LIVE REVIEW: Balcony TV + Time Out New York showcase @ The Studio at Webster Hall

The first day of the CMJ Music Marathon serves as a kicking-off of a week packed with artists from all over the world, brought together to one city to do what they love. This excitement and nervousness was palpable at the Balcony TV + Time Out New York showcase Tuesday, which featured several up-and-coming artists. Each brought a different style with them that filled the small studio tucked underneath Webster Hall.

 

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The Ugly Club
The Ugly Club

The Ugly Club, despite the self-deprecating name, brought an awesome, punchy pop to the stage.  Hailing from New Jersey, the band has already reached some level of acclaim in its two-year existence. Paste Magazine, Filter Magazine and MTV have all taken note of this rising talent. It’s easy to see why: the guys perform a cool set and clearly love being onstage. Their songs are upbeat and infectious, and they possess the looks that will likely catapult them.

 

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Seasick Mama
Seasick Mama

Next up, Seasick Mama took the small stage to perform an interesting set. Singer Marial Maher showcased her killer voice and catchy songs, including “Man Overboard.” What was off-putting, however, was the performance itself. Maher sauntered around the stage, wriggling her body around, widening her eyes and at one point humping the microphone stand. Although her voice and the music itself were impressive, the stage performance that accompanied was too much and took away from the music. Listening to the band’s tracks without the mental images of the live performance produces much better results. Maher emerged on the stage with hair pulled into 10 or so separate braids throughout her head, which gave off the impression that she was looking to evoke a reaction from the crowd. At one point, she asked, “Are you scared yet?” likely referring to her behavior. She defines herself as an artist who is unrefined who cannot be contained, but this message seems to take away from her actual musical talent, which is a shame.

 

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Stone Cold Fox
Stone Cold Fox

Stone Cold Fox showed up for a short but sweet set of their indie-rocker tracks. Only a year old, the New York-based band is sure to gain some traction in the next several years due to their catchy melodies and relatable lyrics. Songs such as “American” and “Pictures” feature vocalist Kevin Olken’s wonderful crooning and are destined to be hits. “Pictures” is reminiscent of Young the Giant’s hit “Apartment,” and will likely be as well received. The band also plays well together onstage, making them an unstoppable force. Although they’ve released only one EP — The Young — expect to see more of these rockers.

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