The annual CMJ Music Marathon starts on Tuesday 16, bringing five straight days of shows by stars and strivers alike, at all hours of the day and night, both on and off the beaten path. How can anyone possibly navigate it all? The truth is that you can’t—which is why we’ve prepared this shortlist of the acts you won’t want to miss this year, with an accompanying Spotify playlist below. As ever, watch timeout.com/newyork/live-music for news of secret events and late-breaking bookings.
RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to the CMJ Music Marathon