Veteran music critic Jon Pareles took in the CMJ and his dispatch on that “long battle of the bands” in today’s New York Times is soothing and comprehensible. He informs us that “In the 21st century it’s more important to draw listeners to a Myspace or iTunes or Emusic page than to find a limited-edition vinyl manufacturer,” adding to the contented sighs of us alte kakers, “as in the ’80s.” The multi-site college music festival “offered its share of conceptual, college-circuit electropop,” but “Roisin Murphy, an Irish pop-electronica update of Annie Lennox of Eurythmics… had snappier songs and richer arrangements.”
Pareles finds it “perpetually amazing how many collegians are eager to relive their parents’ musical childhoods,” and muses. “Perhaps, during an intractable war and an economic decline, both the psychedelic late-1960s and the punk and disco 1970s don’t seem so distant.” He also uses “same as it ever was.”
This brought back fond memories of our own CMJ experiences in the 1950s. For contemporaneous accounts, visit Sound of the City and, as the kids say, scroll down. Don’t be scared — they also cover Juliana Hatfield and Mission of Burma.