One thing that prevails more-so in the music community than other arenas is the sense of camaraderie and community. Just a few examples of this in the Columbia area include the generosity of donors to the Prettier than Matt Kickstarter campaign, the rally of support for Aaron Graves during his health battle (http://www.tumorschmumor.com), and the celebration of the life of Robert Newton at the Fountain in Five Points this past summer. Not to mention the great work that WXRY does in supporting local, unsigned and emerging artists altogether.
Well, after attending numerous industry panels and discussions at the CMJ Music Marathon I am stunned to see that this same kinship also exists at the international level. Artists, publicists, radio station managers and industry leaders alike are quick to offer help and share solutions, long after sessions are up. It is reaffirming to say the least.
(Photo is of Frederick Loewe Theatre on the campus of NYU. NYU is the center of the festival’s industry panels.)
The first half of day one has already been a rich, rewarding experience. The typical checking in and picking up of credentials was immediately followed up by a bevvy of intensive forums, Q & As, and follow-up networking sessions that including representatives, and in some cases entire teams, from MTV, youtube, Soundfriend, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Fortunately, my brain is an unused sponge that soaked up much of the information. Although the forums are intensely filled with a wealth of information, the speakers are quite entertaining and the time flies by.
The entertaining half of day one is about to take hold with a press party that will be followed up with sets all around the lower east side. Although Cold War Kids and James are the biggest names performing this evening, they may be taking a back seat to the numerous unsigned and emerging bands that have sets tonight!
Call it either brave or foolish, but WXRY has allowed me to represent them at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in New York City (not to be confused with the TMJ Medical Marathon in Salt Lake City, of course. That’s next week.). After a brief acclimation to the neighbourhood in which numerous CMJ performances will take place – which involved mostly just practicing walking the sidewalks amongst real New Yorkers – I am both excited and nervous about day one of the festival tomorrow.
There are so many countless events, sessions, panels, forums and of course, live performances, that it is nearly overwhelming in deciding what and who to see. Much like the musical landscape today, the festival features an extremely diverse variety of music styles and genres. It includes everything from the Taiwanese equivalent of Celine Dion, A-Lin; legendary modern rock band James; Scottish up-and-comers PAWS; veteran English shoe-gazers Slowdive and Canadian heavy-weights Sam Roberts Band. There are even showcases featuring only artists from specific countries: Australia, South Africa and Canada, eh!
With 1300 artists performing at over 80 venues it’s easy to find something you like, but it may take some creativity in planning to see several favourites at different times and locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn over the next week. Making this city-wide game of musical hop-scotch even more challenging are the temptations of the countless restaurants and pubs – a lure I gave in to several times tonight already!
On tap for tomorrow: James, PAWS, and Cold War Kids performing at 3 different venerable Brooklyn venues, making for an easy night of hop-scotch.