We didn’t have enough pull to get our interns their own bunk-bed suite at Barclays Center, so we promised them the next-best New York experience: CMJ, with badges! While we’re holding it down at the FADER FORT Presented by Converse in Brooklyn, Patrick McDermott, Veronica Hoglund and Bri Sylvester will be hitting the streets, wiggling past doormen, bands and regular party drunks and reporting on the entire festival as it happens. Last night, Bri and Patrick toured Greenpoint’s warehouse district and heard Bonnie Raitt covered. Check out their night out with METZ, Mykki Blanco, Empress Of, Poor Man, ForteBowie, King Tuff, Sam Flax and more below.
BRI SYLVESTER: I’m already at Autumn Bowl in Greenpoint, early for the UNO party.Turns out this place was a factory then a skate park and they just renovated it for the month of October. Kinda has the haunted house feel. The bathrooms have no lights. The bouncers are talking about people they bounced for. One guy bounced for Katy Perry. The other bouncer is trying to bounce people who actually live in this building.
PATRICK MCDERMOTT: Just inhaled a sandwich and got into 285 Kent for the Yours Truly/Gorilla vs. Bear party. I’m sitting in a broken chair and reading a Showpaper. Some dude is double-fisting beers and dancing alone. There’s all this puffy pink stuff on the ceiling above the stage, looks like cotton candy.
BRI: Autumn Bowl is what I imagine living in a brick oven would be like. The stage platform is shaped like a pizza.
PATRICK: You’re making me hungry. Empress Of is on at 285. It’s her first show ever AND her birthday. “If you don’t take a shot with me, I’m gonna be really mad,” she tells the crowd. She’s wearing what appears to be a dress-sized postcard. Postage and all, address is blank. I dig her sound though: playful loops, weird arrangements. The live drummer really grounds things. Without it I feel like she might float away. Someone is writing her set list on toilet paper.
BRI: I’m listening to Anthony Naples. He looks like he could be in his room by himself just head-bobbing and gliding his hands over the turntables. I feel like I’m a peeping Tom watching him go. Gonna go to Knitting Factory.
PATRICK: Sam Flax and his band have been sound-checking for what feels like an eternity. Requesting more reverb on just about everything. He’s wearing a gold velvet shirt, and his guitarist is wearing a sheer floral blouse (the guitarist is a dude). Full disclosure: I really want both of these shirts. Finally playing. Kind of goth-tinged Ariel Pink. Lots of electronic drum claps.
BRI: I’m in! I think I spot a xylophone and a tambourine on the same stage. Poor Man is a six piece: xylophone, keyboard, drums, bass, electric guitar, and an acoustic guitar-playing singer/tambourine player. The keyboardist just picked up one of those mini electric guitars. Full, but light-hearted. Reminds me of the Beach Boys. There’s a bubble machine going.
PATRICK: FortBowie onstage. He’s rapping over Gucci Mane, going nuts. Everyone’s into it. FortBowie’s beats are so sticky. Quick-shifts from high energy rapping to heartfelt crooning. Seeing lots of #TeamBowie sweatshirts up front.
BRI: Poor Moon mandolin player just took a break to tell us, “They have the best Applebee’s here in Manhattan.” Turns out the bubble machine is actually a girl right up by the stage.
PATRICK: OMG, FortBowie covered “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt. Make sure you put in ear plugs for METZ. I’m half a block away from Knitting Factory and I can hear them already.
BRI: Ear plugs going in. METZ are on. Crazy awesome beginning: pitch black, the drummer was rolling heavy on the floor tom, then bam! Light under the drummer’s feet pops on and the guitars and screaming. The lead singer’s in jeans, white kicks and glasses that somehow stay on his face despite the headbanging. The crowd is loving “Get Off”. Serious wailing and moshing over here.
PATRICK: At METZ now. Does it make me a masochist if I say I wish it was even louder? I’m up front on the right. I see three of my friends in the pit. They’re all girls. That rules.
BRI: When you look at it from afar, the pit had this really calm ebb and flow despite the pushing and kicking. I’m on the right close to the stage. I keep thinking you’re texting me but it’s just my bag literally shaking because of the bass. I’m going back to Autumn Bowl.
PATRICK: King Tuff says, “Finally the king has returned” before launching into “Anthem.” Beers in the air. Don’t know it it’s the residual punk energy from METZ or what. He just dedicated a song to a moose he saw when he was in Nova Scotia. More strange stage banter: “I only drink Shirley Temples. If anyone buys me a drink it better be a Shirley.” Surprised this crowd had enough self-control to wait until he played “Alone and Stoned” before they lit up.
BRI: I’m in. Again. Mykki is tearing it up. Black hiking boots, a long sleeve plaid button-down and a white lace dress. On the dress: “It feels like my christening.” Amen.
PATRICK: Unexpected, much-needed mellow moment while King Tuff plays “Swamp of Love,” a kind of deranged, nasally pop ballad.
BRI: Mykki just threw the mic cord at me. Touched by a god? Mykki is making some colorful use of Basement Jaxx and Destiny’s Child lyrics. There’s a purple stream of light. Somebody behind me called it a “laser cage.” Zomby is coming on, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.
PATRICK: My friend says, “It’s not like sex, it’s something better” about hearing METZ for the first time. It just started raining. Everything is over.