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CMJ starts in two weeks and if you are or were involved in college radio, then you know exactly what I am talking about. If you aren’t then get ready, because it is one glorious week for music. The music marathon starts on October 15th and goes through the 19th and takes place in venues all across Brooklyn and Manhattan. There are loads of up and coming bands, with a few better established bands mixed in along with conferences about the music industry for people to attend. To attend CMJ was a dream of mine when I was a college radio DJ, but since I lived in Colorado, I could never make it work. This year however, my dream is coming true and I will finally get to experience what CMJ is all about, and cover it for CampusRiot. The line-up of bands is absolutely amazing this year and includes The Head and the Heart, Father John Misty, and my latest obsession The Fleeting Ends.

There are tons of bands playing though, so I thought I would highlight some of the ones that I am stoked to see (aside from the ones I just mentioned.) It was hard to choose, but here are a few that I absolutely cannot wait to catch.


Drowners is a NYC based band fronted by British model Matt Hitt. I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Arctic Monkeys a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to see them again. I have been playing their three song EP Between Us GirlsĀ on repeat all summer, and I cannot wait for their debut album (which should be coming in January.) If you’re a fan of brit-pop and new wave sounds, then you will definitely want to check out Drowners.

Real Estate

Real Estate released their debut album the fall semester of my freshman year of college and nothing takes me back quite like “Beach Comber.” In my opinion, it is a perfect song, and I have been trying to see them live since I first heard the album. Unfortunately I have always been in the wrong place at the right time and have always missed them. This year is my chance though. And I will not be missing them if I can help it.

Small Black

If you are a fan of low-fi synthpop, then Small Black is the band you need to see. You can’t help but dance, and the band is great live. They released an awesome second album Limits of DesireĀ earlier this year and I cannot wait to see the new tracks live.


Here is my shout out to Fort Collins. I have to show some love to a band that comes from the same town as me, but regardless of where they hail from I would show love to SHEL no matter what. These sisters are seriously impressive and their alternative folk-pop sound is something that everyone should have the joy of experiencing.

Are you attending CMJ?