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James reviews Urban Styles, Freddy Alva's book about how NYC's graffiti scene influenced NYHC, looks back at his teenage years with a reissue from the band Cable, and writes about the debut album from Tory Anne Daines' new group Fair Panic. James also covers albums from Rahway's J Hacha De Zola, Rats In The Wall, Voice Of Addiction, then discusses a new book of hitherto unseen photographs of the Dead Boys .

Read James' column here...

 



Tory Anne Daines's brave search for self and fulfillment: Read James Damion's interview here.

It's that time again...


Jersey Beat has been a part of Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas since 2003 and we wouldn't miss it. The music festival brings together the best of old-school punk and hardcore with exciting young bands (including, this year, Jersey City's Crazy & The Brains!.) The club shows are off the hook, there are free pool parties, and of course there's the bowling and poker tournaments. If you want to spend a wild weekend surrounded by people who live punk day in and day out, there's no better party anywhere.


Reviews by Joe Wawrzyniak


The exciting debut album from Jersey City's The Components kicks off Joe's latest column, which includes new releases from Sarah McQuaid, Jaguwar, Runaway Brother, Todd & Jingyu, Red Black Red, Peter Karp, Stephen Clair & The Pushbacks, The Naked Sun, and Robert Stewart.

Read his reviews here...


Rich reviews new albums by Elk City, Erik Core, Dinola, and Spider Rockets, opining on the fate of hoary old-school heavy rock in the age of iTunes. He's also got a sneak peek at new releases from Deen Ween and Steve Barton, the latest from Governess, and thoughts on Spit Take, Blind Idiot God, and former Shudder To Think frontman Craig Wedren.

Read Rich's column here....



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 favorites.

Jim Testa

Paul Silver

Joe Merklee

Rich Quinlan

James Damion

Half Man began life as the solo acoustic project of Free Kittens and Bread frontman Chase Spruiell. After spending lonely days and nights touring on his own and after the solo LP “The Great Blind Ambition,” Half Man has grown into a full band. Half Man, whether solo or full band, allows Spruiell to explore his more Americana side. The instrumentation includes guitar, bass, and drums, but also fiddle and harmonica. As Half Man readies the release of a new full-length LP, Jersey Beat is proud to present the first music video from the album, New Year Headlock.

Follow Half Man at www.facebook.com/halfmanmusic.

Mark Hughson reviews Professionals, the offbeat electronic project of Sam Davison, and finds it weird, wacky, and fun.


Read his column here...

 

 


Where's Paul Silver? He's been busy finishing up his lastt column of 2017 with over 30 reviews! Check out Paul's comments about Acrylics, Attic Salt, Bee Bee Sea, City Mouse, Dead Hero, Fuck! It's Pronounced Shit, the Harmonica Lewinskies, the Holy Dark, Muskets, Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons, Promise of Redemption, The She's, Showoff, Thor & Friends, Vista Blue, and lots, lots more.

Read Paul's column here...


Editor Jim Testa posts some very overdue reviews, including catching up with the latest from downtown diva Shilpa Ray, Canadian pop-punkers Potato Rocket, Kevin Devine's acoustic reimagining of his Instigator album, entitled We Are Who We've Always Been, and an anti-Trump punk-rock rant from old friends Rats Of Unusual Size. Jim also reviews the beautiful posthumous album from Jersey City singer/songwriter Mary Beth D'Amico, and exciting new releases from The Vice Rags and the Gingerlys.


Read Jim Testa's reviews here...

 



Thrice bassist Ed Breckinridge chatted with Jersey Beat's Deb Draisin for an informative and candid discussion of the band's songwriting process, life on the road, and the business of rock and roll. Read Deb's interview here...




Correspondent John Sannuci of JGS Photo caught the Pretty Reckless at Starland Ballroom and came away mightily impressed. Read his review and check out his photos here...




Ted Leo's The Hanged Man is his first album in seven years. Three of our critics sound off. Read their reviews here...


FULL BLISS –
Happy Weight
(fullbliss.bandcamp.com)

On his latest outing, Shaun Weeden, the primary songwriter behind the Full Bliss moniker, finds serenity in the fulfillment of finding that special someone. Although this central motif will be familiar to most listeners, the lyrical themes ring true and are well supported by the catchy and exquisitely produced music (recorded and mixed by contributing band member Ernest Intorrella). Taking a less is more approach, Happy Weight, moves along nicely. Clocking in at a succinct 32 minutes, the tastefully written songs are never too long while the presentations vary sonically to hold one's interest throughout. From the moody sex-pop synth opener "The Rest of the Broken" all the way through to the driving and emotive closer "Young Ones," both old and new fans alike will find themselves singing and grooving along to these 10 fresh jams. In the end, and especially when heard in the context of these turbulent times, we can learn from Weeden via The Beatles: love really might be all that we need. – Review by Mark Weinberg

Tommy Stinson was a lot more than the crazy kid bassist in the Replacements and a hired gun for Guns N Roses. In the Nineties, he fronted Bash & Pop, a Hollywood club band whose debut LP has just been reissued - complete with a bonus disc of outtakes and B sides - by Omnivore. Joe finds a lot to like in Stinson's project, with its obvious Replacements influence and yet a style distinctly his own. Joe also reviews Bar/None's reissue of The Spinto Band's Nice & Nicely Done, which now includes a bonus disc of outtakes and rarities. Jo also comments on the latest Omnivore reissue from Game Theory, Two Steps From The Middle Ages. Joe writes, "While it’s a joy to see this overlooked gem of an album get the loving Omnivore Records reissue treatment, it also hits you that this will be the final installment of the series and serves to remind us that we’ll never get new music again from Scott Miller, who passed away in 2013."

Read his reviews here...


Jersey Beat's James Damion raves that Tru "mixes elements of shoegaze and dream pop with indie-rock proficiency." We are proud to present Tru's new video "Take A Peek" from the band's debut self-titled 7-inch EP.

The Band: Tru
The Record:
"Tru" 7-inch EP
The Video:
"Take A Peek"
Director: Wyatt O'Connell
Bandcamp:
https://ohhhhtru.bandcamp.com/


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. 25.

The Band: Damfino
The Album:
One False Move And I'm Yours (avail. Sept. 22)
The Video:
"Visit To The Women's Planet"
Director: Wyatt O'Connell
Bandcamp:
http://damfino.bandcamp.com
Website:
http://facebook.com/damfino.nj

 



Check out Mr. Flannery & His Feelings' new video

"Embers of Dead Fires" from Rhyme & Reason

The Band: Mr. Flannery & His Feelings
The Album:
Try Your Hardest (Rhyme & Reason)
The Video:
"Embers Of Dead Fires"
Bandcamp:
https://mrflannery.bandcamp.com/
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/mrflanneryandhisfeelings



Punk Rock Bowling made its second foray to Asbury Park in June, and our Deb Draisin was there to capture some of the insanity. Read her review here...

The Artist: Brian Mackey
The Album: "Learn To Be" EP
The Video:
"Learn To Be"
Director: Caro Patlis
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/brianmackeymusic

 


Photo by Paul Silver

Vince Lombardi High School was the nickname of a beloved SoCal DIY space that recently had to close. Paul Silver was at the final show, dubbed the VLHS Graduation. See his report and photos here...

Jersey Beat is proud to premiere the video for “Eating Club,” the first single from Eating Club’s new self-titled album. Eating Club is the alter ego of Alex Bortnichak, also of Sparta Philharmonic. Bortnichak plays most of the instruments and provides the vocals for most of the tracks on the new LP, and is joined on others by a host of talented musicians. This lead single is dreamy, yet dark and gritty, and the video has visuals that communicate the same feeling. Rosa Bonilla provides additional vocals. Eating Club will be released on July 14th. - Paul Silver

The Band: Eating Club
The Album:
Eating Club
The Video:
"Eating Club"
Bandcamp:
http://eatingclub.bandcamp.com
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/eatingclubmusic

Leslie Snyder reviews new releases from Jenny & The Felines, Jake Tavill, King James & The Special Men, Jupiter In Velvet, Stutter Steps, Bodies Of Water, and Jake & The Growlers.

Read Leslie's reviews here...


 

The Band: ex-mothers, Brooklyn NY
The Album:
Strange Fortune
The Video:
"Neon Drones"
Director:
Tek Ken Siu (http://tekkensiu.com/)
Video Release show: Sunday, June 25 at Cobra Club - https://www.facebook.com/events/1949262471997144/
Bandcamp:
https://exmothersband.bandcamp.com/
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/exmothers/

For your summer reading, editor Jim Testa recommends the humorous yet scary mobsters-meet-zombies novel Deadfellas, and David Weigel's informative and entertaining The Show That Never Ends: The Rise & Fall Of Prog Rock.

Read Jim's reviews here...

 

 

 

 


We've been a big fan of Ari Vais, who records under the name The Campbell Apartment, for a long time, so it's an honor to present his latest track, "V.P. Of Snails," a crunchy bit of indie-pop with a grungy kick. Ari will be releasing a song a month over the next several months so watch out for more at The Campbell Apartment's Soundcloud Page.

 

 



Paul Silver powers through Spring and into the first batch of hot summer releases with reviews of The Darts, The Dirty Nil, Emperor X, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Mark Lanegan, Pig, The Rocketboys, and Wooden Wand.

Read Paul's column here...

 



Face To Face, Bad Cop/Bad Cop - Live at the Casbah, San Diego

Our San Diego Bureau Chief Paul Silver overcame an aching back and SoCal
traffic to catch two of our favorite Fat Wreck Chords bands at San Diego's Casbah.
Read his review here...



Dave Hause with his band the Mermaid and Frank Iero with his band the Patience shared a bill at the Music Hall of Williamsburg recently. Deb Draisin reviews the show here...



Amanda Palmer always seems to have a new trick up her sleeve. This time she's collaborated with Edward Ka-Spel of the Legendary Pink Dots for an exciting new album. Deborah Draisin chats with her about this project with both Amanda and Edward here...


Coming back from a tragic traffic accident that almost claimed the lives of several bandmates, Frank Iero continues his post-My Chemical Romance solo career with a variety of new projects. Deborah Draisin catches up with him here...

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:

Teenage Bottlerocket, the Mr. T Experience, and the Nobodys rocked the Soda Bar on April 8 and our San Diego Bureau Chief Paul Silver was there. You can read his review and see his photos here...

 

 

THE FEELIES - "Gone Gone Gone"

From the new album "In Between" on Bar/None Records



Deborah Draisin chats with Amanda Rose Riley, a Jersey girl whose acoustic roots
have led to a promising career in the rock arena. Read Deb's interview here...


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 here... And read Rich Quinlan's review of Mike Watt's Ring Spiel '95 here...

REVIEWS BY

Deb Draisin is back on the beat with reviews of Frank Iero & The Patience's new album, and live reviews of Bad Religion and The Descendents. Read her reviews here...


Our intrepid San Diego Bureau Chief Paul Silver traveled to Oakland and environs for the third annual THIS IS MY FEST, a DIY punk festival where Paul reports he enjoyed every single act. Read his report and check out his photos here...

 

 



John Sanucci of JGSPhoto captured these images of Shirley Manson and Garbage at NJ's Starland Ballroom on July 27, 2016. See his photos here...


 
Our intrepid San Diego Bureau Chief Paul Silver tracks down the Mystery Lights, childhood friends whose long-awaited debut album is turning heads in the punk world. Read his live review here...


Jamie Frey speaks to singer/violinist Petra Haden to help celebrate the Bar/None reissues of her two mostly a cappella solo albums, Imaginaryland and Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out. Read his interview here...


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...



David Boyle visited one of New Jersey's hottest new acts, Pat Llewellyn & The Parade,
in their rehearsal space and watched the magic as a new song came to life. Read his
impressions on these intriguing musicians here...


Don't think of them as a teen band - even though San Diego's Big Bad Buffalo can't legally order a beer yet - just think of them as one of the best up 'n' coming groups in the fertile San Diego punk scene. Jersey Beat's Paul Silver keeps the lowdown on these phenoms here...


Our world was recently shattered by the loss of Dan McLane. Dan was original member of the Harmonica Lewinskies and more recently his own group, the Dan McLane Family Band. He was a musician, singer, songwriter, but more importantly, one of the brightest spirits I've ever know. Oliver Ignatius, the guru of Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, said it best: "It is our most crushing loss, and it is our deepest defeat to confirm the untimely passing of our beloved soul brother number one Dan McLane, pillar of our community, life-giving lover of the universe, the warmest, gentlest and most kind human we have known."

In remembrance, I'm reposting this interview I did with Dan and the Harmonica Lewinskies in 2012, when Octopus Wallstreet was released. Dan was one of the first friends I made when I discovered the Mama Coco's collective and all it took was about a second; one big smile and one of Dan's gregarious bear hugs and he made me feel like we'd already been friends for years. Dan had that effect on everybody. All we can do to honor his memory is to try and follow his example: Be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more loving, and a little more life-affirming every day we remember him. And we will remember him always. - Jim Testa

Dan McLane will be remembered at the Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen "Space Jam" on Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. Admission is a requested donation of $10. MCFK is located at 23 Meadow Street, Brooklyn, across the street from the DIY venue Shea Stadium.

Read my 2012 Harmonica Lewinskies interview here...


The future voice of American theater?

Ramin Karimloo is a rising star in theater and films. David Boyle profiles this exciting new actor here...

 

 

 

 



It's only taken 40 years but finally there's a sequel to Have Moicy!, the groundbreaking freaky folkie compilation that critic Robert Christgau proclaimed "the greatest folk album of the rock era." Peter Stampfel is back but this time there's a new cast, including his daughter Zoey, Jeffrey Lewis, Baby Gramps, Robin Remaily, and Brooklyn's Down Hill Strugglers contribute songs, fiddles, banjos, jew's harp, harmonica, and vocals. Read Jim Testa's review here...



The Hold Steady's Craig Finn is Jim Testa's guest on the latest episode of the Jersey Beat Podcast. Craig talks about his new solo album Faith In The Future, about living in Brooklyn and going out to see bands, and even offers some advice for young musicians. Check it out here...


A college student and two of his best friends started a band back in the Eighties, and wound up riding the thrills of making loud weird music well into their forties (with a serious hiatus in the middle) as Bitch Magnet. Jon Fine tells that story here, which captures the zeitgeist of a generation of bands that toured in vans, slept on floors, and rarely made a dime, yet helped lay the way for the indie-rock of today. Did that revolution fail? Fine seems to think so, but you'd never notice from his insightful and well-documented tour stories, including quotes from a small army of like-minded contemporaries. If you liked Our Band Could Be Your Life, you're gonna love this.

Read Jim Testa's review 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 interview here...

 

 


JerseyBeat.com 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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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