The CMJ Music Marathon first started in 1980 with a modest amount of…
- Posted on Oct 22nd 2010 1:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Gino DePinto, AOL
"Who here is wearing freshly washed jeans?" he asked. "Mine are freshly washed, and they feel terrible -- because they're freshly washed."
Freshly washed -- and indeed, sopping wet, if the film 'Quadrophenia' is to be believed -- is how the British mods wore them back in the '60s. This is significant because Thursday night, more so than on record, Jaill sounded a lot like the early Who and its punk-era equivalent, the Jam. The difference is in the attitude and presentation. Kircher, drummer Austin Dutmer and bassist Andrew Harris aren't about to wear tight pants or pointy shoes. They're three schlubs from Milwaukee, and they're more than willing to go onstage in dorky T-shirts and let their mangy Midwestern power-pop speak for itself.
It's not a bad strategy. On 'I'm on the Beat' and 'This Is How We Burn,' the title track from Jaill's recently released Sub Pop debut, the trio took its performance just about as seriously as it should have. Kircher knows full well that the lanyard-and-badge CMJ crowd is all about making the rounds and sniffing out buzz, and that gave the tune 'Everyone's Hip' a bit of added relevance. While the band played a tight, tidy set, Kircher sometimes slopped his chords over Dutmer's Keith Moon fills and Harris' 'Taxman' bass lines, just to remind everyone he wasn't going to try too hard.
He did, however, leave the audience with one special gift, 'The House Is Haunted,' a de facto Halloween song not written for the holiday.
"We'll play it tonight and probably not again until next October," Kircher said, staring fans down with his unreadable beady eyes. "Oooh! Lucky you!"