Fall is here, and pumpkins are $0.49 per pound at Foodtown in Brooklyn. The weather is splendid, and there’s adrenaline in the air. Oh, oh, and CMJ – College Music Journal – festival is upon NYC. Wee! This is one of the biggest, most widespread, most happening, and most fun music festivals in the city, and we plan to be all up in it just like we were last year. The deal is the same: a week jam-packed with enlightening panels, film screenings, and shows, shows, and more shows. The second round of artists has recently been announced, but hundreds more will no doubt be announced by the time the fest commences on October 16, and running through October 20. Clear your schedule and call out of work, because it’s going to be intense. As there are thousands of artists performing across roughly 80 venues, there’s no shortage of best new bands that you’ll want to run and recommend to all your friends, but here’s is a handful to inspire you.
Beast Patrol is a NYC-based trio that has a '90s feel, but modern, like if The Cure and Idlewild collaborated at the height of rave culture, but with a really heavy shoegaze edge. Hear what that means at The Studio at Webster Hall on October 19.
Magmana is one of the newest best new bands, with their experimental compositions and intuitively moody soundscapes. The band is based around vocalist/keyboardist Joan Tick, whose voice is a bit like Karen Carpenter with tinges of Marianne Faithfull’s rawness, and guitarist/vocalist Caleb Lindskoog. Together they craft songs that are easy to get absorbed into, and restore the faith that not all Brooklyn bands sound the same. Hear more of their tracks on SoundCloud.
DIIV (formerly Dive, and born from the solo project of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith) went from relative obscurity to supporting slots for the likes of Grimes, Wild Nothing, and Best Coast this past year. That means that although their obscurity has lessened, their live show has not. They only have one show during CMJ since they are currently on tour, so catch when you can at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 18.
On the night before, October 17, Knitting Factory will host the Manimal CMJ Showcase, which features a fetching 2-for-1 with both Heliotropes and Chains of Love (Remember them?). Chains of Love are headlining, so you can head bang to Heliotropes first and then slow it down and bat your eyes at the punky dreamboat who’s sweat will inevitably be all over you.
London female four-piece Savages have a slot on October 19 at Mercury Lounge that’s worth checking out, for fans of post-punk noir. Listening to their music is much like watching an old black and white horror film. It’ll make your heart race with urgency, but it’s both dangerous and sexy, because you’re the killer.