Backbeat: Titus Andronicus Rock Brooklyn's Glasslands For CMJ
Backbeat: Titus Andronicus Rock Brooklyn's Glasslands For CMJ
Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles amongst the Brooklyn crowd. (Photo: Chris Payne/Billboard)

2011's CMJ Music Marathon kicked off Oct. 18, with Jersey-based indie-punks Titus Andronicus headlining one of the night's biggest draws at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.

The five-piece took the stage at 1 AM, and proceeded to plow through over an hour's worth of material with an impassioned, sound-curfews-be-damned attitude. Still feeling the love from their acclaimed 2010 LP "The Monitor," TItus inspired a strong reaction from the crowd, which included some good natured moshing near the stage.

Outside the venue prior to performance, singer/guitarist Patrick Stickles could be seen relaxing amongst guests and band members. A true devotee to his home state of New Jersey, Stickles conversed about past shows, recalling the college campuses his band had played.

Also on the bill were openers Delicate Steve, Chelsea Wolfe, Mr. Dream, Cuckoo Chaos, and Hollerado.

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The CMJ showcase was a co-branding effort between tastemaking blog Stereogum and hometown bookers PopGun.

"Titus (Andronicus) is collectively one of PopGun's favorite bands," explained PopGun's Jake Rosenthal, who booked the show along with Rami Haykal. "They rehearse across the street from our office, so they've practically become the soundtrack to what we do."

Over the course of the night, guests with CMJ badges often jumped between Glasslands and 285 Kent, a similar DIY venue next door. Local musicians like Vivian Girls' Cassie Ramone and Oberhofer's Brad Oberhofer could be seen watching the night's acts, which included Grass Widow, Coasting, Air Waves, and Baybee Teeth.

In the end, however, Glasslands best captured the feel of the spirited Brooklyn scene.

The venue was packed almost immediately once performances began at 9 PM, with local music fans, college radio personnel, and music journalists (such as Brooklyn beat writer Jenn Pelly) on hand.

Summing up Glasslands' appeal, Rosenthal said, "it has all the amenities of a venue but feels like a house party."