10/21 at 8:35 p.m.; Drom, 85 Ave. A, nr. 6th St.; 212-777-1157
The West Coast hip-hop blog favorites behind standout mix-tape Church League Champions have a crisp, classic-era sound, best embodied on bubbly single “Mayor.” Also on hand will be Kanye protégé Big Sean.
10/21 at 9 p.m.; Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., nr. Bowery; 212-533-2111
We dare you not to bust a move when these Brooklyn boys break out their infectious disco-throwback tunes. Recommended if you’re looking for a full-on party, but note: These guys are serious funksters, so remember your dancing shoes, but leave your irony at the door.
10/21 at 10 p.m.; Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-5400
Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox has branched out with this side project of bedroom ballads. His sophomore album, Logos, is out this week, just in time to celebrate at CMJ. Also on the bill, which makes this show even more attractive, is U.K. electronic duo Broadcast.
10/22 at 8 p.m.; Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-260-4700
Because he hails from Montreal, it’s not often that NYC gets to see a live show by Polaris Prize–winner Patrick Watson. And it’s a shame: He’s been known to play unusual instruments (like a bicycle) that create a luscious atmosphere when layered with his romantic and soaring vocals.
Still Life Still
10/22 at 10 p.m.; Union Pool, 484 Union Ave., at Skillman Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-609-0484
The Toronto band is signed to Broken Social Scene’s Arts&Crafts, and their debut LP, Girls Come Too, is co-produced by BSS head-honcho Kevin Drew. That’s more or less the greatest co-sign Canadian indie rockers can get, and Still Life Still definitely deserve it: Their rollicking tunes feel like they’re fueled solely by good intentions, late nights, and cigarettes.
10/22 at 11:30 p.m.; S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick St., at W. Houston St.; 212-243-4940
Posner’s an unlikely candidate for the title of “mellifluous R&B crooner”: He dresses like a skateboard punk; he’s still in college (at Duke University, no less); he’s white. But mellifluous R&B crooner he is, and one with a major-label deal (with J Records/RCA) and a sense of humor (check out his underground hit “Drug Dealer Girl“), to boot.
Cymbals Eat Guitars
10/23 at 8 p.m.; (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., nr. Thompson St.; 212-505-3474
Staten Island’s most notable musical export since the Wu-Tang Clan, Cymbals Eat Guitars broke out with this year’s self-released debut Why There Are Mountains and are in the middle of a modest hype storm. Are they another Pitchfork-endorsed burnout, or the real deal? You decide!
School of Seven Bells
10/23 at 11:45 p.m.; Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-5400
It’s appropriate that the atmospheric electronica group named themselves after a mythical South American school for pickpockets, as they built themselves by nabbing members from groups On! Air! Library! and Secret Machines. Last year at CMJ their smoke machine broke, flooding the stage and making for one of the more memorable moments of the festival. This year, look for them to step up their game.
Dum Dum Girls
10/24 at 8 p.m.; Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-260-4700
The lo-fi act is really just one dum-dum girl, the enigmatic Dee Dee. She played her first show this summer, and has already jumped from local standout Captured Tracks to indie stalwart Sub Pop. Check her out before she leaps again.
The New Collisions
10/24 at 8 p.m.; The Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, nr. Bleecker St.; 212-614-0505
The New Wave–indebted Boston pop-rock act has been together for less than a year, but has already logged tours of duty with the B-52’s and Blondie, and you can see why in their ultraenergetic live show. Make sure to check them out them if you like fun.
CMJ’s not just for music; there’s comedy, too! For a light sprinkling, Dave Hill hosts and tells jokes at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase on 10/20. For pure comedy check out Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman, and SNL newbie Jenny Slate hosting a special CMJ edition of The Big Terrific on 10/21, a showcase of up-and-comers including Joe Mande and Sean Patton at The Gutter on 10/21 or Comix keeping A-list comedians on the DL with a Comedy Central Records Secret Show (with giveaways) on 10/22.