Manchester Explosion

CMJ Wrap Up: Temper Trap, Top 5, American Idols

Evan C. Jones
Diana DeGarmo and Kimberly Locke, former American Idol contestants. Billboard.com video interview stills.

This year at CMJ, the weekend showcases and events sped up the momentum from earlier in the week. Leading into the weekend, some former American Idol contestants convened for a panel on Thursday (Oct. 22). "American Idol" season two third place finisher Kimberley Locke, season three runner-up Diana DeGarmo and Swedish "Idol" season one winner Daniel Lindström shared their experiences and their views on the current state of music.

When asked if they would take creative freedom or the Idol method, all three resoundingly said they'd take "Idol" again. After the panel, the Idols took time to talk with Billboard.com about their worst judge moments and current plans, and shared advice for other "Idol" hopefuls.


Video above: Kimberly Locke gives the scoop on her upcoming album.


Video Above: Kimberly Locke divulges her worst judge moment on "American Idol."


Video Above: Diana DeGarmo shares advice to future "American Idol" contestants.


Video Above: Diana DeGarmo's talks about her worst "American Idol" judge moment.

The weekend got off to full-on start with Temper Trap's show on Friday (Oct. 23). Performing to a full crowd at Bowery Ballroom, the Melbourne, Australia band fearlessly embraced the spotlight. Before their set, singer/guitarist Dougy Mandagi and drummer Toby Dundas talked with Billboard.com about touring in the United States and having their song "Sweet Disposition" featured in the romantic comedy "(500) Days of Summer."




Video Above: Temper Trap on "500 Days of Summer" and upcoming touring plans.

"It was pretty fun, for a kind of chick flick," Dundas says. "But definitely good to be amongst all those great tracks by similar artists."

The group took the stage to a round of applause and kept the Bowery dancing around the floor. "Love Lost" inspired a quick clap along to the song's verses, while "Sweet Disposition" really got the crowd singing as soon as the first guitar notes were came out. A rendition of "Drum Song" fell into the night's closer "Science of Fear," which featured a large and epic sounding bridge. The entire band was humbled by the constant cheers from the crowd, and mustered a handful of thank you's and waves to signify their appreciation.

After a week full of music, here are five acts that sounded like they deserved to break out bigger:

1. Donnis: This Atlanta based rapper has a Southern flow like T.I. and a New York City swagger like Jay-Z. Recommend track: "Gone."


2. Hockey: Already big overseas but barely known in the States, Hockey plays 80's new wave dance rock with a punk rock attitude. Recommend track: "Too Fake"

3. The Temper Trap: These Aussie's are already making headway by being featured on the "(500) Days of Summer" soundtrack, featuring their catchy blend of indie rock. Recommend track: "Love Lost"

4. Mumford & Sons: A folk music quartet featuring four part harmonies comes straight out of West London. As in England, not Kentucky. Recommend track: "White Blank Page"

5. Local Natives: This Los Angeles based indie outfit constructs songs similar to Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. They're currently unsigned in the United States; expect that to change very quickly. Recommend track: "Camera Talk"