Fans who are unwilling to throw down the Benjamins for access to the CMJ Music Marathon can still score some live tuneage at free showcases.
Alt-rock indie pieces with euro twangs will sound from bands like Elder/Brother and Unicycle Loves You, but the bottom of the bill - SWF sounds most promising. He's a dirty wailing hippie with classic '60s vibes, mesmerizing to watch in his music video for "Black & Golden," where he waltzes among the throngs of a traditional Chinatown parade while donning a fur coat and Jesus frock. More info
Claire, Saint Rich, James Bay, Lucius
WFUV presents a four-set showcase with a lady-fronted kitschy pop band, a young Ray Lamontagne, an indie rock dude duet and a synthy pop starlette in respective order. More info
Pearl & The Beard
The country rock group plays with captivating energy and big drums in tiny venue spaces. They're fun, charismatic and well-rehearsed. More info
Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls (DJ set)
It's more rare to see the ultra femmy lead of the Dum Dum Girls play without her guitar than it is to see her without the ladies of the band. Dee Dee often plays solo, but she seldom spins. More info
Deli Magazine Showcases
If all of the choices during CMJ become too stressful, squat at Rockwood Music Hall Wednesday night where Deli Magazine will present twenty bands in two nearby rooms, all for free. Sounds vary from pop punk to R n' B and alt rock, so this could be a stimulating, yet lazily satisfying option for the exhausted CMJ adventurer's feet.
CMJ Music Marathon is from October 15-19. Check out the full CMJ Music Marathon 2013 schedule, and follow Kate Spalla for Examiner.com for CMJ tips, guides and coverage.