CMJ’s annual musical extravaganza in New York is called a marathon for a reason. With over 1,200 (!) artists taking to stages all over the city from October 19th-23rd, you’re going to need to formulate a plan of action (and maybe hire a physical trainer) in preparation. We know it’s overwhelming, but before you start hyperventilating, let us point you in the right direction.
Conceived after a missed acid date that inspired the awesomely trippy “Should Have Taken Acid With You,” which then spawned the rest of the critically acclaimed debut album Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian makes hazy, lo-fi electro-pop. Call it chillwave if you must, but don’t miss Alan Palomo’s psychedelic synth pop project. The show’s totally worth it just to see him play the theremin, a.k.a. coolest instrument ever.
Once you’ve seen Neon Indian, you’ll want to keep the chill vibes going with experimental Floridian duo Viernes. Alberto Hernandez’s and Sean Moore’s dreamy ambient sound relies on layering (and a distorted cuatro) to give it the impressive depth heard on Sinister Devices, and it will be interesting to see how they recreate that sound on stage.
Former frontman for D.C.’s Monopoli, Alfonso Velez is the leather jacket-wearing blues rock type. Though he travels easily between the worlds of blues, rock, folk, and pop, Velez is not your typical Dylan-inspired, singer-songwriter. He’s the kind of guy who writes songs from the point of view of a goldfish.
San Antonio’s Hacienda is a family band comprised of brothers Abraham, Jaime, and Rene Villanueva and their cousin Dante Schwebel. One listen to their Beatles and Beach Boys-leaning rock is enough to convince us that these dudes were born in the wrong decade. They may be an anachronism, but the band’s take on the classics has already earned them attention from acts like Dr. Dog and The Black Keys.
Puerto Rican by way of Brooklyn band Kordan (whom you met this week), just released their first full-length album, The Longing, filled with foggy dream pop, that is, if you dream about bleak, futuristic cityscapes. If you do, or if you want to, make sure to catch them live for a glimpse of their dystopian vision.