As it does every fall, the CMJ Music Marathon came to New York City last week. They don't call it a marathon for nothing: For a band, performing in the festival can mean playing 10 shows in five days. For a fan, the choices of what to see are daunting and distant. Alabama Shakes might be playing on Delancey Street, while Teen is in Brooklyn and The Lonely Forest is playing KEXP's Showcase at the Ace Hotel, 20 minutes away. For music journalists, it's hard not to wish you could clone yourself to take it all in. In the end, the best way to have a rewarding CMJ experience might be to talk with a friend whose taste you trust.
On this edition of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen sits down with two New York journalists: Maura Johnston, music editor for The Village Voice, and Sydney Brownstone, a writer and videographer for The L Magazine. Together, the three pick a dozen favorite acts from this year's CMJ, while sharing stories of their disparate journeys through the festival.