[In relation to my CMJ coverage, allow me to pre-emptively apologize for two things: 1) my camera is not fabulous with concert photos, 2) I won’t be hosting many mp3s direct. The reason for the latter is that my current connection is rather slow, so it takes me ages to download and upload things. Since most of the mp3s I’d be hosting for the bands I will discuss would come from MySpace anyhow, it saves time, energy and bandwidth if I show you where you can find the mp3s. This won’t become regular T-Sides.com practice – it’s just for this CMJ coverage.]

CMJ Day Five
Show Attended:
Kayo Dot, Made out of Babies, MGR, Grails @ Sin-e

Kayo Dot

(image courtesy of the band’s myspace page. not taken by me, not taken at CMJ.)

When telling my friends about Kayo Dot and trying to convince them to come to the band’s show at CMJ, the description I used was “think of Jeff Buckley fronting a metal band.” It’s a highly simplistic description, but one that is completely appropriate.

I say that this is a simplistic description because Kayo Dot isn’t a metal band by typical standards. In a similar vein to Explosions in the Sky or Isis, Kayo Dot songs morph from beautiful, slow moving, cinematic refrains to balls-out, throw you against the wall, heavy ass riffs. The only thing really metal about them is how incredibly heavy they can get.

But they can also get classical. And jazz. And if you’re wondering where the Jeff Buckley comes in, it’s because the singer’s voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Buckley’s. The one downside of their CMJ show, though, was that we hardly heard it.

Live, Kayo Dot is exactly what a band like this should be. They don’t talk a lot, they don’t pull any gimmicky antics. If you were to watch them without hearing the music, it wouldn’t be that captivating. But seeing the concentrated looks on their faces while hearing the sounds they’re making work hand-in-hand together to produce a solid show.

Did I mention that their songs tend to run from 8 – 15 minutes? There aren’t any mp3s of theirs on MySpace, but I’ve uploaded the shortest one for you below.

Kayo Dot: “Pitcher Of Summer” (download)
Kayo Dot on MySpace
Kayo Dot Website


Made out of Babies: I never wear ear plugs to concerts. I probably should, because I’m surely already going deaf, but I don’t. Try as I could to stand listening to this band without ear plugs, I just couldn’t do it. After three songs, my ears were in serious pain. A lot of concert goers seemed to have high hopes for this group, but going by audience response, I think I can pretty safely say that expectations were not met. I don’t like abrasive music, so I have no clue what makes harsh, heavy & fast music good versus what makes it bad, so I can’t offer any analytical comments that anyone who likes that kind of music will be able to use. However, a lot of my friends like music like that, and most of them weren’t completely sold on Made out of Babies, either, if that’s any indication.