Indie rock showcased

Music journal hosted record labels last weekend

The College Music Journal's Music Marathon took place Oct. 22-25 and never to miss an indie-rock event, The Eagle undertook the Arts & Crafts and Sub Pop Record's showcases.

Surfacing from the New York City subway in the Bowery, right in front of the Arts & Crafts showcase venue, The Eagle headed into the aptly-named Bowery Ballroom. Arts & Crafts artist Broken Social Scene has recently turned 2003 into "The Year of the Insanely Gorgeous Canadian Masterpiece," with its Arts & Crafts release "You Forgot It In People." Stars recently released its album "Heart" on the same label, and the two bands generally share members to create their specific brand of beautiful music. Stars, fronted by Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan, who both returned to the stage during the Broken Social Scene set, performed the blissful songs "Heart" and "Elevator Love Letter."

After that ubiquitous wait between bands, Broken Social Scene appeared on stage. All night, a rumor circulated through the crowd that Emily Haines was present, meaning that the band would play its song "Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl." After leaning against the stage in transfixed awe during songs such as "Almost Crimes" and "Cause = Time," Emily Haines appeared on stage to much of the delight of the crowd. New material such as "Market Fresh" left the crowd in gazing beatitude.

Saturday afternoon found The Eagle in a bar called Niagara for something of a "secret" show and party for the band Need New Body. Need New Body recently released its second major album, "UFO," and this show served as a 45-minute celebration of the band's caustic mayhem. Adorned with pink packing tape and broken/makeshift instruments, Need New Body performed a conglomeration of "hits," flowing from one abstract curiosity to another.

On Saturday evening, the Bowery Ballroom was home to the Sub Pop Records showcase. On the bill was a hefty six Sub Pop artists: All Night Radio, Arlo, Micheal Yonkers, The Constantines, The Thermals and The Shins. The Constantines proved to be a solid highlight of the evening.

"The Constantines played with a dark intensity that conjured the angry frustration and bitterness of a life going nowhere, of empty cities at night. They were truly possessed by the music they were creating," fan Raf Spielman said at the conclusion of the band's set.

Incredibly accessible songs such as "Young Lions" and "Nighttime Anytime (It's All Right)" gave concertgoers a renewed confidence in rock 'n' roll. Portland band The Thermals delivered an energetic set taken straight from its Sub Pop debut "More Parts per Million."

Finally, the Shins took the stage. After a shaky start with "Caring is Creepy," off of the "O, Inverted World" album, the Shins eased into a level of comfort and capability that truly reflected the maturation this band has taken on since its first album. The Shins' recent album, titled "Chutes Too Narrow," boasts some of the most versatile song-writing currently available. Highlights of the Shins' set included "Pink Bullets" and "Saint Simon." Articulate Pitchforkmedia journalist Matt LeMay concluded the evening with but one sentiment: "So good"

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