Posted in music on October 24, 2010

by Andrew Sacher

CMJ (pic by thewildhoneypie)

The 2010 CMJ Music Marathon took place in NYC from Tuesday, 10/19 through Saturday, 10/23. Here's what I did, broken down by day...


I started day one of CMJ, my first-ever CMJ, at the 'Future of the Music Business, Really?' panel. It was really interesting and I learned a lot. The panelists discussed potential ways to keep the industry of recorded music alive, and from what I gathered, most of them agreed that if there was some way to pay a fee for unlimited music downloading, it would probably result in the most positive reception.

From there I hit the 'American Hardcore and the Rise of Modern Rock' panel. This was probably the most interesting panel I went to all week. It was moderated by American Hardcore: A Tribal History author Steven Blush and the panelists talked about how so many aspects of modern rock really are directly influenced from the early '80s hardcore scene, especially regarding the relevance of indie record labels, street teams, and samplers.

They also discussed how the American hardcore movement really is an art movement, not just a style of music. Among the panelists were Vic Bondi from Articles of Faith and Jack Rabid from the magazine, The Big Takeover. It was great to hear things about the movement from people who had really been there when it was prevalent. The event was one of many recent promotional appearances for Steven Blush. You can catch him again in NYC at The Strand at 7pm on 12/15.

Then I made my way over to the Ground Control showcase at Irving Plaza which was headlined by Jenny and Johnny (who I couldn't stay for). I really enjoyed Times New Viking - my first time seeing them. The drummer has the band move from one song to the next so quickly. I also enjoyed Wild Nothing's set a lot, especially now that I knew their album. I had actually seen them over the summer open for The Morning Benders but wasn't really familiar with them at the time.

continued below...

Times New Viking


I ended up being a little disappointed with the panels I attended today. I started at the 'How To Start A Movement' panel. The panelists were fine, they just didn't really discuss what I hoped they would.

I then attended the 'Curmudgeons of Rock' panel and pretty much felt the same. The panel began with the general question, "Is good music criticism in danger?" However, the panel ended up being a little too vague. It got better when Charles Aaron from Spin discussed the difficulties of writing a negative review. He said, "Music is so emotionally personal, people hate reading negative reviews about music that they love." I was glad he said that. I do think you should think hard before completely trashing a band's live show or an album.

At night I went over to Santos Party House for the Stereogum/Pop Gun showcase. While I was waiting for the show to start, a woman interviewed me on video about the show, CMJ, and music in general. I talked about bands I was excited about and why I'm interested in discussing live music. That was cool. I also really enjoyed all the bands that I saw tonight: Lower Dens, Tamaryn, Dom, Marnie Stern, and Wild Nothing (again). I very regrettably missed The Drums because they went on so late and I had to catch my last train home.

Dom really exceeded my expectations. Their computer was actually broken that night, and I thought it was interesting to hear them as just a guitar/bass/drums rock band. It was also my first time seeing Marnie Stern, and she completely won me over as a huge fan.


I didn't go to any panels today. Instead I started the day off at the Neon Hitch/Chess Club showcase at Public Assembly, which lasted all day into night. I went to the showcase because I was excited to see Oberhofer and Devin Therriault, both of whose sets I really enjoyed, but I also ended up discovering some new bands that I'm definitely now a fan of.

I was completely blown away by UK band The Good Natured. The Good Natured is a male bassist and drummer with samples playing through the PA fronted by a very charismatic and seductive female singer. The songs were somewhat reminiscent of 1980s synth/goth rock, and were so catchy while still maintaining a vibe of darkness. After they finished I talked to the singer and got their promo CD, which I enjoy just as much as their live show. I also thoroughly enjoyed sets by Alex Winston and Ava Luna.


The Good Natured ' Your Body Is A Machine '

Later on in the day, I went next door to Music Hall of Williamsburg to the BrooklynVegan showcase. I caught some of Screaming Females and thought they sounded incredible. It was amazing to finally get to see Marissa Paternoster play guitar. Then I stayed to watch some The Blow and she was great and funny. I then went back to Public Assembly to see LA band Grouplove who I had checked out on myspace, but they ended up completely exceeding my expectations. They looked like they were having more fun on stage than any band I've ever seen. Grouplove is the perfect name for them. They have shows coming up with Florence & the Machines and The Joy Formidable including a November 16th gig at Bowery Ballroom with the latter.



Today I started the day off at the BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly. I saw Times New Viking (again), Oberhofer (again) and Dom again (Dom's computer wasn't broken this time, so it was cool to see them with their synths too). I also saw Ty Segall and John Vanderslice, and they both played great sets. John's was solo until the end when he had two friends join him on trumpet and accordion-like instrument. They finished their set on the floor surrounded by the crowd on all sides.

At night I went to Knitting Factory to check out more bands. I wasn't really too familiar with any of them, but I ended up really liking garage pop band Gentleman Jesse and His Men.

Gentleman Jesse & His Men - I got so excited


Today I went to the BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly again. I had been hearing good things about Morning Teleportation so I checked their set out and really liked it. I was pretty familiar with the rest of the bands that I saw today, and was excited for the whole lineup really. Ted Leo played solo which was really awesome. On Friday I arrived too late, but today I was there in time for the vegan empanadas from V-Spot and they were so good. Especially with the dipping sauce.

I saw Wild Nothing for the third time this week, and thought they were excellent as always. It was also lots of fun seeing Titus Andronicus, Marnie Stern (again), and Jamie Lidell. The only act I saw that I had never heard anything at all about was Big Freedia, but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to forget her set. She certainly knows how to put on a memorable show...


this is one of many BrooklynVegan posts highlighting parts of the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon.



Comments (30)

cool story, bro. you shouldn't be afraid to stay out late, though.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 12:39 AM

this was really good to read. thanks for sharing from the college student perspective; it's rare to hear about the panels (given the obscene badge price), so i'm glad to hear some reporting from them.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 12:39 AM

given that 99.9% of the cmj bands will play here no fewer than ten times during the next year, i really think the panels are the most interesting component of the trade show / event (meet business people, network, etc). are they well attended and is there any way in without a badge?

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 12:48 AM

I've posted vid of that American Hardcore panel:

Posted by Joly MacFie | October 25, 2010 12:49 AM

Well, I'm not a college student, but here is what I did during CMJ

Tuesday- started my day out with some preparation. Went to whole foods and stocked up on some organic chickpeas and pita triangles for the days ahead. Didn't do much that night, but my cupboard was filled and I slept peacefully.

Wednesday- busted out my food processor and the sound of the electric engine humming along reminded me of sonic youths second album so swayed my hips around while the chickpeas got mashed.

Thursday- prepared myself for a night out in the town. Was really stoked about rocking out, but an old girlfriend texted me and informed me she was in town so we ended up just boning all day, my stamina was amazing from all the phyto-nutrients locked within the chickpea.

Friday- woke up so hungry, and ate a massive bowl and hit the town. Went to Santos party house and all the bourbon didn't mix well with my stomach full of tahini and puked on the bar and got thrown out. Bummer!

Saturday- hit up the BV day party. Those big Frieda butts made me smile, Titus rocked out hard, and some chic in there took my number because she wanted one of my secret hummus recipes. Then went to see lower dens at Bowery ballroom. It blew me away... Went home ate the rest of my hummus, and dreamed about a giant chickpea named Ralph wearing platform

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 12:52 AM

12:52 might be the best parody comment in the history of bv.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:00 AM

Thanks for the breakdown...would've liked to have seen the panel discussion on criticism in music journalism, that is a touchy subject; the fact that a 5/10 review of an album basically means it got panned is indicative of that.

Posted by superheavy | October 25, 2010 1:03 AM

was this written by a college student or a sixth grader?

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:09 AM

love ya, 12:52

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:09 AM

Haha, oh?

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:37 AM

I have thought hard about this, negative reviews being emotional for all parties, but at some moments we must dare to offend. This reads like a 5th grade book report. "I liked (a), then I went to (b), (c) was cool. (etc. etc.)" The good news is you are a college student (that is the scary part as well) and your college certainly has a freshman writing seminar, please attend and pay attention. In addition I am sure they have a writing lab you can go to for help with grammar, style, form, etc. Please take advantage of the resources at your disposal. Upwards and onwards young friend!

Posted by Strunk & White | October 25, 2010 1:43 AM

@12:52 That's probably the most effort you've put into anything in the last 5 years.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:44 AM

SUNY Purchase student probably.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 1:58 AM

Andrew is an excellent writer. This is just some casual journal entries. Chill out English Major Snobs.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 2:06 AM

ok andrew, or is it one of his 6th grade pals?

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 4:48 AM

12:52 - You gotta admire the dedication. 6.5/10.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 8:07 AM

i'm sure anyone who contributes to this site can appreciate some criticism and feedback, but keep in mind that more than likely they are reading these comments so try to be kind. most (if not all) people who take photos, submit reviews, do whatever, for this site do it for free and out of love for the music and scene. i think we can all agree that there are few websites with the quality as high as BV.

if you don't think something is up to par, how about buying a camera and taking a photography class, or taking a journalism course or doing ANYTHING, other than sitting there and harshly criticizing those who actually do work hard (and believe me, they do work hard) to make this site a worthy resource for the NY music scene?

end rant.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 8:34 AM

it's a journal/diary, not a creative writing project or termpaper. it's supposed to be simple and straightforward. people here just like to complain and attack.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 8:36 AM

talent, ambition and professionalism open a lot of doors...

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 10:33 AM

that shit was boring.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 10:43 AM

"It was really interesting and I learned a lot."

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 11:29 AM

Wow, the guitar player from The XX really lost some weight.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 4:20 PM

Yea. The xx guitar player has been replacing his daily cordog eating with something more tan in color... I'm sure you know what it is I refer to.

Posted by Anonymous | October 25, 2010 7:32 PM

He is so much thinner now, let's hope that's not down to drugs and what are you talking about eating something more tan?

Posted by Tims machine assembly | October 26, 2010 3:05 PM

Tan in color.. clever..

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