I was a little stoned on Sangria Friday night but that didn’t dull my senses at all. The bands that played the Matador/True Panther showcase were all awesome. Not only did I enjoy the show wholeheartedly but now I can also write about it joyfully.

First up was Harlem. What the hell kind of a name is Harlem (pictured) for a punk pop band from Texas? Anyway- the guitarist (who later played drums) was wearing a Beavis and Butthead t-shirt and that was enough for me. The band really delivered on poppy yet distorted hooks, bass driven songs and infectious fried chicken-jump around melodies.

Next up was Tanlines— a band i’ve hailed many times before. There’s something about the duo of Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm that is as strong as… hmmm, Soju and Korean Fried Chicken? (Why do i keep writing about chicken?) Seriously, Tanlines is a power house of dance beats, tropical digital sounds and light guitar notes. You know those songs that just build and build and break just when they should, when you’re on the brink of flipping out? That’s like the definition of a Tanlines song. Even though I was in the dark and kind of dingy Suffolk on Suffolk Street, I felt like I was in a Jamaican dance hall with sand floors and with very few clothes on.

Lemonade (pictured) took the stage next. I’ve always liked Lemonade’s jams but I’d never seen the band live before. And now I promise you there will be lots more writing about them going on right here. I haven’t heard music like theirs before–they commandeer the well-charted territory of dance noise without an ounce of pretension. Oh and did I mention the drummer was in his underpants? And they were tight and striped??

The music of Lemonade is a potent mix of dance-y beats and sampled sounds mixed with hardcore drumming (on real drums and electronic pads) and sunny vocals. PopTarts said the sound was like Professor Murder meets Black Dice, which is an interesting mash-up. Everyone should definitely see these guys– you’ll dance your face off like you have a purpose.

Cold Cave was one of the most hyped CMJ acts to hit New York last week. Their dark, almost industrial music went well the extremely dark stage and with their look- all black clothes and somber faces. I felt like a vampire or a bat in a cave. But I wasn’t scared. Cold Cave’s music is both slow and aggressive, moody and somehow poppy. While the crowd brooded, inside they were ecstatic. The music of Cold Cave is powerful and visceral. Maybe a little boring in a live setting, but something tells me that’s the point. Enjoy the darkness.