For the sixth year in a row, we present to you a rundown of the best CMJ​ Music Marathon shows to scamper to across town, with a wide selection that includes pop, hardcore, electronic, soul, and indie acts, including Shigeto, Briana Marela, Empress Of, Lushes, Gemma, and Gilligan Moss....

SIFF 2015 (Seattle International Film Festival) really shows off its vitality as the longest film festival in North America this year. Operating a host of its own theatres this year, from the SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Cinema to the newly acquired SIFF Egyptian, SIFF is going strong, and this...

The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is back, this year with numerous can’t-miss films from all corners of the globe. The festival screenings kick off February 5, 2015, and continue through February 21 at various theaters around Portland. Over the next several weeks, check back here for in-depth reviews of those screenings -- but in the meantime, study up; we've culled together a list of the most tantalizing offerings you'll want to check out.
Schedules are subject to change, so please consult the official festival website before you head out! Jauja, directed by Lisandro Alonso
As music fans and college radio DJs descend upon NYC this week, those of us who are already here are taking stock on the music scene as it stands. Last year, the CMJ Music Marathon saw a heavy representation from indie bands that were making their festival debut, such as Speedy Ortiz and Hunters, who then took off in the media instantly after. This year shows great promise, with buzz bands like Twin Peaks, PAWS, Gem Club, Blue Hawaii, and Adult Jazz playing, as well as stalwarts like Obits, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Cold War Kids returning the to fray -- along with the anticipated reunion of shoegaze legends Slowdive (and Low opening!). And, of course, it wouldn't be CMJ without a slew of brand new band hoping to get their big break. CMJ Music Marathon 2014 As always, the lineup for CMJ 2014 is diverse -- but something we appreciated seeing was that there seems to be an increase of girl bands and female solo artists. It is notable to mention that this year's CMJ has also extended its reach to large group of new venues, concentrated mostly in Brooklyn. Here are our top picks, though many more are listed on CMJ.com!
Here is a quick summary of GOAT, and the story is meant to be taken with as many grains of salt as possible. GOAT originally hail from Korpilombo, Sweden, from a community that has a history of voodoo worship. At various times, the incarnation of GOAT has lived on for 30 or 40 years amongst members of this village, and now, the current incarnation of GOAT contains three members from Korpilombo, augmented by a few folks from Gothenburg. All bands need good stories, and GOAT’s is one of the better ones. A quick Google search of Korpilombo and voodoo yields nothing but GOAT-related results. Combine this wonky backstory with the fact that live, the members of GOAT all wear cloaks and masks and operate in a shroud of mystery, and it is enough to be almost too much of a schtick. But what makes the tradition of GOAT work is that the band doesn’t let this aura undermine the music.
Out with the old, no matter how good it is! Here's our comprehensive list of Top Albums of the Year 2013, schizophrenic as always to reflect the diverse tastes of our staff, though there is some overlap. It's highly recommended you check out every release here, as each has its own creative strengths.
Matthew Carter - electronic, experimental, metal, pop, rock Vivian Hua - dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, soul Troy Micheau - classical, electronic, experimental, instrumental Judy Nelson - dance, electronic, indie, pop, psychedelic, soul Elizabeth Perry - indie, mainstream, pop, rock Peter Woodburn - classical, instrumental, metal XUA - electronic hip-hop, mainstream, pop Albums of the Year 2013
Iceland Airwaves 2013
Iceland Airwaves started back in 1999 in an airport hangar outside of Reykjavik. Since then, it has grown into one of Europe's premiere music festivals, showcasing the insane amounts of musical talent coming from the land of few people and many sheep. Each year, the festival curates some of the best up-and-coming international talent to supplement the Icelandic artists, and introduces a ton of off-venue shows. The total schedule is 10 pages long, and the whole festival turns Reykjavik into a musical paradise for five nights. It is all incredibly overwhelming, so let's break it down into two parts to try and help you out:

 

The Icelandic Musicians Amiina Daníel Bjarnason FM Belfast For a Minor Reflection Ghostigital Hermigervill múm Samaris Sin Fang Sóley
The International Musicians Anna von Hausswolff (Sweden) Electric Eye (Norway) Fucked Up (Canada) Goat (Sweden) Jagwar Ma (Australia) Kithkin (United States) Kraftwerk (Germany) Royal Canoe (Canada) Stealing Sheep (United Kingdom) Yo La Tengo (United States)

The Icelandic Musicians

For a country of under 350,000 people, Icelanders sure love their music, enough so that just about everyone and anyone forms a band -- or two. The Iceland Airwaves Festival showcases this proud musical tradition perfectly, and many of the Icelandic bands hop on board in support, sometimes playing over five times throughout the festival. Iceland isn't all Sigur Ros, Bjork and Of Monsters and Men. There is a lot of fantastic music coming from the island, and here are some bands to check out, many of which we have covered in the past. (Those who would like a more intimate understanding of the country's musical climate are encouraged to read our essay, The Real Icelandic Music Scene: Interviews, which include excusive mixtape downloads and Icelandic musician interviews, or explore all of our articles related to Iceland).

Amiina

Gamla Bíó - Saturday @ 22:00 Amiina are well-known for recording and touring with Sigur Rós; any of those strings you hear underneath Jonsi’s howl: that is Amiina. The band combines a contemporary classical style with a minimalist’s touch, ambient littered throughout.

 

Daníel Bjarnason

Harpa Kaldalón - Friday @ 23:20 Daníel Bjarnason is an Icelandic composer of the highest caliber, who has had works commissioned and debuted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His pieces are emotive, complex and riveting. That should be no different in a live scenario.
CMJ Music Marathon 2013 yet again saw a convergence of hundreds of bands and thousands of fans on the clubs of the Lower East Side, East Village, and Williamsburg in New York City. Coincidentally, many of the bands we were most looking forward to were female-fronted (Speedy Ortiz, Eternal Summers, Hunters), and they did not disappoint. While times have certainly progressed, female-fronted bands still have something to prove, and it was good to see several super-talented guitar players and songwriters, as well as singers and performers, show themselves to be just as good as their male counterparts. All-dude groups Caveman and Grandchildren both had solid performances that left me with a good "I-discovered-something-cool-at-CMJ" feeling as well, and electropop groups were well-represented as always, with NONONO and Porcelain Raft leading the pack.

Caveman

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 Brooklyn-based Caveman clearly felt right at home at Rockwood Music Hall, and the crowd was full of devoted fans. Lead guitarist and singer Matthew Iwanusa draws comparisons to Shins' vocalist James Mercer, and the band does indeed seem to draw inspiration from them, as well as African music and experimental post-rock, utilizing harmonies, tribal drums, keyboards, and hazy guitars. I enjoyed the dreamy but catchy songs off their 2013 self-titled release, like "Shut You Down" and "Where's the Time", as well as old favorite "A Country's King of Dreams" from their first release, Coco Beware.

 

Grandchildren

Tuesday, October 15, Cake Shop This was one of those CMJ experiences that is the reason you go to CMJ: to discover an amazing band you've never heard of. When I made my way downstairs at Cake Shop, I wasn't sure who was playing, but they immediately caught my attention. An ensemble of six dudes playing nearly every instrument imaginable, their melodic pop with hits of electronic and psychedelic accents make this Philadelphia-based group an interesting listen. They played several songs off their newest release, Golden Age, including "Sunrise", "End Times", and "No Way Out". Grandchildren at CMJ Music Marathon 2013
"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of indie pop highlights across a selection of styles, updated every month to keep you on your dancing toes. Glasser graces us with her audio-visual explorations, Shy Girls croon their way into new hearts, CFCF gets slightly less theoretical, and more from Tezeo, Weird Owl, Club 8, Bam Spacey, and Hollow & Akimbo.
+++ FULL POST + ALL TOP POPS! COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

Glasser - "Shape"

There are some artists I've seen live and, as a result, began to trust with utmost faith. Cameron Mesirow is one of those artists -- and this trust lies firstly in her live demeanor, secondly in her artistic style and collaborative pieces, and thirdly in her music on its own. There's a sense of neo-spiritual strength in Mesirow's live energy and the way she holds her head up high that is truly respectable, and a new Glasser album has been something I've been excitedly awaiting since the release of 2010's Ring. Interiors will be out this October on True Panther Sounds and will incorporate a number of exciting audio-visual projects, which we will get into more in-depth next month with our interview with Glasser. For now, the album's first single, "Shape", combines the same sense of mature groove and wind-blown seaside whimsy that Ring incorporated; and the lyrics are entrancing throughout, but it is with the lines, "In the light of the truth all I can do is bow," that the force that is Glasser shines through. Music video visuals by Jonathan Turner. While we're at it, let's also talk about the operatic vocals of "Design", which slip and slide over a rotating landscapes of minimal synthlines and drum exchanges. There is so much to love in this track -- and somehow the slithering sexuality of this music video, also directed by Jonathan Turner, makes perfect sense to me. Says Glasser about the piece: "I'm chasing after the next feeling. 'Design' is probably my favorite piece that I have ever written. It's a moment of joy that exists in the anticipation of ecstasy. Which is the better feeling? Both are delicious phantoms that we'll only ever glimpse again upon reflection of a new experience. This is my best attempt so far of trying on the phantom, wearing it as my clothes, possessing it as my own object." GLASSER - INTERIORS TRACKLISTING 1. Shape 2. Design 3. Landscape 4. Forge 5. Window I 6. Keam Theme 7. Exposure 8. Dissect 9. Window iii 10. Window ii 11. New Year 12. Divide
"I like music where you're not thinking about what a specific instrument is... an instrument-less quality. It doesn't come from a band, but from a whisper in the wind." - Cameron Mesirow of Glasser, of her upcoming record, Interiors