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Music Convention, Concerts Delayed By Attacks

With lower Manhattan cut off to civilian traffic after Tuesday’s terrorist assault on the World Trade Center, officials at independent music magazine publisher CMJ decided to put off for a month its annual Music Marathon & Film Fest, which was to have started Thursday.

The four-day event, which typically hosts scores of upcoming and established indie bands in downtown venues including the Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza and the Mercury Lounge, now will begin Oct. 10, a spokesman confirmed.

“On behalf of the entire CMJ extended family, I wish to extend my most profound condolences to the families of the innocent victims of Tuesday’s vicious terrorist attacks, and my sincerest prayers for the thousands of injured,” CMJ chairman Robert K. Haber said in a statement Wednesday.

CMJ Marathon organizers said they are in the process of contacting the music acts and industry panelists who were to take part in the event, attempting to reschedule as many as possible. Among the bands slated to appear were Coldplay, Ben Folds, the Get-Up Kids, Sense Field and Starsailor.

Meanwhile, across the country, Madonna rescheduled her canceled Tuesday show at L.A.’s Staples Center for Saturday and Blink-182 will make up Thursday’s canceled show at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim on Sunday.

New York headquarters for the big five major labels remained on skeleton crews Wednesday, with most companies keeping their offices open but telling staffers to use their own judgment in deciding whether to come into the city.

Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, kept its Gotham outpost open, but the company set up an 800 number telling employees that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had instructed people to stay home if possible. For staffers stranded in the city Tuesday night, Universal brought in sleeping bags and other supplies so they could spend the night in the office.

EMI and BMG Entertainment also kept their midtown offices open Wednesday, with employees coming in on a case-by-case basis.

Most labels said they expected to open up fully beginning Thursday, pending any change in directive from the city government.

Mammoth concert promoter Clear Channel Entertainment, which Tuesday canceled or postponed most of the live events at its 120-venue network, said concerts and other entertainment were to resume on a case-by-case basis Wednesday.

Among the shows reported canceled was R&B singer Maxwell’s tour stop in Washington – near the site of a deadly attack on the Pentagon in Virginia. Shows by Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, 98 Degrees, P.O.D. and Blues Traveler were postponed or called off. In addition, Union Square-based venue Irving Plaza said it will suspend all shows until Monday.

Outside the area, some big concerts still were set to go Wednesday, including the Backstreet Boys in Toronto and Weezer in Oakland.

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