Surviving CMJ: Tips and Showcase Picks

cmj 2013 logo lineup

I’ve attended CMJ for the past few years as a music blogger and this year I wanted to share my expertise so you get the most out of  it. Starting on the Tuesday, October 15th, you’ll be introduced to stacks on stacks on stacks of up and coming bands from all over the world.  Everyone from music nerds to corporate industry folks rally in New York City to partake in CMJ. It’s kind of a big deal and everything about it is overwhelming. It’s okay though, everyone take a deep breath because I’m here to guide your way. Below is a copy of my everyday schedule from open bars, day time showcases, places to eat/snack and VIP after parties.

Things to remember before CMJ:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Activate an Uber account (Use the code CMJ2013 and your first Uber ride is free (up to $30 off)
    Get an unlimited week long metro card
  • Download CMJ app on all smart devices
  • Charge your phones
  • Charge your external phone batteries. If you don’t have one, check out my favorite, mophie.
  • Bring earplugs
  • Dress comfortably
  • Once again, STAY HYDRATED


Tuesday, October 15th

12:00pm Pickup passes from Judson Memorial Church

12:30pm Walk around, enjoy Washington Square Park or take a nap

1:15pm Hop on the L train to Bedford

1:45pm I recommend walking over to Matchless because they have a great menu and 2 for 1 happy hour kicks off at 3:00 pm.

3:40pm VOWS @Matchless

4:30pm Bird Call @ Matchless

5:30 Hop on L train to 3rd Ave

6:40pm ARMS @ The Studio of Webster Hall

7:30pm Grab a bite in Chinatown. Nothing beats soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe.

8:00pm Panama Wedding @ Mercury Lounge

8:40pm Denitia and Sene @ The Delancey

10:00pm Junglepussy @ The Westway

10:45pm Uber back to Bedford

11:00pm Kirin J Callinan @ Cameo Gallery

11:45pm Hop on J train, Canal St

12:00am Deniro Farrar @ Santos Party House

1:30am Cherub @ The Studio of Webster Hall


Wednesday, October 16th

2:30pm Beacon @ Cake Shop

3:30pm Coke Weed @ Cake Shop

4:30pm The Helio Sequence @ Judson Memorial Church

5:00pm Bleeding Rainbow @ Pianos

5:30pm Get on J train to Marcy

6:00pm Swing through Father Daughter Records CMJ Showcase at Muchmores and grab a free beer or glass of wine while you’re at it.

6:45pm StaG @ The Tammany Hall

7:10pm Hop on J train to Hewes

7:20pm Lodro @ The Flat

8:00pm Grab a quick bite in Williamsburg, Williams and Bailey makes a great burger.

8:30pm Swing by Newtown Radio’s Unofficial CMJ Showcase at Shea Stadium and take advantage of the open bar

8:40pm Calvin Love @ Shea Stadium

9:45pm SISU @ The Flat

11:00pm Young Braised @ Shea Stadium

11:30pm Uber to the city

12:00am Lil Debbie @ Irving Plaza

12:30am Born Gold @ Living Room

1:00am Spirit Animal @ The Delancey


Thursday, October 17th

2:00pm Au Revoir Simone @Judson Memorial Park

3:00pm Bent Shapes @Cake Shop

4:00pm Ski Lodge @ Judson Memorial Church

5:00pm Grab an early dinner, perhaps all-you-can-eat sushi and drinks at New Ashiya since there’s two hours to kill.

7:00pm Jamaican Queens @ Littlefield

8:00pm Bad Boxes @ Rockwood Music Hall

8:50pm Brick + Mortar @ The Studio of Webster Hall

9:30pm Child Actor @ The Delancey

10:15pm Hop on L train to Bedford

10:30pm Ejecta @ Cameo Gallery

11:30 pm Hunters @ Babies All Right

12:30pm Speedy Ortiz @ Babies All Right


Friday, October 18th

10:00am Haerts @ Judson Memorial Church

11:00am Head back home and take a nap

2:00pm The Dismemberment Plan @ Judson Memorial Church

3:20pm Tops @ Pianos

4:20pm White Prism @ Bowery Electric

5:30pm You Me At Six @ Gramercy Theater

6:00pm Grab dinner en route to LES, maybe one of those famous $1 slices? It’s quick, easy and very New York.

6:40pm Body Parts @ Living Room

7:00pm Pup @ Mercury Lounge

8:00pm Milagres @ Living Room

8:30pm Gems @ Pianos Upstairs

9:30pm Mean Creek @ Bowery Electric

9:50pm Rush to L train to Bedford

10:00pm Magic Man @ Spike Hill

11:00pm Small Black @ Brooklyn Bowl

11:45pm ASTR @ Knitting Factory

12:10am Uber into the city

12:25am Band In Heaven @SPiN

12:45am Uber back to Brooklyn

1:00am Blue Sky Black Death @ Cameo Gallery

1:30am Grab a late night snack at  Cameo — their tater tots are delicious.

2:00am The Range@ Cameo Gallery

2:30am Haleek Maul /L-Vis 1990 @ Steel Drums


Saturday, October 19th

11:30 am Real Magic @ Rockwood Music Hall

12:30pm Step out to eat lunch–  Katz Deli because the sandwiches live up to the hype.

1:00pm Grandchildren @ Rockwood Music Hall

1:50pm TV Girl @ Rockwood Music Hall

2:15pm Cub Sport @ The Delancey

2:40pm Geoffery O’ Connor @ The Delancey

3:30pm Hop on J/ M train to Hewes

4:00pm Hang out at the My Social List party and take advantage of the open bar.

6:10pm Little Daylight @ Cameo Gallery

7:00pm Hockey @ Cameo Gallery

7:40pm Empress Of @ Cameo Gallery

8:20pm Bleeding Rainbow @ Grand Victory

9:00pm Dinner at Commodore. Don’t leave without trying the pina coladas and fried chicken. (If I could, I would have that combo for every meal but since you’re in the hood, enjoy it).

10:00pm Father John Misty @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

11:00pm Bad Cop @ Trash Bar

12:00am Kid Karate @ Knitting Factory

12:30am Last Uber to the city during CMJ

12:35am Sweater Beats @ Slake

1:20am Basecamp @ Slake