I squished myself into the backseat and slammed the door of
Zack’s Prius. We were set out on the open road. With only one
destination, New York City. Oh, and Zack’s Grandma Sophie’s for
some breakfast sandwiches and lunch to go. The trip down re-
minded me of summer family vacations where you sleep most of
the way and are completely cramped in the backseat, but excited
for what lies ahead.
After 5 ½ hours of driving (with Zack pulling over outside the
Delaware Water Gap to pick up a chocolate turtle he dropped un-
der his seat) we arrived in Astoria, Queens, at Mike’s apartment
(former station manager), where we would call home for the next
The CMJ Music Marathon can be summed up in four simple
words: “What happened last night?!” From staying up until five
or six in the morning and then waking up and going to concerts
all day long, your nights become a blur. It’s a crazy life, but some-
one’s got to live it. And that was Pete, Zack and me.
Seeing over 24 bands live can be crazy. These are the basics I
learned about CMJ: 1. You’re lucky if you can shower (r to
dry your hair). 2. Always have your Metrocard at the ready so you
never look like a tool. 3. Take everything that’s free: stickers, T-
shirts, hotdogs, you name it. 4. NEVER drink a 5 Hour Energy at
midnight. 5. Always eat breakfast at Othello’s Deli on 24th Ave. in
Queens. 6. Never stand in someone’s way at a concert or you’ll get
punched in the nose (true story, I witnessed it). 7. DO NOT drink
too many liquids (cough cough, Pete).
My favorite concerts coincidentally occurred at my favorite ven-
ues. The first night (Wednesday) we went over to Santo’s Party
House which had disco balls in about every corner of the place
with a giant Santa above the stage in a space suit. What was con-
veinent about this venue was that there were two stages—one up-
stairs and one downstairs—which was perfect. That night, we saw
Tamaryn, DOM, Diamond Rings, Marnie Stern, Wild Nothing,
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and special guests, The Drums. It was so
exciting, the crowd was wild. Dale rocked The Beach Boys cover of
“God Only Knows,” really making it their own.
The Extra Lens at Mercury Lounge on Thursday was the most
entertaining concert I have ever been to. The music was amaz-
ing and beautiful, but what really made it was the commentary in
between every song. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats con-
stantly made the crowd roar with laughter.
By far, my favorite concert would have to be our last night at The
Bowery Ballroom, when we saw Neon Indian and Surfer Blood
(among many others). Neon Indian completely blew me away,
their sound was insane, the audience was in a dream-like trance.
So many other things occurred at CMJ, but you know how that saying goes,
“What happens at CMJ stays at CMJ.” Although I lost
two IDs, broke the zipper on my purse and lost a strap on my fa-
vorite pair of boots and never did get to eat at Mars 2112, it was
without a doubt something I will never forget.
Until next time, CMJ, <3.