Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CMJ Wrapup: What Were the Highlights of CMJ 2009?

The five days of frenzy known as CMJ 2009 have ended in New York, and the music critics and bloggers are weighing in on what what notable about this year's indie rock fest.

(Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to any CMJ events this year. Oh well, sometimes the timing just doesn't work out.)

The New York Times says there was no one standout at this year's CMJ, as there was when R.E.M. and Arcade Fire made their names. But the paper gave a lot of ink to Florida's Surfer Blood, and also liked New York bands Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Antlers, among other bands.

Alisa Ali of The Alternate Side, the fine alt/indie channel of Fordham University's radio station WFUV, liked The Shackeltons as well as Drink Up Buttercup, Real Estate, Apache Beat, and Local Natives. Her article has videos from the latter two.

The latest edition of NPR Music's All Songs Considered features several live songs from CMJ, as well the entire show performed by Patrick Watson. Show host Bob Boilen raved about Watson, as I wrote on the Canadian music blog North by East West (, calling him "hands down the best performer all week. His band was stellar."

Fortunately, Patrick Watson's show was recorded and is now available as a free podcast download (it can also be streamed online). To download the concert, you may have to use iTunes or a similar program.

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