Bay Area songwriter Tim Presley has made a name for himself collaborating with a who's who of modern psych—including Ty Segall and Foxygen. See him bring his jangly, Kinksesque project, White Fence, to CMJ in support of a new solo record, For the Recently Found Innocent—a move away from the relentlessly lo-fi aesthetic of his earlier work.
Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ boasts a smoother-than-most flow, plus a fine line in mellow beats and keys. At this CMJ showcase, he headlines with his homegrown Pro Era posse in anticipation of his forthcoming second album, B4.Da.$$ ("Before Da Money"). Opening are stoner-rap local Smoke DZA and Long Beach spitter Vince Staples.
Dramatic Detroit postpunks Protomartyr mine a sensuous yet visceral vibe on their recent Under Color of Official Right, which has quickly become one of the year's most talked-about releases. The group brings its brooding intensity to CMJ, with a pair of gigs backed by its label, Hardly Art, as well as a Brooklyn Vegan party at Baby's.
My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way moves past the legacy of his old group and dispenses with some (and only some) of his gothy trappings, stepping out on his own with a poppy new disc, Hesitant Alien. Way's Webster Hall gig, one of the most high-profile of the fest, follows tonight's non-CMJ Irving Plaza gig.
Dream Police, a new side project from two members of local indie-rock faves The Men, plays fuzzed-out face melters that make the members' main outfit look tame by comparison. The group promotes its upcoming Hypnotize LP at a CMJ showcase for its label, Brooklyn staple Sacred Bones. Also playing are woozy West Coast neopsych group Moon Duo, goth-folk luminary Marissa Nadler and trippy bedroom-psych act Amen Dunes.
Garagey local rock & roll mainstays—and Time Out New York faves—Nude Beach play music that weds classic-rock sensibilities to punk's raucous energy, resulting in a sound that's sort of like Tom Petty–gone-DIY. Check 'em out as they support a brilliant new double LP, 77, in the middle of a crowded no-cover CMJ showcase.
Purling Hiss specializes in feverishly noisy garage punk, nodding to everything from Sonic Youth to AC/DC and burying its creations under an avalanche of fuzz. Here, the Philly crew headlines a fun-sounding day party sponsored by indefatigable DIY show-recordist NYC Taper, followed by an after-hours Baby's hang the next night.
After a round of reunion gigs at festivals, the most appropriately named shoegazer band of the early '90s heads to CMJ for more nostalgic dream weaving. Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell float their opium vocals over sun-on-lake guitar shimmer. They'll mostly draw from their seminal album, Souvlaki, though we'd love to hear them show off the crystal minimalism of Pygmalion.