on the record: 13 CMJ acts

by Fritswa Baffour, Laura Kusnyer and Jonathan Zeller, 10/06/2009

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  • Wild Yaks
    Names and ages: Rob Bryn, 32; Martin Cartagena, 32; Dan Scinta, 35 (not pictured); Zack Davis, 41 (not pictured); Sean Ketterly, 42 (not an official member yet, but he's been playing with the band)
    Where do you live? Williamsburg and Bushwick. We practice in Greenpoint.
    What's your style of music? We didn't choose it, but if we play hard and fast, it makes us feel better.
    Site of your first NYC performance: Jules de Balincort's Starr Street Projects in Bushwick—but we weren't called Wild Yaks back then.
    Favorite venues to hear live music: Glasslands Gallery, Death by Audio
    Best band in NYC right now: I hate this question. If your heart is true, wherever you are is the best. (I like the Suckers and I like Shilpa Ray and I like Stars Like Fleas.)
    What can we expect at your CMJ show? Zack Davis, a dude that I [Rob Bryn] have been playing music with for three years, is leaving the band because I want to tour relentlessly and sleep on that hard floor that is the center of the sun. October 21 at Knitting Factory is his last Wild Yaks show. Fate is tearing us apart. Hopefully Zack will play his heart out like fireworks and the pathos of the whole thing will make for good theatre.
    What's this we hear about your song "Tomahawk" and kids in Uganda? It's my favorite thing that's ever happened to Wild Yaks. Peace Corps volunteers who work with kids who'd been kidnapped and forced to be soldiers in Uganda—and are now being trained to be farmers—found our music online and started playing it for the kids. Nothing has ever made me feel better for doing my part as a human being and making soul music.

    Wild Yaks play the Knitting Factory on October 21. Hear their music at

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