I'm going to tell you something upfront, in the name of journalistic trust: I live in New York City, and I did not participate in this year's CMJ Music Marathon. During this blessed annual event, hundreds of bands you've never heard of (don't even try, you've never heard of 95% of them), descend upon Manhattan and Brooklyn (and Queens? I don't even know) to play grungy Bushwick warehouses and mainstay Manhattan venues alike for 5 days straight. It's usually awesome. (I saw Purity Ring play at CMJ two years ago, which was pretty tight, if I do say so myself.)

This year however, yours truly had to make some bad life decisions and wound up getting strep throat last week. So I have literally nothing to report from the frontlines of the festival. But, as my friends know, having nothing to report has never stopped me from running my mouth before, so here we have it, 5 things that probably happened at this year's CMJ Music Marathon:

1. Some girl with a badge had a hissy fit when she couldn't get into a show: people spend hundreds of dollars (or get them for free, depending) to get an all-access pass to the festival's music and panel discussions. This girl probably got her badge for free because she works for a PR firm. She is like SO BUMMED that The Head and the Heart filled up to capacity because her ex-boyfriend put them on a mixtape for her once, and she's definitely not over him. And so, she spent ten or so indignant minutes flashing this badge and stomping the stilettos she had no business wearing at a standing room-only show, which only made the whole situation worse, with this bouncer and this line. The rookie mistake was not slipping the bouncer a twenty. Obvious.

2. You went to see a band whose name is not a real word and is always in ALL CAPS and were shocked to discover they sound nothing like CHVRCHES.

3. At least one person showed up at a Joanna Gruesome show expecting to see Joanna Newsom, but in a spooky-scary Halloween costume.

4. There was one DJ who spun nothing but chopped and screwed Master P records, and all the aging industry guys totally bought into it.

5. That band your friend Trevor heard was the band to see totally and completely sucked. You don't remember much because all the whiskey in the world wasn't mellowing out the yelling and the mosh pit and the emaciated guys in tank tops. You are pretty sure the word "obey" popped up more than once in the lyrics. You are pretty sure the band is all 14 years old. You woke up sweating booze because that's what Trevor made you do.


You know that saying about how too much of a good thing is not so good? Yeah, I obviously don't know it. But I think they're onto something. The point of CMJ is for people to discover new bands to love, right? And ostensibly, music journalists are doing the festival's work by spreading the gospel of good music. But, what if there was some band playing in a deep, dark corner of New York that totally rocked last week, but there were no music journalists there to cover it. Did it even make a sound? There is so much happening over the course of that week, and likely not everything is going to get attention, from journalists and fans alike. Everyone wanted to see The Dismemberment Plan. But what about the girl who played an acoustic set at that dingy bar on the Lower East Side at the same time? What if she was fantastic?

I guess we'll never know. But the beauty of it, just like in sports, there's always next year. Let's just hope that girl comes around again.

You can find Stephanie on Twitter: @MusicaholicAnon