Our pal Al Crisafulli recently pulled up stakes and left
New Jersey for Kingston, NY, but his influence will still
be felt with both his record label Dromedary Records and
his "Signal To Noise" radio show on WFDU.
Jersey Beat's James Damion talks with Al about
his past, present, and future here...
Reviews by Joe Wawrzyniak
Joe W. reviews new releases from Hoboken stalwart
Dave Schramm, Jersey popster Richard X.
Heyman, South Jersey "nihilist rockers"
Tuff Turf, L.A.'s country/synth hybridists
Wild Wing, and the interestingly named
Mike Adams At His Own Weight.
Deb Draising catches up with
Jersey guy and former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank
Iero on the release of his third solo album, Barriers,
and talks about his latest band, The Future Violents,
and what's been happening with life, love, and rock 'n'
Imperial Teen are back on Merge Records
and Mark Hughson checks out their latest release. He also
spins three new records from Big Neck Records - Wood
Chickens, Dumb Vision, and a split EP from White
Savage and Football. 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 had a major score on Record Store Day this
year, coming back with the 6-album Devo
box set. He lists its many undiminished charms, as well
as assaying the new release from Jersey dad-rock favorites
Tri-State. Then James revisits the past
with a retrospective from power-poppers L'Amour,
sounds off on the new Weezer,
and recalls his own past as a hardcore kid with the reissue
of Maximum Penalty's demo. He also 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 has been busy sifting through
a symphony of new releases, including albums from Allweather,
the Cretins, the Drowns, Les Bof!, Lucy & The Rats,
Ramona, and the Vicious Cycles.
Rich Quinlan gets your summer flowing with reviews of
Abolitionist, a new EP from our old friend
Mykel Board, NYC's Candy Snatchers,
Rod Hamdallah, and Nebula. And
we catch up with a promising but largely unnoticed NYC
release from The Next Great American Novelist
(not to be confused with The Great American Novel.)
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!
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.