Top 5 Weekend Picks for CMJ 2011

Although we can only make it for Friday and Saturday we are still very excited to be heading down to New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon. CMJ has always been a place where up-and-coming artists get a chance to showcase their potential in front of gawking hipsters and industry professionals alike. It is physically impossible to see the 1000+ bands who will be performing at various clubs throughout NYC during the week, but we made our picks for the 5 must-see acts of the weekend and in no particular order, here is what we came up with–

PASSWORDS– This band was one of our favorite groups of the summer and if you have read M&T before you know how much we loved their debut LP. Their sound seems to change with each track and since I have yet to see them live I can only imagine that their set at CMJ will be as versatile as their record. The Canadian band will be a part of the M is for Montreal showcase at Arlene’s Grocery and they will take the stage at 745pm on Friday, a great way to kick off your CMJ weekend.

Radiation City– Based out of Portland, the group is led by Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison who also run Apes Tapes, the cassette tape label behind the band.  Smooth harmonies and nostalgic melodies are the name of the game here and lucky for you Radiation City will be playing two weekend showcases. After catching a little preview of what is to come at O’Brien’s in Allston last night, I can tell you that you won’t want to miss either of their showcases at Lit Lounge at midnight on Friday or Spike Hill at 3pm on Saturday.

Hallelujah the Hills– Now it might not make the most sense to travel to CMJ to see a local Boston band, but Hallelujah the Hills has been turning heads left and right since their debut in 2007 with a sound that has been compared to Bright Eyes and Spoon among others. Along with drummer Eric Meyer, lead singer and primary songwriter Ryan Walsh previously led Boston indie heroes The Stairs, and following their break-up they began creating catchy melodies infused with strings and horns for Hallelujah the Hills. HtH is playing just one showcase this weekend so make sure that you catch them at 1045pm on Friday at Rock Shop.

WATERS– Former Port O’Brien frontman Van Pierszalowski is the force behind this lo-fi ’90s style rock group. After the break-up of his previous band, Pierszalowski shipped out to Oslo and put together a band of Norwegians to back his newest project. On the WATERS website Pierszalowski explains that, “The record is about waking up. It is about getting out of a situation that seems endless, and realizing you’re not too old to make dramatic and sudden changes in your life. It is about starting over.”

In its young career the band has already played a few dates with M&T favorite Vetiver and will be travelling to Europe to support their new record next month. Out In The Light is available now and you can catch the band playing tunes from their record at Union Hall on Friday at 10pm.

The New LimbThis California based alternative group will be making their first visit to CMJ as part of No Pulp Music‘s showcase series. Their debut album Sounds People Can Hear was released in 2010 and the best way for me to describe it is simply– indie-pop bliss. Now the band has gone back to the studio to work on a new EP and you can get a preview of that release with the video below for “Work I’ve Done.” If you want to catch some fresh tracks from The New Limb this weekend (which we highly advise) then head over to Arlene’s Grocery at 915pm on Saturday.


Posted on by Eric in CMJ 2011

One Response to Top 5 Weekend Picks for CMJ 2011

  1. Nick Camillo

    I know the guys in The New Limb, they’re awesome live

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