Nothing personal CMJ, but I'm leaving town this year and won't be able to appreciate you. Because of that, I've done no real investigating into who's playing. However, I do have a few recommendations for y'all...
Union Hall is the place to be this week. Wednesday night catch The Ladybug Transistor, The Rosebuds, and others. Saturday night check out The Mugs. But, most importantly, Friday night is your latest chance to see Ola Podrida, who are scheduled to go on at eight o'clock. Earlier in the day, David is playing a solo acoustic set at Piano's at 1:30, so you should check that out too. Hopefully by then he'll have recovered from last night's debaucherous session of Kuntry Karaoke at Hank's Saloon. My head is still pounding. O-u-c-h.
Don't forget that CMJ also has films screening as part of the festival. If you have to see only one Bob Dylan movie, I command you to skip I'M NOT THERE and instead see Murray Lerner's electrifying THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR: BOB DYLAN LIVE AT THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL 1963-1965. Even though it's coming out on DVD this month, it deserves a theatrical viewing (Thursday, IFC Center, 11:15am). And if you think you've seen all the footage before, you haven't. Seventy percent of it is brand spankin' new. And it is all very, very, very good. It's almost incomprehensible to watch Dylan transform from a seemingly shy, innocent Midwesterner into an evasive, otherworldly presence in the span of three years. Must see viewing!
I'd also like to recommend Bob Ray's really interesting HELL ON WHEELS (Friday, IFC Center, 11am), which profiles the recent rebirth of the roller derby phenomenon. It's somehow fitting that it all started back in 2001 in Austin, Texas, with a bunch of rowdy females who were determined to turn a seeming pipedream into a bone-snapping reality. And when i say bone-snapping, I mean bone-s-h-a-t-t-e-r-i-n-g. There's an injury in the movie that makes Joe Theisman's leg break look like a joke. But the film isn't all just an action-packed thrill ride. A majority of it focuses on the complicated struggles these women went through to legitimize their sport, trying to learn the laws and regulations and not kill each other in the process. Years later, the roller derby phenomenon has spread like wildfire, and there appears to be no end in sight.
Also, DARIUS GOES WEST (Friday, Tribeca Cinemas, 12pm) is a crowd-pleaser if there ever was one. Those guys are all great, so you should support their movie too!
Lastly, in non-CMJ cinematic events, Ti West's TRIGGER MAN opens at the Pioneer Theater. To be honest, this film worked more for me in theory than it did in execution, but there's something about it that proves West knows what he's doing.
Peace out, New York. I'll see ya next time I see ya...