There are lots of things we love about indie artists here on OurStage. Their ambition, will-power and outright determination to do whatever it takes to make it are some of the things we admire most. But, personally, I think their sheer creativity takes the cake. Independent artists are constantly one-upping each other and themselves when it comes to the ways they create and promote their music. And, millions of bands later, one of the trickiest yet most defining decisions an artist makes is their name.
While perusing the CMJ Marathon schedule, I was impressed and even more so entertained by the band names making an appearance in New York this week. So, without further adieu, here are ten picks for artists not to be missed at CMJ based on absolutely nothing else other than the fact that their names are fantastic.
Sidebar: There are so many OurStage artists appearing at CMJ this year that we simply couldn’t list them. Listen to them all in one playlist on OurStage’s Facebook page! You can view the complete CMJ 2011 schedule here.
Because I appreciate the enthusiasm of the exclamation point. And also, Dad does rock.
Dubbed the Queen of Englewood by Lupe Fiasco himself, there’s no doubt Nikki Lynette‘s got Chi-town clout. But even Lupe knows that big talent finds its way past city limits. To date, Lynette’s opened for KRS 1, Gym Class Heroes and The Game, played SXSW and CMJ Music Festival and had her songs placed in ads for McDonald’s and Marlboro. Her allure lies in her chameleonic tastes, artfully blended into cool music for fun, cool people. With musical interests as diverse as Pink Floyd and OutKast, the singer/rapper/songwriter/producer leads listeners on a colorblind, genreless dance juggernaut through hip hop, rock and Motown. Loveless is a campy preachfest that leans and bobs to tribal street rhythms. Need a Man is a vintage jitterbug, sung straight and flirty, whereas the electro-grind of Don’t Say No, with its tachycardia beats is more forward-thinking. But it’s Now That I’m Fine that will really get the pulses racing. Hand claps and electric guitar plus Tony Basil’s Hey Mickey equals an insistent, grrrl power anthem that will keep the masses moving. Fans of Missy Elliott, Santigold, even Roger Waters will find something to dig. Long live the Queen.