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CMJ 2013: 5 Acts You Can’t Miss

Yuck
John Bergman

The CMJ Music Marathon brings together up-and-comers and music veterans making their comebacks, and from Oct. 15 to 19, hundreds of bands will flood venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn, competing for the time and attention of critics and fans. It’s a lot to take in and plan for, and in advance of the festival, we’ve made this list of 5 acts you can’t miss. There are probably 500 more, but hey, a person’s gotta sleep.


 
 

Yuck are no stranger to CMJ, but the band is back with a new album, 'Glow & Behold.' Now playing without frontman Daniel Blumberg, the group welcomes guitarist Ed Hayes, who rounds out the new lineup. Max Bloom has now taken over the lead vocals, and it seems like not much has changed about the lo-fi, shoegazey rockers' sound. And with singles like 'Rebirth' and 'Middle Sea,' it's obvious Yuck are back and ready to show us what else they have up their sleeves.

Yuck are playing:
10/17 - 12am - Glasslands Gallery
10/19 - 12am - Mercury Lounge

 

Heliotropes

 
 

If you're looking for a show that will blow your mind and possibly your eardrums (in a good way, of course), Heliotropes is the band for you. Composed of bassit Nya Abudu, drummer Cici Harrison, vocalist (and tambourine player) Amber Myers and lead singer and guitarist Jessica Numsuwankijkul, the Brooklyn quartet are full of distorted sounds, but they also have a tenderness that comes across in Numsuwankijkul and Myers' voices, and that makes for an interesting set. Opening for bands like Esben and the Witch and the Ravonettes earlier this year, they recently released their first album, 'A Constant Sea,' which has earned praise from critics. Songs like 'Quatto' and 'The Dove' may take you dark places, but you won't mind.

Heliotropes are playing:
10/18 - 9pm - Union Pool
10/19 - 9pm The Grand Victory

 

Courtney Barnett

 
 

If anyone gets to be called 2013's CMJ breakout kid, it's Courtney Barnett. The 25-year-old Australian singer-songwriter brings us back to lo-fi music reminiscent of the Byrds or David Crosby, and her dreamy, retro-California sound won her an APRA Song Of The Year nomination in Australia. Pitchfork named her single 'Avant Gardener' one this year's best new tracks. If you'd like to be whisked away to a chill and easygoing place, Courtney will take you there.

Courtney Barnett is playing:
10/15 - 11:30pm - Pianos
10/16 - 7pm - Mercury Lounge
10/16 - 10:15pm - Glasslands
10/17 - 12am - Mercury Lounge
10/18 - 5pm - Pianos
10/18 - 9pm - 285 Kent
10/19 - 6pm - The Delancy

 

The Band in Heaven

 
 

In the mood for some dream-pop? Then check out the Band in Heaven from West Palm Beach, Fla. The quintet has been grabbing attentions with their trippy videos and summery music. Heavily influenced by author Ray Bradbury, the band will make you forget that summers over with tracks like 'Dandelion Wine,' 'Does It Show' and 'Breaths,' off their latest release, 'Caught in the Summer Swell,' which dropped last month.

The Band in Heaven are playing:
10/17 - 10:45pm - Pianos
10/18- 12:30am - Parkside Lounge
10/19 - 12:25am - SPiN

 

Gang Of Youths

 
 

They're not a household name quite yet, but Gang of Youths have been causing a buzz on the blogopshere. They've been likened to everyone from the Walkman to Jim Morrison, and having recently moved from their hometown of Sydney to Nashville, they're a reminder of why we ought never forget about the land Down Under. The guys have yet to release an album, but they boast on their Facebook page that they deliver ‘EMOTIONAL-ASS, 10-TRACK CONCEPT ROCK’ on stage. 'Evangelists' is a testament to this statement and will make you want to hear more.

Gang of Youths are playing:
10/18 - 9:45pm - Cake Shop
10/19 - 8:45pm - Lit Lounge

 

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