This weekend I've spent trying to relax as much as I can while finalizing my CMJ schedule without feeling overwhelmed. There are just SO many great bands to see this week, (check out the line-up here) — many sets are overlapping too, so we'll see how many performances I can make
I'll be covering the CMJ Festival for the UWire. You can check out the UWire blog here. Two of my previews have already been posted so feel free to read my previews on Josh Charles here and Lights Resolve here. While I can't make any promises on how much I'll be updating my own blog this week, check out the UWire blog for the most recent posts on what's going down at the festival!
And for all of you that have no clue what CMJ stands for (College Music Journal) or what the heck I'm talking about, check out Time Out New York's appropriately titled article, CMJ for dummies.
Here's a few of the questions answered in the article that everyone has been asking me:
What the hell is CMJ?
Before there was alt rock, there was so-called college (i.e., -radio) rock, a scene that nurtured R.E.M. and countless other future stars of the postpunk, pregrunge era. The initial intent of both CMJ and the NYC fest was to clue the music industry in to the burgeoning impact of college radio. “It began purely as a business convention and accidentally turned into a very large music festival for fans,” says Haber.
Hundreds of bands and thousands of hangers-on descend upon local venues over a period of five days. Panels and a film fest add to the general mayhem.
How do I get into the shows?
You can buy a supposedly all-access badge, wait in line for hours and still get turned away. Haber looks at it this way: “As much as people want to see the big acts, go under the hood a little bit and look at the clubs that you really can get into.”
If you think that a show will be mobbed, it probably will be; it’s best to map out a few alternatives. (See “If at first you don’t succeed…,” page 143, for our suggestions.)
Do I need one of those $495 badges?
Few shows are badge-only. Each club determines its admissions ratio of badge holders and walk-up or advance-ticket customers. “We go to the clubs, try to assess the previous year’s failures and come up with a matrix which makes sense for them,” says Haber.
It’s your money.