October 24, 2011

CMJ 2011 Roundup

The CMJ Music Marathon is an aptly-titled festival in New York City spanning 5 days in more than 80 venues with dozens of panels and films, along with hundreds of music acts. The Marathon, put on by the College Music Journal, is less well known than some of the staple summer fests, but remains a hot bed of up and coming acts.

North Highlands Live at Cameo Gallery

The festival provides a platform for indie label showcases and parties, and many bands have the opportunity to play a handful of short sets in multiple sites. Badge holders get to venue-hop scenes ranging from small backroom bars all the way to the three story theatres.

The 1,300 artist lineup can be intimidating, even stressful, when choosing a plan of attack. The best strategy is to pick a handful of bands to see throughout the week, and catch some new acts in the surrounding set times. I chose to spend the majority of my time back home in Brooklyn bouncing between the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Public Assembly, and Cameo Gallery; all within a block of each other.

Ultimately, in the spirit of discovering the diamonds in the rough, one is best advised to just go with the flow. You can probably find dozens of great bands by just scanning the lineup, even if you can’t make it in person.

Check out the WILD CMJ 2011 playlist below, and stay tuned this week for more coverage of CMJ breakouts.

text by: Blaine Skrainka

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