NYC was treated to a double dose of busy music gatherings this month with the CBGB Music & Film Festival running October 9-13 and the CMJ Music Marathon from October 15-19.
This 2nd annual CBGB event kicked off its programming with the premiere of its new film, sharing the infamous venue’s name and retelling its story through a very talented cast: Alan Rickman as the club’s founder (Hilly Kristal), Malin Ackerman as Debbie Harry (from Blondie), and Taylor Hawkins - drummer of Foo Fighters - playing Iggy Pop.
For the more business-skewed music conference, CBGB brought in top industry speakers like Van Toffler (Pres. of MTV and Logo), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), and several senior level execs from record labels, marketers, managers, publishers, and more to discuss the past/current/future state of the music. All discussions and keynotes were held in a movie theater, making jumping from panel to panel a breeze.
Live events curated by CBGB featured emerging to established artists, ending with a free multi-stage concert in Times Square. Acts like My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, and James Murphy performed. Check out Consequence Of Sound’s full review with photos.
What exactly is the CMJ Music Marathon, you ask? My typical description is that it’s similar to SXSW Music but on a smaller scale, based in NYC, and more targeted to emerging artists. There are plenty of live music events across the city day and night, with informative panels and networking events for industry folks. The CMJ team sums it up nicely:
"The CMJ Music Marathon offers an up-close opportunity to see future stars on the rise, often in an intimate setting that artists are about to leave behind."
Past showcasing artists like Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons are just a couple examples of bands that claim the Music Marathon is “where it began.” Gotye played his 1st US performance during CMJ in 2011, and the list goes on.
So who were the standouts of this year’s Music Marathon?
With 1,400 artists playing throughout CMJ, it’s hard to catch them all, but of the ones caught live, I’d have to say:
Of the ones I missed but have heard plenty of buzz about:
Looking forward to the next CMJ Music Marathon, plus seeing what’s in store for these bands!
- Helena, Director of Licensing at VerveLife