CMJ Marathon 2013 draws in artists from all over the world

 The second week of October marks a multitude of events, notably the start of CMJ music marathon. In addition to brisk air and pumpkin spiced lattes, autumn brings nearly a weeklong of music festivities. Over 1,400 bands in over 80 venues come together with music industry professionals for shows, panels and the occasional open bar.

CMJ has ended, but the mark it has made will follow for years to come. In the past year, numerous bands that later became best selling artists have had their start at CMJ, and this year should be no different. Critics and industry professionals are already placing bets on who will be the next rising star in indie music.

Artists, in turn, book as many shows in as many venues as possible to increase their chances of being seen. Fans reap the benefits of all this work when they buy a badge. For badge holders almost every show is free. Non-badge holders need not fear, though, as most shows are fewer than ten dollars and they are held at some of the hottest bars and clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

CMJ is not just about live music, though, it’s also about the industry that supports it. This is the time current industry professionals share their knowledge with anyone who will listen. It also presents a great opportunity for aspiring musicians, music lawyers, future publicists, etc. to meet and network with some of the most influential individuals in the music business today. Some of the panels included: Music Journalism in the New Media World, How to Survive as a Musician in 2013, EDM: The last Dance? And Bootstrapped: Indie Label Challenges.

CMJ just brings together people who love music and opens up conversation while listening to bands like Bear Mountain and Ghost Wave. The festival packs NYC’s already vibrant music scene into a neat little box for five days and best part is that all of this happens in a little bar with music industry professionals littered throughout the crowd and the occasional free drink. Five years from now hipsters will be laughing about their delightful sense of musical pretension, “Oh, Neon Gold? Yeah I saw them in this little hole in the wall before they were even a thing.”

CMJ caters to acetic music aficionados with their extensive line-up of mostly emerging artists from around the globe. Live performances covering variety of genres including, but not limited to, indie, rap and EDM.

However, there is that oh so sweet rare occasion when a more established artist will come out of hiding and steal the spotlight, because when Arcade Fire has a secret show, as they did this year, people have and will drop everything to go. This year there were a number of secret shows, with one of the most notable being Counting Crows. The California natives played to a packed crowd at the Bowery Electric on Oct. 17.

This year, a number of artists have already started generating some attention. SISU is the solo project of Susan Vu, better known as the drummer of Dum Dum Girls. Vu was already known as an accomplished musician before beginning her own project. While SISU’s sound is very different from that of the DUM DUM Girls, the talent is apparent.

Rathborne is the brainchild of Maine musician Luke Rathborne. This year at CMJ, Rathborne drew crowds when the band played under their new label under French Kiss called “True Believer.” WET has long time been a band to watch and this year was no different. The Brooklyn boys packed Santos Party House so much so that bouncers had to turn away fans at the door. Other bands to keep an eye out for include Total Slacker, Drowners, Kid Karate and Claire.

CMJ is not just about live music, though, it’s also about the industry that supports it. This is the time current industry professionals share their knowledge with anyone who will listen. It also presents a great opportunity for aspiring musicians, music lawyers, future publicists, etc. to meet and network with some of the most influential individuals in the music business today. Some of the panels included: Music Journalism in the New Media World, How to Survive as a Musician in 2013, EDM: The last Dance? And Bootstrapped: Indie Label Challenges.

All these panels were manned by some of the best known people in the business including Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard, David Adams, music content manager at SoundCloud, John Noris, supervising producer at Fuse News and Natasha Bent of The Agency Group, just to name a few. In addition to all the panels, this year also featured career counseling. Badge Holders could sign up for one on one meetings with producers, song writers, producers, agents, touring managers and more.

This year also marked an important milestone for CMJ. Although the music marathon is well over thirty years old, the company itself is facing some serious finical issues. According to the New York Times, the company owes more than $600,000 in unpaid loans and faces a suit from concert promoter John Scher for approximately $1 million. Some speculators are already saying this could very well mark the death of CMJ. It is unclear whether the festival will make it to next year, but fans can only hope.

CMJ just brings together people who love music and opens up conversation while listening to bands like Bear Mountain and Ghost Wave. The festival packs NYC’s already vibrant music scene into a neat little box for five days and best part is that all of this happens in a little bar with music industry professionals littered throughout the crowd and the occasional free drink. Five years from now hipsters will be laughing about their delightful sense of musical pretension, “Oh, Neon Gold? Yeah I saw them in this little hole in the wall before they were even a thing.”

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