Oh My Rockness and Oya Fest do CMJ 2008!

Recommended Show
October 20, 2008
It's party time! Once again, Oh My Rockness (that's us) and Oya Festival (that's them) are teaming up to throw a crazy fun show at Cake Shop on Saturday night, October 25th. We've got six bands playing; three from the US of A and three from Norway. This is going to be good. It's free with a badge and $10 without one. Please come! Here's who's playing :

The XYZ Affair (1am set time) - The path to happiness is as easy as X-Y-Z. Sometimes you need some good old fashioned power pop in your life to remind you that the sky can be sunny every now and then. Who needs angst when you've got The XYZ Affair? This boisterous Brooklyn band creates entirely catchy feel-good music that's perhaps played with a wink. They probably know their rousing verse-chorus-verses are a little over-the-top with all those falsettos and guitar solos, but they don't call it arena rock because it's meant to sound small.

These guys construct a self-aware homage to guilty pleasure pop. And the thing is, the songs they write are really good. When singer Alex Feder's tenor soars to reach these out-of-my-range melodies, you must tip your cap to the man. He pulls it off without sounding annoying or relying on the vibrato crutch (not an easy feat in the American Idol world we seem to be living in). I smile so much when I see them play that the back of my head hurts. Now that's pop!

Lukestar (midnight set time) - Huge fan of this band! Norway's Lukestar are one of those bands that immediately make a satisfying impression after just one listen. Thirty seconds into the first song I ever heard from this band I was like, I have no idea what's going on here, but I think I like it. No, I KNOW I love it! These guys can sort of be described as a power-pop band, but that's the simple categorization. Think maybe Weezer meets Danielson meets Sigur Ros. I'm not kidding.

This Oslo five-piece has completely catchy guitar hooks (Weezer) that are mostly sung in soaring falsetto from a highly-distinctive vocalist (Danielson) leading to an overwhelming ethereal and other-worldly feeling (Sigur Ros). This is their first ever US show!! Even if we weren't putting on this show, Lukestar would be my #1 band to see during all of CMJ. Seriously.

Royal Bangs (11pm set time) Knoxville's Royal Bangs are one of our new favorites...why do you think we begged them to play this show? These guys bring a rowdy bar-rock intensity that brims with a kind of punk positivity, but then they'll do some knob-twiddles and drum-machine hits that kind of drift some of their choruses into electro-ethereal territory. It's like a less-jittery Aphex Twin fronting a more garage-y Superchunk or something.

Whatever, it's just boozy riffs and bleeping clicks, and it's good. Royal Bang's debut We Breed Champions was recently re-issued on Patrick Carney's (of The Black Keys) label, Audio Eagle. This set will make you sweat.

Casiokids (10pm set time) - I'm not sure how many of the hot electro-dance-poppers out there have the guts to tour... kindergartens. Yet, the Casiokids collective did just that in tweener schools all over Norway. Talk about pressure. Of course, they play the standard clubs and big festivals like Oya too, so these guys aren't just hip with the Capri Sun set. Many grown-up kids from far beyond their hometown of Bergen (Norway's musical equivalent of Brooklyn circa 2001) are buzzing about this band.

Like kindergarteners, this is a crew that likes to have a good time when they play. They bounce around the stage with the best of them, promoting catchy riffs and happy faces. Using a ton of surreal projected imagery (mostly involving shadow puppets... seriously) and an array of toys-turned-instruments, these guys and girls put on an all-senses show that has been likened to a circus experience.

The Uglysuit (9pm set time) - I'm definitely excited about these guys. The Uglysuit are a new band out of Oklahoma City that play orchestral guitar pop that's space-y, sunshine-y and sort of Shins-y. And it's unbelievably catchy. I feel good listening to these songs. The Uglysuit's clean melodies are for the most part optimistic, yet sometimes there's the unmistakable twinge of sadnesss, but they're always 100% sing-a-long-able. These six guys are new to the scene (all are just 20-23 years of age), but will most assuredly be around for quite some time.

Their phenomenal debut just came out on Quarterstick Records (part of Touch & Go) and the boys and girls are going to love it. The Uglysuit just played some dates with Iron and Wine and word on the street is that The Flaming Lips are big fans of theirs. A really good new band!

Ingrid Olava (8pm set time) - Ingrid Olava has been called "Norway's Feist." And while this easy association has been attached to several solo female singers (especially the "seductive" ones) since that fine Canadian launched into the stratosphere a couple years back, the categorization seems pretty appropriate in this case.

Ingrid's main weapon is the pen and the piano. Using both, she composes soft, haunting songs that seem to be playing out her recent dreams. Think ethereal, think cerebral. Don't think rock 'n roll. If you see Ingrid Olava and her band live, you won't get decibel destruction. This is mostly mellow stuff. But you probably will hear plenty of pins drop.

So there you have it: the complete line-up and set times for the Oh My Rockness/Oya Fest CMJ show at Cake Shop! Please come out and party with us on Saturday night! It'll be fun.

The XYZ Affair, Lukestar, Royal Bangs, Casiokids, The Uglysuit, and Ingrid Olava play Cake Shop, on Saturday night, October 25th.


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