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Puff, Puff, Chat

NEW YORK, NY: Crowds of young, hip music fans stood outside Lower East Side venues like Pianos and Cake Shop for lengthy cigarette breaks.

After a Halloween swarming with zombies, sexy nurses, and dead journalists, Ludlow Street was comparatively low-key last night. Outside Pianos and Cake Shop, venues that hosted showcases from small indie labels like Kanine, Say Hey, Carpark, and Paw Tracks, hipsters relished the cigarette break as much as the shows themselves. was one with the people on the sidewalk as they reflected on wilder times. STORY BY KAREEM ESTEFAN. PHOTOS BY ANDREW HINDERAKER

We asked: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at CMJ so far? COMMENT

Name: Kaia Wong Age: 29 Hometown: Brooklyn, NYOccupation: Member of Mixel Pixel “This huge fucking mob at Pianos!”

Name: Arie Knutson Age: 19 Hometown: New York, NYOccupation: Student “The WZT Hearts guy — he just was ridiculous looking!”

Name: Cindy Nawilis Age: 17 Hometown: New York, NYOccupation: Student “Balthrop, Alabama, this band with eight members and an accordion.”

Name: William Kenton Age: 23 Hometown: Harrisonburg, VAOccupation: Volunteer at WXJM “A member of TBTB gave his guitar to a fan in the crowd and let him solo on it.”

Name: Brenda MitchellAge: 19 Hometown: Jersey City, NJOccupation: Student “Some guy thought this cigarette was a joint, but it’s not.”

Name: Carmine Potenza Age: 25 Hometown: Brooklyn, NYOccupation: Record promoter at Lift “A programmer from Grand Rapids, MI showing up at my Halloween show.”

Name: Rob Corradetti Age: 29 Hometown: Wilmington, DE Occupation: Member of Mixel Pixel”A bum dressed up as a maid.”

Name: Dave Depper Age: 26 Hometown: Portland, OROccupation: Software developer “I played in three bands in a row.”

Name: Sheryl Eckrich Age: 30 Hometown: Portland, OR Occupation: Landscape designer “A big tub of Borat buttons. It’s been pretty mellow so far.”

Name: Cheryl Conkling Age: 25 Hometown: Brooklyn, NYOccupation: Fundraising for non-profit theater “White Rabbits’ drummer Jamie Levinson had to be called to the stage by an audience member because he was out for a smoke.”