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Friday, October 19

CMJ Day 1

It's now Friday afternoon in NYC. I've been here two days, and I have had very little sleep.. it's raining and there is still so much to do.

I will be honest with you, saki blog. When I told the good people here of CTD/saki that I was attending CMJ this year, I proposed that take pictures and post stores on this here blog. I borrowed a camera, but as of yet do not know how to take the memory card and put it my computer. I possibly need a chord of some kind. I will be putting a better picture retrospective on this blog in a few days, but in the meantime I have taken some pictures with my iPhone 3GS. Apologies in advance.

Anyway, on with Day 1:

I got up at 4 AM from Chicago to catch a 6:45 am flight. I get into NYC around 10 AM.. but it takes until Noon to get from JFK to my friend's apartment in Park Slope. (ugh). I drop off my things, get a little settled and set off into Manhattan to get my CMJ badge.

One thing that I like about New York, is how walkable it is. I quite (and bike) quite a bit in Chicago, but things seem much more condensed in a place like NYC. For example, when I was trying to find directions to certain venues in Brooklyn, the walking from one place to another was six minutes. I clicked on the "public transport" tab in Google maps, just for kicks, and the directions almost in a condescending way tell me to just walk it there (thanks, Google).  Especially in Downtown Manhattan, it is my perception that pedestrians rule the streets - in Chicago it's always a battle between cars and pedestrians, almost to the point of "Death Race" style peril. But in NYC, people seem to walk where ever the hell they want to and when they want, because there is ultimately more of them than there are cars. I love this.

I get my CMJ badge and my bag of schwag (consisting mostly of flyers). As to be expected, there are several booths from sponsorship vendors, having little to do with both the music industry and/or radio, (Zipcar, Champion, Vitamin Water.. hey at least I usually purchase the latter before going to my radio show) I feel awkward and out of place, but I attend a panel on "reinventing your industry career" and move on.

I want to try to visit as many record stores as I can while in NYC, and since it was just down the street from the CMJ hub at NYU, I said hello to my buyer, Andreas, at Other Music. Contrary to what one my think of Other Music and their reputation, it's quite small and minimal. Also contrary to sales in other indie shops, even compared to the ones in Brooklyn, OM still sells quite a bit more CDs and than LPs.

I head back to Brooklyn for some downtime, and in the evening try to catch some shows. I begin my night at Glasslands, there is a showcase with Dum Dum Girls, and hot new UK group Savages.  We're about to sell their live EP 12" from the UK, and I am excited to hear more from this all girl, Joy Division-esque group. Unfortunately, it is the first road block I hit, because the line for this showcase is around the corner and up the block. (That's okay, I end up seeing Savages the next night.. more on that later.) Not knowing exactly where I wanted to go next, I decided to go with a random venue and spend the rest of my night there. I choose Brooklyn Bowl, which is a brand new squeaky clean venue - imagine the Bottom Lounge but with bowling, all in a carnival style. (eesh). Tonight is curated by blog of blogs, Hype Machine. The first group that's up is called the Neighbourhood, and I am underwhelemed by their bland, mainstream radio rock-ness. I stick it out for the next group, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, which ends up surpassing my expectations. This NZ trio (by way of Portland?), is a killer, thrashing combination of post-punk, krautrock and 80's NZ punk, much in the way of one of my favorite Chicago groups, Disappears.

I wish I could've stuck it out a little longer, but since I was up since 4 AM, and out solo, I head back to my lodging. I'm a exhausted and a little lonely, but looking forward to getting some sleep so that I may have enough power to head into Day 2. For some consolation, I do have a friendly cat named Wanda that keeps me company throughout the night.

All right, that's it. More trip and more pictures in Day 2, promise.

1 comment:

  1. Damn right! Wanna know how to cross a goddamn street? Ask a freakin' New Yorker. Cars shmars.


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