cmj must-see list
  • THURSDAY, OCTOBER 08, 2009

  • Posted by:


The chilly October air brings many things to our fair city of New York; the death of the mosquito population (ugh, finally, they bite the dust instead of us!), beautiful Fall foliage, kids settling back into school, college kids running rampant around our office building area, and of course, the illustrious CMJ Music Marathon. A sprawling festival which more or less takes over the majority of New York's venues, CMJ is known for breeding future superstars. U2 once played CMJ, and now Bono is so big he doesn't even have to appear in person on Entourage as a guest star! They got Matt Damon on, but oh no, not Bono! He couldn't be bothered to leave his couch, or whatever. He totally phoned in his guest spot. With a Macbook. In the name of love!

Anyway, no one cares about the mainstream, because this is CMJ. And as I've attended many a CMJ the past four years and worked for CMJ, I feel that I am very close to it. Also one of our editors remembers seeing lots of neato-torpedo bands like My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Ted Leo, Minus The Bear, Jonathan Richmond, Clinic, Bright Eyes, Cursive, you know, stuff like that. Important music! He feels very close to it. Basically what I am trying to say is that Baeble is invested in the future of New York's arguably biggest festival. That is why we want you to know about these bands. Because if you don't see them now, you will regret it.

In part one of our coverage of CMJ2K9, we present to you Baeble's top picks of acts to see (and brag to your friends about). Observe.

  1. The XX


  2. These South London twenty year olds met at The Elliot School, and formed their band back in 2005. Now their debut album is all the blogs can rave about (including this one), and they've even played the respectable lunchtime slot at the Reading and Leeds festival this past summer. Couple that with a distinct taste for Aaliyah, as well as adding a cover as a bonus track on their CD, and you've got the makings of a sleeper band-of-the-moment with the scene kids. I'd expect this MHOW show to be quite the spectacle, regardless of the bands knack for barely moving while performing. Because, you know, drugs.



  3. Japandroids


  4. Energetic, huge sounding duo from up north (Canada), who put on an awesome set for the Baeble cameras to capture, and an awesome album called Post-Nothing which is more like Pre-nice-career-of-cacophonous-tweaking. Well, why don't you just watch for yourself:


    Watch the full concert at baeblemusic.com


    See? We're betting these guys have a few good years left in them, which means in a few you'll be able to say "Wow! I saw them rock hard! I got hit in the face with a beer bottle!" Those are the good memories.

  5. Fanfarlo


  6. Devotees will recall I keenly (copied what everyone was saying on Twitter and) observed that these guys are the British Arcade Fire, and their concert certainly proved that point. Their album Resevoir is full of shimmering orchestral pop, the kind that Win Butler excels at tremendously! And their lead singer isn't a huge jerk! It is totally win-win. But not Win. Totally. What? Check out the hair:


    I am an artist.


    Comparisons aside, these guys love what they do and it is totally evident when they play (and I love that). And you know who else loves that? Coupled with The XX, so many scenesters are going to invade this MHOW show! Bring an extra trendy and relevant critique of pop culture, or maybe a grandpa sweater. This could get sarcastic. Also, Simon from Fanfarlo kind of sounds like Beirut, doesn't he?



  7. The Antlers


  8. Antlers started as a solo project and stuff, and oh wait we just talked about them. Go read. I refuse to be redundant. Let's just say they are making big waves in Brooklyn and we're psyched to see them get some more exposure.


    Notable: This Brooklyn trio is ALSO on the bill for the mysterious aforementioned MHOW show! We're going to need a bigger boat. Way to go, Brooklyn Vegan showcase. MHOW is going to sink into the East River.

  9. YACHT


  10. According to their manifesto, YACHT (which must be spelled in all capitals) "is a Band, Belief System, and Business conducted by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans of Marfa, Texas and Portland, Oregon, USA. All people are welcome to become members of YACHT." Cool! We love being a part of something! Especially since we have that crippling fear of being left out since the fourth grade when I had to sit alone on the jungle-gym when the other kids wanted to play kickball and I was bad at sports! Wait, but pyschadelic music? Artificial community? This sounds like a cult!
    "YACHT is not a cult" - teamYACHT.com

    Oh, ok. Whew.

    This is real.

    These guys went on tour with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and have been declared best new music by several reputable sources, so crazy triangular religion or not, they are music to watch.



  11. Mum


  12. Mum is definitely not the word (in English, anyway). These Icelandic rockers are bound to be well known at the end of the fest. After over ten years of music making, and five studio albums (Including the most recent Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know which we've heard and enjoy). Long a favorite of the more erudite musical tastemakers (like The New York Times), the band is often cited as having a lack of ego, and a bewitchingly fragile folk aesthetic. We agree that they are more than worth a listen, we've even featured them on our mixtape.



  13. Deer Tick


A few weeks ago we buzzed about Deer Tick extending their tour, and for good reason; their howling vocals and aggressive guitars. The band plays like it is from Providence, but sounds like it could be from any corner of the American bread-bowl of angry kids. Frontman John McCauley sounds like a genetically altered Bob Dylan/Rod Stewart clone, and that doesn't make any sense whatsoever (but it sounds cool!). Their fervor is distinctly domestic though (sucks to your "Maggie May"), and it will no doubt capture a few new, brimming ears when they lay their cool on us.



All things to get excited about... but every rose has it's thorn (thanks for the tip, Monster Ballads). Tune in next week for our list of bands we think SHOULD be playing CMJ but are sadly absent from the bill. -joe puglisi

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