By E.J. Judge

The CMJ Music Marathon returns to occupy New York City for another week in October full of music and some insightful panels; there is literally something for everyone. But with hundreds of bands performing at dozens of venues all over NYC and Brooklyn, it is scientifically impossible to catch all of them. Chances are pretty slim that you will even be able to check out all of the artists you WANT to see as well.

We’ve decided to help. Here is short (VERY SHORT) list of bands you should see while CMJ is in town from October 16-20. It’s a nice mix of big names and local artists, something the music festival ties together very well each year.

Sky Ferreira

sky ferreira 420 5 Must See Artists During CMJ 2012
Source: YouTube

Making the move from electropop to a more “Blondie-ish” sound, Sky Ferreira expects to release her first studio album by the end of 2012 following the success of two EPs, As If! and Ghost. If New York City isn’t familiar with Ferreira yet, they most likely will be by the end of the week; she’s playing FOUR shows during CMJ. Of all the artists you must see this week, Sky Ferreira will be one you won’t be able to make an excuse for if you miss her.



The Hollows

the hollows 1 5 Must See Artists During CMJ 2012

Photo provided by Britannie Bond/Big Picture Media

For those of you into the folk sound of yesteryear, The Hollows shoot you forward into the present with one of the most lively and energetic shows from any artist in New York City. You’ll sing, dance and become best friends with everyone in the room (including the band).

Catch The Hollows during CMJ:


More from The Hollows on

Asher Roth

asher roth 420 cmj 5 Must See Artists During CMJ 2012

Source: YouTube

Asher Roth came to prominence after his party anthem “I Love College” said what every undergrad was thinking and doing; let’s be as reckless as possible but still find a way to graduate. That was in 2009 and Roth is still tearin’ it up in 2012. He’ll be a part of a showcase featuring hometown hip hop royalty from the Wu-Tang Clan, Gza and Ghostface Killa. Q-Tip, Killer Mike and many others will be on hand as well.

Asher Roth at CMJ:


Lily & The Parlour Tricks

lily parlour tricks 1 5 Must See Artists During CMJ 2012

Photo courtesy of Big Picture Media/Lily & The Parlour Tricks

Lily & The Parlour Tricks is another local band with a flair for fun and working hard; they’ve been known to perform up to three shows a night. Did we mention they like to sip on whiskey while they play? They do that, too.

Aside from seeing them perform, you’ll probably want to be friends with them as well (DRINKING BUDDIES).



More from Lily & The Parlour Tricks on


kimbra 420 5 Must See Artists During CMJ 2012

Source: YouTube

You may be tired of Gotye‘s “Somebody That I Used To Know” by now, but without it many of us would not have been introduced to Kimbra. She’s bubbly, fun and has a killer voice, making her one of the must-see artists during CMJ 2012.

Kimbra at CMJ:


Other Artists of note performing CMJ this week:

GZA (of the Wu Tang Clan performing his album “Liquid Swords”), Space Hog (yes really!), My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (whaaaa?!), Ben Gibbard (swoon!) and Iconapop (I LOVE IT!) PLUS Nina Sky, Local H, 12th Planet, Aarabmusik, The Presets and much, much more! Details at

While you’re out and about this week, be sure to follow @CMJ on Twitter for all important updates and info.

And we’ll be updating you on all of the shows and performers we see this week during CMJ 2012, so don’t miss out on any of that!

2011 CMJ Coverage On



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