on the record: 13 CMJ acts
by Fritswa Baffour, Laura Kusnyer and Jonathan Zeller, 10/06/2009
Photo: Kathleen Fox
New York City is a place where musical zygotes are born into genres. It was the base of American punk rock, with movement-defining bands like Television and Queens natives the Ramones. In the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and other pioneers developed hip-hop. And the City's clubs—from the late CBGB to newcomers like the Bell House—have always been some of the best spots to hear new sounds. While the entire city is a creative hotbed, these days, Brooklyn—from Greenpoint to Bushwick to Crown Heights to, of course, Williamsburg—is where rock is turning inside out at a rapid-fire pace, splintering into sub-genre after sub-genre.
We spoke with 13 up-and-coming bands and artists playing CMJ (College Media Journal Music Marathon)—mostly Brooklynites—to let them define their sound in their own words, tell us who's hot and guide us to the best NYC venues for live music. (Some bands had a bit more fun with their answers than others—we're looking at you, Das Racist!) We also spoke to Upper West Sider Chris Barron, lead singer of Spin Doctors—because, Brooklynite or not, when the guy who wrote "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" talks, you listen.