10 Must-See Shows at CMJ 2010

Ghostface Brings Out Raekwon, Brand Nubian at CMJ Show

CMJ's 2010 festival and conference is officially underway from today through Saturday (Oct. 23), and along with the little-known acts who are angling to become the next Sleigh Bells (last year's breakout band of the fest), there are plenty of bigger names -- from Wu Tang Clan's

PHOENIX/THE DIRTY PROJECTORS

When: 10/20 at Madison Square Garden

Why: A CMJ show at MSG surprised us, too, but the massive gig fully cements Phoenix's famedom beyond hipsters and car commercials. Dirty Projectors' harmonies will inspire awe, while its beats will inspire grooving in the stands.

Buzz Opener: Wavves

FREDDIE GIBBS

When: 10/22 at Glasslands, 10/23 at Brooklyn Bowl

Why: The Gary, Ind. native wants to bring gangster rap back into vogue, and the gritty beats and bleak verses on latest EP "Str8 Killa" proved that he might actually be able to do so.

Buzz Opener: Ty Segall

SURFER BLOOD/NEON INDIAN

When: 10/23 at Bowery

Why: They were last year's massively hyped bands to watch at CMJ, but now-major-label signed Surfer Blood and chillwave leaders Neon Indian have made it to the head of the class.

Buzz Opener: DOM

LISSIE

When: 10/22 at Hiro Ballroom

Why: The Illinois singer/songwriter (real name: Elisabeth Maurus) earns regular raves for her covers of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness" and Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," but the live versions of her originals from debut album "Catching a Tiger" should be just as captivating.

Buzz Opener: Dylan LeBlanc

DAS RACIST

When: 10/21 at Santos Party House

Why: Don't be fooled by the stoner-friendly simplicity of "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell." This Brooklyn-based hip-hop trio lauded new mixtape "Sit Down, Man" boasts big-name producers (Diplo, Boi-1da) delivers one genius pop culture reference after another ("Call me Dwight Schrute, the way that I eat beats."

Buzz Opener: Maluca