We didn’t have enough pull to send our interns on a sweater shopping spree with Drake while he was in town for Fashion Week, so we promised them the next-best New York experience: CMJ, with badges! While we held it down at the FADER FORT by FIAT, Patrick Lyons, Sam Katz, Kiran Samuel and Parker Bruce hit the streets, wiggling through publicists, bands, college DJs and regular Brooklyn drunks and reported on the entire festival as it happened. On Saturday, all four kids took on one last marathon day. They talked to each other about no less than SEVENTEEN bands, spotted latex overalls, loaded up on swag tote bags, bought new shirts and saw a legendary reunion of Connecticut hardcore band Youth of Today. Follow their final night out with Araabnmuzik, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Weekend, Purity Ring, Mr. Muthafucking eXquire, Hard Mix, Fat Trel, Danny Brown and (seriously) more, below.
KIRAN SAMUEL: I stopped by McDonalds for nuggets. Sat for a second, before I realized an old man across from me was drawing me. Back at the FORT now and Weekend just got on. Sounds like they’re driving through a tunnel. The place is starting to fill up. The drummer’s hitting it so hard, making me reminisce about my childhood dreams of being the female ?uestlove.
SAM KATZ: Totally had to buy a shirt to wear this morning. Didn’t go home and smelled like a dead human body.
KIRAN: Future is onstage, after a very long-winded hype man monologue. But “Racks” never fails to get people bouncing. The FADER editors are in front of me, freaking out. Now CFCF’s playing Jhene Aiko into an ambient version of Biggie’s “One More Chance.”
PARKER BRUCE: Gauntlet Hair’s on next. He says, “This shit is fucking crazy” in reference to CMJ. The drummer is a mustached Lothario and I love it. He looks like he’s constantly coming.
KIRAN: He probably is. He’s so intense. His eyes are rolled back in his head and shit. He just said they did 45 shows in three days?! How is that possible?! “Thank god for Adderall, right? Saving my life on this fucking tour.” Oh.
PATRICK LYONS: ADDERALL EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.
SAM: Gauntlet Hair are my hometown heroes. It’s nice to see some Colorado dudes holding it down. Chilled with them in their van for a while, good guys. Onwards to Santos!
KIRAN: Polica’s leading lady has a super-cute pixie cut. Majority of the audience is heavy-lidded and in a trance. Polica is very Euro and I’m sensing some Bjork vibes. But there are two drummers! Can’t tell if she’s using AutoTune or not— is that just her voice?
PATRICK: Main Attrakionz are onstage at Santos right now and they’re stoked! The audience is all dudes. I met Squadda B and the singer of Primitive Weapons. The bass was crazy! Action Bronson’s next.
PARKER: Here at FORT, Purity Ring has elementary school classroom colored fabric up! They look like they’re about to play a mini pipe system, like they’re working in an industrial era factory. Every bit of these songs is the dirty bit. I could trip over their beats and it wouldn’t hurt. You trip, but the vocals catch you.
KIRAN: The combination of Megan’s swaying arms, the pipe synths and these unnecessary curtains is giving me the feeling we’re underwater. She’s wrapping the light around her head while she’s singing. Halloween has come early. They’re making me feel strangely at home in a huge crowd of strangers.
PARKER: Okay, gotta head over to Public Assembly! Ran into the Bleached girls again. They’re the coolest babysitters you never had. Free tote bags here with condoms. I’m carrying my new tote in the tote I already have. Chapter 24 just got on. Lead singer’s vocals are perfect for this type of music, which is much like Arctic Monkey’s first album and full of personality. Love the tempo changes during the song. Bounce here, pause there, recommence.
KIRAN: Kendrick Lamar!! He’s playing joints off both Overly Dedicated and Section.80. Do you think the rest of the Black Hippie crew is here? He did “ADHD” and now, oh shit, “She Needs Me” for the ladies. Currently standing in the front, an overzealous fangirl among a mob of male groupies. Kendrick spotted me. Waved at me. I’m trying to rap along to “Rigamortus” but it’s impossible.
PARKER: Just got to Public Assembly, and Idiot Glee is on. Phone died, but they once again were willing to charge my phone at Public Assembly. Hats off! More people came into the room as Idiot Glee’s set went on. People liked him. Spotted: guy with longest denim jacket I’ve ever seen. Past the knee! I walk into Glasslands, and I’m pretty sure Evan Voytas just played a song whose beat sounded like the milky milky cocoa puffs part of “My Humps.”
KIRAN: You’re missing out on Fat Trel! His flow is so crazy. He just went acapella! He doesn’t need a beat, but the ones he picks are wild crunk. Girl next to me is doing windmill arms. I know you’re into it, but if you smack me one more time…
PARKER: Ran into guy from Flashlights I befriended. We shared some whiskey out of the bottle! Hard Mix is on. Beat is booping and I might implode. Chuck chuck, snap clap. People are dancing. The best way to die would be over-exposure to synth and loop machines. I’m in a discotheque right now. Don’t care if anyone else is. Hard Mix is god to me right now. Is he real?
KIRAN: Danny Brown is wearing a tiger sweater/suit with coattails. Weird and bizarre, just like I like him. Crowd adores “Die Like a Rockstar.” Danny picked such grimy production for XXX. Wavves had a co-ed mosh pit during his set, closing out FORT. The bouncers are bouncing with them, hands extended, mouthing, “Are you okay?” to anyone leaning toward the floor. FORT was a blast.
PARKER: SSION gave the perfect ending performance for my CMJ. Drag backup singers. Red latex overalls-wearing keyboardist. Full house of avant garde people. Lot of people from the audience went and danced on stage. A smile just formed on my face watching all of it, as cheesy as it sounds. I don’t want to return to real, non-CMJ life now! It’s so mundane!
PATRICK: Sorry we’ve been out of the loop. Santos for the last couple of hours: Youth of Today reunited and gave a shout out to punk dads everywhere. The mosh pit was a bit too intense for me, but Sam piggybacked on the shoulders of the craziest, biggest man I’ve ever seen at a hardcore show. Action Bronson ended up coming onstage with the longest joint ever, sparked it and passed it around to the audience. Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire sat sat on the steps during a song “about not having a girlfriend” and took the hand of an unsuspecting audience member and professed his love for her. Whipping samples out of his pocket like they were sticks of gum, Araabmuzik was one hell of a closer.
SAM: This Converse showcase was definitely the best show at CMJ. Industry left and the punks came out of the woodwork. Great end to a great week.