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PopMatters @ CMJ 2005

Introduction by Andrew Phillips and Peter Joseph -- PopMatters scours the streets, bringing you word on the bands you've got to hear and calling out the fakes subsisting on hype alone. Our scribes will be hammering through the night to bring you daily coverage from the festival, shooting updates out just as soon as the feedback clears and the last solitary drunk has stumbled home to bed.

PopMatters @ CMJ 2005 [20 September 2005]

Another September rolling by, and amidst the season's final scorching heatwave, thousands of musicians are making their way through the balmy streets of New York City. Forget Disney world, this is where the magic really happens. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, CMJ is the mother of all East Coast music showcases and a great performance can land you all kinds of pleasant press -- not to mention a record deal. As industry types salivate over next summer's next big thing, PopMatters scours the streets, bringing you word on the bands you've got to hear and calling out the fakes subsisting on hype alone. Our scribes will be hammering through the night to bring you daily coverage from the festival, shooting updates out just as soon as the feedback clears and the last solitary drunk has stumbled home to bed (I think his name is Anton Newcombe). So sit back at your desk and enjoy our forecast of 2005's hits, the near misses, and the bands that may not make it to '06.

Ratings breakdown

Belles of the Ball: These are our daily highlights, the absolute cream of the crop who whether hyped or not deliver well above the rest.

Honorable Mention: These are great bands that made a solid showing.

Nice Try, Guy: These guys show potential but are hampered by one fatal flaw.

Bathroom Break: We've got to pee sometime, and what better time than this?


CMJ Artist Showcases: Day 4, 17 September 2005
by Andrew Phillips and Peter Joseph

Don't despair; by this time next year we'll be just about rested enough to give things another go, that is, unless the guys from Goblin Cock really do devour our souls.
[Read Essay]


CMJ Artist Showcases: Day 3, 16 September 2005
by Andrew Phillips and Peter Joseph

After show-stopping performances from heavyweights like the Arcade Fire and the New Pornographers, Friday looked to be CMJ's slump day -- attendees were fighting exhaustion and many of the 'big' bands were being held for the marathon's final Saturday push.
[Read Essay]

CMJ Seminars: Day 3, 16 September 2005
by Lou Friedman

College radio is still good for discovering new music, and it's personality driven by idealistic kids who still believe radio can go back to the old days, where DJ's backed sold songs and established a rapport with their listening audience.
[Read Essay]


CMJ Artist Showcases: Day 2, 14 September 2005
by Andrew Phillips, Peter Joseph, and Lou Friedman

Maybe it's just overexposure, but as day two of CMJ came, we find ourselves searching less for "the next big thing," and more for any band that didn't sound like "the last big thing." The interesting stuff is out there, you just have to know where to look. Lucky for you, we did.
[Read Essay]

CMJ Seminars: Day 2, 15 September 2005
by Lou Friedman

If I ever worked in the record industry, I think I would gag. Yes, it's a business. But everyone, from artists to people who work for labels, love to use the word "product". Every time I heard it, shivers ran up and down my spine. Whatever happened to the days when an artist or a band was referred to as "talent"?
[Read Essay]


CMJ Artist Showcases: Day 1, 14 September 2005
by Andrew Phillips and Peter Joseph

Anticipation ran high as eager beaver journalists ran alongside music fans and industry types as we all looked for day one's hottest shows. While the old Italian man playing electro-polka in the subway offered the evening's absolute musical highlight, there were some other great moments along the way.
[Read Essay]

CMJ Seminars: Day 1, 14 September 2005
by Lou Friedman

This humble reporter decided to get a taste of what the 25th annual CMJ Music Marathon was all about, you know, during the day. Held every year in New York City, CMJ offers an unconscionable storm of music performances but also a plethora of seminars.
[Read Essay]

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