"The Bots rocked my daytime. A guitar-drums duo like many, but with the kind of youthful, carefree charm that Jimi Hendrix exuded." - Bob Boilen
"Jacco Gardner was way too young when The Zombies recorded Odessey and Oracle in 1968, but it sounds like he was a fly on the wall. Gardner is a 20-something from the Netherlands making music with digital harpsichords. Such fun." - Bob Boilen
"Shark Week sounded great back home when I saw them in D.C., but sound even better in less-charted waters." - Bob Boilen
"Keep a look out for this dreamy D.C. pop duo, Gems in 2014." - Bob Boilen
"Eleanor Friedberger, performing a live noon set for KEXP, at the Judson Memorial Church in New York. Madly love her words." - Bob Boilen
"James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) at right introduced a decoy band of costumed characters called The Reflektors, shortly before Arcade Fire appeared on a different stage." - Bob Boilen
"A bit pixilated, but these are the masks the decoy band members were wearing when they rolled up in a limo for the show. Everyone thought they were members of Arcade Fire, but were they?" - Bob Boilen
"Australian singer Courtney Barnett. I saw her three times during the festival and couldn't get enough of her. One of my favorite performers." - Bob Boilen
"This may be the best new thing for me at CMJ: complete with robot voice, banjo, samples, drums, and film... and they rock. It's the multimedia group Public Service Broadcasting." - Bob Boilen
"Brolos with Jimmy Carbonetti of the band Caveman." - Bob Boilen
"This guy fell asleep next to one of the speakers at a Yuck show. Toward the end, Yuck guitarist Max Bloom helped the man to his feet, strapped his guitar over the man's shoulders and walked him to center stage. The man staggered a bit before falling down head over heels. And so ends another CMJ." - Bob Boilen
1 of 12
Every fall, hundreds of bands flock to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon, a large festival where independent, new and emerging musicians hope to be discovered. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was among the countless journalists, bloggers, college radio DJs, record label reps and others who attempted to navigate the sea of live performances, hoping to find new music to love and share.
On this week's show, Bob's joined by music critic Maria Sherman and WSPN's Becka Schwartz to talk about and play some of their favorite discoveries out of the hundreds of shows they saw, including D.C. punks Priests, British multimedia duo Public Service Broadcasting, rockabilly singer King Dude, '60s-era soul from Nick Waterhouse and many more.
Hear The Songs
Song: Leave Me Alone
from Tape Two
Music critic Maria Sherman shares this cut from Priests, a group from Washington, D.C., that Sherman describes as "a female-fronted, arty proto-punk band," reminiscent of the District's bustling '80s punk scene.
Our Favorite Discoveries From The 2013 CMJ Music Festival
Song: Nerve Endings
from Nerve Endings
Becka Schwartz from WSPN in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., joins the show and brings with her a song from the British rock group Eagulls (not The Eagles). "Nerve Endings" is driving Brit rock with a Billy Idol-sneer.
Australian singer Courtney Barnett's brand of hazy pop has melancholy, but sweetly endearing lyrics. "Avett Gardener" is a fun jaunt with an off-the-cuff, stream-of-consciousness story.
Where Will You Go
Song: Where Will You Go
from Cabinet of Curiosities
Another discovery from WSPN's Becca Schwartz, Jacco Gardner's "Where Will You Go" is a mysterious, dreamy pop wonderland.
Maria Sherman rediscovered why she loves this band so much at this year's CMJ festival. Weekend's latest album, Jinx, is a mix of swirling, shoegazy guitars. But "July" is one of the brighter, poppier tracks.
An innovative British multimedia duo, Public Service Broadcasting, was one of Bob's favorite surprises from CMJ. The band borrows clips and audio samples for public service announcements and infomercials and turns them into music.
Arcade Fire played by far the most popular show at CMJ, so we thought it was a good excuse to share the title track from the band's upcoming new album, Reflektor. It's got supremely danceable synths, a writhing bass line, and a cameo by David Bowie.
Though the group was without one of its founding members (Daniel Blumberg, who left to form Hebronix), Yuck proved with its performances at CMJ (and new album, Glow & Behold) that the band is as strong as ever.
As the group's name implies, Shark Week is a fierce, surfy rock band with a lot of charisma.
from Sincerely Sorry
One of the more surprising acts at CMJ, The Bots are an L.A.-based duo featuring young brothers Anaiah and Mikaiah Lei. Though just 20, Mikaiah plays guitar, bass, keys and sings in the group, while his 16-year-old brother Anaiah handles percussion and background vocals. Their sound is not too far removed from The Black Keys or The White Stripes, but with a bit more R&B influence, and a dash of Jimi Hendrix thrown in.
The History of Apple Pie
Song: Don't You Wanna Be Mine?
from Don't You Wanna Be Mine?
The History of Apple Pie had by far the best band name at CMJ, and their sound is super raw.
Margot MacDonald is yet another artist from Washington, D.C. who stood out at CMJ. She makes her unique sound by layering live vocal loops with percussive beatboxing.
Speed of Sound
Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers
Song: Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers
from Weird Sister
One of the most talked about bands of the entire week, and a band we've featured on All Songs Considered, Joanna Gruesome was a big splash at CMJ, with a raucous, raw sound and a charismatic lead vocalist in Alanna McArdle.