Another late October and another CMJ come-and-gone. NYC is exhausted, still trying to recover from a week's worth of assorted free drinks and endless amplitude. Our collective ears still ring, but its all good, because we can sort of remember CMJ. That said, it's safe to say that if there was a band who "blew the fuck" up at CMJ this year, it was probably Surfer Blood. This was sort of predicted, considering the storm of blog love/record deal signing/all sorts of other shit the band received after their visit to Brooklyn two months ago. The xx were probably the second most blogged about band during CMJ, which makes sense, but sort of isn't fair because, well, the xx have long been megadarlings of the NME set in the UK. To be honest, it wasn't that exciting a CMJ, probably due to the speed of information Twitter-holics (I myself included) and blog rats post on new bands, good or bad. If anything CMJ was a catalyst, barometer or deal breaker for band's who had enjoyed a bit of hype before things actually kicked off here. Harlem, Small Black, the Smith Westerns, Best Coast, Real Estate, Dum Dum Girls joined the xx and Surfer Blood in the category of groups we knew would have a successful CMJ. Maybe we're just cynical and old, or maybe it's because nearly all of them have received an immense amount of (un)noteworthy hype in months prior and recently been signed to significant labels, but, all in all, for the most part, each and everyone of them seemed to make the best of their stay in NYC. Throw Suckers, Sharon van Etten, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Javelin, Cold Cave, Neon Indian, and a dozen more I'm too fuzzy to remember into the mix and it was a pretty damn good year for bands at CMJ. Doesn't seem like any pre-recorded beat problems, excessively boring live show or sound guy problems marred anyone's career, especially considering the xx, known for being, uh, quite dull in the live setting, were one of this year's biggest success stories.
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