Next Tuesday marks the beginning of the CMJ 2014 Music Marathon, when music venues across the city are overtaken by a guitar-toting horde of bands you’ve never heard of.
Which is the point. These are the guys who’ll be famous next year, so it behooves a fella to check ‘em out early.
First, know that the Badge is bogus — it doesn’t guarantee entrance. You’re better off buying individual tickets to the shows you really want to catch.
Second: we’ve dutifully combed the hundreds-deep lineup to bring you the eight bands you should be sure to check out, whether live or otherwise.
There’s some fuzzy surf rock. Some we-sold-our-guitars-and-bought-computers electropop. Some neo-soul.
There’s even a band called Pity Sex.
Oh, and rule of thumb: shitty band name (“King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard”) equals shitty band. Usually.
Looks like Jesse Eisenberg, sounds like The Hold Steady. Tall tales told with a punchy indie rock vibe.
Clementine and the Galaxy
Soulful vocals over synthy pop soundscapes. The CHVRCHES of 2014, with a bit of Charli XCX.
Fuzzed-out guitars, mumbled boy-girl vocals, no-fi production ... it's your favorite 1992 indie band today. Bonus: they'll probably cover the Pixies.
Think less David Lynch, more early Stones/’70s glam rock from some Chicago kids with self-proclaimed "gnarly 'tudes."
Pronounced “dive.” Start with some jangly ‘80s guitar riffs. Add a lo-fi, beachy sheen. Stir. Put on shades.
Faded Paper Figures
A Yale professor, a Hollywood music producer and a medical doctor start a band. Band plays upbeat synth-pop, has good male/female harmonies.
Dave Harrington Group
Expect about a dozen instruments but only four musicians, one of whom is Harrington, half of the now-defunct jazz/electronic duo Darkside, which played its final show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple last month.
Three-man Aussie outfit lays neo-soul vocals over wobbly beats. Think a bedroom-friendlier Skrillex.
Now all you have to do is start practicing sentences that begin with “I saw them back when …”
Main image credit: Emily Korn