Sunday, October 25, 2009

CMJ Music Marathon

The CMJ Music Marathon is part of an annual showcase of music and film held in famous New York City venues. For the past 29 years, the event has been host to a wide array of performers from Johnny Cash to Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth to Regina Spektor, and David Byrne to Santogold. While its earlier events have included underground hip hop, CMJ has traditionally placed its focus towards rock musicians, and in the past few years predominantly on indie rock. This year, however, there was a large attempt to incorporate a bigger selection of rap and hip hop into the marathon.

The article that I read from the New York Times discussed the various issues that came up with many of the hip hop artists that performed (or were scheduled to perform) at CMJ. Reception from the audience was less than accepting, and multiple artists no-showed the event for various reasons. The idea of widening fan bases and exposing artists to new demographics is undoubtedly an intelligent one, but in this case, it seems as though that there was insufficient (or incorrect) research performed in order to support pushing as many hip hop acts as were presented.

This article essentially tells me to not be overambitious in attempting to broaden the fanbase of an artist, or to make an event with a defined audience more appealing to people with different tastes. Here is the NY Times article and the CMJ Music Marathon page.

Hip-Hop at CMJ, All Cities and Types

CMJ Music Marathon

-Bill Ross

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