Hooray I'm On My Way To CMJ For Just One Day


I’m not packing clothes for this year’s CMJ Marathon in New York City. In fact, I’m not even bringing down a laptop. Instead of spending five straight days inhaling various poisons, feverishly blogging on the same nonsense that everyone else is covering, and ransacking my weathered eardrums with out-of-tune guitar shreds and swollen bass lines, I’m limiting my trip to one day and two nights, and seeing how much I can cram in.

Armed with two note pads, running shoes, an itinerary, and a fistful of Ritalin, I’m leaving Boston on Wednesday afternoon. Upon arrival in Manhattan, I’ll check in with CMJ, then head directly to a showcase (Please note: I won’t have to drop bags off since I’m not bringing any). I’m aware that this seems silly. How much can I actually cover in such a short time? Why not spend the whole weekend? Surely I’ll end up staying for more debauchery.

Not so much. I turned 29 this year, and music festivals are squandering my hopes of living one more decade. This past March at South by Southwest in Austin I lost 13 pounds; my trainer at the time said it was the result of complete malnutrition. He was probably correct – I barely ate for an entire week, and, save for some shower water, I hadn’t drunk a thing besides canned beer and whatever free cocktails were served at sponsored happy hours.

So that I don’t waste your time and mine, I devised a strategy. On my first night, the plan is to check Homeboy Sandman and P. Casso at S.O.B.’s, then roll to the Gallery Bar for Arabian Prince before peeping NY Oil and other progressive cats at Studio B in Brooklyn. From there I’ll smash back downtown for Ho-Ag at Bowery Poetry Club, then to Hollywood Holt at 205 Chrystie, Moby at Le Royale, and, finally, the Fools Gold Showcase at Webster Hall until at least four in the morning.

On Thursday I’ll wake early off whoever’s couch and gorge myself in a Burger King French toast sticks before bouncing to the NYU Kimmel Center for a workshop. Despite having gone to CMJ more than half-a-dozen times, I’ve never actually seen a panel; but I can’t miss the flagitiously phony DJ Spooky partaking in a discussion titled “Current Independent Culture through the Eyes of True Indie Pioneers.”

Since I’m out of words like “run,” “hop,” and “roll” to over-describe how I’ll be commuting between shows, here goes a simplified list of some remaining artists who I’ll be trying to see before I jet early Friday morning: Ovum, Dirty On Purpose, Cheeseburger, U-N-I, 88 Keys, George Clinton, Ill Bill, Sean Price, Dujeous, Mobius Collective, Pharoahe Monch, Statik Selektah, Reks, Termanology, J-Zone, Q-Tip, Yo Majesty!, Hercules and Love Affair, and Shout Out Out Out Out.

I won’t make more predictions – other than that I’ll feel badly for the person sitting next to me on the bus ride back – but I will make one promise: my exclusive on line feature, “CMJ In One Day,” will be posted on The Phoenix web site before 5pm this Friday. Hang tough.   

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