Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Live Music Obsessions: Bands To Watch at the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon

>> We at The Music Obsession have been posting a lot about CMJ lately.  For those who don't know, the CMJ Music Marathon is a 5 day city-wide music festival that will take place on October 15th - October 19th.  There will be various showcases taking place in over 80 venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. CMJ also hosts various panels focusing on topics relevant in the music industry today, all headquartered at NYU’s campus in Greenwich Village.  By day, attendees can sit in on panels and learn about what's going on in the industry.  By night (and sometimes by day as well), attendees can see some of their favorite bands, as well as discover new artists to fall in love with.  With so many events and performances happening over the span of 5 days, it can be crazy trying to sort through and find something up your alley.  In an attempt to give you some ideas, here are 5 bands that you should see perform if you get the chance.

NGHBRS (facebook.com/nghbrs)
These Long Island-natives have a special place in my heart, and they likely always will.  This is a band that doesn't fit into one set genre, and that's something that they're very proud of (as they should be).  Fans of alternative / indie music, or fans of anything that makes you tap your foot and say, "Damn this is nice" will enjoy NGHBRS.  The band's latest album, Twenty One Rooms, has '90s influences along with driving melodies and elements that are truly unique.  NGHBRS puts on an excellent show every time, and if you're interested in seeing them, you're in luck - the band is so in demand this year that they are playing not one but *two* showcases. If you can't see them at one, definitely make it out to the other.  To get a taste of what NGHBRS has to offer, check out their truly innovative Instagram music video for their song "Hold Up Girl" below.
10/17 - Brooklyn, NY @ Paperbox: Idobi Radio CMJ Showcase
10/18 - New York, NY @ Sullivan Hall: Big Picture Media CMJ Showcase

Speedy Ortiz (facebook.com/speedyortiz)
I first found out about this band when they played the annual NYU Mystery Concert, and for me, they were the stand outs.  This "snack rock" band lets you satisfy your craving for grunge while maintaining some positive energy.  Their songs are full of snark and sass and guitar parts that made a kid at that Mystery Concert stand up and create a crowd of one just so that he could head bang (real story, it was awesome).  If you need a band to rock out to even though you feel a little awkward rocking out in public, I think Speedy Ortiz is your best bet.  In all seriousness, this is a set worth catching.
10/19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn: Exploding in Sound CMJ Showcase 

Hostage Calm (facebook.com/hostagecalm)
In the need for some good ol' fashioned punk rock?  Hostage Calm is the band for you.  Now, by " 'ol fashioned" I certainly do not mean boring or outdated; if anything I mean the opposite.  These guys take a classic sound and make it modern, and more importantly, they make it their own.  Listening to this band brings you back to a different time, one full of anarchy and safety pins and excellent style.  Their records are great, but this is a band that can only be fully appreciated live.
10/19 - New York, NY @ Santos Party House: Run For Cover Records Showcase

Miko & The Musket (facebook.com/mikoandthemusket)
This is a group of (many) talented and soulful individuals, and it definitely shines through in their music.  Every song has warmth and depth, and they seem to radiate positive energy.  It's virtually impossible to listen to Miko & The Musket and be in a bad mood.  There is joy in each song, and on the faces of the artists themselves (as seen in the live performance video below).  Even the sadder songs involve such artistry that it makes them impressive rather than depressing.  The songs, the strings, and the harmonies draw you in, and give you exactly what you didn't know you needed.  If you need a break from the usual chaos of the city during CMJ: take a break, relax, and enjoy one of the sweetest sets you could witness.
10/16 - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall: The Deli Magazine Showcase

Chevonne and the Fuzz (facebook.com/chevonneandthefuzz)
Solo act - turned - band Chevonne and the Fuzz put on an excellent show.  Their set is full of energy, spunk, sass, and passion - everything you could want from a female-fronted pop rock act.  These guys have a song about a hot babysitter and loving a man in heels, so clearly their song topics alone reflect a spark that can be seen in their live show.  This group is still fairly new, but having seen them twice in the past year, I can say that they have really grown more comfortable with each other and on stage in that time.  By that, I mean that their stage presence kicks ass, as it's meant to.

10/16 - New York, NY @ Sullivan Hall: Big Picture Media CMJ Showcase

>> There are many, many more artists worth your while performing at this year's CMJ Music Marathon. These are five acts that I'm willing to put my personal stamp of approval on, and trust me, I don't do that for just anyone.  Keep your eyes on these acts, and look for additional Bands To Watch as recommended by my other TMO staff members.  For now, check out this very lengthy list of the artists who will perform during CMJ this year here.

Laters on the menjay.
- Kate

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- Kate Russell

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