October is the only month that ends in a holiday celebrating exquisite exaltation of darkness, death and freedom, this year it was also, appropriately, a barn burner month for a rapidly proliferating genre: Screw Gaze.

Earlier this month OOoOo (pronounced “Oh”), aka Christopher Greenspan, outta the San Francisco Bay area, released an exquisitely solid self-titled debut EP. I’m hopelessly strung out on the heroin highs that are the standout tracks “Mumbai”, “Hearts” and “Burnout Eyes” (sick title right?). Rating: 8.5



It’s also been an eventful month for Brooklyn-based band CREEP, the dynamic duo of Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard. Three weeks ago, they got signed to the prestigious indie label “Young Turks” (The XX, Wavves, Holy Fuck), and if that wasn’t enough, Thursday heralded the premiere of their new music video for “Days”, their upcoming single, unveiled at the party at The Cove. The crowds’ reaction to this spooked-out masterpiece was a frenzy of awe. Be on the lookout for big things from CREEP in the near future, including their debut EP and heavy rotation of the new “Days” video on VH1 and MTV.

Hot Shit (CREEP remix)

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the month were Salem’s performances at NYC’s CMJ Music Marathon 2010. This triad of hyper-modern occult heroes and fashion/art world darlings were crowned the unofficial winners for standout live gig and have been the talk of the town for the past week.

Vogue anointed Salem as one of the ten must see shows of CMJ. Salem rose up and beyond the hype delivering in full force, defying everyone’s expectations with two shows that unequivocally killed it.

Most of this buzz surrounding Salem is due to the glowing critical reception of their debut full length album King Night, released a mere 33 days ago. Another small part is due to controversy: their “rape gaze” [Ed: the term does belong to a joke made by Laurens from CREEP and I'd hate to see it stick] lyrics, their songs deemed “drug music,” the band’s high profile occult perceptions, and their fearless EP titles like Yes, I Smoke Crack. Such things have led to cries of offense from those jumpy few who are easily startled.┬áThe most powerful critical weapon against the band were their poor past live performances, though Salem’s current live show has now come of age seemingly overnight, thus killing the one relevant complaint. And any other beefs are transparent: simple, moralist, sanctimonious pussy bullshit from mouths who need to grow a pair.

Jack 3 for 3 at Ramiken

The two shows left those familiar with the band’s live history simply stunned. Brains were altered by the assault of the dirty, bass-blistering, mind-vaporizing new live sound, performances which Time Out called “hauntingly resonant” and Village Voice deemed “transcendent.”

Salem’s second, tiny show was literally underground at a nearly impossible to locate and refreshingly esoteric gallery named “Ramiken Crucible” located in the deep (below East Broadway) Lower East Side [Ed: Chinatown, really]. This absurdly exclusive show (90 person capacity), offered only fifty tickets to the general public, albeit quasi-secretly, announcing it only on their Facebook fan page. Included among the celebrity-studded 40 person VIP guest list was art world superstar Terence Koh, who arrived arm in arm with Liv Tyler, appropriately decked out in Givenchy.

The press recognized these were mind-fucking mind blowing performances, gigs that reduced industry-infested, jaded New York audiences into frenzied, shrieking tweens, tween girls pleading for an encore, tween girls willing to die (or at least wait) for an encore worth dying for.

  1. thanks for the scoop, thomas. i dig yer style. . . xo


  2. The original video in this article was from the CREEP youtube channel but was not itself by CREEP, this was an editorial indiscretion, my fault. I’ve updated it now to a CREEP remix of Baghdaddy ‘Hot Shit’.


  3. Hopefully the “Rape Gaze” term will stick cos I fucking love it!


  4. Hey Thomas, Just wanted u2know I absolutely loved ‘this link’. I listened2all the vids (My type of Sound & I loved the mini fashion show/Givenchy..of course I loved the clothes, lol) w/my 2yr+9mo old grandaughter in the background playing & it made me laugh when I saw her ‘Lifting her hands, clapping, sway dancing2the music’.& appropiately just watching “Burnout”, w/curiousness on her face as she saw ‘the men tinkering w/the missile’s’. (U have a new young fan by her reaction, I’d say) You did an exellent job putting this2gether & I just wanted2commend you on a job well done.! Your friend always..Bren


  5. this video should say it all..

    i mean lets get real SALEM is not happenin. They’re such try hards. Its like wack beats with reverb. Fake black music for white art school kids. you know this is right. lets get real baby. read an interview with them, its sad


    zabatay Reply:

    @Marcus, Salem had already happened. You’re crying Tom Wolfe a decade after the Acid Test was published. Things are faster now, it may sound dumb at first and then it all makes sense (in our culture etc.). I’ve read some of their interviews and then I talked to them, in a direct comparison: Jim Morrison sounds like an actual thinker (he’s a pretty dumb fuck). This is not a talking head who is running for your local government, their music ignites people. You may disagree, but you also objectively will not be allowed to ignore that.

    The first time I saw them live (that SXSW thing) I ignored mostly, was drunk, was at SXSW, then I listened to their songs, and over and over and over again, like every music writer who is covering them, yes I can find faults but I listen to every son over and over again, that is the real argument. When they didn’t do so well at the Sponsor/Sponsor thing in New York early of 2010 I realized that this is the time to get that this is a real band. Unprepared, selfish, fucked up whenever, all so they can make music that you complain about and that I can enjoy.


  6. O u maad! and u be wasting ur time! Gonna write an article called “All haters are fundamentally unhappy”