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...
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.
Joe chimes in on And Now..., the latest from
the remarkably long-lived Speed The Plough, whose multi-generational
lineup cotinues to produce enchanting chamber pop.
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...
Rich reviews new albums by Animal
Flag, Digital Criminals, and Parlor Walls,
and some punk rock singles and 7-inch EP's by Punkemon,
Radiation Risks, the Bunny Gang, and a split 7-inch from
Sharkfist/Brown Plaid and
Paul Silver turns his silver tongue (and reviewer's
ear) to new releases from Archie & The Bunkers, Buckley,
Dusk, Fashionism, Freak Genes, The Fur Coats, God's Children,
Giuda, La Armada and Pandemix.
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 checks out the latest album from Amy
Rigy as well as releases from Stardust
One, Tuffy, L.A. scenemakers Starcrawler,
Jersey garage rocker Tony Saxon, and
a psychedelic masterpiece from comedian Chris Hill and
stoner-rock legend Chris Reifert under the name Painted
James has some very outspoken comments about Revelation
Records' The Last Lies (bad) and Fat
Wreck's The Last Gang (very good.) Then
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 .
Tory Anne Daines's brave search for self and fulfillment:
Read James Damion's interview here.
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.
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.