[mp3] Ume: "The Conductor"Ume is Lauren Larson, bassist and husband Eric and drummer Jeff. "Where the hell did she come from?" We asked incredulously. "West Texas" was the reply. Of course. They all come from West Texas. Ume was our CMJ highlight. Fronted by a tiny pixie blond with some serious picking speed, and a furious live show Ume fall somewhere in the zone between Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. With showcases ranging from Vice to Brooklyn Vegan, Ume brought the hype, but managed to stay one of the under the radar gems of the festival making it easier to get into the shows. Bands like Ume are what makes CMJ worthwhile. Can't wait to hear more from these Austin based rockers.
Photos by Karp
Free Energy are easier to manage. Fronted by what looks like the kid from Dazed and Confused, they're a Philly band who seem just a few clicks shy of the real deal. While they have good songs, there is a lot to be desired live. It's pleasant enough, and with some more practice they might be contenders. We suggest just dialing down the Mick Jagger impersonations a little bit. Despite our critisicsm, they quickly became one of the must see bands of the festival, and could be poised for a big year. We're fine with that really.
See after the jump for more photos...