Mr. Dream play Consequence of Sound’s party at The Southpaw. Photo by Jeremy D. Larson
There’s musical signs of life every night in NYC, as the locals are exceedingly quick to tell you. “Well, this is basically just like every night in NYC, so I don’t see what the big deal is about CMJ.” In spite of how insufferable that was to hear like four to five times a day, CMJ was indeed something special especially when you have that many signs of life coming together in one area to “showcase” their talent at “parties”.
CMJ Music Marathon may still stand in SXSW’s shadow, and probably for the better. The atmosphere of CMJ always feels more focused on music mainly due to the vibe of New York City. The rush and din of the city becomes the momentum that pushes you from one venue on to another one, into a cab to Brooklyn to the Cameo Gallery and then back to Pianos for a late night set. In Austin, it’s more like a bazaar of music, but at CMJ it’s galleries of music (actual art galleries not being precluded as venues, either).
Some highlights from the days, as observed by myself and Ben Kaye, are on display below. If you’re not onto these following bands, they definitely have our CoSign and they’re worth putting in your figurative of hopefully literal rolodex, and most assuredly can’t-miss shows whenever they are in your town.
Jeremy D. Larson