It’s that time again. Festival time. No sleep time. Spend all your money on beer, pizza, coffee and Red Bull time. See a hundred new bands you never new existed time. It’s the 2011 CMJ Music Marathon, the halfway point between right now and South by Southwest. Reverb is packing its bags and heading to New York. And we’re hanging with some of Denver’s finest — and hosting a day party this Saturday at Fontana’s (have you RSVP’d yet?). And aside from curing hangovers at Cozy Soup ‘N Burger, this is what we’re looking forward to most:
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: Caveman. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: Balkans. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: The Big Sleep. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: 1,2,3. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: Hands. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: Realmagic. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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A look at the artists playing the Reverb Party @ CMJ 2011: Flashlights. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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John Hendrickson, Reverb managing editor
Balkans – By far, the band I am most looking forward to seeing at our party on Saturday. Yeah, yeah, the Strokes comparisons are obvious — but it seems like there’s something more here that a lot of people are missing.
Crocodiles – One of the best bands I’ve seen at the Larimer Lounge this year. Sharp, fuzzy, loud and exuding New York cool (even though they’re from San Diego).
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So many friends and colleagues have told me to listen to this band, I’ve lost count. Ready to drink from the hype glass at their many appearances this week.
Yellow Ostrich – One of the better albums I’ve received in the mail at work recently. It’s a bit abrasive on first listen, but the quirky hooks are undeniable.
Cerebral Ballzy – Simply listening to this band will get you nowhere. From all I’ve seen/read online, it’s purely a live experience of garage-punk excess.
Kendall Smith, UMS event director
1,2,3 – I’ve been listening to this band relentlessly for 2 weeks. As a Cowboys fan, I say these Pittsburg gentlemen more than make up for the existence of the Steelers.
Weekend – I hear this staple of the burgeoning Oakland garage scene puts on a great live show.
The Grates – I haven’t seen these Aussies since they tore it up on the Red Rocks plaza at Monolith (R.I.P. – a moment of respectful silence, please). I love an energetic front woman and Patience Hodgson is surely that.
The Big Sleep – What a fortunate late addition to our showcase.
??? – That isn’t a band name. I look forward to stumbling on an incredible act I was previously unfamiliar with. Isn’t that a big reason we go to these showcases? For instance, at SXSW last year, I happened upon the Joy Formidable.
James Irvine, the Vinefield Agency, Reverb Party talent buyer
Trash Talk – This is possibly the angriest band I’ve ever seen (NSFW).
Caveman – Headliner of Reverb’s CMJ party. Expecting big things from this band in ’12.
Our Mountain – Aussies living in Brooklyn, playing some moody psych rock.
Grimes – “Cosmic Pop Deity”
Flashlights – My babies be dropping some new jams, off their unreleased second EP.
Chip Herter, DenverMusicPR, Reverb Party MC
Penguin Prison – I’ve only previously known his work as a remix artist, and I’m anxious to see if his original music carries the same lively dance vibe.
Purity Ring – Theirs is the music I would want to bring with me on a trip to outer space.
Tanlines – The sunny, synth-drenched music of this duo always makes me feel like I’m on a tropical island.
Born Gold – This band is an all-sensory spectacle to see live, and they manage to turn snow-shovels into instruments.
Chad Valley – Considering the anthemic nature of his music, this artist is an amazing one-man show.
Will Dupree, UMS operations manager, Reverb Party stage director
Fierce Bad Rabbit – Infectious indie pop.
The Photo Atlas – Roof-raising dance punk of CMJ veterans.
Megan Burtt – Beautiful, Lilith-esque folk rock.
The Foot – An updated take on straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll.
Portugal. The Man – A superb band from Portland by way of Alaska. I missed them at SXSW this year and have regretted it ever since.
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