As a CMJ Music Marathon first-timer, I gotta say, this was unlike anything I’ve seen yet. To me though, it seemed to be the ultimate New York experience—racing all over the city by subway and on foot, from venue to venue, chasing down bands from every niche genre, some experienced and some newbies. And from most of what I saw, I was pretty impressed. Everyone really seemed to have their stuff together and put forth their best.
After whittling down the seemingly endless list of potential bands to check out, I decided on a handful that seemed promising. Tuesday night, I headed over to Arlene’s Grocery for the “No Pulp” showcase and checked out the Brooklyn-based band The Blue Pages. Although their set did seem a bit choreographed with even a little cheese (smoke machine? Check. Laser show? Check.), the guys sounded clear and confident with some of the strongest vocals I’ve heard from anyone in a while.
Heading east, I hopped on the L out to Spike Hill in Williamsburg to see The Canon Logic. Their rock and roll with solid pop hooks sound seemed too good to pass up. The guys were at the top of their game and put on an incredibly high-energy show, which got one of the best responses from a crowd I’ve ever seen with the entire front half of the audience dancing and singing along.