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CMJ Music Marathon reaction

Matt Thomas

Last week I had the pleasure of covering a slice of CMJ's Music Marathon in New York City, which has become the most recognized festival in the five boroughs. With an infinite number of young bands playing at an infinite number of venues throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, the festival becomes undeniably exhausting, yet simultaneously fun and exhilarating.

I was treated to five bands, all of which showed promised in their own right. The full reviews of each show will be posted on both my blog and Music Emissions, the site that I covered CMJ for. Check out my live blog Quick-Reviews from each show below. A condensed version of the write-up with photos can also be found on Music Emissions by CLICKING HERE.

Posting #1: Pillow Talk @ Lit Lounge

I’ve only listened to a couple of tracks so far in the dank and narrow performance space nestled in the bowels of NYC’s Lit Lounge, but Pillow Talk is a surprisingly good alternative band with a country flair that works well.

Posting #2: Sick Sea @ Lit Lounge

Even though the abrasively loud Sick Sea opened to a small crowd while Lit Lounge staffers retrieved cases of beer from an inconveniently placed storage room, the group has excellent energy, effectively capturing the audience, and an ear for engaging melodies.

Posting #3: Gemini @ The Studio at Webster Hall

Gemini Club’s new wave/dance tinged sound provides an upbeat, and quite welcome, respite from the emo-framework of many of CMJ’s acts. The crowd is extremely active within the open yet intimate space provided by the Studio at Webster Hall. Even though the vocals require both bolstering and polish, the group’s energy more than makes up for these benign inadequacies.

Posting # 4: French Horn Rebellion @ The Studio at Webster Hall

With a cacophony of seemingly superfluous sound and light,it’s not surprising that French Horn Rebellion has been met with mixed reviews (including a needlessly scathing one from NME). One will either dig this group’s audio experiment that blends traditional alternative with up-tempo dance beats laced with, yes it’s true, a french horn or find it detestably artsy. Whichever side of the debate you land on, the band is, without question, both engaging and entertaining.


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