Ah, CMJ. That wonderful time of year when people shell out over $500 on a "badge" that will give them access to a head-ache inducing line-up of shows, most of which they probably won't even be able to go to because a) it's CMJ and b) it's CMJ? Paper's here to help with our guide on what to check out over the next few days. Check out the full, official schedule here.
HeliotropesTuesday, Oct 16th
If You Have a Badge: OFF!, the supergroup of aging punk dudes fronted by Keith Morris, will be playing at Terminal 5 or check out folk rockers The Mountain Goats (they are, unfortunately, not a band of mountain goats) at The Bowery Ballroom.
If You Don't Have a Badge: See the Greenpointers x Permanent Wave x Campers Rule CMJ Showcase at Public Assembly featuring some psychedelic rock bands like Heliotropes, Leda, Starlight Girls, and more.
Totally Not Worth It (They'll Be Back In a Few Weeks!): The crazy loud, post-punk band Metz is playing tonight at the Cameo Gallery, but they're going to be playing shows at Mercury Lounge and the Knitting Factory this time next month. See them then, without the long lines and crowds.
The Party Scene: Check out Oh My Rockness' 8th birthday party at Cameo Gallery showcasing 80's-esque electro-pop act Chrome Canyon along with dream pop acts Mood Rings and Heavenly Beat.
Wednesday, Oct 17th
If You Have a Badge: Local Natives are headlining the Champion showcase tonight at the Bowery Ballroom, playing their first show since 2011. They'll be playing material off their latest album, set to drop in early 2013, and have flown all the way from sunny California just for CMJ. This may be a crowded event, but if you really love Local Natives with every inch of your bod, this is worth seeing.
If You Don't Have a Badge But Are Willing to Wait in a Long-Ass Line: The vampy 60's girl group-throwbacks, Dum Dum Girls, are playing at Glasslands Gallery as part of the Stereogum & PopGun showcase. Flying Lotus and Death Grips are also playing this night for free at Le Poisson Rouge.
The Party Scene: Check out those weirdo French-Canadian kids Braids along with garage-pop band Maus Haus and bunch of other indie groups at the free Tell All Your Friends party at Pianos.
Thursday, Oct 18th
If You Have a Badge: See LA-based garage-rock royalty King Tuff be a bad, bad, bad thing as part of the Sub Pop CMJ showcase. The always lovely Eleanor Friedberger will also be gracing the stage at Mercury Lounge.
If You Don't Have a Badge: Gorilla v. Bear and Forest Family are hosting an unofficial CMJ dance party at 285 Kent featuring super indie acts like Kilo Kish, TOPs, Diana, and more.
Totally Not Worth It (See Her The Next Night!): Popstress Sky Ferreira at Bowery Ballroom. For $5, just catch her Friday night at the CMJ Showcase at Santos House Party. Ferreira's latest album Ghost (which is set to be more of a departure from her past electro-pop fare) drops Tuesday.
The Party Scene: Rad indie label Mexican Summer is throwing a "Downton to Get Down" party at 286 Bowery with a DJ set by Airbird a performance from the Atlanta-based band Mood Rings, and another live special guest TBA.
Angel HazeFriday, Oct 19th
If You Have a Badge: Catch young rapper Angel Haze at the Mass Appeal Showcase. We predicted this summer that this self-assured rapper ("Shit I was probably god in my first life," she claims on her track "Jungle Fever") was gonna be big.
If You Don't Have a Badge: Check out the free Pitchfork showcase sponsored by Topman at Villain to see Joey BadA$$, DIIV, Death Grips and more. Make sure you pick up tickets at the Soho Topman on Wednesday and Thursday to get in!
The Party Scene: Head to Le Bain at The Standard for the Urban Outfitters + Making Time Party featuring live performances from Tanlines and Blood Diamonds as well as a DJ set from Dave P. and Sammy Slice.
Saturday, Oct 20th
If You Don't Have a Badge: See Chromeo and ?uestlove presented by Myspace at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.
Totally Not Worth It (LOL, Like You'd Even Get In): Kimbra playing Webster Hall at 12:00 am. As an official "highlight" of CMJ, the chances of you waiting in line outside for a century are pretty high. She didn't have to cut you off...
The Party Scene: Check out the Converse Rubber Tracks Live Celebrates: Fool's Gold Five Year Anniversary party featuring Ghostface Killah, A-Trak, Flosstradamus and more.