A CMJ 2012 Photo Recap

by Jenna Ross, published October 29th 2012

photos by Jenna Ross

One of the great things about having my co-op in New York City this Fall is that I got a chance to witness what the CMJ Music Festival is all about. I could elaborate and talk about who the headliners were and who people were most excited to see (Kimbra, Angel Haze, and Icona Pop are three names that I kept hearing), but instead I’m just going to tell you about my 2012 CMJ experience. I couldn’t witness ALL the things I wanted to (damn not being 21!!!) but I was still able to catch a few showcases that I enjoyed very much!

First up on Tuesday night was a quick trip to The Studio at Webster Hall, where I heard Ambassadors and The Jane Doze would be playing. Lucky for me, I got there early and caught Born Cages, formerly known as Electric Sun, and they were incredible. Ambassadors killed it per usual and The Jane Doze got the remainder of the 1am crowd moving with their fun, unique mashups. I give them four stars – would’ve been higher if they played my fave One Direction/Demi Lovato tween jam “What Makes Your Heart Break.” Maybe next time…

Next up on my CMJ to-do list was The Glassnote Records showcase on Wednesday night at The Slipper Room. This showcase featured new Glassnote signees Little Green Cars, Daughter, and Robert DeLong, and I expect big things from all of them because if anyone knows how to choose the next big thing, it’s Daniel Glass and co.

Thursday night I planned to go to the Neon Gold Showcase at Santos Party House, featuring a bunch of artists I was excited to see: Icona Pop, Sky Ferreira, Morning Parade, Lovelife, Strange Talk, Gabriel Bruce, and JJAMZ. As it turned out Santos was 21+ that night, so that was a no go. I quickly rerouted and headed over to the Bowery Ballroom where I was able to see Sky and MSMR. It might have been my second choice, but it ended up being a great one. I’ve been familiar with Sky Ferreira since she released the catchy pop jam “Obsession.” Since then her musical direction has changed and the pop princess phase is to be forgotten, but her recent “Ghost” EP combined with her ability to sing live has kept me a fan.

MS MR was the band with the biggest draw that night, which was no surprise to most in the crowd who were excited to see the New York-based duo back home. ¬†They closed their set with current single “Hurricane,” a song I’ve been jamming since the weeks leading up to CMJ and a song I currently can’t get out of my head.

By Friday I was exhausted and decided that this would be my last day of show-hopping. I started the evening off with another trip to The Studio to watch the Youtube breakout band The Midnight Beast perform their first show in the states. The comedy trio really impressed me with their stage presence, which included choreography and props to go along with their songs.

My CMJ experience ended at the Big Picture Media showcase, where a talented lineup drew a large crowd ready to sing and dance at Sullivan Hall. Seeing Jacob Jeffries Band, The Ugly Club, and Lily & The Parlour Tricks, who all brought a bunch of energy to the showcase, was an awesome way to end the night.

If you really want to understand what I saw, check out the full gallery of photos below. I’m no writer and my ramblings don’t do these artists or my experience justice. If you happen to be in the city next year, I recommend volunteering to get a free badge or investing in the student badge because if you do CMJ the right way, you have the chance to see A LOT of the biggest musical up-and-comers in a five day span.

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