CMJ Roundup 2013: Courtney Barnett, Claire, Joanna Gruesome And More

We — that is, The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali and TAS/UKNY's Kara Manning — survived the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon last week. From October 15-19 we ran around the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village and various spots in Brooklyn, clutching our badges, and saw as many sets as possible. Here's a CMJ roundup of the bands that we liked best or found most memorable, like Claire, Courtney Barnett, Joanna Gruesome, Public Service Broadcasting, Landshapes, TorresTiny Ruins and more.

Iron And Wine, Calexico And More Tapped For FUV's Holiday Cheer

Well, here's something to feel cheery about!  Iron and Wine and friends like Calexico, Nick Lowe and others to be announced will headline FUV's annual Holiday Cheer benefit concert on December 10 at the Beacon Theatre. Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 18 at 12 p.m. ET via Ticketmaster and at the venue.

Barbarossa: TAS Tour Diary

Barbarossa, the London-based electronic producer James Mathé, balances his solo work with his role as a touring member of Junip. In August, Barbarossa released his handsomely soulful album Bloodlines via Memphis Industries. The Alternate Side asked Mathé, who has been touring the States with Junip this fall, if he'd keep a tour diary of his September swing through Germany, which involved misplaced rucksacks, memorable gigs and sauerkraut.

FUV Live At CMJ 2013 Showcase On October 15

New York's CMJ Music Marathon begins today and for a second year, WFUV and The Alternate Side will host our own showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, tonight, October 15, from 5-9pm at Rockwood Music Hall. This year, we'd like you to discover an international quartet of groups and artists that we're pretty excited about: LuciusClaireSaint Rich and James Bay.  The entire showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too. There will be a rebroadcast of the showcase on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, October 18, at 10 a.m. too.

Claire: FUV Live At CMJ Artist

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Making their way from Munich, Germany to the Lower East Side, the members of the synthpop band Claire will mark their U.S. radio debut when they play WFUV and The Alternate Side's CMJ Music Marathon showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, on October 15 at Rockwood Music Hall from 5-9pm. The lineup also includes newcomers Lucius, Saint Rich and James Bay. Every set of the showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too.

James Bay: FUV Live At CMJ Artist

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Meet British singer-songwriter James Bay, one of four newcomers tapped for WFUV and The Alternate Side's CMJ Music Marathon showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, which takes place on October 15 at Rockwood Music Hall from 5-9pm. Our lineup also includes Lucius, Claire and Saint Rich. The entire showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too. James Bay told WFUV and The Alternate Side about his CMJ picks ... which includes a slice of New York pizza.

Saint Rich: FUV Live At CMJ Artist

Saint Rich will be a part of WFUV and The Alternate Side's CMJ Music Marathon showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, on October 15 at Rockwood Music Hall from 5-9pm. The entire showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too. We caught up with Saint Rich's Steve Marion — also of Delicate Steve fame — and he gave us the lowdown on his CMJ picks and plans. 

Lucius: FUV Live At CMJ 2013

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Next Tuesday, October 15, WFUV and The Alternate Side will host our own showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, at Rockwood Music Hall from 5-9pm. Our lineup of artists is eclectic and international in scope: Lucius, Claire, Saint Rich and James Bay. The entire showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too. One band doesn't have to travel too far to the Lower East Side — Brooklyn's own Lucius. FUV and The Alternate Side caught up with Lucius' Jess Wolfe to discuss her hopes for this year's CMJ ... and what other bands she's excited to see.

CMJ Music Marathon 2013: FUV Live At CMJ Showcase On October 15

Next week, the annual band-a-palooza of New York's CMJ Music Marathon commences and for a second year, WFUV and The Alternate Side will host our own showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, on Tuesday, October 15, from 5-9pm at Rockwood Music Hall. This year, we'd like you to discover an international quartet of groups and artists that we're pretty excited about: LuciusClaireSaint Rich and James Bay.  The entire showcase will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, streaming online too.

The Naked and Famous: Five Essential Albums

The Naked and Famous might have relocated from Auckland, New Zealand to Los Angeles, but the tirelessly touring quintet likely spends more time living out of suitcases. Last week the group released its second album In Rolling Waves, a lush, synth-driven tsunami, guided by the affecting vocal exchanges between singers Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith. Since The Naked and Famous are headed to the New York for gigs at Terminal 5 on October 10 and 11 (you can enter to win tickets here), The Alternate Side asked TAS in Session alumnus and nice guy Thom Powers if he'd reveal his Five Essential Albums for us. 

Savoir Adore: Essential Dance Tracks

Last October, Savoir Adore played a terrific set as part of WFUV and The Alternate Side's very first CMJ showcase at the Living Room. Fast foward eleven months and Savoir Adore's Paul Hammer, Deidre Muro and their bandmates will play their biggest headlining show to date in New York this Saturday, September 21, at Music Hall of Williamsburg (and tix are still available). Since FUV has its own Rock Your Body dance party coming up at Webster Hall on October 5, we asked Savoir Adore's Paul and Deidre if they might share their "essential" dance tracks with us. They quickly came up with eight cool selections ... including one '80s classic that they cover as part of their set.

Flume: Five Essential Albums

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Australian electronic artist Flume represents, along with duos like Disclosure and AlunaGeorge, a fresh, kinetic wave of dance music that looks towards more experimental artists like Flying Lotus for inspiration. Flume, real name Harley Streton, had an impressive Aussie hit with his 2012 self-titled debut album.  Since he returns to New York next week, September 11, for a gig at Webster Hall (and you can win TAS tickets here), it seemed a fine tiime to reach out to Flume for his shortlist of Five Essential Albums.

Rock Your Body With FUV And TAS At Webster Hall On October 5

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In the words of Stephen Colbert's beloved Daft Punk, why not lose yourself to dance? FUV is throwing a dance party at Webster Hall on October 5 from 7-10:30 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit the station you love. Join FUV's Rita Houston and Corny O'Connell and The Alternate Side's Russ Borris and Alisa Ali who'll switch DJ duties all night long. Tickets are just $35 and are on sale now.

Willy Mason: Five Essential Albums

Blues, country and folk aficionado Willy Mason is a recent Communion Records recruit and Carry On, his first album for that label, is released today in the States. The native New Yorker will celebrate his August 20 release day with a gig at Rockwood Music Hall tonight. Since Willy Mason has a strong affinity for musicians representing the roots of Americana, many far more seasoned than his 28 years, FUV and The Alternate Side asked him to select his Five Essential Albums.

Samaris: Five Essential Albums

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Over a year ago, the Reykjavík trio Samaris was cited by NPR Music as representing the "sound of young Iceland"  — likely younger than most since all three members were still teenagers. A compilation of the band's two EPs and remixes, called Samaris, was finally released last week on One Little Indian. Intrigued by what outside elements might have led to Samaris' stormy sea of stillness on songs like the stunning "Góða Tungl" ("Good Moon"), The Alternate Side asked Samaris vocalist Jófríður Ákadóttir for her Five Essential Albums.

Ethan Johns: Five Essential Albums

Ethan Johns is an acclaimed, Brit Award-winning producer — he's collaborated with Laura Marling, The Vaccines,  Kings of Leon and more — but he's never released his own solo abum until this year. Johns' debut, If Not Now Then When?, is finally released in North America tomorrow, July 30. He's marking the occasion with his first New York show at Rockwood Music Hall on Tuesday night too.The Alternate Side asked Ethan Johns to list his Five Esssential Albums and he came up with a classic and contemporary mix that shines with deft guitarwork and aching lyrics.

Kisses: Five Essential Albums

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Los Angeles duo Kisses, who play New York's Mercury Lounge this Friday, July 19, make smart, slinky electro-pop, perfect for indie discos everywhere. Their second album, Kids in LA, came out in late May via Cascine. Yes, choosing a moniker like Kisses is undeniably cute — they're even engaged — but there's a lachrymose angle to the band's sparkling songs. When The Alternate Side asked Kisses' Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson if they'd write up their Five Essential Albums, we expected '80s-era dance nuggets, but Kivel's choices revealed a far more eclectic record collection.

Ghostpoet: Five Essential Albums

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Uneasy electronic beats frame Ghostpoet's introspective songs of disquiet, a haunting style that earned the London producer and singer a Mercury Prize nomination for his 2010 debut, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam. His new album, Some Say I So I Say Light, was released in the UK in May and in the States an EP, Meltdown, is available now. The Alternate Side asked Ghostpoet, real name Obaro Ejimiwe, if he'd tell us about five of his essential albums.

Said The Whale: TAS Tour Blog

Vancouver indie rockers Said the Whale have toured with Stars, won a prestigous 2011 Juno Award and have a brand new EP, tenderly christened I Love You, but nothing prepared them for the disappointing tacos, stellar ice cream, desert beers and Vegas debauchery of their swing through the West Coast last month. The Alternate Side asked Said the Whale's Tyler Bancroft to keep a blog for us and he did, even discovering a marvelous bit of Beastie Boys history in Los Angeles.  

The TAS Staff Picks Our Top Albums And Singles Of 2013 ... So Far

Wait, where did the last six months go?The Alternate Side staff, swimming through the .WAV files, MP3s, CDs and vinyl records that arrive daily, is slightly astonished by the abundant bounty of good music released this past winter and spring. Our lists for faves of 2013 — so far — barely scratch the surface. But TAS has selected some notable albums and singles that came out during the first half of 2013 (Stateside or internationally), including releases from Savages, Daft Punk, Phosphorescent, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Kurt Vile, Jagwar Ma, Jon Hopkins, Laura Mvula, Waxahatchee and much more. 

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