CMJ Is Way More Fun When You’re Badgeless, Broke, and Young


It’s that time of the year again: South By Southwest’s mean, jealous sister to the North, CMJ, is upon us. There’s little sunshine, no margaritas, no tacos and yet, the thing can be a blast! Musicians and writers and industry folk from all over the planet are in NYC for under a week, giving Austin’s live music reputation a run for its money.

Let’s not forget that the CM part of the equation stands for College Music and yet, for young brilliant minds under the age of 21, navigating the isle of Manhattan and whatnot can seem daunting. In truth, being young and stoked on new music is the best thing in the world when you have some guidance. Here’s what to know and where to go.

See also: How To Maximize Your CMJ Experience

1) YOU DON’T NEED A BADGE. Like most large festival conferences, you can totally see the best bands and go to the best parties without shelling out a couple hundreds. Know where to look! Our own Concert Calendar is a great place to start, and aggregators like Oh My Rockness are pros at listing age regulations and whatnot. If you’re unsure, go to the venue’s website or call/tweet them! No harm in being engaged.

2) Understand that not having a badge means you need to show up on time. That is, if you’re attending official / buzzy showcases. Everyone and their mother knows that the Pitchfork showcase on Friday is unofficial and at an all-ages venue, but that doesn’t mean you should show up right before your favorite act. You need to be timely. This is also the best way to get turned on to something you never thought you would: sitting through unidentifiable opening acts can actually be rewarding!

2.) ALCOHOL: We’re not condoning underage drinking here (wink wink), but If you’re gonna drink, do so from the comfort of your own home (or hotel room, etc.) While there may be open bars as far as the eye can see, don’t risk getting kicked out or banned from a venue, especially if you live around here. It’s not worth it.

3.) Have your priorities in line. Especially if your underage and broke, the band you might want to see the most could be playing 18,000 times, but only once at an all ages space for seven dollars. Nothing is worse than missing something or someone you really care about.

4.) Let’s be totally honest, unofficial showcases are often the best because if you wanna really discover new music, you know the best place is from the underground. If you can’t get into shitty 21+ clubs you’re often inspired to throw your own events and what not (exclusivity promotes community), which makes the environment of DIY spaces more inclusive and fun. Don’t fret if, like, Converse isn’t sponsoring all the events you attend.

Here are some all ages and cheap show recommendations (NOTE: all are in the Williamsburg/Bushwick areas of Brooklyn, mostly because these areas are able to host all ages DIY spaces more so than Manhattan.) All easily accessible via the L train and all, like, way more fun than you’d have at a bar on the Lower East Side or whatever:



Gimmie Tinnitus & IPSUM Mag Unofficial Showcase @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) $8
Low Fat Getting High
Big Ups
Vulture Shit
Hive Bent
A Guide to Rational Living

Campers’ Rule Records Official CMJ Showcase @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) $8
8:00 Spirit Plate
9:00 Radical Dads
10:00 Norwegian Arms
11:00 Caged Animals
12:00 Hippy

Force Field PR CMJ Showcase @ Ran Tea House (269 Kent Avenue)
8:00 – 8:25pm Weaves
8:35 – 9:00pm Geoffrey O’Connor
9:10 – 9:40 Body Parts
9:55 – 10:25 Free Time
10:40 – 11:10 Celestial Shore
11:25 – 11:55 The History Of Apple Pie
12:10 – 12:40 Joanna Gruesome
12:55 – 2:00 Super Secret Guest!


Father/Daughter Records @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street)
6:30 Running in the Fog
7:15 Mutual Benefit
8:00 Flagland
9:00 The Everywheres
10:00 Bent Shapes
11:00 Body Parts

Portals + S&S Unofficial CMJ Showcase @ Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Avenue)
8:00 Daniel Klag
8:30 The Interest Group
9:00 Gem Trails
9:45 Emily Reo
10:30 Special Guest
11:15 White Poppy

Panache Booking CMJ Showcase @ Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue)
7pm Onwards
Sim Twig
U.S. Girls
Saint Rich
Jacco Gardner
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Newtown Radio Unofficial CMJ Party @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street)
8:40 Calvin Love
9:20 Christines
10:00 Mood Rings
11:00 Young Braised

Terrible Records / Purple Party @ Ran Tea House (269 Kent Avenue)
9:00 Texture
10:00 Diamond Terrifier
11:00 Sick Feeling
12:00 Regal Degal
1:00 Kirin J Callinan

SHOT! CMJ Showcase Afterparty w/ Perfect Pussy, Total Slacker, Sisu, Hunters, Tweens, Lodro @ Secret Loft (announced day of show) BYOB
Saint Pepsi (dj set)
Weekend Money
Kitty (dj set)
Salomon Faye
Kristina Tequila (dj set)
Surprise Guest


My Social List CMJ DAY Showcase @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street)
12:00pm – 6:00pm
Calvin Love
Jamaican Queens
Ava Luna

Impose, Terroreyes, The Needle Drop Unofficial CMJ Showcase @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) FREE
8:00pm Doors
Billy Woods
Wreck and Reference
YC the Cynic
Guardian Alien
Odonis Odonis

Panache CMJ Showcase @ 285 Kent Avenue
7:00pm Doors
Big Ups
Calvin Love
Speedy Ortiz

Hardly Art CMJ Showcase @ Death By Audio (49 South 2nd Street) $8
8:30 Rose Windows
9:15 Lost Animal
10:00 The Moondoggies
10:45 Hausu
11:30 The Beets


Gimme Tinnitus + X4EYEZ Unofficial CMJ @ Cloud City (85 North 1st Street) $5
7:00pm Doors
Psychic Blood
The Flag
Bleeding Rainbow

Pitchfork Unofficial CMJ @ 285 Kent Avenue $10
8:00 Eleanor Friedberger [Solo Set]
9:00 Courtney Barnett
9:45 Perfect Pussy
10:30 Priests
11:15 Joanna Gruesome
12:00 Speedy Ortiz
1:00 Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Gigawatts/Black Bell/Last Place Tapes Unofficial CMJ @ The Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Avenue) $10
7:00pm Doors
Slonk Donkerson
Sweet Bulbs
Total Slacker

This showcase is actually $12 if you have a badge so, you know, unofficial life forever.


Exploding In Sound Records + Friends Unofficial CMJ @ The Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Avenue) $7 + FREE PIZZA
Speedy Ortiz
Kal Marks
Two Inch Astronaut
Grass is Green
Bad History Month

Sugarmamabk Unofficial CMJ @ 94 Evergreen (Backyard Party) Free/Donations
N y t y l y
Honey Wild
Sun Club

Pitchfork Unofficial CMJ @ 285 Kent Avenue $10
8:15 Mas Ysa
9:15 Huerco S.
10:15 Jahiliyya Fields
11:00 The Range
12:00 Traxman
1:00 Kelela
1:45 Ryan Hemsworth

Arbutus Records CMJ Party @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) $10
Agatha Dimm
Special Guest
Solar Year
Lydia Ainsworth
DJ Empress Of
DJ Paula
DJ Maria Minerva

Carry on, young go-getters! Use your fresh eyes and unweary spirits to discover and enjoy yourselves! Lord knows more agism is the last thing this industry needs. Remember that you probably have better taste than all of the curmudgeons out there combined, and that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

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