CMJ Recap by Emilie: The End

** I was pretty sick and felt like shit on Friday so I didn’t do as much as I had planned eek! ** 

While waiting in line for The Antlers Thursday night I had met a band who told me about this CMJ event that is open all day that includes free haircuts, messages, drinks, games, and more. I decided to check it out the next day, which is Friday.  

Jace, John Scott, Ali, Karl, and I headed to find this magical party. On the way there is documented footage of our first KSCR musical, a must to check out. We got to the party before the doors opened so Ali and I performed in the street; I played harmonica while she danced and sang.  

We finally got in and scored some free rock band T-shirts while Ali played Rock Band, and dominated it.  

I left almost as soon as we got there to head back to NYU to catch a panel on Hair. I had received a free tickets days before to a Hair performance and I thought it was today. Unfortunately I learned it was for the night before and I missed it, I’m still pissed about that. I arrived early and was able to catch the end of the Featured Speaker panel with Emmanual Jal. He is a hip hop artist from Sudan who was indoctrinated to become a child soldier in Ethiopia, survived and was smuggled into Kenya and saved. He told chilling stories and really spread the message of how much Africa needs help right now. He ended with a performance.

Then the Hair panel started, featuring Galt Macdermot (ORIGNAL composer), Jim Rago (ORIGINAL co-writer), and Gavin Creel (currently played Claude). I was awestruck. In front of me was the man who wrote, “Let the Sun Shine In” and “Age of Aquarious.” In front of me was the man who wrote one of the best musicals in American history. There has not been a show like Hair since 1968. They talked about how they came up with ideas, how the music came about, and more.

Then Galt got on the piano and Gavin sang some songs from the current Tony nominated Broadway revival of Hair. Momentously, Jim (who had mentioned that he had wanted to be the original Claude) walked down the stairs and started singing with Gavin. There is was: original composer, current Claude and original Claude. Worlds collided. Generation X, Y, and Z became one. There was a woman, maybe in her 50’s or 60’s, sitting behind me with her eyes clasped shut so tightly and this nostalgic smile on her face. I could only assume she was imagining the first time she saw the musical while she listened to the performance.  

This was the last day of the film festival part of CMJ and “Finding Elliot Smith” was the final documentary. Ali, Jace, John Scott, and I headed back to Norwood to catch the film. It was pretty good, it really focused on his friends and on the fact that Elliot’s fiance, Jennifer Chibo, did not murder Elliot Smith. Come of Elliot’s Oregon friends really bashed Los Angeles and blamed the city for Elliot Smith demise and fall back into drugs. Overall the film was pretty good.  

I originally didn’t think I’d make it to all the shows Friday night since I was feeling pretty shitty, but after getting some coffee into my system and visiting an Australian Bar that was overly crowded I mustered up the energy and made it to The Bowry Ballroom. There was a great showcase this night, most notable Temper Trap and Portugal. The man. I missed most of Temper Trap but saw Portugal. The man. It was a great set and The Bowry Ballroom mixer was really on for the show. Portugal not only had great sound quality but they also had so much energy, even though John stopped at one point to tell us how sick they all are right now. Their last song (before the encore) was a great 8 or 9-minute medley; this made the crowd go berserk. It was fucking awesome. It was a great way to end my first CMJ experience.  

Note to future CMJ go’ers: wash your hands and take zinc.
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