What We Liked at CMJ '05-- Viva Voce, Rogue Wave and The Hold Steady piqued our interest

Bedroom bloggers (searching for the next Arcade Fire) and industry execs (searching for the next free drink) gathered in New York City from Sept. 14 to 17 for CMJ’s 25th annual Music Marathon. Doves, the New Pornographers, and last year’s breakout the Arcade Fire were among the 1,126 acts playing 65 venues in the steamy metropolis. Here are some lesser-known names that caught our eyes and ears: Despite crashing the proto-punk revival a li’l late, the LASHES kicked things off on the right note with their infectious Strokes-y vibes…. CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH echoed Talking Heads recovering from a hangover with their gentle acoustic strums and nasal croon…. Wife-husband tandems provided wedded bliss: Portland, Ore. pair VIVA VOCE jumbled My Bloody Valentine’s ethereality and Beck’s buoyancy, while North Carolina couple THE ROSEBUDS bloomed with whirling harmonies, happy hand claps, and jangly splendor…. Melding manic howls and Dylan’s warbling jive, DEVENDRA BANHART displayed a fragile beauty teetering on disaster…. ROGUE WAVE conjured a sprightly mishmash of ’60s sprawl and bubbly hooks…. CROOKED FINGERS nimbly spun Leonard Cohen-esque lullabies of lost love…. We don’t know who brought the pastries to THE HOLD STEADY‘s irresistible set. But imagine a Springsteen poetry slam about spiritual smack addicts. Now imagine beer and cupcakes in hand. That’s irresistible.