CMJ Music Marathon Festival Guide (photo by olsoncaleb)

The 2011 CMJ Music Marathon starts today (10/18) and runs through Saturday night (10/22).

If you're not familiar with how this works, basically CMJ is just a whole bunch of concerts (showcases), films, panels, parties and other random events. CMJ attendees typically have a badge, but you don't need a badge to enjoy CMJ. You do need a badge to attend panels and stuff like that, and badges will get you into showcases, but they will not guarantee you get into the showcases you want. A limited number of badges are let into each show. The only way to guarantee you get into the official showcases you want, especially if you don't have a badge, is to buy an individual ticket to that show.

BrooklynVegan is hosting two official showcases: Friday night @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets) & Saturday metal on a boat (tickets).

You can view all (most) of CMJ's official schedule at You check out our guide to all that is dark and heavy at CMJ for more too.

In addition to the official stuff is all the unofficial stuff. Those are the parties planned by whoever and most are free, though some require RSVP. Most are in the day (showcases are at night). Bill listed a bunch of parties happening today, with a guide for tonight coming soon HERE. Browse our CMJ archives for many more. Follow @bvCMJ on Twitter too.

BrooklynVegan is hosting three unofficial day parties. We're super last minute, so the lineups haven't been announced yet, but we're doing a day party at Knitting Factory Thursday, and two two-stage day parties at Public Assembly on Friday & Saturday. No RSVP necessary for these. Stay tuned for more shortly!

Check out some video features on BV showcase band Braids, performance of "Lemonade" included, below...

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