Of the 1200 artists scheduled to play in New York City this week for the annual CMJ Festival, just two of them are from Scotland. Fortunately they are both brilliant: Glasgow’s The Phantom Band and Aberdeen’s The Xcerts. More details on the shows and their new albums below:

The Phantom Band at CMJ 2010

Fri Oct 22 at Public Assembly at 1.15pm (Free Brooklyn Vegan Party)

Fri Oct 22 at Knitting Factory at 8.30pm (Flower Booking Showcase)

Sat Oct 23 at Pianos at 3pm (Bowery Presents Day Party)

The Phantom Band released their 2nd album, The Wants, in the UK yesterday and the glowing reviews have already started. Their debut album was voted Best Album of 2009 by Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites (BAMS) and they will follow up their appearance with CMJ by joining Frightened Rabbit on the rest of their US Tour – full tour dates at the end of this article.

Dear Scotland spoke with The Phantom Band last year about their pre-show rituals and after-show adventures:

Dear Scotland: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?

Andy Wake, The Phantom Band: When away from home, I miss people much more than places. In terms of amplified Scottishness, I think it’s only natural for people to consider themselves statesmen of their home country. For instance, I wouldn’t be surprised if the people of Norway suspect The Phantom Band of being sponsored by a certain brand of Scotch Whisky (sponsorship offers welcome!) as, having taken gallons of it with us, because of how much alcohol costs there, we were seen pouring masses the stuff from the stage into raised cups and lots of open mouths in the front couple of rows. Somehow we felt obliged to spread the word of the golden nectar like missionaries.

Also, we have a little tradition that we try and swim outdoors whenever we are away anywhere — it’s an invigorating pre-cursor to a gig, or a way of unwinding afterward. I do think, however, we might be guilty of sometimes over-doing our Scottish brazenness… the water on a couple of occasions has been bloomin freezing — to the point where ones muscles can hardly function — but to accept defeat would have been letting the side down! “cold?! that’s not cold!”

Dear Scotland: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?

Andy Wake, The Phantom Band: Shows where the after-show isn’t you humphing all your own gear about are always good. After we played a gig in Norway (where we had lent a guitar to Bjorn Again so that they could do a Metallica cover) some of us were sat naked around a fire in the middle of the festival, then we sat up all night at our hotel, which was a series of old sawmill sheds, drinking moonshine and playing Nordic battle games (mostly involved hitting each other with sticks) before going swimming in a mountain loch. I’d say that was a pretty good after-show.

Full interview with The Phantom Band here

Download The Wants from the Dear Scotland Shop Here for $7.99


The Xcerts at CMJ 2010

Wed Oct 20 at The Canal Room at 8.30pm (ASCAP Showcase)

Vic Galloway had The Xcerts in Session a few weeks ago, which you can listen to on Peenko’s blog here. Their new album Scatterbrain was also released this week. The album was produced by Mike Sapone, who has worked with the likes of Brand New, Crime In Stereo, Straylight Run and Taking Back Sunday and has already entered the UK Top 40 Rock Chart at number 37. Murray spoke with Aberdeen magazine Flares n Seagulls recently about the last time they visited New York:

You’ve just been in New York recording album number 2! How was the Big Apple?

New York treated us very well. We were recording in a wee town called Bethpage in Long Island, it was really great. Not much to do apart from eat, but that suited us fine as we had just been on tour before travelling to America, so we needed a good feed.

And any interesting stories for us?

On one of the days off we decided we were going to visit the local mall, and what appeared to be a very generous man turned into a bit of a nut! This guy offered us a lift to the mall, and being the adventurous guys (idiots) we are, we thought we’d take him up on his kind offer. Turns out he was living at the hotel we were staying at because his house had just burned down. He was a really intense racist, and kept saying really inappropriate things to us about his doctor who was Indian. We got to his car, which was the biggest heap of shit I’ve ever seen, he then told us that he had a Cadillac but it had just been written off as a topless Brazillian dancer had crashed into the back of him a few days ago. He had some more stories but they are maybe a little too private for this interview. Needless to say, we had a change of heart and decided to get a taxi to the mall. We never saw Mark again, hope he’s ok.

Full interview by JustBoy57 here.

Download Scatterbrain from the Dear Scotland Shop Here for $9.99


The Xcerts – Slackerpop


Photo Credit: The Phantom Band by Michelle Heighway