The Juan MacLean Kick Acid-Techno Ass, Almost Make Up For CMJ’s Endless ‘Issues’

self-titled ignores Santos’ ‘no photos’ rule to score a disco inferno shot

Text/Photos by Andrew Parks

While our beloved CMJ Virgin had a hell of a time at the ‘Red Bull lounge’ on Tuesday night, it took the rest of self-titled‘s staff all of 10 minutes on Wednesday to realize why we skipped CMJ last year. See a more thorough explanation here, but suffice it to say that we feel horrible for anyone that spends $495 for an official CMJ badge–money that ought to be spread between a handful of must-see shows and a lot of dranking … if that’s your kind of thing. If it isn’t, you could probably buy tickets to five solid bills and save hundreds, all while spending the rest of your time at parties that are free to begin with.

Nothing like licking a laser to prove how nü-rave you are

Ironically enough, the one show we got into yesterday–outside of Women and Takka Takka at Red Bull’s suprisingly-subdued spot–was a badge-free affair, meaning you weren’t getting in without being on a guest list or paying the cover charge. That said, we’d rather pay $10 to see the Juan MacLean absolutely kill it than spend $20 on cabs after being told “no more badges” at a couple key venues. Before 9 p.m., mind you, which is also the time a couple hundred people lined up outside the Stones Throw showcase, essentially closing that one off for the rest of the night as well.

Some advice, then: Don’t head into CMJ hoping to hop from venue to venue, discovering clusters of new music. This isn’t South by Southwest, after all. Do pick one show a night and stick to it. Hopefully, it’ll have a moment as transcedent as the hard techno climax of “Happy House” at Santos last night …