Every Autumn for the past 30 years, CMJ (College Music Journal) hosts the annual ‘CMJ Music Marathon’ – an annual event where bands and artists play at various clubs throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Regarded as the only serious rival to SXSW, the event is centred around showcasing the most exciting buzz bands CMJ has covered throughout the year, and serves as a victory lap for established indie artists. This year featured the likes of Ghostface Killah, Surfer Blood, Angus and Julia Stone, Fourtet, and Phoenix.
In the past, CMJ has been influential in breaking artists like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, RATM, The White Stripes, The Strokes, and Feist. In more recent times, Australian and New Zealand acts have forged strong ties with the CMJ community, a relationship which has seen the likes of The Temper Trap, and Midnight Juggernauts build their US fan base with CMJ appearances. CMJ also offers artists a great opportunity to network with potential labels and managers, and also attend music industry focussed panels hosted by some serious players.
This year, CMJ 2010 hosted some stella performances from Aussie acts – Crayon Fields, Washington, Philly Jays, Paul Dempsey, The Jezabels, The High Highs, and Pivot (PVT) to name a few.
The Australian representatives certainly made an impact, with many New Yorkers feeling vulnerable that we’ve taken over the town (hide yo kids, hide yo wife).
Some of my highlights included – The Jezebel’s set at the Bowery Ballroom, which was simply awesome. An amazing venue, and the band showed NYC they had something genuinely inspiring to offer. Paul Dempsey played an intimate set for a lucky lounge room in Brooklyn, Angus and Julia charmed everyone in the Big Top, while Philadelphia Grand Jury introduced their 4th member when Simon stripped completely naked and played drums for the final song, at the College Day Awards inside NYU..
Highly inappropriate, and most certainly one of Australia’s finest moments..
In other news, the sold out CMJ Phoenix gig at Madison Square Garden, became a Phoenix/Daft Punk show when the French robots made an appearance toward the end of the set, mashing ‘1901’ with some Daft Punk classics! Tres bloody awesome… Until next year, PEACE OUT!
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