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CMJ Music Marathon Kicks Off

November 1, 2006 4:19 PM ET

The annual CMJ Music Marathon kicked off last night as scores of music-loving hipsters from all over the country descended on New York, crashing on friends' couches and whining about four dollar PBRs all in the name of good tunes. Some 1,000 bands will rock the city's venues for five days.

Lower East Side dungeon Sin-e hosted last night's MySpace.com Records showcase, featuring up-and-comers Ima Robot, ABO, Young Love, Heavens, Sherwood and Mickey Avalon. So who gets the new band award for potential to blow up like Panic! At the Disco?

Young Love, aka Texan-born Dan Keyes, who — along with his four-piece live band — treated the crowd to a delectable mixture of disco, pop and New Wave. Keyes tried to get the crowd into the Halloween spirit but got shot down by the audience: "Where's YOUR costume!" someone yelled back. Unperterbed, Keyes and the rest of his bunch got behinds moving with the show's closing song "Discotech," which they performed beneath a motionless disco ball.

The disco ball was most assuredly moving at the Bowery Ballroom a few blocks away, where NYC dance-rockers the Rapture, playfully clad in skeleton costumes, delivered a performance worthy of the Halloween-crazed crowd's enthusiasm. "We say something, you say something!" bassist Mattie Safer shouted to the audience, initiating a sloppy call-and-response for their classic "Sister Savior."

Saxaphonist Gabriel Andruzzi brought the funk on newer tracks like "Get Myself Into It" and "Whoo! Alright Yeah . . . Uh Huh," whose lyrics — "People don't dance no more/ They just stand there like this/ They cross their arms and stare you down/ And drink and moan and diss" — couldn't be further from the truth. Frontman Luke Jenner jumped around and pumped up the crowd with some Mr. Roboto moves from the ledge of the stage. The mood was a full on throw-your-hands-up dance party.

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