Jersey Beat Music Fanzine
 

Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen is a studio and a musician's collective in Brooklyn. Their old studio was flooded out and they need to build a new space. Read about the studio, the collective, and their fundraising effort here...


Tommy Wallach has been making a name for himself as a pop-rock singer/songwriter, but he also has a young-adult novel coming out soon and the video he created for his song "Whisper" wound up being screened in museums. Jersey Beat's Eli Zeger caught up with Wallach for the low down on this up-and-coming talent. Read his interview here...



Jim Testa reviews the first full-length from NJ scene favorites Those Mockingbirds and catches up with outstanding releases from Asbury Park's Wreaths and Deena Shoskes of the Cucumbers.

Read Jim's reviews here...

 



A Broadway musical based on the music of Tupac Shakur? Sounds implausible but "Holler If You Hear Me" is anything but, using the late hip hop superstar's words and melodies to tell the story of the struggle of an inner city community to come together and end the cycle of black-on-black violence. Read Jim Testa's review here...


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...

When's the last time you head from good folk-metal? Or how about the latest releases from Crowbar, Mastodon, Cannabis Corpse, and Septic Flesh? Now we're talking party. Our heavy metal guy Eric Walls reviews new releases from those metal masters as well as red-hot discs from Fucking Invincible, Trap Them, , Metsatoll, and Castle.


Read Eric's column here...


Listening to the Antlers in the past has sometimes been an emotional trial, but Zac Coe reports that the band's latest offering might just prove habit-forming. Read his review here...


The Hold Steady, on tour with the Drive By Truckers, recently wowed a fervent Jersey crowd at the Stone Pony's outdoors Summerstage. Read Eli Zeger's review here...



The Front Bottoms' new EP "Rose" is filled with songs the that Brian Sella and Matt Uychich were still singing when they were just starting out at DIY shows, like the one pictured above at the Meat Locker in 2010. The combination of old songs performed by a well-oiled touring band with fuller orchestrations makes "Rose" a complete winner, according to Dan Bracagalia. Read his review here...


World Music from Afro-Jersey, pop-punk from Beach Slang, female-fronted indie rock from Dentist, and punk rock from Masked Intruders are among the sounds in Paul's latest column. He also reviews new releases from Alvaays, Cretin Stompers, The Delines, Identical Homes, Jolie Holland, the band called Life, Miss Ohio, two releases from The Mostly Dead, Needles/Pins, Brooklyn buzz band OBN III's, Soundtrack To Sleep, and grunge revivalists Stranger Cells.

Read Paul's column here...



Temple senior Alex G makes music in his bedroom and releases it on the Internet, but his latest album DSU has already been favorablyreviewed by Rolling Stone, Conequence Of Sound, and Pitchfork. Is this the end of the indie underground, or the beginning of something else? Jackson Phinney ponders these questions while discussing Alex G's unique genius 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...



Chris Carrabba helped define the millennial emo movement with his bands Dasboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, but now he's pursuing a country muse with his new project Twin Forks. Deb Draisin caught up with the very busy frontman, you can read her interview here...


Layne Montgomery checks out the second (or third) release from buzz band Parquet Courts and thinks the band will stick around long after the buzz wears off. Read his review here...

SKA'S NOT DEAD,

IT'S DIRTY!

Chris Lucca, the trumpet man of the Harmonica Lewinskies, knows a few things about horn-driven rock 'n' roll and quite a lot about ska. And he's got nothing for good things to say about the songwriting and arrangements on ska-punk veterans Mad Caddies' latest release Dirty Rice, which proves that ska's not dead, it's just waiting for innovative musicians to bring it to yet another level. Read his review here...



There are two things we're sure about here at JerseyBeat.com: The sun's gonna rise in the morning, and Layne Montgomery loves the Strokes. So when Layne scored a pair of tickets to see his heroes at Portchester's stately Capitol Theater - one of the smallest venues the Strokes have played in a decade - of course we wanted to hear what he thought. You can read his somewhat surprising review here...

LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY
FIRES BREATH AMERICAN
HISTORY INTO R'N'R

We Yankees here in NYC and New Jersey will probably never understand the American South, but we can learn a little from the hellfire rock 'n'roll of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. That's the supposition that Jamie Frey posits in his review of the band's latest release, Dereconstructed, which you can read here...

 

Jersey Beat competed again at Punk Rock Bowling, the insane party, bowling tournament, bacchanal, and music festival that BYO Records hosts every year in Las Vegas. This year we had photographer Lane Lovegrove with us to chronicle the madness; check out his photos here...



Eli Zeger talks to Guided By Voices drummer Kevin March about his career, GBV's new album, and his work as Creative Director at NJ's School of Rock. Read Eli's interview here...


ELO Meets Kiss on Pujol's fractures Kludge

Daniel Pujol's certainly earned his stripes among his generation's army of flannel-shirted, fuzzy-chinned post-garage rockers, but on Kludge he throws in a kitchen sink's worth of sonic geegaws that may leave fans scratching their chins while banging their heads. Pete Kilpin reports here...



Deb checks out NJ rockers SHIFT at a recent NYC gig and then serves up a review of their new album. Read her column here...


With Givin' Up Free Jazz, the Everymen take that step from your favorite anonymous bar bard to a signed, touring, rock 'n' roll machine. Drawing from influences that range from streetcorner doo wop to Springsteen's arena-rock swagger, Jamie Frey proclaims that the album "harnesses the chaotic live energy of the band's shows but also condensing the songs to fully exploit their pop potential." Read his review here...


Emo Forefather Chris Carrabba Gets Happy
With New Folk/Rock Project Twin Forks

Chris Carrabba helped put American emo on the map with Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, but his new project Twin Forks will put a smile on your face. Deb Draisin caught the band at a recent NYC gig and reports here...

How Cool Is Cool Planet?

Layne Montgomery, the world's biggest Guided By Voices fan, reviews the latest Guided By Voices album, Cool Planet. This is the band's sixth full-length since its classic lineup reunited in 2010, and - depending how your count - their 22nd overall. Is there anything this band still has left to say, and can they keep finding original ways to say it? Read Layne's review here...

 

JEFFREY LEWIS & THE JRAMS: Keeping it real

Jersey Beat's Jamie Frey recently had the chance to get on stage with anti-folk mainstay Jeffrey Lewis at a Lou Reed tribute. Now Jamie's reviewing Jeff's newest album, recorded as a no frills trio he calls the Jrams. The album includes Lewis' usual wry observations, lyrical deftness, and some seriously rockin' jams as well as a spoken word tribute to Pussy Riot.
Read Jamie's review here...


Live Review:
TROPHY SCARS - Energetic, gritty, heartfelt rock at CD release show

Bergen County's Trophy Scars celebrated the release of their new CD Holy Vacants at Teaneck's Mexicali Live with an exciting, excellent showcase of their material. Eli Zeger was there, read his review here...



Tim Erbach and Marcel Rudin are the young entrepeneurs behind Hudson County's DIY label Mulberry Sound Recordings, which showcases bands like the Delta'88 Band, Perenniel Reel, Diplopia, Morus Alba and others, many featuring the same rotating cast of young musicians. Eli Zeger sat down with Tim at his Jersey City home to talk about the label, the bands, and growing up in Jersey City.Read his interview here...


HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH:
Neil Patrick Harris reinvents an odd loveletter
to individuality and rock 'n' roll

Hedwig & The Angry Inch tells the story of an "internationally ignored song stylist" named Hedwig, a reluctant transsexual who struggles to conquer the divides between East and West, male and female, love and longing. Neil Patrick Harris shines in the role but this new production adds a few new wrinkles of its own. Read Jim Testa's review here...

Jersey Beat's favorite talk show host makes his comedy album debut with a stream-of-consciousness standup routine that mostly focuses on what it's like to be Chris Gethard. Fortunately that's a pretty funny topic. Read John Ambrosio's review here...
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Chris Gethard & Friends sold out the Knitting Factory and saw the comedian play host to some of his musical and comedy friends, including Mikey Erg, Shellshag, Eugene Mirman, Mike Birbiglia, and Hannibal Burress. Read Jim Testa's review here...



As the weather warms up, you'll be looking for something to read in the park, at the beach, and on those warm Spring afternoons. May we suggest these?


WHATEVER, IT'S COOL

Howler isn't simply a band: It's a signpost of millennial thinking, and the group's new album World Of Joy may just be the Rosetta Stone that unlocks the culture of today's twentysomethings for future generations. Musical archaeologist Pete Kilpin explains it all here...


Don Giovanni Records gives us three new releases for Spring: The first live album from New Brunswick's Screaming Females, the debut album from folk-legend Peter Stampfel and The Brooklyn & Lower Manhattan Banjo Squadron, and the Replacements-ish pop-rock of Long Island's Crow Bait. Read our reviews here...


Our West Coast Bureau Chief Paul Silver recently helped folk/punk singer songwriter Jeff Berman (above) celebrate this birthday with a performance that included Berman's band Divided Heaven, Bad Sports, the Black Hands, and Brian Marquis Music. You can read Paul's review here...


Jimmy Urine & Co. Get Golden at Irving Plaza

Irreverent punk/electronic/techno/industrial/hip hop collective Mindless Self Indulgence invaded Irving Plaza recently for what promised to be the group's last visit for the foreseeable future. Deb Draisin was there and her report is here...

JIMMY URINE:
THE JERSEY BEAT INTERVIEW by Deb Draisin



NYC's Driven Mad, rising from the ashes of the popular King Hell, honors the classic thrash style of clean vocals and powerful riffs. Jersey Beat's Damien Ellinghaus gets the lowdown on modern metal from frontman Sam Walters here...

Damien also reviews Driven Mad's new EP "Committed" here...


R.I.P. DAVE BROCKIE, Scumdog Of The Universe

Jersey Beat fell in love with GWAR a long time ago. The alien invaders from Antarctica first appeared in our sister publication GROT in the Fall of 1989, in an interview with Brent Cold-Iron. More recently, our Metal Editor Eric Walls interviewed Oderus Urungus himself on the release of the band's 13th album, Battle Maximus. We've captured that early interview here and you can read Eric's more recent interview here...


SHIFT - Molly

NO FX - "Stoke Extinguisher" EP

THE SONGS OF TONY SLY: A TRIBUTE

THE MOIST BOYZ - V

NINE INCH NAILS - Hesitation Marks

DAVE HAUSE - Devour

BRICK + MORTAR - "Bangs" EP

MY HOMETOWN: A Tribute To New Jersey (Various Artists)

 




by Joe Wawzyrniak

Singer/songwriter Tommy Wallach comes through with eleven utterly engaging story songs on his debut full length album. Joe also reviews new releases by Kris N., the Down Home Band, Broken Twin, Sunshine Riot, and Cohfla.

Crunchy 'n' punch is how Joe describes the new release from New Jersey's Little Dipper. He also reviews new albums by Thunderegg, Random Order, the collaborative effort from Sam Densmore & Curtis Irie, elegant songstress Matteah Baim, the energetic folk-rock of Ed Tang & The Chops, and poignant pop from Setting Sun. Read Joe's column here...


Eli reviews NJ hard-rock quartet Killed The Fixtion, then checks out the new release from Calla frontman Aurelio Valle, which he calls "a raspily-produced, demented half hour of really out-there, yet elegant music." Eli also reviews No No: A Dockumentary, a documentary film about the life of pitcher Dock Ellis, as well as the latest album from NJ emo rockers Sleep In.. He also dives headfirst into the new release from The Hold Steady, the Brooklyn band's first since 2010's disappointing Heaven Is Whenever, and the new release from NJ's Trophy Scars, a concept album of sorts with a mythical theme.. Read his review here...




Jamie reviews the latest album from profilic anti-folk songster Jeffrey Lewis, recording this time around as Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams, as well as new releases from Brooklyn bands Primes, Video Beast, and the Gradients, and from New Paltz' suprisingly fecund indie scene, What Moon Things. Read his reviews here...


Rich finds "a monstrous amount of twisted briliance" in the debut of Brooklyn-based instrumental trio Iced Ink, and finds former Hot Water Music lead singer Chuck Ragan's new solo Americana album filled "with daring candor and brazen sincerity." He also reviews new releases from Scottish pop punkers Kimberly Steaks, the cassette insanity of Space Wolves, the exciting punk duo Street Eaters, the Southern-fried twang of NJ's Broken Darling, and the country/blues fusion of NYC's Falling Birds.

Read Rich's column here...

What's new at Iris Records? Stephen Gritzan reviews new releases from Honduras, Gillian, and young NJ singer/songwriter Brett Steinberg. Read Stephen's review here...

By Tony B.

Chicago punk rock has no greater godfather than Marc Ruvolo, from bands like No Empathy through his landmark punk label Johann's Face to his sci fi/fantasy book store, Bucket O'Blood. Now Marc is back with a solo acoustic EP, and Tony B. reviews it 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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