Mick Hale is a name longtime readers
of Jersey Beat will remember, first from Mod Fun way back
when and then from his industrial/electronic group Croc
Shop. Now a popular Asbury deejay, Mick is back with his
first solo record and Mark Hughson says it's just what
lovers of club dance music have been waiting for. He also
reviews new releases from Am I Dead Yet?,
L.A.'s red-hot Dreamers, the new collaboration
between Mary Lattimore and Superchunk's
Mac McCaughan, plus new releases from
improv supergroup Unknown Instructors,
L.A.'s Dearboy, the weird and bratty
Motherhood, and Brooklyn's Swimming
James Damion checks out new releases from British post-rockers
Tied Down, WA power-poppers the
Wanna-Be's, Berlin's queer feminist punks Eat
My Fear, and those ageless punks The
Membranes. Digger deeper, James is pleasantly
surprised by a new band called Frontside,
then enjoys a reissue from Dischord's seminal female combo
Autoclave. He also reviews a new releases from POW!
and Charlie Sub & The Sound Dogs,
as well as the soundtrack album from Joan Jett's
"Bad Reputation." Record collectors will want
to check out his appraisal of the new box set from The
Police, presenting all their albums and B-sides
in new half-speed mastered versions. Then there are new
releases from Italy's Giuda, Dyke Drama,
and a single from power-pop champs the Cheap Cassettes.
The indefatigable Paul Silver delivers another batch of
quality reviewage, including looks at new releases from
Charger, Creature & The Woods, NJ's Grey Goes
Black, Harrington Saints, the female Ramones tribute
band Ramoms, Robot (Re)Pair, Corner Boys, The Dodges,
The Fleshies, Matt Surfin & Friends, Negative Space,
No Negative, Scrap Brain, Truth Club, and Weird
Numbers. And while you're here, check out Paul's
reviews of Batlords, the Connection's Brad Marino,
Bradley Palermo, Japan's Otoboke Beaver, and Jersey
Beat fave Western Settings. You want more?
Check out Paul's reviews of PUP, Aree & The
Pure Heart, Break The Sea, Breatmatt Fastguyver, Club Night,
The Heck, Las Robertas, Martha, The Murderburgers, Geoff
Palmer, Petty Larcenists, Rollo Tomasi, the Scaners, the
Sh-Booms, and Yes Gabriel.
Rich Quinlan leaps into Spring with reviews of new albums
from emo heroes The Get Up Kids and punk
rock legends The Mekons, and also checks
out new releases from Richard Vain, and
Sweet Jap. Also check out his thoughts
on releases from post-punk legends Gang Of Four,
garage rocker Nat Freedberg, Femme de Champagne,
The Suck, Doc Rotten, Tullycraft, Pavo Pavo,
and the Saxophones. Rich also reviews
an ep from NYC's The Carvels and a single
by Lost Wax Process.
Our intrepid record collecting fanatic James Damion braved
the crowds on Record Store Day 2019 and lived to tell
the tale. Read his report here...
Editor Jim Testa finally gets around to sounding off about
the two posthumous Alex Chilton releases
from Bar/None Records, and reviews new releases from Jersey
stalwart Val Emmich, former Harmonica
Lewinskie singer/guitarist Will Simpson,
the indomitable R. Stevie Moore, comedy
rapper Devo Spice, and two punk bands
worth checking out, No Win and the baseball-themed
James Damion interviews Tony Pence, a Baltimore punk
legend who's sung for the bands Deep Sleep, WarXGames,
and Glue Traps, and owns the record store Celebrated Summer.
James talks to Tony about punk, being a rabid collector,
their mutual love of Japan, and lots more. Read James'
Leslie reviews Hoboken's King Nectar and
Jersey City's Cyclone Static, as well
as new releases from male singers Viking Moses
and Yes Gabriel, female singer-songwriters
Michael Towber and Katie Henry,
Gumshoe,Shaw Davis & the
Black Ties, and Divine Weeks.
Our newest contributor Rebecca Thompson trekked to the
bowels of Montclair's infamous all-ages venue the Meat
Locker to check out Bloomfield teen sensations Rockstar
Racecar. Read her review here...
James Damion caught up with Night Birds vocalist Brian
Gorsegner to talk about the band's success, touring, its
brilliant 2018 mini-album Roll Credits, and how four middle
aged guys with other responsibilities find the time to
rock our world.
Beth Porter and Ben Please perform as The Bookshop Band,
a fantastically literary avant-folk band from the U.K.
that writes songs about the books and authors who appear
at their home base, a book store in Bath called Mr. B's
Emporium of Reading Delights, which sounds like something
out of a Roald Dahl story but actually exists.
James Damion catches up with Cinema Cinema, the two man
demolition derby that's been rocking New Jersey - and
the world - with its throttling brand art-damaged noise-punk
since 2008. James and the band's guitarist/vocalist Ev
Gold discuss Cinema Cinema's origins, its motivations,
and its future.
James Damion catches up with Jerry Lardieri, singer/guitarist
of NJ's long-lived Brixton Riot, to talk about their upcoming
record, the band's history (and future,) the changing
landscape of the Jersey club scene, and even a little
You might know New Jersey musician Adam Bird from Those
Mockingbirds, but his new persona as aBird chucks the
chunky guitars in favor of multi-dimensional synths. James
Damion chats with Adam about his new sound and his personal
struggles. Read James' interview
In the video for "Conspiracy Theory," Tris McCall
connects the dots behind the greatest mysteries of the
last one hundred years. Directed by George Pasles of Overlord,
the video will not only blow your mind but also have 'it's
all connected' running through your head for days!
Reviews by Joe Wawrzyniak
Joe W. reviews new releases from Karen Haglof,
the Morlocks, the Demos, the Sha La Da's, and Ricky Lewis.
John Lisa played an important role in the Staten Island
hardcore and punk scene of the late Eighties and early
Nineties. He talks about those days, his infatuation with
EDM, and his legacy in the hardcore scene with James Damion
Ask Peter Horvath to provide a list of all the bands he’s
played in and after he stops laughing, he'll rattle off
"just the main ones:" Etcetera, P.E.D., September
Violence, Seething Grey, Separate Peace, Halo Boots, Greyhouse,
and finally, The Anderson Council (1999- present) and
the Beatles tribute band Hey Bulldog (2004- present.)
There is simply no way to talk about the last 30+ years
of New Jersey music – punk, indie, underground,
call it what you will – without mentioning Peter
Horvath, and so we happily and proudly present James Damion's
the label that's given us first-class reissues of nearly-lost
albums from Game Theory, Alex Chilton, Jellyfish, and
dozens of others, steps up its game with the release of
Peter Holsapple's first new studio album
in 21 years, Game Day.
Holsapple hasn't lost his ear for melody and his soulful
yowl has aged like a fine wine; what's new here comes
from Peter's ability to look back over a long and well-lived
life and reflect on his successes, failures, joys, and
disappointments. This is a standout collection f adult
songwriting from one of the pioneers of power-pop.
If you were a fan of Garden Variety - or Retisonic, or
Blue Tip, or the Hasbros, or Red Hare - you know drummer
Joe Gorelick, one of the most underrated and overlooked
stickmen in the punk rock underground. James Damion caught
up with Joe for an extensive interview about his career,
his passions, and where he's going next. Read James' interview
Jersey Beat's newest staffer Jesse Gillett offers his
opinions on the new releases from two of Brooklyn's best
and brightest, post-punk art-rockers Big Ups
and singer/songwriter Eleanor Friedberger.
He also reviews records by Digital Criminals
and the Chris Gethard Show's house band, The LLC.
This year's Asbury Music Awards had been postponed from
last November to April, 2018, and yet very little was
done to promote the event, not even emailing invites to
the nominees, ballots to the voters, or a press release
to New Jersey media. Editor Jim Testa wondered what the
consequences of that inaction have been; the answer isn't
pretty. Read his editorial here...
For a while there, it looked like the annual SXSW music
festival in Austin had lost its
soul to corporate branding and superstar headliners, but
this year's iteration turned
out to be a pleasant throwback to the days when it functioned
primarily as a show-
case for young or little-known bands struggling to reach
a wider audience. Read
Jim Testa's story here...
Our good friend Oliver Ignatius of Holy Fang Studios
(formerly Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen) is back with a new
single, a mind-bending funk exploration called "Citys
A Hell." Check it out!
Jersey Beat favorite Adam Bird (formerly of Those Mockingbirds
and Perfuma) has
rebranded himself as aBIRD and offers
this beguiling video (shot by another
longtime scene stalwart, Rob Fitzgerald) showcasing his
new sound. The track
combines an Eighties retro-vibe with a modern edgy sound,
and is well worth
Editor Jim Testa picks ten songs from 2017 that summed
up the best of the
2017, including tracks from old favorites like the Feelies,
Ted Leo, Wyldlife,
the Front Bottoms, Peter Stampfel, and Antietam, and new
bands like Rips
and Downtown Boys.
See Jersey Beat's Top 10 Songs of the Year here...
Our editors and writers have been busy going through
all the music they've heard in 2017 and picking their
Damfino blends catchy pop with heartbreaking lyrics and
adult insight. Recorded at Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen,
One False Move And I'm Yours will be released
on September 22. The first single and video from the album,
"Visit To A Women's Planet, mixes a delightful childlike
animation with Joe Merklee's plaintive vocals." Catch
Damfino at Issyra Gallery in Hoboken on Monday, Sept.
Jersey Beat celebrated it's 35th anniversary with an
amazing show at Maxwell's Tavern on April 14. Jim Testa
wrote up a short history of the zine here...
Highlights from Jersey Beat's 35th Anniversary
Show at Maxwell's Tavern:
Jamie Frey interviews the legendary Mike Watt, currently
promoting the release of Ring Spiel '95, a live
album recorded on the Ball Hog?Or Tugboat tour
in 1995. Watt talks about how the album came out, the
remarkable Ring Spiel touring band (which included Eddie
Vedder, Dave Grohl, and Pat Smear,) and his role in punk
rock history. This is Jersey Beat's fifth interview with
the irascible, effusive, and totally original Mike Watt,
and we can't wait till the next one. Read Jamie's interview
read Rich Quinlan's review of Mike Watt's Ring Spiel '95
It's been eight years since the Ergs! disbanded and almost
ten since their last full-length album, so Mikey Erg's
first solo album Tentative Decisions arrives with with
a lot of expectations. Happily, Mikey delivers on all
fronts, with a more mature but still passionate rendering
of his trademark pop-punk, complete with crunchy sonic
guitars and punchy drums, melodic basslines and emphatic
vocals delivered in Mikey's trademark nasal yowl. Read
Jersey Beat's reviews here...
Jim Testa sits down with the godfather of punk rock to talk
about his folkie beginnings, New York City in the Fifties,
the joys of collaboration, and much, much more. Read our
is an independently published music fanzine
covering punk, alternative, ska, techno and garage
music, focusing on New Jersey and the Tri-State
area. For the past 30 years, the Jersey Beat music
fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming
bands and a resource for all those interested in
rock and roll.