Brooklyn's DIY heroes Stringer,
the soulful harmonies of The Brazen Youth, the roaring
pop punk of The Studs, and a late-career comeback by the
legendary Kinky Friedman take center stage in Rich's column.
Also, Asbury Park's Karmic Juggernaut unleash a psychdelic
groove masterpiece, and Pale Blut Dot returns with seven
tracks that "bubble over with an enthusiasm and energy,
while still being truly beautiful in their delivery."
Rich also reviews new albums by Abolitionist, The Plurals,
His Name Is Alive, Sharp Violet, the insanely prolific
Grim Deeds, the Lords of Acid, Dead Girls Academy, Human
Adult Band, Chandler Travis Three-O, and Four Lights.
If you're looking for some tasty new punk and hardcore,
James Damion recommends Montclair shoegazers Tru,
Baltimore's Glue Traps, Italy's Faz
Waltz, Dischords' Messthetics
(featuring Fugazi's rhythm section,) Criminal
Kids and NYC's The Sweet Things,
suggests you steer clear of a release of early Discharge
demos, revisits NYC's Hellbent from the
80's, and checks out new music from Rozwell Kid,
Chain Reaction, Outsider, and NJ's World
Demise. James also checks out the "The '59
Sound Sessions" from Jersey's Gaslight Anthem.
Paul Silver knows what you need this summer: New stuff
to listen to, whether it's pop, punk, or something way
out there. Check out his reviews of releases from Odd
Robot, Couch Jackets, Campdogzz, the Callas (with
Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo,) Chain Whip, The Cheap
Cassettes, Goodbye Blue Monday, The Guests, a
weird little split cassette from Jug & The
Bugs and LEP, the Ophelias,
Post Season, and (our favorite band name of the
year,) Watashi Wa Dance Party.
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
Kinky Friedman - irascible, uncouth, politically incorrect,
and one of the wittiest songwriters ever to come out of
Texas - returns with his first album of all-new original
songs in 40 years with Circus Of Life. Kinky
mouths off on his career, songwriting, Imus, Nelson Mandel,
Barbara Jordan, and most of all, politics, with editor
Jim Testa. Read his interview here...
Leslie Snyder reviews new releases from NJ's Sean Kiely,
Eureka CA, The Innocence Mission, We Are Muffy, Adrian
Aardvark, Jesse Ainslie, and lots more!
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 of adult
songwriting from one of the pioneers of power-pop.
Jersey Beat's newest correspondent Kyle Andrew Smith talks
about a recent show at Jersey City's weekly outdoor concert
series Groove On Groove that featured an array of local
talent. Check out his report here...
Tory Anne Daines's brave search for self and fulfillment:
Read James Damion's interview here.
The Weehawken based team of Jack Skuller and Luigi Sardi
(plus the drummer guy) have been racking up acclamations
and quality gigs while moving towards the release of their
debut album "Meet The Skullers." Today you can
hear their new single "I'm Your Man," a cover
from one of NYC punk's major innovators, Richard Hell.
As most of our readers know, Jersey Beat has competed
at BYO's Punk Rock Bowling tournament and punk festival
for quite a while now, so this year we're presenting a
report from someone new to the whole thing. With our new
friend Rex Stickler relating his experiences, this Jersey
Beat PRB report bears a striking resemblance to another
account of a wild Vegas weekend by a certain Dr. Thompson.
So, complete with bowling, punks, alcohol, drugs, bands,
crazed Uber drivers, and a joie de vivre that's
hard to miss, here's Rex's account of Beer
& Bowling in Las Vegas...
dragged our old metal columnist Eric Walls out of retirement
to review the comeback covers album of Burn The Priest,
who of course became metal gods under the name Lamb Of
God. Eric (and editor Jim Testa) were there when Burn
The Priest played a blistering, sweaty set at the Wilmington
Exchange Festival back in 1998, and Eric remembers that
night as well as reviewing this new release. Read his
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
Reviews by Joe Wawrzyniak
Joe W. reviews new releases from Brother Dege, Chandler
Travis Three-O, Byron Isaacs, Pale Blue Dot, and
The Innocence Mission.
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.
The Front Bottoms' new "Ann" EP (which mostly
features old songs that have falled out of their set list)
tops editor Jim Testa' reviews. He also checks out new releases
from some old favorites like John Prine, Wreckless
Eric, Chris Butler, Hoboken legend Gene
D. Plumber, and Jeffrey Lewis,
and checks out the latest from Brooklyn's Madam
West, Jersey City's Sailor Boyfriend, and
Guy Capelcelatro III. Read Jim
Testa's reviews here...
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club comes to Jersey City's White
Eagle Hall on Friday, May 11. Our Deb Draisin caught up
with guitarist Peter Hayes to ask the band's health and
career struggles and how their latest album and tour have
the 10-year old group back on the right track. Read Deb's
Jersey Beat is very proud to be bringing you the Rock
N Roll Hi-Fives' tour diary as Jersey City's favorite
family band - dad Joe, mom Gloree, son Evren, and daughter
Eilee - tour Japan! Eilee and Evren will be checking in
whenever they can with stories and photos of their adventures.
(Poor kids, they go to Japan and they still have homework!)
We've added the final two chapters, Part 4 and Part 5,
which winds up the trip and the group's last show in Japan.
Read it here...
Mark Hughson reviews Resettlement, the latest
from freeswinging electronic band Red Black Red.
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.