By Rya Backer
It’s that time of year again — that time of year when music lovers the world over congregate in the hipster throes of the East Village, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg to celebrate all things indie rock and open bar. It’s the time of year when, within a week, bands can break out or break up — and all the while, get handfuls of free stuff. Ladies and gents, it’s the CMJ Music Marathon.
I’d conservatively estimate that 90 zillion unsigned bands from all genres have played this week. One of the bands we here at MTV News have really gotten a kick out of is Boston — OK, Cambridge — act Passion Pit. Despite having only been around for a year (one of their members joined about two months ago), they’re poised to be 2008’s CMJ success story.
We decided to follow them around for the day to get a feel not only for what CMJ has to offer (lots of plaid, Sparks), but also to see what it’s like to be a band showcasing itself for the first time at what’s become one of the music industry’s most esteemed annual events. Between interviews, meeting fans both old and new, and playing their very enjoyable and intense live sets, the guys seemed completely taken aback by all that’s transpired in the past few days — in the most endearing way in the world. And this is only the beginning for the quintet; after this week, they’ll embark on a (albeit brief) national tour with Yelle and play with the Faint and Kool Keith in Anaheim come November 3.
I’m not even going to venture a frame of reference as to whom or what they sound like, but if you like handclaps, synthesizers, fun and/or joy, you’ll probably take a shine to them. That said, it would behoove you to see what they have to offer right here, so you can say you heard them way back when.