Friday night for the CMJ Music Marathon was hard to choose which shows I wanted to attend but ended up making the right choice. If you have read any of my articles before, you will know that I’m the punk rock/anything crazy guy at Pancakes And Whiskey and given a choice, will always choose it over most anything else. The Grand Victory was the perfect host for an all female-fronted punk-ish lineup and proved to be a great few hours before the late night shows.
Never having been to The Grand Victory I had no idea what I was getting into but the staff was friendly and accommodating, the drinks were cold and cheap, and the sound-system was on point. Starting off the night was The Violence and their brand of experimental punk/rock music who immediately throttled the room into submission with Gia Jordan’s bombastic stage presence and vocals. Dressed in red & black, with blood red stage makeup splattered on her face, Gia was a sight to behold; one minute freaking out with a guitar and then playing the trumpet with passion. The Violence’s style is hard to define, for me at least, but was highly entertained for 45 minutes like in this video I took.
The Purslaines followed with some more straight forward rock and with Ashley Bird’s smoky vocals really grooved their set and had folks swaying. Bird spent the last three songs in the audience to the delight of the mostly full room and had some real vocal highlights throughout.
Next up was the surprise of the night in The Liza Colby Sound, who blew me away with a soulful and bluesy brand of rock that was in your face. Liza Colby and her fantastic band really got the room hot while throwing down epic vocals and sizzling guitar work. This song here really stood out to me as a timeless number that could be a hit in most any generation with it’s catchy chorus and hammering backbeat. Liza was a serpent of sorts all set while writhing, crawling and bending over backwards as she effortlessly belted out soulful vocals while her tight band threw it down behind her. This is a can’t miss band, in my humble opinion.
The one reason I came to this showcase was to see J and the 9s, who shocked and awed at CBGB a few weeks ago, and not only did they live up to my expectations – they exceeded them. J and the 9s is a highly tuned, hybrid machine that brings large doses of punk mixed with some metal and good old Rock N’ Roll to form a unique but familiar sound.
Leading the group is the highly creative and absolutely gorgeous J9, who always dresses like a deformed punk super-hero and has an affinity for the rock flute. While she let’s loose with her large range of vocals the band behind her rages away in the form of KouqJ who is fucking animal on the bass, Frankie Figz tends to throw lasers and melts faces on the 6 string and madhouse drummer Ben (who was absent but his fill in didn’t miss a beat.) Stand out songs were “Revolution” and “Love To Be” click the links to see live videos of the night!
Article by: Shayne Hanley