If at first you don't succeed...

Each night during CMJ, music nerds and casual listeners alike grapple with a momentous decision: Where do I go? But your first question should be, Will I get in?

Tue 21

Not gonna happen…
Bowery Ballroom: Lykke Li + Friendly Fires + Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson + Micachu
Swedish popster Li and human buzz-generator Robinson helped sell out advance tickets; show up with a badge and you might get in.

Give it a shot…
Highline Ballroom: The Del McCoury Band + The Lee Boys + The Belleville Outfit
This folky lineup isn’t your average CMJ bill, but that’s just what makes it great.


Photograph: Eric Landmark

Wed 22

Not gonna happen…
Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza: Deerhoof + Flying + Experimental Dental School
Jagged art pop may not seem like the music of the masses, but Deerhoof has become inordinately popular lately—the band’s fans will be out in force tonight.

Immortal Technique

Photograph: Courtesy the Agency Group

Give it a shot…
Studio B: Dead Prez + Immortal Technique + M16 + NY Oil + Black Ice
This recently reopened space hosts what might be the best rap showcase at CMJ, and certainly the most politically charged, thanks to veteran headliner Dead Prez.

Oct 23

Not gonna happen…
Terminal 5: Coheed and Cambria
The popular prog band sold out a string of dates at this vast West Side club—don’t count on a feeble CMJ badge to woo the doorman.

Give it a shot…
Mercury Lounge: Pela + The Muslims + Frances + Blind Pilot + Hockey + The Vettes
Don’t sleep on the Muslims, a wiry San Diego quartet.

Oct 24

Not gonna happen…
Pianos: The Ruby Suns + Oxford Collapse + sBACH + The Dutchess and the Duke + Death Vessel + Cotton Jones
Your chances of squeezing into this stacked showcase from the venerable Sub Pop label are decidedly subpar.

Give it a shot…
Bowery Ballroom: Jay Reatard + Longwave + White Lies + Violens + Japanese Motors + SweetWater
You’ll get several chances to catch Memphis maniac Jay Reatard this week; this show features especially rich support.

Oct 25

Not gonna happen…
Mercury Lounge: Oakley Hall + The Rosebuds + The Broken West + Portastatic + Wye Oak + The Music Tapes
When indie heavyweight Merge—home of the Arcade Fire and Spoon—sets up shop in this intimate club, the line will stretch the length of Houston Street.

Ezra Furman

Photograph: Courtesy Minty Fresh

Give it a shot…
Fat Baby: Real Ones + Ezra Furman and the Harpoons + Marching Band + Fanfarlo + The Hong Kong Blood Opera
Promising singer-songwriter Ezra Furman has been flying under the radar…until now.

CMJ for dummies | Suggested itineraries