In 2004, Arcade Fire were the new buzzband everyone wanted to see at CMJ Music Marathon. In 2013, Arcade Fire were the bunch of Grammy-winning millionaires who ruined it. That’s really saying something, too, because in reality, no one actually cares about CMJ. For most people, attending a CMJ show typically inspires the same enthusiasm as getting a dental cleaning. It’s an increasingly irrelevant music tradition that, much like a new sitcom about two buddies who live together in the big city, still seems to come around every October, whether people want it or not.
The story is that Arcade Fire came in during this year’s CMJ and played a show, leaching away all the people who may have gone to performances by all the indie groups. Arcade Fire doesn’t need the exposure. The whole point of CMJ is to promote these indie groups.
But they’re right. I haven’t paid attention to a CMJ show for 10 years…which is when I went. I got to see The Rapture on the height of their House Of Jealous Lovers wave, and also got to check out I Am The World Trade Center. I have fond memories.
But CMJ isn’t for me anymore, and things have changed a lot in 10 years.