Next week, New York City will be overrun -- you know, more than it already is -- by some 120,000 music fans and 1,200 musicians and groups, as the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival rages from Oct. 20-24. Much like South By Southwest and other music conferences, CMJ includes the usual seminars, panels and music-business networking, along with parties and showcases where up-and-coming acts vie for attention and hopefully advance their careers.
Pittsburgh has a strong delegation at this year's event. Kicking things off on Oct. 20 are MC Wiz Khalifa (8 p.m., SouthPaw) and the classic-rock-influenced band 28 North (9:45 p.m., Ace of Clubs). Oct. 22 finds Drugdealer unleashing the spastic riffs (9:30 p.m., Fat Baby) along with a set by Meeting of Important People (10 p.m., Bruar Falls showcase), recently signed to Authentik Artists. On the heels of their recent release, In the Impossible Tension, Good Night, States plays Oct. 23 at Alphabet Lounge (9 p.m.).
At least, this is what I was able to discern from the long, long list of acts approved to play at CMJ proper -- death-metal outfit Complete Failure is also rumored to perform, and there may be others. The copious unofficial showcases and parties surrounding the main event are a total wild card. There are a couple of surprises as to bands who aren't going -- among them Donora, who you'd expect to be working the scene on the strength of its Rostrum Records debut.
Best of luck to all concerned -- have a great time while the rest of us burn with envy. For more info, visit www.cmj.com/marathon.
This Friday, local modern-rock band Crashing Metropolis celebrates the release of its debut album, I Hope I Haunt You. The title track -- and much of the album -- is evocative of melodic post-grunge, with stabbing, saturated guitar riffs; poppy melodies; soaring, nasal vocals; and heavily AutoTuned backing vocals. It's a mix of old-time-rawk brawn and plastic music that takes some getting used to, but that might be more in step with the times than you'd think (witness Attack Attack!).
The band -- composed of vocalist Mike Geary, guitarist Michael Kesneck, bassist Mark Grode and drummer Jeff Skalyo -- seems pretty much on the money for the WXDX airwaves, from whose playlist the band seems to have drawn its influences.
Crashing Metropolis' CD release show -- and costume party! -- is at 10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 16 at Altar Bar in the Strip District, and features Far From Sunday, Phil Santos Band and 90 Proof. For more info, visit www.crashingmetropolis.com.