CMJ Bushwick: House Party Style at Rock Bottom


Days after the brutal, sleep-deprived, over-boozed, and numb-eardrumming end to CMJ, our concert experiences are still rolling in. Deadlines? PSSSHHHH. A first for me, on Friday night I attended a CMJ house party show curated by Aputumpu at Rock Bottom. The show raged until after 3 am, featuring a slew of awesome local bands- Jangula, Fast Years, The Denzels, Cool Serbia, EULA, Osekre & The Lucky Bastards and more. It was an eruption of loud music, crazy dancers, $2 beers, and all-around Bushwick rowdiness. Oh, and an incredible rooftop. I now want to do this every weekend.

In case you’ve never heard of Rock Bottom, it’s a basement venue in an apartment on Stockholm street. The 4-room apartment is connected to the beautiful loft building. There’s a similar venue next door, called NXT LVL, that also hosts shows. So rad.

I arrived in time to hear EULA breaking the speed of sound downstairs. Heary, garage-layered punk rock, with emotional yelps for vocals, they tore through their set which the crowd bodyslammed.

Osekre & The Lucky Bastards were up next. A change of pace in music, letting in their optimistic, catchy, jangly rock jams. Their always venue- filling afro-punk rock sound bounced through the basement like a bouncy ball, sneaking up on unsuspecting dance victims, who jumped on stage to shake it with Osekre.

Neighborhood favorites Jangula took over the airwaves next, bringing with them a bevvy of dancing ladies and a whole lotta sweaty dudes. Jangula is an intricate, melody-driven punk rock band with ritualistic lyrics. These friends have been together playing for years, but their passionate stage energy never gets old while their music jangles its way to extraordinary life.

I had to take a break from the sweaty, smokey downstairs to peer out on the amazing rooftop. This connected series of roofs overlooks all of Bushwick. On a foggy night like this, there’s nowhere better to catch your breath. Also, there’s a castle-looking thing over to the left.

The Denzels are so rad! They’ve been getting a lot of hype lately, and for good reason. These rock’n’rollers combine fast-pacds guitar-driven hooks with earnest lyrics and harmonies to find a sound somewhere between punk, rock, and garage. They kept the party going, and the concert-goers jumping. Literally.

By this point things were getting hazy…and not only because of the smoke in the basement. Somehow, among the pool games going on, rooftop visits, and the free beer being passed out, I guess I missed Cool Serbia. Sorry, guys. But, the night ended with Fast Years tearing it up and having fun while doing so. Fast Years has a rambunctious, punk/pop feeling to them that’s channeling something… the 90’s perhaps? Mixed in with some high-energy tropicalia, pretty harmonies, and ripping guitar parts.  Either way, they were a lot of fun.

And that was the mid-morning ending to the best house party of CMJ. Here’s a hanger to see you out.

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