CMJ Music Marathon 2013: Festival Previews & Picks

CMJ Music Marathon 2013 is the time of year when one runs through the streets of the Lower East Side, hopeful that you will be able to get into a jam-packed venue to see your favorite band — or maybe discover a band that you haven’t heard of will become your favorite band. It’s also the time of year for those of us who are not 25 or under try (in vain) to re-live our wild partying years, and for those of us that are 25 and under to stay up until 4 AM partying with the band that is sleeping on our couch.

CMJ 2013 is one of the last of the big festivals of the season, so make the most of this indie music feast for the senses! Here are some of our picks for bands to put on your “must see” list:

Father John Misty

Saturday October 19, 2013 10:00pm – 11:00pm @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North 6th St. Brooklyn, NY 11249)

Having recently seen Father John Misty at Newport Folk Fest, I can guarantee this will be a good time. Otherwise known as J. Tillman, he released his debut album under the Father John Misty moniker in 2012. He plays a blend of indie folk and alt-country that is alluring to even the staunchest anti-country music fan, especially those that are into the recent trend of the classic rock throwback. Judy Nelson


Shy Girls

Wednesday October 16, 2013 9:45pm – 10:15pm @ Tammany Hall (152 Orchard St. New York, NY 10002)
Thursday October 17, 2013 8:45pm – 9:15pm @ The Delancey (168 Delancey St. New York, NY 10002)

A unique indie take on soul and R&B mixed with electronica, Shy Girls were just covered in our Top Pops! section here. The Portland based project of Dan Vidmar has amassed a ton of media attention West Coast, and will attempt to do the same here in NY during CMJ. Judy Nelson

Speedy Ortiz

Friday October 18, 2013 12:30am – 1:30am @ Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11211)

Formed last year by guitarist and songwriter Sadie Dupuis, this Northampton, MA-based band provides a fun take on modern riot grrl rock. Clearly inspired by the noisy, Seattle girl indie rock bands on the ’90s, such as Sleater-Kinney, their debut full-length, Major Arcana, was released this summer on Carpark Records, and immediately garnered many press accolades. This will probably be a tough show to get into, so get there early! Judy Nelson


Empress Of

This young Brooklyn-based songstress made a splash earlier in the year, and we reviewed the official release of her first proper EP here in May. Since then, her star status has risen even more, and we’re excited to see this one woman electropop project live and in person. Judy Nelson


Diane Coffee

Saturday October 13, 2018 8:30pm @ Union Pool (484 Union Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211)

With his soon-to-be-released record, My Friend Fish, Foxygen’s drummer Shaun Fleming — aka Diane Coffee — has somehow cemented his way into my existence as a very exciting young chap to keep my eyes on. Whether it be through dizzying psychedelic guitar lines or gospel crooning, the man is a bit of a brightly-colored chameleon, which seems to make sense when one learns that he used to be a cartoon voice actor. Vivian Hua



Thursday October 17, 2013 12:00am @ Webster Hall (125 East 11th St. Manhattan, NY 10003)

This quirky indie pop group has been on my radar for numerous years. They played a free show at the South Street Seaport, and it was pretty wonderful. Since then, they slipped off the map a bit, but have made a big return in the recent past with Mines and Moms. If you’ve never seen them live, definitely make this a priority. This band can rock a baritone sax like no one’s business. Judy Nelson


Ginger And The Ghost

Tuesday October 15, 2013 1:00pm – 1:30pm @ Pianos Upstairs (158 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002)
Friday October 18, 2013 4:20pm – 4:45pm @ Pianos Upstairs
Saturday October 19, 2013 4:00pm – 4:30pm @ The Delancey (168 Delancey St. New York, NY 10002)
Saturday October 19, 2013 9:00pm – 9:45pm @ Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St. Brooklyn, NY 11211)

Riffing a bit on where Tegan & Sara left off when they rocketed into the mainstream of pop music, Ginger and the Ghost are an Australian band that only recently did their first national tour. With only an EP out now, CMJ will probably be one of their first US tour experiences. We’re happy to greet them; they’re happy to play many times. Judy Nelson


Chrome Sparks

Dainty and swirling, Chrome Sparks released the Sparks EP earlier this year to a good amount of internet buzz. The project of percussionist Jeremy Malvin, who was formerly in the bands Stepdad, Minature Tigers, and a number of other bands, Chrome Sparks has an intimate electronic sound that comes from actual home recordings. It will be interesting to see what it sounds like live, up close, and personal. Judy Nelson


Larry Gus

Upbeat, jangly electronica mixed with mashups of indie-rock is always a big hit at CMJ, and I’m pretty much a sucker for a good, masterful dj. Part of the DFA scene, Larry Gus hails from Greece, and has been performing under that moniker since 2006. His 2013 album, Years Not Living is a nice mix up between quiet moments and loud, joyful ones, with a bit of experimental noise thrown in. Judy Nelson


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