CMJ 2013: Preview Dispatch


If you aren’t so big on this whole “music” thing, you might be wondering: what the crap is a CMJ? Creamy Mango Juice? Cool, Morose Journalists? Cancerous Meningitis of the Jaw?

No. It’s none of those, you blithering idiot. Thank god I’m here to set you straight. The following article (sort of) describes what exactly this phenomenon is.

What is CMJ?

When your SUPER COOL college radio friends are casually namedropping all the hip blogs they follow and that experimental Balkan classico-hop musician they “know” (meaning “once saw from across the room at some smelly underground club”), they might have also tossed around the acronym CMJ. This stands for College Music Journal – basically, the Billboard charts but for good music. They aggregate the top played artists from college and independent radio stations (like this one!) into a massive weekly screed of WHAT’S HIP RIGHT NOW WITH THE KIDS.

But CMJ is also a groovily convenient way to refer to the CMJ Music Marathon. As a “veteran” of the festival, I can give you the inside scoop on what to expect from this massive affair that takes over the city of New York for nearly a whole week. They call it a marathon because it’s truly a test of endurance. Panels, featuring industry professionals (and a fair share of unprofessionals), occupy the daytime hours. Once the sun sets, hundreds of bands take the stage all across Manhattan and Brooklyn in bars, clubs, mega concert halls and bowling alleys.

So what?

Well, yours truly will be attending this year’s Marathon, along with KCSB’s two music directors. We’ll be roving around the tiny hamlet of New York City, bouncing from club to club and generally leaving destruction in our wake. I will be filing regular articles – and stay tuned for updates regarding live on-air digests from the three of us. Expect info about new bands, a few interviews from established acts, and summaries of the knowledge we gain from immersing ourselves in the stewing cesspool of the music industry. It’s going to be an exciting week, and I hope you’ll join along for the ride!

Kyle Trager regularly hosts “The Atmosphere” (Thursdays from 11am-1pm) and is KCSB’s current General Manager. You can follow him on Twitter at @kylebobtrager.

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