instrumentation of his performance, and even perhaps show you a few photos, but the packed crowd made it impossible to even remotely get close to the stage. Hey, I'm not complaining though, as it was rad to see that many music fans there to enjoy the great pop stylings of Williams' sophomore album, When Work Is Done.

Although I was sure we missed it, Williams saved his soon-to-be hit single "Novel" for last. This guy is the real deal, with the type of live performance that pulls on your heartstrings just enough, while tossing in memorable melodies that easily find themselves looping endlessly in your head. I was bummed that we didn't get to the venue just a bit earlier, but that just means I'll be catching one of Tim's other CMJ performances this week. Problem solved.

After hearing a bit of buzz about the next band, Bad Veins, the Tripwire crew decided to stay put to check them out. The Cincinnati duo has been getting plenty of love from Shiv on, so I knew a couple of their tunes going in, but I had no idea how much they would kick ass live. First, these guys are a spectacle to see on stage, with live drums and guitar, but the remainder of the instrumentation is supplied by an old-school reel-to-reel machine.

Another interesting quirk to their sound is supplied by Ben Davis' use of an old-school telephone handset as a microphone. The effect gives a tinny sound to his vocals, pushing them way out in front of their thick melodies. This is pop at its finest, and I am expecting to see big things from these guys in the next few months. Bad Veins will be one of the true highlights for me from this year's CMJ. Once you hear "Gold And Warm" and "Falling Tide," you'll understand why.

Live - Tim Williams + Bad Veins @ CMJ