Category Archives: CMJ

CMJames Part 5: What’s in a Venue Name?

When reading about either historic or contemporary shows in New York City, you frequently come across a familiar set of unusual  venue names. I never gave it much thought, chalking it up as a strange cheekiness perhaps. But these names are almost entirely accurate, believe it or not!

For example, Brooklyn Night Bizarre is a mouthful of a name. However, it turns out that it is, in fact, a bazaar of booths with the normal assortment of wares that one purchases at fairs and carnivals: trinkets, junk jewelry, bric-a-brac…


And you CAN purchase cake and cupcakes at The Cake Shop!

Cake Shop cake

Arlene’s Grocery used to be a bodega and grocery but it became a full time music venue back in the mid-nineties.


More self explanatory are the Bowery Ballroom (a ballroom…on Bowery), and The Bowery Electric (a multi level venue in the lighting/electric district on Bowery).

Now if only I could explain “Baby’s All Right” in Brooklyn…


CMJames Part 4: Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

future laureates @ living room

A folk, rock and pop hybrid, here The Future Laureates (above) played  The Living Room in Brooklyn last night.

A link to the official video for their song “Kingston Blues”,,

Below, the loud and rocking Concord America plays their anthem-like music at The Bowery Electric.

A link to their video, “So Gay”:

Mainland plays an exuberant set in the basement at the legendary Cake Shop, while they do, in fact, sell cake at the street level bar!

Complete with banjo and an upright bass, the Cerny Brothers (seen here playing at Webster Hall) were the perfect following to the shredding licks of Purling Hiss.

Cerny Brothers

A really wonderful country style band called Jared and the Mill playing the Marlin Room at Webster Hall. They even have their own giant bearded Randy on drums!

Jared and the Mill


A southern style band from Ireland – Buffalo Sunn.

Buffalo Sunn

CMJames Part 3: Music Marathon Day 2

NYUOne 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 (, 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.)