After two weeks I finally feel like myself again after CMJ 2015. For everyone who doesn’t know, like most college radio stations, CMJ prescribes to the College Music Journal and reports top 30 charting for new music. This means we review music submissions sent into us, give them airplay, and chart them based on how many “spins” an album gets.
We do the same thing with Top 5 Adds, meaning what we liked the most, and we also have help from Community Member and Jazz Music Director Art Herriot to do Top 30 Jazz tracks.
Because of our commitment, the company sends each station 1 badge to see music for an entire week all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was very fortunate to go, but I have to say it was a bit overwhelming. The music was great, but there was just SO much to do that I had to make up my mind on where to go as well as figure out how to get there. I haven’t been to New York by myself, and I haven’t been in over 9 years.
Luckily for me I have a great cousin who works on some wonderful plays off Broadway, who not only gave me a place to stay and some food, but also taught me to take the subway and navigate the city. Once I had that under my belt, I started to have an amazing time.
I don’t think it is a festival that really has an equivilent. Most people think of festivals more Woodstock-esque with all the music confined to one area, with a lot of major headliners that can be seen in a day or a long weekend. South By Southwest (SXSW), in Austin Texas, is a close equivalent. SXSW manages to show hundreds of acts within a week in dozens of venues around 1 area of the city. Concerts are more manageable, and you can see a lot more since everything is so close. Plus it is easier to see bands you know since it doesn’t adhear 100% to low profile independent acts. This is great for a lot of musicians who manage to play at the same show, or manage to get heavy publicity through this.
CMJ doesn’t have as big of acts, but it isn’t to say it is worse at all. the extreme layout of the concert, getting from show to show by train, taxi, or bus, mimics the diversity of what is available. The music selection is very expansive showing independent acts from all across the world (shout out to the Aussie BBQ I went to) in all different genres, all managing to be unique. Little Connecticut even managed to be involved with bands like the Furnsss, Strange Kids, and Terrible Roars (featuring 3 Eastern Alums!)
New York is really quite big- I managed to do a bit of sight seeing but mainly I was rushing from show to show to explore not the city, but the music. There were a few acts I knew that I managed to see, like Palehound, The Jungle Giants, and Big Ups. A lot did slip through the cracks however, including Ringo Deathstarr and Quilt but what was really exciting was hearing new music for the first time including Malandros, Makthaverskan, and Dirty Dishes and more!
A special thanks to my cousin Megan and her boyfriend Cameron for helping me out, and Carmine “DJ CJ” for seeing shows with me, and further expanding my taste in music.Continue Reading