The University of Iowa University of Iowa

2012 CMJ Music Marathon Dispatch: Wednesday

By Kendall McCabe & Max Johnson

KRUI’s music director Max Johnson and website editor-in-chief Kendall McCabe recently visited New York City to attend the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon and participate in the CMJ College Radio Day. Read about all their adventures in the Big Apple right here!

Max Kendall
“Bring it, CMJ!”


Kendall: On Wednesday, one of my favorite panels was “Non-Traditional Catalysts of Breaking an Artist”. The panel discussed tools like college radio stations, SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook, and how bands and management can use these to their advantage. The discussion definitely left me with a lot to ponder. Here at KRUI, we’re on the opposite end of things, booking in-studios and reviewing new albums. The panel reminded me of the hard work and planning that goes into promoting an artist before the CD ever comes in the mail here. Not only did the talk expand my view of the music industry as a whole, it reminded me how powerful college radio stations are all over the world in terms of breaking and promoting independent artists who might otherwise not receive much exposure.

Max: My favorite panel on Wednesday was “The Microphone and Pre-Amp”. I’m very interested in recording, and the panelists offered a lot of creative ideas. One idea I specifically liked that they discussed at length was using two different microphone sources. It was interesting to hear about using two microphones to record, while having one really compressed sound mixed with another mic with a clean sound.

Kendall: Wednesday night we visited Webster Hall to see Yukon Blonde, Hey Rosetta!, and The Jezabels. Hey Rosetta! kept my attention, though they did sound a little bit too inspired by the Arcade Fire, circa 2006. I liked that they had a violinist and cellist who added a really nice string texture to their otherwise standard indie-rock songs. The auxiliary percussion added a fun, jangly vibe which also aided the group’s compositions from slipping into monotony.

Australia’s The Jezabels played last and tore it up. As the band took to the stage, the crowd surged forward to better hear frontwoman Hayley Mary’s impressive vocal range in action. (My first thought? “Isn’t it dangerous for her to sing like this every night?”)

The band’s sound is a bit of a 90s goth throwback, but modernized to fit within today’s alternative music scene. The crowd was extremely entranced— if not simply by the music, then by the dazzling light show or perhaps even by Hayley’s subdued, Lady Gaga-style outfit.