So Far At CMJ: From Casiokids To Zola Jesus

Casiokids is one of the most memorable bands All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen has seen this week at the CMJ festival in New York City. i i

Casiokids is one of the most memorable bands All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen has seen this week at the CMJ festival in New York City.

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itoggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR
Casiokids is one of the most memorable bands All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen has seen this week at the CMJ festival in New York City.

Casiokids is one of the most memorable bands All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen has seen this week at the CMJ festival in New York City.

Bob Boilen/NPR

If the CMJ Music Marathon ended today, I'd already have a few live-music discoveries I'd be proud to pass along. Zola Jesus would be at the top of the list. We've played music from that noisy force of an album Conatus on All Songs Considered. Before last night's show, I'd imagined a towering woman behind it all, but while walking the New York City streets earlier that day, I ran into Nika Roza Danilova, a.k.a. Zola Jesus. I'm thinking she's smaller than five feet, and that the suitcase I took to the city this week weighs more than she does soaking wet. We did a live video webcast from Le Poisson Rouge last night, and if you missed it, you can hear the whole thing in our archives. Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Another group I've enjoyed here is Washington, D.C.'s Pree, a band I only seem to see when I'm not in D.C., the last time being South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

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Tall Ships' members were in the U.S. for less than 24 hours this week, and the three Brits were already playing their second show when I saw them banging on metal chairs, looping guitars and swapping instruments, all in the name of a great wash of pop sound.

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Another band I enjoyed was from Chicago, called A Lull. I was let down by Army Navy and bummed that I missed Exitmusic, and I saw only one Gauntlet Hair tune. (Why is it required for passengers to carry a GPS in order to help cabbies find a place in Brooklyn?)

But the clear winner for sheer fun came from Norway. Casiokids shook the crowd with danceable happiness at Piano's last night. It was one of the few sets that I've seen that I just couldn't leave.

On next week's All Songs Considered, we'll talk about the festival highlights. Meanwhile, I'll be tweeting @allsongs (I lost my phone a couple of days ago, but I'm all set now!)

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