Tanlines @ the CMJ 2012 artist announcement party
Here at CMJ we like to throw a party when good news is announced—so last night we held one to celebrate the announcement of the initial lineup of artists playing the 2012 Music Marathon. The Mercury Lounge in New York City played host to the event, offering partygoers an opportunity to be among the first people to find out who is playing this year’s festival. So check out the initial CMJ 2012 lineup, with plenty more updates to follow in the coming weeks.

The party was held in conjunction with Champion Athleticwear, the official apparel sponsors for this year’s event. Champion also revealed the official festival T-Shirt design at the Mercury Lounge show, which bears an illustration by designer and Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington.

CMJ’s Robert Haber played the role of MC, taking to the stage at 7:00PM to introduce the first band of the night, which coincided with the unveiling of the initial CMJ Music Marathon lineup. Sinkane—essentially the fleshed-out solo project of sometime Of Montreal/Yeasayer percussionist Ahmed Gallab—played first, orienting their sound around dub-based rhythms that gently lean into rock, all topped off with suitably oblique vocals. Expect great things when Gallab brings this band to CMJ Music Marathon in October.

A short break followed Sinkane’s set, allowing everyone to refresh their drinks at the bar. CMJ 2011 alumni Tanlines quickly followed, effortlessly building on the potential they’ve shown in sporadic live performances around the city, and ultimately capitalized on with this year’s Mixed Emotions LP. Their take on electro-pop shows an intuitive grasp of the genre, providing just the right balance of studied grooves and willful abandon. Tanlines’ between-song banter was almost as memorable as the music they produced—the duo even mentioned how they’d put a fan on the guest list who had tweeted them about accidentally buying a ticket for the wrong show at the Mercury. Now that’s social media in action.

The rows of nodding heads that greeted Tanlines ultimately headed off into the night after the final song rang out. But that’s just the beginning of the festivities for this year’s 2012 CMJ Music Marathon, which takes place October 16-20 in New York City. See the initial round of artists playing the festival and purchase a badge for the event.