Garden State author Rick Moody's
new novel Hotels Of New York collects the postings
of a popular hotel reviewer from an online rating whose
reviews tell us more about life, love, and loneliness than
his accommodations. Golden Bloom's latest
Searching For Sunlight gets a Staff Pick, and editor
Jim Testa also reviews new releases from Jersey City's J
Hacha De Zola, Brooklyn's Young Cum,
Baltimore's Sun Club, and the latest release
from Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, the debut release from Christine
Spilka's Bay Kee.
It's that time of year when we look back at the last 12
months and remember what we liked, what we loved, and what
we'll want to hear again in the future. Jim Testa and Paul
Silver present there Top o' 2015 lists here...
A year after Amy Wuelfing and Steve DiLodovico's oral history
comes Steve Tozzi's documentary Riot On The Dance Floor,
telling the story of Trenton's City Gardens and its promoter,
Randy "Now" Ellis. Read Jim Testa's review 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
In his last column of the year before we look back and review
2015, Paul gives you the 411 on new releases by Antlered
Aunt Lord, Bunnygrunt, Idiot Glee, Jay Allen & The Arch
Criminals, Money, Octagrape, Brooklyn trendsetters
Painted Zeros, power pop recidivists
the Scenics, Bay Area punks Try The Pie,
and the ageless Wainwright Sisters. Paul
also reviews a new documentary that follows grunge grandfathers
the Melvins on tour.
As our Joe Merklee notes, it's remarkable that the Chills
even exist in 2015, given the band's travails - their inability
to find a large audience, ongoing difficulties keeping a
stable lineup together, depression, substance abuse, and
serious health issues. So the band's new album Silver
Bullets comes as not only a pleasant surprise but
something close to a miracle. Silver Bullets is
a triumph that stands comfortably alongside their finest
work. Read Joe's review here...
Snyder reviews new releases from Brooklyn's Rio En Media,
cowpunk artists Jenny Don't & The Spurs, and Dallas,
Texas' The Disappearing Act.
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...
San Diego's AwesomeFest brings dozens of punk bands together
for Labor Day weekend, with a mix of perfect weather, great
food, craft beers, and non-stop punk music. Our San Diego
Bureau Chief Paul Silver was there again as usual and you
can read his report here...
It's with great sadness that we report the death of Dave
'Posty" Post, founding bassist of the Milwaukees and
a longtime presence in the New Jersey indie underground.
Posty's bandmate Jeff Nordstedt has penned a memorial to
Paul Silver fell in love with Sparta Philharmonic when he
reviewed their CD back in 2010. So when he heard that they
were making a rare live appearance in Olympia, Washington,
Paul arranged to be there even though he lives in San Diego.
But first, Paul interviewed the group for a little update.
Check out his interview and live review here...
Rich Quinlan and Jim Testa square off on Titus Andronicus'
The Most Lamentable Tragedy, one pro and one con. Check
out their reviews here...
Dave Feldman knows rock 'n' roll, and he says you need to
check out the new full-length from Atlanta's Barreracudas,
Can Do Easy. Sez Dave: "Either on stage or
on recording, they never leave an audience bored or exhausted.
They don’t overcomplicate songs. I And rather than
defining themselves as a garage band or a power pop act
or a punk group, The Barreracudas refuse to pigeonhole themselves.
These are rock songs that sound like rock songs, and this
is an album that will make you fall back in love with rock
Jersey Beat's always had its eye on Screeching Weasel,
the Queers, and the Mr. T Experience, so we had reviewers
in both New York City and San Diego to review this unofficial
Lookout! Revival Tour. Read our coverage here...
Ex-Morningwood singer Chantal Claret talks to Jersey Beat's
Deborah Draisin about her solo career... and finding a good
bagel. Read Deb's interview here...
After a nearly 18 month hiatus, the Milwaukees are back,
relasing an album of "leftover" tracks from their
two American Anthem albums called Vasectomies.
We chatted with Dylan and Jeff about the band's recent hiatus,
their remarkable longevity, the concept of "dad rock,"
and what it feels like to be playing Maxwell's again under
the new ownership. Read our interview here...
Make up, androgyny, pop songs... it's all part of the Japanese
style known as Visual Kei. Deb Draisin interviews Vamps,
one of the leading purveyors of the genre here,
and reviews the band's recent NYC appearance here...
Two of our best critics (and longtime punk rock aficionados)
give their reactions to Screeching Weasel's new magnum opus,
Baby Fat Act 1, the first of a two-part rock opera by Ben
Jersey Beat has been heading to Las Vegas for BYO Records'
combination music festival, bowling tournament, and bacchanalia
since 2003, and 2015 was no exception. Johnny Puke takes
you inside Punk Rock Bowling for a little taste of why a
few thousand punk rock lifers wouldn't be anywhere else
on Memorial Day Weekend. Read his story here...
With Bar None Records about to reissue the Feelies' Only
Life and Time For A Witness, the legendary pioneers of frenetic
jangle-pop are about to be back in the conversation as one
of the most influential bands in the history of punk and
indie rock. Jersey Beat's Jamie Frey relished the opportunity
to speak with Glenn about his career, his influences, and
his future plans. Read his interview here...
"Couch Surfin' USA" is the first single from New
Jersey YJY, and the title track from the band's forthcoming
album. Check it out!
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.
Grisham was a punk rock nihilist. Susan
Dynner is a filmmaker. Together they are bringing one of
TSOL's most bizarre songs to life in a new short film.
Read Steven Lodovico's report on this curious fusion of punk,
fiction, and film here...
Deb Draisin chats with Matt Skiba (of Alkaline Trio fame)
about his supergroup The Sekrets, his future plans, and
his ongoing love of music. Read Deb's interview here...
Catch up with the latest releases from NJ indie Mint 400
If Kevin James was the King of Queens, Jamie Frey
is the Baron of Brooklyn... South Brooklyn, that is. But
he recently ventured to an all-ages DIY space called Frank's
Basement in the northern part of the boro that
flooded him with memories of his youthful punk rock past.
Read Jamie's story
Omnivore Records continues its reissue of Game Theory's
catalog with a 30th anniversary edition of 1985's Real
Nighttime, enhanced with bonus tracks. Joe Merklee tells
you why you need this in your collection here...
Our newest correspondent Kayleigh Arneman
reports from this year's battle of the bands competition
The Break as local bands vie for a slot at the Skate &
Surf Festival in Asbury Park. Read her report here...
Eric travels around the world for his latest edition of
"More Metal," with informative and engaging coverage
of new releases from Abstruse, After Birth, Child
Bite, Cretin, Cuff, Dimesland, Einherjer, Ensiferum, Gale,
a split EP from Graveyard Ghoul/Cryptic Brood, Hate, Hateful
Abandon, Horncrowned, In The Company Of Serpents, Innsmouth,
Kauan, Obsessor, Poshum, Primordial, Shredhead,
and Triumvir Foul,
Read Eric's column here...
For Rose Mountain, the Screaming Females' seventh full-length
album, the New Jersey trio worked with producer Matt Bayles
for a powerful, masterful new sound that accentuates the
band's strengths while moving the band away from pure power
riffage and more into the realm of singalong melodies.
The focus is on New Jersey in Joe's latest column as he
reviews new releases from some Garden State favorites including
Hoboken's Mike Korman, Montclair's Terry
McCarthy, Asbury's Billy Hector,
along with Brooklyn singer/songwriter Hugh Trimble,
Fred Gillen Jr., Where Is My SPaceship, and
It's been a big year for indie-rock documentaries. Records
Collecting Dust continues that trend with a insider's look
at "vinyholics," as filmmaker Jason Blackmore
talks to musicians, record labels owners, and other music
lovers about the music and records that changed their lives.
The film opens nationally in January; Paul Silver reviews
Editor Jim Testa counts down his favorite local releases
from NJ and NYC bands, while Paul Silver lists not only
his 10 favorite records of the year but his 10 favorite
shows as well. Finally Mark Hughson chimes in with his Top
10 releases. Updated with Eric Walls' Metal picks!
Neil Sabatino is the owner/operator of Mint 400 Records,
lead singer of the NJ indie band Fairmont, and a longtime
friend of Jersey Beat. In this article, Neil explains the
nuts-and-bolts of home recording for the interested DIY
beginner. Read it 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.