BY JASON JONES
STRAIGHT OUTTA BROOKLYN
Friday night was definitely a night to remember and it renewed my love for music festivals. CMJ was alive and kicking across Brooklyn. My friend Jerris and I got together for an early evening practice session before heading out for the night’s activities. I have rehearsal studio space in the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, in the Ft. Greene neighborhood literally a stone’s throw from the front of my apartment building. Built in 1909, this historic temple has an arena that holds 1,000 people. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Broken Social Scene was slated to play a show there that night. We used my tenant status to bypass the long line of hipsters, young indie rockers and local neighborhood fans of the Canadian music collective that were queued up outside anxiously waiting to get in. The practice session was a good one, but our rehearsal didn’t last long before we found ourselves standing stage left, witnesses to greatness in our own backyard. Broken Social Scene did not disappoint, and the mass of fans was delighting in the collective’s catalog of hits. The band was impressive, and the Temple has never sounded better to me.
We had to drag ourselves out of the show and onto a G Train for Williamsburg. In no time we were at The Music Hall of Williamsburg where the Kemado Records CMJ showcase was in full swing. We were just in time to see The Muslims’ set. The San Diego four piece chugged trough a raucous set of energetic rock music that reminded me of an adolescent New Bomb Turks. The band warmed the stage and politely stepped aside to make way for Dungen, Stockholm’s psychedelic indie rock super stars.
It was apparent when they took the stage that they were the star attraction of the showcase. The hall quickly filled out and the crowd pressed the stage to witness the Swedes in action. Gustav Ejstes, Dungen’s front man and principal composer, began the set behind the keys of his synthesizer before taking center stage with his tambourine and banging waves of golden curls. The crowd grooved and bounced to the foursome’s powerfully polished take on psychedelic folk metal. Drummer Fredrik Bjorling is a master and I could not help but feel that I was somehow transported back in time to witness Mitch Mitchell playing with Jimi and The Experience. Dungen played many favorites including “Ta Det Lugnt,” “Djungelboken 2”, and “Panda” to the crowd’s enthusiastic hollers of approval. Their set was a cohesive collection of newer material and favorites from yesteryear that moved the crowd to excitable outbursts whenever there was a break in music. At show’s end, Dungen was begged for an encore and returned to deliver one last taste of their sonic psychedelic confections.