The kick off of this year's CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is today in NYC! The CMJ (College Music Journal) event, now in its 30th year, runs from today (Tuesday, Oct 19th) through Saturday night (Oct 23rd) and features so many different bands and artists and films (and workshops and music panels) playing at countless venues (mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn) that it is physically impossible to attend all of them. Thus, if you are attending this year's festival, you'd best carefully plan each day ahead of time. Here is the overwhelming list of all the artists to play over the next five days and here is the guide to the films screening.
Films include the documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, which is directed by Lev Anderson & Chris Metzler. The film tells the story of the unique Cali punk-funk outfit that is Fishbone (who are still around and gigging -- they played the DNA Lounge in SF last Thursday) and also covers the political and racial environment (namely Reagan’s America) during which they rose to fame. With members of Fishbone offering their insights, the documentary is narrated by Laurence Fishburne and also includes figures like Ice T, George Clinton, Flea, Gwen Stefani, Perry Farrell, and Branford Marsalis all offering their thoughts and stories. It screens at 4pm Friday at Norwood Private Club in Manhattan. Another film is the French language L’Enfant Prodige (The Child Prodigy) directed by Canadian Luc Dionne, which tells the true story of six-year-old child prodigy Andre Mathieu. He wowed concert halls in Paris, London, New York, and other major metropolitan centers around the world and was billed as the “Little Canadian Mozart” but when all was going well his story took a tragic turn. Screens at 10pm Thursday at Clear Cinemas on 23rd Street.
As a hip-hop fan I of course tend to gravitate toward the hip-hop shows. Though once not very well represented at this traditionally indie rock themed event, now there are a decent amount of hip-hop events that include Mickey Factz and GZA this year. One of the best all hip-hop shows this year is tonight's big retro (as in mid to late nineties) event with Boot Camp Clik crew's Buckshot, Sean Price, and Smif-N-Wesson, Pete Rock, Jean Grae, 9th Wonder, Pharoahe Monch, Strong Arm Steady, and Skyzoo and Illmind. This guaranteed-to-be-packed showcase is at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village tonight at 10pm.
For full listings of all the shows, films, panels, workshops etc. go to the CMJ official site, where you can register for about three hundred bucks. Pricey? Yes, but it's really good to have the CMJ badge if you take full advantage of all the offerings. However, you can pay to attend most individual shows without registering, such as tonight's aforementioned hip-hop show which is open to the public for $20 admission.