Coming Soon: CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival

At Over 75 NYC Venues and Locations, the College Crowd is the Target of CMJ’s Annual Music and Film Event


From Oct. 20 through Oct. 24, the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival will take place at more than 75 different venues in NYC, including a New York University (NYU) headquarters location. The CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival began in 1980 and has hosted renowned bands such as Nirvana, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire, and has been a means for some fledgling bands to get noticed by big names in the music industry.

According to CMJ’s Web site, it is “the largest and longest-running music industry event of its kind.” The film festival has also held advance screenings of films such as “Borat,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Fight Club.” Despite having to fill its own big shoes again, the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival shouldn’t disappoint.

According to the Web site, over 1,200 artists are scheduled to play this year. The lineup includes Virginian grindcore metal band Pig Destroyer, a band well-known among metal-heads and described as “intentionally confrontational and thoroughly pummeling” on the Relapse Records band page. Also playing will be The White Tie Affair, a danceable pop-punk band that has opened for Lady Gaga and could be described as a combination of Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, and hair gel. Matt Ortiz, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’12, is a big fan of The White Tie Affair’s live performances.

“They have a very good energy and know how to improvise,” Ortiz said. Pitbull, Midnight Juggernauts, Obits, and Pela are other notable artists that will be performing at the festival, but are still only a small fraction of the entire lineup.

Fans of Modest Mouse or The Shins should make sure to check out the indie-famous rock band Cymbals Eat Guitars (led by frontman Joe D’Agostino, FCLC ’10). The Cymbals Eat Guitars album “Why There Are Mountains” received a respectable review on, with a rating of 8.3 out of 10 under the best new albums category. Indie fans should also make sure to check out the hundreds of upstart indie bands looking to make a name for themselves.

“CMJ is a great way to discover your new favorite band,” said Thomas Wanielista, founder of, a music discussion Web site.

In addition to discovering new music, attendees of CMJ 2009 will also be introduced to several new independent films and will be sure to enjoy the short film contest.

This year’s film festival will feature “The Messenger,” directed by Oren Moverman. The film is about Will Montgomery, played by Ben Foster, an Iraq War veteran who narrowly escapes death in combat and is subsequently assigned to work with officer Tony Stone, Woody Harrelson, as part of the Casualty Notification Office. On one of his assignments, Montgomery meets the recently widowed Olivia, Samantha Morton, and a connection develops between them. With the help of Tony Stone and Olivia, Will Montgomery gains a fresh outlook on life, and according to the CMJ Film page, “the film reveals itself as a surprising, humorous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival.” The film will be showing at 7:30 p.m. at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd Street at 8th Ave., on Oct. 23 and will be followed by a Q&A session with Oren Moverman, Woody Harrelson and some others.

The CMJ Music Marathon is geared toward college audiences and listeners of college radio; most of the 120,000 fans are college students. In addition to the music performances and the film screenings, the festival will host College Day 2009 on Oct. 22 at NYU and will include discussion panels and the College   Radio Awards.

Tickets for the entire CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival are $495 for general admission and $295 for students; the last day for pre-registration is Oct. 16. Students can register at Cheaper tickets are also available to those who are interested in only attending the film festival. Volunteer opportunities are available on the Web site as well and may be a cheap way to catch some cool shows. More information—including artist schedules, film listings and venue locations—can be found on CMJ’s at