Three letters: C-M-J
Yes, this week in New York, no less than 900 bands will be flocking to the Big Apple for the annual CMJ Fest...er, sorry...make that the CMJ 2004 Music Marathon. Much like Austin's annual SXSW Festival, anyone who's anyone (and anyone who's trying to be someone) will be performing at the festival in order to catch the eye of sleazy music industry execs and radio programmers from across country. However, fans also reap the benefit of the festival by being able to see pretty much every great underground act (signed or unsigned) of the moment all in one city and all in a week's time (schedule conflicts notwithstanding, of course).
Chances are if you're reading this, you're not currently in New York and won't be attending this year's festival...so here's a couple of viable alternatives this week if you're going to be in Chi-town.
1.Check out coverage of the CMJ fest on KEXP.org.
Leave it to KEXP, one of the best non-comm music stations in the country, to provide the best coverage of this event to a nationwide audience. Even though the station is based in Seattle, the KEXP crew is making the trek across the continent and featuring a slew of live peformances from CMJ participants throughout the week. Here's the list of acts scheduled to perform live this week on KEXP:
Tuesday October 12
7:00am: Magnet (Live in NYC)
8:30am: Sons and Daughters (Live in NYC)
1:00pm: Radio Nationals (Live in NYC)
2:00pm: Fiery Furnaces
Wednesday October 13
7:00am: Sea Ray (Live in NYC)
8:00am: Ted Leo (Live in NYC)
9:00am: Sufjan Stevens (Live in NYC)
10:00am: The Decemberists (Live in NYC)
11:30am: Richard Buckner (Live in NYC)
1:00pm: Joseph Arthur (Live in NYC)
Thursday October 14
2:00pm: Bobby Bare Jr. (Live in NYC)
3:30pm: Adem (Live in NYC)
5:00pm: Arcade Fire (Live in NYC)
Friday October 15
1:00pm: Nicolai Dunger (Live in NYC)
2:30pm: The Concretes (Live in NYC)
6:30pm: Sondre Lerche (Live in NYC)
2. Check out Chicago's Select Media Festival 3
While hardly a music fest, the Select Media Festival is a great event that showcases how art, technology and social activism intersect. While the fest has a decidedly political slant, there are also some musical highlights during the festival as well. Here's a couple you might want to check out.
Sunday, October 17 5:15pm
Select Media Fest presents a screening of Warp Vision at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Warp Vision is the new DVD retrospective of music videos from England's fabled electronic record label, Warp. The anthology is described as "an alternate look at 15 years of incredible, radical electronic pop music in the form of 32 equally radical, eye-popping videos created by some of the world’s finest film-making talent."
Friday, October 22 9:00pm
LAPTRONICA 5 CAVE MATCH! at buddY gallery. The 2004 world championship battle for Laptronica will take place in the Terry Plumbing inflatable cave installed at buddY. 6-8 teams will have to face off in the most terrifying and entertaining battle system ever devised for the laptronica circuit. Featuring live music, Djs and complementary beverages. (This will be the closing event for SMF3)
Of course, there is a great deal more to the Select Media Festival than just the above listings, so go to their website at www.lumpen.com/events/smf3/for a complete schedule and description of events. The event kicks off tonight (10/14) with an opening night party at Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The event will "feature cocktails, sweet music and the unveiling of Meta CC, an installation by Alex Killough, Tyler Nordgren and Chuck Clark."