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18 acts to see at the CMJ Music Marathon

Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper Credit: Robert Glasper

Finding live music in New York City is never hard. It seems like there's a great band playing almost every night, not to mention dozens of others that range from mediocre to "for friends and family only." Yet the CMJ Music Marathon, starting Tuesday, still manages to up the ante every year. Each October, the marathon fills more than 80 venues with 1,300 performances - mostly live music, but also seminars and parties. With so much to choose from, here are 18 acts worth seeking out. (Note: All set times are subject to change)

Robert Glasper Glasper is a jazz pianist with one hand in the world of hip-hop. He has worked with Kanye West, Erykah Badu and Maxwell, to name a few. (S.O.B.'s, Tuesday, 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.)

Ben Gibbard The Death Cab for Cutie frontman and ex-husband of Zooey Deschanel plays an unusually intimate gig. Get there early. (Hi-Fi, Tuesday, 9 p.m.)

Colin Quinn The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and friend of Jerry Seinfeld (who recently directed Quinn's one-man Broadway show) highlights an impressive night of comedy. (Comedy Cellar at the Village Underground, Tuesday, 7:20 p.m.)

Bonde Do Role Bonde Do Role combine the funk of their native Brazil with electropo. On their new album, they've worked with top producers including Diplo, Switch and Boys Noize. (Gramercy Theater, Saturday, 10:30)

Debo Band This 11-member Boston band performs an updated version of Ethiopian funk from the late '60s and early '70s, creating a brass-driven dance party. (Knitting Factory, Thursday, 8 p.m.)

Devin A Brooklyn musician, Devin hearkens back to the days when The Strokes ruled downtown and Williamsburg wasn't yet gentrified. (Knitting Factory, Friday, 11 p.m.)

Delicate Steve A mostly instrumental guitar-based band, Delicate Steve's intricate songs include elements of world music, classic rock and prog. (Marlin Room at Webster Hall, Tuesday, 11:45 p.m.; Knitting Factor, Friday, Time TBD; Cake Shop, Saturday, 12 p.m., Public Assembly, Saturday, Time TBD)

DIIV Formerly named Dive, after the Nirvana song, DIIV offer a psychedelic take on grunge. (Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thursday, 11 p.m.)

Dum Dum Girls Dum Dum Girls combine the hooks and harmonies of '60s girl group music with punk and new wave. Their producer, Richard Gottehrer, co-wrote the classics "My Boyfriend's Back," and "I Want Candy." (Glasslands, Wednesday, 8:15 p.m.; Terminal 5 Thursday 8 p.m.)

GZA The Wu-Tang co-founder is playing his 1995 album and hip-hop milestone "Liquid Swords" in its entirety. (Irving Plaza, Thursday, 10 p.m.)

JJAMZ This indie-pop supergroup includes members of Maroon 5, Bright Eyes and Phantom Planet. (The Studio @ Webster Hall, Friday, 10 p.m.)

King Tuff A blast of catchy '70s garage rock, King Tuff's latest album would have been the ideal soundtrack to the movie "Dazed and Confused" if it had only existed then. (Knitting Factory, Thursday, 11:20 p.m.)

Matthew E. White White is an arranger and composer from Richmond, Va. whose meticulously produced music combines R&B, funk and '70s soft rock. (Bowery Ballroom, Tuesday, 9 p.m.; Union Pool, Wednesday, 11 p.m.)

METZ Known for their raucous live shows, METZ play classic fast-and-loud punk with bits of grunge thrown in. (Cameo Gallery, Tuesday, 11 p.m.)

Mount Moriah The two members of Mount Moriah did stints in punk and metal groups before coming together to create a new band that shows their love of folk, country and gospel. (Mercury Lounge, Thursday, 10 p.m.)

Off! One of the great comeback stories of recent years, Off! is led by 57-year-old Keith Morris, who formerly sang lead for Black Flag and Circle Jerks. (Irving Plaza, Tuesday, 9 p.m.)

Q-Tip Known as one of hip-hop's best lyricists since his days with A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip has worked with everyone from Nas and Jay-Z to Mariah Carey. (Irving Plaza, Friday, Time TBD)

The Walkmen While they never got the buzz of some of their peers, The Walkmen have quietly become one of NYC's longest running indie bands. Their new album 'Heaven" is among their best. (Terminal 5, Thursday, 9 p.m.)

If you go: For a complete schedule of the CMJ Music Marathon, go to

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