Well, it can’t feel very good to work at CMJ right now. Sure, they’re used to people organizing unofficial day parties and all sorts of things, but this is a bit much: Pitchfork has just announced #Offline, a “music festival” taking place at Brooklyn Bowl October 21-23—Thursday through Saturday of this year’s Marathon. Somewhere around a dozen bands will play starting at 2pm each day, and tickets are $10/day. The full lineup is here, but highlights include Dave Sitek, Times New Viking, Dom, Cults, Marnie Stern, Small Black, a DJ set by Avey Tare, and a million other things lots of people seem to like for reasons that are unclear to me.
The craziest thing about this is that there’s literally no mention of CMJ in Pitchfork’s official announcement, which seems an awful lot like a fuck-you. CMJ’s had it’s issues, of course, and it seems like every year, someone’s saying, “It’s the worst year ever,” but something about this doesn’t feel quite right. It’s not the fact that they’re seemingly going after CMJ that’s troubling—it’s that they’re reaping the benefits of CMJ, at least insofar as it’s the main reason a lot of the bands are in town, but then presumably not letting any badges in, forcing kids to cough up more money than they (or their schools) already have. It’s not like they need the help of CMJ to pull off something like this—they clearly have the clout to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and on whatever scale they want—but by pretending CMJ doesn’t even exist, the whole thing feels a bit opportunistic.