Well, it’s finally here. CMJ, the hectic week of musical discovery that overtakes New York City every October. There’s always so much going on, and with thousands of bands playing all over the place it can be all but impossible to decide what you want to check out. Luckily you have us, here like your concert-going tour guide through the overwhelming mass of music. The fest starts today, so let’s not waste any time deciding who to see.
Tuesday, October 18
We were pretty sad when Irene forced the Afro-Punk Festival to cancel back in August, so we were pretty stoked to learn that they were putting on a CMJ showcase. Tonight you can head to the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 N. 6th Street) to check out re-formed 1970s band Death playing with Cerebral Ballzy and Ninjasonik. Doors are at 8pm and the show starts at 9, and it’ll be $12 at the door.
Also tonight, Stereogum and PopGun are putting on a showcase at the Glasslands Gallery (289 Kent Avenue). The show starts at 9pm with Hollerado, and the main act, Titus Andronicus, goes on at 1am. Delicate Steve, who opened for Ra Ra Riot over the summer, will be playing at midnight. The show is $15 with an RSVP.
Wednesday, October 19
Under the Radar Magazine is putting on a showcase at Public Assembly (70 N. 6th Street) on Wednesday. It’s an early show, with doors at 12:30pm (that’s noon-thirty), so take the afternoon off work and head down. The party starts with Chad Valley playing at 12:45, but you’ll really want to make sure you get there for Eleanor Friedberger’s 3:15pm set. One half of the Fiery Furnaces, Friedberger released her acclaimed solo album over the summer and played a set at the Northside Festival back in June. This gig is free–no badge or RSVP required.
You may want to head back to the Glasslands Gallery at night to catch Trash Talk, Tanlines, King Krule, Little Red, Teengirl Fantasy and a DJ Set from Lemonade. Hardcore act Trash Talk–who toured in the spring with a favorite from last year’s CMJ, OFF!–will close the show, which starts at 9pm. It’s $12 at the door, or $10 with an RSVP.
Thursday, October 20
This is the night to punk it up. Head over to Union Hall (702 Union Street) to check out the Fat Wreck Chords showcase. Doors are at 6:30pm, and you’re going to want to get there early enough to catch folk-punks Old Man Markley, who always make for a really fun show–usually they turn into big drunken dance parties. They go on second, after Arteries. Stick around though, because The Flatliners, Banner Pilot and Dead to Me will all take the stage. This gig is $10 at the door.
If you’re not feeling the punk vibe, head over to Spike Hill (184 & 186 Bedford Avenue) for a more indie-focused night. You can see Chad Valley, Chateau Marmont, Hollerado, Wild Palms and The Twees. That show starts at 7:30 and it’s $10 to get in.
Friday, October 21
Tonight is the night to leave the borough for some shows in Manhattan. Chillwave darling Neon Indian will be performing at Webster Hall (125 E. 11th Street) with Purity Ring. That starts at 7pm., but you’re going to want to line up early because it will probably be pretty packed. Stick around after, though, for more bands–like Knife Party and AC Slater–at midnight. That one is $20 to get in.
If you don’t want to leave Brooklyn, head to Fifth Estate (506 5th Avenue) at pretty much any time this evening–they’ve got bands playing from 6pm until 4am. Come around midnight, though, and check out local act Life Size Maps, whose thick and pounding sound will fill the room.
Saturday, October 22
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the last day. Metalheads and rockers should make their way to Union Pool for the heavy sounds of Dysrythmia, East of the Wall, Meek is Murder and City of Ships. The rock starts at 8pm and it’s $10 to get in.
You could also head to Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue) for the show that starts at 7pm. If you hang around until 9pm, you can check out Unknown Mortal Orchestra and stick around until midnight to see Gotye. Doors are at 6pm, and it’s $8 to get in.