By Uncle Blurt
50 gazillion Elvis fans can’t be wrong, so naturally at least 50 hipsters can’t possibly be right – right? Hard to say – long-running, and occasionally venerable, though sometimes tarnished, annual NYC music confab CMJ (aka the CMJ Music Marathon) is reportedly on the rocks, based on reports from both Pitchfork and Stereogum. Admittedly, those respective arbiters of contemporary urban music and chic indie cool make their bones on breaking rumors, but if you check both outlets’ reports, it does appear that CMJ ain’t happening this year. Traditionally, CMJ takes place at multiple venues one week in October.
Each are noting that they’ve contacted multiple booking and promotion agencies, and have been told that none of those agencies have been booked for CMJ this year; NYC hotels are also being cited as not listing any relevant music biz bookings for the projected time frame of CMJ. Tellingly, there’s also the little matter of this, adds Pitchfork: “The CMJ website also hasn’t been updated in months…. The CMJ publication and social media presence have been dormant since June.”
There’s also that nagging matter of the sale of CMJ a few years ago, a subsequent lawsuit, and a projected rival festival (with the unfortunate name of Mondo – c’mon, guys!) being put together by the originators of CMJ. Hmmm….
More than a few BLURT staffers and contributors have been regular attendees at CMJ over the years, and most of them have admitted that it long ago lost its lustre. Those of us who attended in the ’90s, in particular, continue to harbor fond memories of the event’s salad days. Still, it would be a shame to lose it – but not if it continues to be a source of bad blood among industry people.
Read that Stereogum report closely, by the way – it absolutely nails things.