CMJ Music Marathon begins in New York, will feature local bands, Ghostface Killah, GZA, and 500 other acts
The relentless music marathon known as CMJ kicks off today in New York City, and six local bands will perform.
CMJ is a non-stop, five-day multimedia extravaganza that features some 500 different bands - many of them unknown - playing at 75 different venues, all but assuring that at some point of the day you might bump into a band that's never even trended playing at some dank, cramped club.
No, Willow Smith will not be performing, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention.
In the past, CMJ has served as the Schwabb's drugstore of music, the site where previously unknown bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Black Kids, and Wye Oak were discovered by the industry.
But the important thing here is the local connection. Six local bands are playing, including Lower Dens, Cotton Jones, Deakin, Clutch, Zo!, and a DJ set by Avey Tare.
Lower Dens, actually, performs tonight at the Ottobar before heading to New York Wednesday for the first of a mind-boggling 11 CMJ shows.
The marathon anticipates there will be be some 1,200 performances over all, as well as a series of movie screenings, some only tangentially related to music, like the new Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal romantic comedy, "Love and Other Drugs," where Gyllenhall plays a scruffy if attractive pill pusher.
In addition to little-known bands, indie headliners like Phoenix, Surfer Blood, and Ghostface Killah and GZA will also play some shows this week.
Watch out later this week for Midnight Sun's preview of the festival, including interviews with Lower Dens' Jana Hunter, Deakin, and Cotton Jones.