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Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012
It’s the week of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and that means you can’t walk two feet in the Village without running into some band, or a hipster or even worse, a music critic.

It’s the week of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and that means you can’t walk two feet in the Village without running into some band, or a hipster or even worse, a music critic. But this is after the music conference has wound up for the day, when attendees find themselves freed up and can take in a show afterwards with their colleagues. It’s just too easy to see new music and most of it is free with the stylish CMJ badge around your neck. On one hand, unfortunately, many of these music showcases feature abbreviated sets by many bands. On the other, the many small bands means you might hear something new way before anyone else does. At least you would like to think so. In my case, I had my camera strapped around my neck and went to take in and capture some performances.

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Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012
Frank Ocean's unfortunately abbreviated set was likely the main draw for the first night of All Tomorrow's Parties in NYC.

All Tomorrow’s Parties NYC event, ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, had a wide variety of genres covered with its scheduled artists. It’s first venture into Manhattan, the Pier 36 space, was located right underneath the F.D.R. Drive but, at least inside, the roar of traffic didn’t interfere with the music. If you were on the boat watching a movie, it may have been otherwise. Friday’s lineup included the comedians Kurt Braunholer, Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo who led the night off early (7 pm) for an event with its main draw not scheduled till near midnight. Frank Ocean was the last act on the main stage, following performances from Lightning Bolt, Edan the DJ and Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton. For those fans that came just for Ocean, they might have been puzzled by the instrumental pieces from Glass and Braxton. But the ATP festival isn’t defined by any one genre. You just take it as it comes. And the same applies for the event too. Ocean’s set was supposed to begin at 11:45 pm but got delayed till after midnight and then, due to an imposed curfew, he had to cut off just before 1 am.

Ocean’s set was excited but sounded a bit muddled in the back. He mixed up songs from his official album Channel Orange and his mixtape Nostalgia/Ultra backed with a full band. Someone in the audience tested the band when he or she requested the song “Lovecrimes”, Ocean believed his band knew how to play it, after the Coldplay-stealing “Strawberry Swing”. That song began a stretch of three strong hits that closed out the night, with “Novacane” and the lengthy “Pyramids” jam following. All in all, not enough from the man though he did release a new song online a day or two after (that you can hear below).

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Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012
by John Beringer
As the flagship location, Riot Fest Chicago's lineup reigns supreme in quantity and quality.

From September 14th to the 16th, Chicago will once again host Riot Fest, a punk music festival that originated in our fair city eight years ago and has since expanded to Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas, and Brooklyn. As the flagship location, Chicago’s lineup reigns supreme in quantity and quality, showcasing a wide range of artists that satisfy the musical appetite of at least three generations of fans with varying levels of punk credibility and taste. This is what makes Riot Fest different from, say, Warped Tour.

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Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012
The completely free Afropunk Festival celebrates "rock and rebellion" with acts like Das Racist, Toro Y Moi, Janelle Monáe and Erykah Badu.

The extensive lineup for the 8th Annual Afropunk Festival, a free event held in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, included acts like Alice Smith, Reggie Watts, the Supasonics, Straight Line Stitch, Purple Ferdinand, Das Racist, Toro Y Moi, Janelle Monáe, TV on the Radio and Erykah Badu with the Cannabanoids as her backing band. Some surprises were in store, like Mos Def’s appearance for one song with Badu and Pharrell’s introduction of Ms. Monáe. But there was also a cancellation from the band Gym Class Heroes (for better or worse, as Monáe’s set was extended to compensate). New this year was a roundup of food trucks parked just outside the gates. A lot of NYC regulars, like Kelvin Natural Slush and Korilla BBQ, were serving up refreshments and meals till dusk. Back again were the local vendors with their crafts, fashion and art, as well as sponsors with samples and games.

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Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012
Electric Zoo, New York's Electronic Music Festival, returns to Randall's Island for its fourth year, with bigger after-parties in Midtown.

In its fourth year, Electric Zoo will again be held over Labor Day Weekend on Randall’s Island. Though I missed it last year (having covered it the first two years run of the festival in 2009 and 2010), the event planners don’t look to have changed much in terms of the setup. There are still four stages and I’m sure the production will be tight for artists like Guetta, A-Trak, Axwell, Tiesto, Benassi and Sasha.

Electric Zoo has several years ahead of the local incarnation of the Electric Daisy Carnival (which took place earlier this summer in the Meadowlands of New Jersey) so there are likely many return fans buying up tickets. But there is no overlap of artists between the EDC and this events, dividing fans.

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