CMJ 500

CMJ published the CMJ New Music Report monthly and it was sent to the college radio station that I worked at while passing time between classes. It was big, it was glossy, and it had interviews with new bands that would be there for a moment and then disappear off the face of the planet for one reason or another.

CMJ held an annual conference in New York City every September. Bands would perform and you could go and watch different seminars with speakers. New indie movies would be shown. Some would see a wide release and some would just suck, hoping they didn’t even make it to the DVD market. Going to the CMJ conference was almost a rite of passage for people that worked at our tiny 10-watt radio station…”1 Watt For Every Finger You’ve Got!”

In the years leading up to the year that I went to the conference, it sounded like the entire station management team would go down, but the year that I went it was me, myself, and Jack. Looking back, it may have been a better idea for me to stay behind and let Jack go by himself. At the time, I was the Station Manager and he was the Music Director (I think) and we were both from the New York City area so we would know our way around the venues.

Something that should have tipped me off that this wouldn’t be a team-building exercise that we would be taking back a wealth of information to the radio station to make it a success, hoping to rival the in-town “Just The Hits!” station was the fact that we get to the hotel and Jack says, “I’ll see you in a couple of days.” Okay…so no going over the schedule and figuring out what keynote speakers we would go and see. Maybe we’ll cross paths and go over each other’s plans for the day.

Nope. Did not see Jack for the entire weekend, except maybe when he came back to the hotel to sleep at night. I would ask him how his day was and gave very dismissive answers, changing the subject. It was apparent that he had his own agenda and CMJ wasn’t part of it. Okay then, at least I would try and make the most of it.

Saw some great speakers, got a shit-ton of free merch from bands, and made a couple of friends so I wouldn’t fly the entire event solo. All in all a great experience, but I can see how the college administration thought it was a waste of time and money for our little station that barely reached a mile out of campus and into the local penitentiary. At the end of the conference, true to his word, Jack showed up and we headed back to school.

One of the nice things about the conference tab being picked up by the school is that some of the expenses (think meals and some incidentals) were picked up as well, as long as we had receipts. I religiously kept my receipts from the weekend and gave them to Jack for reimbursement. I think I totaled it all up to about $150. I never saw a penny of it. Jack kept making up excuses on where the money was. In hindsight, I think he got a check and “forgot” to give me my cut.


Rape MeNirvana2:48
I Am OneSmashing Pumpkins4:06
Touch Me I'm SickMudhoney2:29
I Wanna Be AdoredThe Stone Roses4:53
Indian SummerBeat Happening3:03
Igneous EjaculationJohn Zorn2:24
My PhilosophyBoogie Down Productions5:37
Dirty Blvd.Lou Reed3:31
LoreleiCocteau Twins3:41
Tear-Stained LetterRichard Thompson4:41
Take Me To The Other SideSpacemen 34:36
Slack MotherfuckerSuperchunk2:53
VeronicaElvis Costello3:09
Angel Of DeathSlayer4:52
Me Myself And IDe La Soul3:41
Devil's RoofThrowing Muses3:40
AnodyneUncle Tupelo4:48
Nothing Compares 2 USinéad O'Connor5:10
BlackPearl Jam5:45
Losing My ReligionREM4:27
The Power Of EqualityRed Hot Chili Peppers4:04
Heavenly Pop HitThe Chills3:27
GirlfriendMatthew Sweet3:40
John The FishermanPrimus3:36
Let Love RuleLenny Kravitz5:42
PossessionSarah McLachlan4:39
Godlike [Black Box Mix]KMFDM6:33
No BulbsThe Fall4:27
Keep On Movin'Soul II Soul6:00
The Downtown LightsThe Blue Nile6:27
I Love ParisLes Negresses Vertes3:13
Damn Right, I've Got The BluesBuddy Guy4:30
Good Morning, CaptainSlint7:38
Kool ThingSonic Youth4:06
TennesseeArrested Development4:33
Only ShallowMy Bloody Valentine4:16
Sad But TrueMetallica5:24
Fucking HostilePantera2:49
Would?Alice In Chains3:27
Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go DowntownJimmie Dale Gilmore2:52
Push Th' Little DaisiesWeen2:49
The ConceptTeenage Fanclub6:06
Little Fluffy CloudsThe Orb4:02
It's A Shame About RayThe Lemonheads3:06
ScenarioA Tribe Called Quest4:10
Thunder Kiss '65White Zombie3:54
Who Does She Hope To Be?Sonny Sharrock4:40
The Carnival Is OverDead Can Dance5:31
Big Sky CountryChris Whitley4:46
Runaway TrainSoul Asylum4:26
Rid Of MePJ Harvey4:27
CannonballThe Breeders3:34
Insane In The BrainCypress Hill3:32
In The MeantimeHelmet3:08
Nearly Lost YouScreaming Trees4:06
Ping PongStereolab3:01
Soul And FireSebadoh3:46
Mr. LovermanShabba Ranks5:38
C.R.E.A.M.Wu-Tang Clan4:13
Feed The TreeBelly3:27
She Don't Use JellyThe Flaming Lips3:40
Noel, Jonah And MeThe Spinanes3:22
If I Can't Change Your MindSugar3:17
LongviewGreen Day3:59
Round HereCounting Crows5:31
Ai DuAli Farka Touré7:07
Selling The DramaLive3:26
Johnny Mathis' FeetAmerican Music Club3:40
Live ForeverOasis4:36
CloserNine Inch Nails6:26
Old FriendLyle Lovett3:09
Big ThingsTed Hawkins2:40
Tin Cans & TwineTortoise4:21
No Pain No GainBuckshot LeFonque5:27
ZombieThe Cranberries5:07
KeroseneBad Religion2:42
Delia's GoneJohnny Cash2:18
Only Happy When It RainsGarbage3:57
Santa MonicaEverclear3:12
Sour TimesPortishead4:11
One Of UsJoan Osborne5:19
I Am A ScientistGuided By Voices2:25
Black Hole SunSoundgarden5:19
SabotageBeastie Boys2:59
You Oughta KnowAlanis Morissette4:12
Natural OneThe Folk Implosion3:09
So RealJeff Buckley4:39
Human BehaviourBjörk4:11
LumpThe Presidents Of The United States Of America2:12
Please Return ItPosies3:30
Everything ZenBush4:38
UntilCassandra Wilson6:27
Leviticus: FaggotMe'Shell Ndegéocello6:08
This Is A CallFoo Fighters3:54
Ashby ManCharlie Hunter5:17
More Than I Can DoSteve Earle2:37
PepperButthole Surfers4:43
Ready Or NotThe Fugees3:47
Naked EyeLuscious Jackson4:39