While music festivals like SXSW have garnered the music industry's attention the past few years, we've found that it's at CMJ that bands most often have their break-out moment. It happened in 2008, with Pains of Being Pure At Heart. And then again in 2009, with Surfer Blood. 2010 saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. score a big label signing. And we have 2011's CMJ to thank for the ascendance of A$AP Rocky.
So who will get their big breakout moment at this year's CMJ Music Marathon
(yes, a marathon--this is no ordinary festival), which runs October 16-20? We've gone through the hundreds of bands slated to play and picked out a few of our favorites. These are bands that you probably don't know--yet--but we think you'll be hearing a lot about them in the coming months. And the only thing we love more than a band that gets us excited is a band that gives us we-saw-them-way-back-when bragging rights.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
Sounds Like: The Ramones retired to Auckland, New Zealand.
Listen To: "Hippy"
which is basically the best thing we've heard all fall.
Need To Know: They cite skate videos, Persian rugs, and Little Richard as inspiration.
See Them: Tuesday, October 16 at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, New York)
Sounds Like: Jangly late-'60s pop after taking some downers.
Listen To: "Silver Lining,"
the first single off of their upcoming debut album.
Need To Know: The Brooklyn-based trio features Richie Follin, whose sister is Cults' Madeline Follin.
See Them: Wednesday, October 17 at Glasslands (289 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn)
Sounds Like: An acoustic-disco party on the beach.
Listen To: "Where The Kids Are"
while you wait for their album to come out in 2013.
Need To Know: Siblings Bruce and Erica Driscoll aren't new to the music game--they've been playing together since they were kids.
See Them: Thursday, October 18 at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette Street, New York)
Sounds Like: Hand-clap indie rock that's just the right side of weird.
Listen To: Their first single, "C'mon C'mon"
Need To Know: In addition to a slew of CMJ dates, the New York duo are also releasing their debut album, "Hemlock Tea," this week.
See Them: Friday, October 19 at Bowery Electric (327 Bowery, New York)
Sounds Like: A little bit country, a lot of rock'n'roll.
Listen To: "21"
off of their debut EP.
Need To Know: Former members of The Virgins and The Young Lords teamed up to for The Rassle…and they sound like it.
See Them: Saturday, October 20 at Bowery Electric (327 Bowery, New York)
TEETH & TONGUE
Sounds Like: '80s ballads with Patti Smith behind the mic.
Listen To: their one-off single "The Party Is You"
Need To Know: Teeth & Tongue is the solo project of Aussie Jess Cornelius (though she gets some help from collaborators Marc Regueiro-McKelvie and Damian Sullivan).
See Them: Sunday, October 21 at Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, New York)