A Roadmap To CMJ 2008

Once again, whatever’s left of the music industry turns its eyes, ears, and diminishing expense accounts towards New York City for the annual CMJ Festival. And once again, the logistics of the festival are oppressive: so many bands, so many venues, and — with the continuing migration of rock clubs across the river and deeper into Brooklyn — so many cab rides. But it’s not just the fest’s stretched geography that’s put a strain on its function — Have you looked at the lineup? Where are the must-see sets? At SXSW at least you have the convenience of 6th Street to keep you occupied, but each inter-venue NYC commute leaves the time to ask… What’s the point of CMJ in 2008?

Industry showcases like this were once about discovery, but now they’re about due diligence. Who hasn’t already heard the promo MP3 from that buzz band? Or even seen YouTube to get a sense for their live show? If you have an internet connection you’re already deep into the A&R process; the chances of stumbling into the next great thing is small, because you’ve probably already seen and heard the next great thing on your favorite blog.

So, why even do it? Well, because of the day parties with the free beer and the nights that offer the chance to say “you were there.” And even though the stacked lineups are few and far between this year, there’s plenty of places to be this week. To that end, we’ve spent a few hours poring over CMJ’s day and night schedules and pruned the list to something easier to navigate and edited for excellence.

Tuesday 10/21
Cake Shop (Pop Tarts Suck Toasted Party) – Dan Friel (3:45), Women (4:30), Oxford Collapse (5:15)
Pianos (The Music Slut Party) – Emmy The Great (2PM, upstairs), Au (2:30), Pattern Is Movement (3:15), Bryan Scary (4), Chairlift (5)

Bowery – Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Lykke Li
Hiro – Chairlift
Cake Shop – Magnetic Morning (1AM)
Death By Audio – Parts & Labor, Rahim, Pwrfl Power
MHOW (Brookyn Vegan Showcase) – Emmy The Great, Ponytail, Passion Pit, Jens Lekman, Shearwater, Phenomenal Hand Clap Band
Spiegeltent (South Street Seaport) – Deerhoof
Annex – Amazing Baby, Violens, Chairlift
Webster Hall – Reggie Watts, Awesome New Republic, Tigercity

Studio @ Webster Hall (Stereogum Late Night) – Gang Gang Dance, Marnie Stern, Ponytail, Crystal Stilts

FADER (169 Bowery) – Chairlift (4:30), Muslims (5:15), Crystal Stilts (6:45), Sebastien Grainger (8:20)
The Bell House (Gothamist Hosue) – Emmy the Great, Gabriel Kahane, Bell, Nat Baldwin, Physics Of Meaning, Pattern Is Movement, Extra Life
Cake Shop – Starfucker, Rainbow Arabia, Shugo, Tobacco, Women, Takka, Marnie, School Of Seven Bells

Bowery – Shugo
Cake Shop – Women
Fillmore – Deerhoof
Knitting Factory Tap – Sunny Day In Glasgow, The Pains @ Knitting Factory Tap
Le Poisson Rouge – WZT Hearts (7PM), Ecstatic Sunshine (7:30, Rear Stage), Rings (8), Tickley Feather (8:45PM, Rear Stage), Excepter (9:30), Beach House (12:30), Kria Brekkan (1:15, Rear Stage)
Living Room – Tobias Froberg (8), Theresa Andersson (9), Ane Brune (10)
Mercury – Tobacco (8), F&M (9)
Studio @ Webster Hall – Death Vessel, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Krallice

FADER @ 169 Bowery: Passion Pit (4:30), Johnny Foreigner (5:15), Tobacco (6), Death Vessel (7:35), DJ T. cole Rachel, Treasure Fingers, Eli Escobar
Pianos (Brooklyn Vegan Party): Pretty & Nice, Eagle Seagull, Muslims, Japanese Motors, Friendly Fires, Crystal Antlers, Sebastien Grainger
The Bell House (Gothamist House) – Donovon Quinn, Reggie Watts, Fatula, Marnie Stern, Bad Veins, Twi The Humble Feather

Don Pedro – Muslims, Vivan Girls, Women (8PM)
Webster Hall – Fujiya & Miyagi, Crystal Castles, Who Made Who, Lymbyc System
Music Hall Of Williamsburg – Jay Reatard, Dutchess & Duke, King Khan, Mission of Burma
Fontana’s – Pepi Ginsberg (9:30), The Forms (10:20)
Pianos – Bell (8), Duchess Says (9), Donovan Quin (9:30), Au (10), Fight Bite (10:30), Cause co motion (11), pwrfl power (11:30), Crystal Stilts (12), Stars Like Fleas (1:30)
Hiro – The Dears, Eulogies (7PM)
Hiro – Yo Majesty, Hercules & Love Affair (11PM)

FRIDAY 10/24
FADER – Ponytail (4:30), Crystal Antlers (5:15), School Of Seven Bells (7:35), The Phenomenal Hanclap Band (8:20)
The Bell House (Gothamist House) – Wild Sweet Orange, Jukebox The Ghost, Fight Bite, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
Cake Shop – Phosphorescent, Endless Boogie, Donovan Quinn (1PM)
Knitting Factory – Tara Jane O’Neil (12), Au (2:20), Sarufcker (4), Helio (6), Best Fwends (9)

Cake Shop – Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Woods, Takka Takka, Vivian Girls
Santos Party House – Gang Gang Dance, Growing, Psychic Ills, Sian Alice Group
Le Poisson Rouge (Onitsuka Tiger Showcase) Giraffes, Figo, Apollo Heights, Shiny Brights, DJ Little Boots
Antics Warehouse – Black Lips, Japanese Motores (10PM)
Bowery – Jay Reatard, Longwave, White LIes, Violens, Japanese Mottors (7PM)
Brooklyn Masonic Temple – Broken Social Scene, Land Of Talk (7:30)
MHOW – Cheeseburger, Children, Dungen, The Muslims, Marissa Nadler, TK Webb
Less Artists More Condos – High Places, Pit Er Pat, Matteah Baim, Lichens
Pianos – Ruby Suns, Oxford Collapse, sBACH, The Dutchess & The Duke, Death Vessel, Cotton Jones
The Bell House – The Rosebuds, Ladybug Transistor, Crystal Stilts, Wye Oak
Union Pool – Pattern Is Movement, Stars Like Fleas, Bear In Heaven

Knitting Factory (Brooklyn Vegan Party) – Lineup TBA
Bell House (Gothamist Hosue) – Muggabears, Depreciation Guild, Pwrfl Power, The Forms, (TBA), Neckbeard Telecaster
FADER @ 169 Bowery – Little Boots (6PM) Dungen (8:20)

Le Poisson Rouge – School of Seven Bells, Matthew Dear
Bowery – All The Saints, Marnie Stern, Vivian Girls, Crystal Antlers, A Place To Bury Strangers
Glasslands – Women, Amazing Baby, Crystal Antlers, Jay Reatard
Living Room – Twi The Humble Feather (7)
Mercury Lounge (Merge Showcase) – Music Tapes (8), Wye Oak (9), Portastatic (10)
Gramercy Theatre – Yo Majesty, The Octopus Project
Delancey – XYZ Affair, Emmy The Great, Pattern Is Movement
Santo’s Party House (Narnack Showcase) – IRAN, Andrew WK, Muslims, Vaz


And it’s about at this point in the schedule where you collapse from exhaustion. Hopefully this made your dancecard slightly more manageable, but you don’t have to take our filter for it: Build your own CMJ with the exhaustive listings compiled by Flavorpill, Oh My Rockness, and of course cmj.com. The week is young, so we’ll keep updating the list with more specific information and tips from the trenches. Bookmark the link and check back as needed. See you soon.

Tags: CMJ