Plan accordingly: CMJ Music Marathon, the College Music Journal’s annual, week-long, Pabst-pounding melee of shows begins next Tuesday. In recent years, CMJ has become pretty uneventful yet remains a choke-hold on the below-14th music scene, with labels and promoters stacking their artists in predictable line-ups and no real breakout artists emerging each season (last year’s buzz band, the xx, was already solid in downtown esteem by then, and no artists came close to challenging them), but it still remains due pilgrimage for leftist university DJs and their ilk.
This year’s CMJ fest may prove a shot in the arm, though, if Brooklyn Bowl’s recent announcement is any indication. Yesterday, the venue announced the MOG music network’s free CMJ kickoff party, headlined by Jersey’s own Yo La Tengo. They’re playing in support of last year’s Popular Songs, so it should be a remarkable show; composer Richard Evans’ string sections were tremendous on the album, so it’ll be curious to see how they unfold live. Plus, Brooklyn Bowl and in a remarkably tinier space than their usual ballrooms--so be careful while lobbing gutterballs in the adjacent alleys, because you may just accidentally strike out singer Ira Kaplan.
Opening acts are mostly TBA but currently include Screaming Females, the adeptly named Garden State garage rockers led by wonderfully irascible Marissa Paternoster. No word yet if the menu includes New Wave hot dogs, but we recommend BK Bowl’s French bread pizza – and, since this show is gratis,getting in line approximately seven years early. M.I.A. taught us well.