So the WIUX Crew has returned from a whirlwind of a week in the Big Apple and have finally caught up on everything Bloomington related. Now it’s time for our overview of the CMJ Music Marathon week! From panels at NYU Campus (don’t worry we still love you IU) to a rooftop show in the middle of Bushwick in Brooklyn – it was a crazy week. Even though we saw upwards of 27 bands, over 8 panels, and frequented roughly 10 different venues we can only cover so much in one article – so let’s get started!
1. Band That Knocked Our Socks Off Unexpectedly – Sunflower Bean
With a furry of sound bursting from the stage we found ourselves quickly grooving to the sounds of Sunflower Bean. The Brooklyn-based rock trio has just released the track below. Be sure to keep an eye out for this group we are sure to see some big things from them in the near future.
2. Most Interesting Panel Discussions – Feminism in the Music Industry and College Radio Summit
One of the more interesting panels we attended was the panel discussion on feminism within the music industry. The panel discussed the importance of defining the message of feminism and how to tackle the challenges that arise while working up the ladder within the industry. Thought provoking and a progressive discussion on an important issue.
The next panel discussion that really peaked our interest was the College Radio Summit where Music Directors and like minded individuals all met to discuss the future of college radio as we know it. Tips and ways to better student leaders within each respective organization was discussed and will definitely help WIUX stay ahead of the curve!
3. Things We Still Can’t Believe Happened – Impromptu Rooftop Show in Bushwick
After finishing up a showcase at Rough Trade, WIUX hopped in a cab and headed to Bushwick. When I first arrived there were just bands trying to get to the roof and figure out a power source. Eventually after getting all the equipment set up on the roof and a power cord strung up to the roof from a 3rd story window. A crown gathered around the band and with a buzz from the amps, Modern Vices, ripped straight into their set with drawing up visions of mixture between The Doors’ Jim Morrison and Velvet Undergound’s Lou Reed. Next up YAWN warmed up the crowd event more with a perfect cover of “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Beatles, Definitely one of the coolest experiences we’ve had to date and we hope to see that view of Manhattan again soon.
4. Favorite Showcase Line Up – Brooklyn Vegan Or Panache Booking
The WIUX crew was caught running between Baby’s All Right and the Knitting Factory throughout the week with showcases like these. Highlights from the lists above:
Reigning Sound has a groovy sound with use of an organ that gets our stamp of approval. While King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard rocks out with a 60s vibe with the occasional flute riff that kept things interesting. Heavy rock tones and intense lyrical mastery burst forth from the stages with each set from The Wytches. The Cincinnati trio, Tweens, captivated the audience with a great day set at Baby’s All Right. And of course, you should look into White Fence and the good vibe tunes they keep releasing.
5. Played the Most And Craziest Showcases – Twin Peaks
Playing upwards of six shows or more throughout the week one would think that a band would tire out or not be able to keep up with previous sets, but Twin Peaks came rushing out of the gate full force for the CMJ Music Marathon. From shows at Rough Trade, Baby’s All Right, Death By Audio and a few other miscellaneous spots the Chicago group have earned the title of “CMJ Veterans.”
6. Band We Never Tired From Seeing – TOPS
From the Delancey to Baby’s All Right and seeing their final CMJ set at Death By Audio, we never tired from seeing the great set TOPS. The group kept each set as groovy and energetic as the last and every crowd reacted with the same vigor. Definitely take a look at TOPS and the great music they keep releasing!
7. Perfect Way to End Our CMJ (and Say Farewell to Death By Audio) – Porches
The Brooklyn-based group we mentioned in our preview post for CMJ. Porches did not disappoint and were truly a great end to the CMJ week. Their dry humor and solid dance moves made them incredibly relatable and the “sad rock” tunes they play really hit home that this was one of the few shows left at the Death By Audio venue. Check out Proches’ track below and if you’re in Brooklyn before November 22nd stop by Death By Audio for a great atmosphere for a show.
8. Venue We Spent Most of Our Time – Baby’s All Right
We’ve discussed some of the great shows we saw here but from a Secretly Label Group gathering to a Captured Tracks x Omnian Showcase, Baby’s All Right put up quite the CMJ Showcase competition this year. We definitely suggest dropping by if you’re ever in the area.
9. Australian Band You Should Check Out – DMA’s
One of our first showcases for the year took place at Baby’s All Right with a both rocking and touching set from DMA’s. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a group master the ability to rock out and get wild with the crowd and then pull back gracefully and deliver a quiet, somber song such as the track below.
10. Best Light Show and Bazaar Showcase – Brooklyn Night Bazaar with DIIV
DIIV ended our first night with a fantastic light show and great set from the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. The setting itself was certainly bizarre in the best way due to the number of things in the warehouse-sized venue. Beyond the stage there were several vendors set up selling both food and crafts with (and more importantly) an extensive arcade off the beaten path.
There were great moments and moments we were lost on the subway (seriously it’s pretty confusing at first) and we met up with some great WIUX alums. WIUX is sure to keep a presence at CMJ in the coming years so until then – we will see you again soon Brooklyn.