By Angela Karl, Entertainment Editor

Misterwives at Bowery (the Herald / Angela King)

Misterwives at Bowery (the Herald / Angela King)

Although New York City has a reputation for exploding with immense talent, the College Music Journal Music Marathon brought access to more than 1,400 artist performances across the City, including the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

This year the event was held Oct. 15 through 19 and more than 80 music venues, clubs, and theaters opened their doors for up-and-coming performers, vying to be the home of the next great musical act.

With 33 years under its belt, CMJ has opened the door for thousands of performers. This has led to the discovery of numerous such well-known musicians as Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, Regina Spektor, Paramore, and Vampire Weekend. Occasionally, high profile performers will play to the crowd greater than 120,000 people, like how Lady Gaga did in 2008.

CMJ shines as an example as discovered talent. Some of the artists and bands to be on the lookout for include:

Dan Croll at Mercury Lounge (the Herald / Angela Karl)

Dan Croll at Mercury Lounge (the Herald / Angela Karl)

– Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Classified as an indie-pop/rock band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.was founded by entertaining front-runners Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott. Later the two added drummer Mike Higgins and keyboardist Jon Visger. The energy on stage at Brooklyn Bowl was rivaled only by that of the crowd. Epstein yelled to fans, “Honestly I think that this is the best crowd we’ve had this whole tour, so thank you.”

–  Dan Croll,  a young and talented British singer/songwriter also lit up the stage. Croll attended Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and during his time there won the national Songwriter of the Year award from Musicians Benevolent Fund. Further adding to his crediblity, Croll was one of eight students picked to have a one-on-one with Paul McCartney. With his charismatic boyish charm and equally talented band members, this is certainly an act to have on your radar.

–  A self-described “Urban-Indie”, the sound of NONONO combines vocals with electronic music. Formed in 2012, the band played for a packed crowd at the Manhattan club Westway. Attendees almost never stopped dancing during this band’s energetic performance. The blend of electropop caters to a wide audience while remaining true to their intended sound of “melancholy, yet hopeful with a bassy beat oriented foundation.”

–  Misterwives also came out on top. A soul-packed hard to define band, Misterwives incorporates indie-pop/rock/jazz within their sound, sang by vocal powerhouse Mandy Lee. During their performance, each member appeared to be having the time of their life. Energy, enthusiasm, and joy were felt from offstage and rocked the crowd. The talent and stage presence helped make Misterwives one of the best bands of the music marathon.

Lucius at Brooklyn Bowl (the Herald / Angela Karl)

Lucius at Brooklyn Bowl (the Herald / Angela Karl)

Along with the outstanding artist discoveries made within CMJ Music Marathon, there was a surplus of panels held and regulated by industry professionals. Some of my personal favorites include: “The Death of A&R” with speakers Jamie Farkas (member of VICE), Michael Goldstone (“A&R legand” and President of Mom + Pop Music), and David Jacobs (experienced New York music attorney).

This panel discussed industry differences between indie and major labels (which seemed to offer more flexibility for the artist with an indie label), the evolution of A&R as technology has advanced, and tips for spotting talent.

Showing a sign of the times, “Walk With Me: Mobile Takeover”, a panel that discussed the change in music discovery in the year 2013, identified 77 percent of music Site’s online traffic being mobile usage. While many of the panelists agreed cell phones can be an unfortunate distraction during concerts, they agreed smartphones are here to stay. Panelists discussed what’s next for the future of music apps, with ideas of band apps dedicated to allowing their fans to make donations or buy merchandise on their phones.

A negative side effect of apps such as Bandsintown, the number one concert discovery application, is people are soon bombarded with alerts of other bands the program suggests to the user,  leaving them overwhelmed and sidetracked, and thus, unable to truly a musician’s work. However, Randy Nichols, Music Industry Strategist for Bandsintown, claims if an artist is truly talented, they will rise to the top.

Regardless which artist may end of topping sales charts, the College Music Journal Music Marathon put the spotlight on upcoming talent on the rising music scene.


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