The 2012 New Zealand CMJ showcase kicked off the College Music Journal festival with a bang this year, rocking New York City's Le Poisson Rouge to its core on Tuesday night (local time).
The event featured Lawrence Arabia, Six60, Popstrangers, Ghostwave, Die Die Die and Tom Lark - and was attended by a more than 600-strong crowd.
"We are extremely excited to be here and to share our music with tons of new faces." Auckland trio Popstrangers said. "We just signed with Carpark Records and we're gearing up to release our new album on February 26th."
Major American media such as MTV, BrooklynVegan, Flavorpill and the New York Daily News were in attendance to check out some of CMJ's most talked about buzz bands.
Dunedin formed Six60 who have been touring the USA and Canada made a point of playing the CMJ Music Marathon. "What New Zealand band doesn't want to play a show in New York. We loved it! The gig was packed and we had a great night - definitely a highlight of our North American Tour," they said.
CMJ Music Marathon was introduced in 1980, with only a few venues around NYC as a way for industry professionals to discover new breaking artists in the college radio world.
Notable acts like Nirvana, Eminem, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arcade Fire have played at the festival in the past.
And while CMJ is still primarily focused on college radio the breadth of its influence is felt across the US music industry. Record labels, managers, bookers, publishers, music supervisors attend CMJ in order to keep their eye out for the up and coming new talent.
Matt Coleman - manager of Tom Lark - said "it's really great to be here in New York with the New Zealand contingency. There are 10 artists here - so about 50 people who have migrated over for the College Music Journal festival.
"I met with one of the CMJ editors, Lisa, in New Zealand a while back and she was very passionate about our country and it's music scene and was keen to bring over Tom Lark.
"So we've got a few shows and quite a lot of press and music industry from America coming out to support us this week. They've come along way over the last 18 months from recording in Christchurch to now their first trip to New York and we're very excited to see how the rest of this trip pans out!"
As CMJ gets underway, the New Zealand Music Commission has already launched one of the most buzzed about parties - and, with performances from the likes of Kimbra and Opossum still on deck, things are just getting started.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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