NJ's Mint 400 Records likes to showcase its artists with tribute compilations, and the latest, Don't Fade On Me, plays homage to the music of Tom Petty. Most of the covers hew fairly close to the originals but a few bands imbue their own style on Petty's classic songwriting. Highlights include The Extensions' smoky, sultry version of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," Ruby Bones' spirited take on "American Girl," Son Of The Velvet Rat's Tom Waits-y interpretation of "Free Fallin'," and the Limbos' psychedelic reworking of "Don't Come Around Here No More." For more information, visit Mint400Records.com.
Here is the video of "You Got Lucky" by This Bliss.


Photo by Kevin Durkin

Bloomfield, NJ's Joy Cleaner has been one of the happiest surprises of 2019, emerging (with their second album, You're So Jaded) as one of the state's most promising punk bands. Andrew Merclean caught up with the trio to talk about the band, the new album, and the future. Read his interview here...


Rich Quinlan reviews great new releases from ...And The Black Feathers, singer/songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum, and the first band we've ever reviewed from Jakarta, Indonesia, Grow Rich. Then there are reviews of Even Eden, River Drivers, The Dreadnoughts, classic punk from ageless veterans Tsunami Bomb, and the power-pop jangle of It's Karma, It's Cool. Rich digs through a pile of vinyl and a deluge of downloads to bring you reviews of new releases from Phony, Disjawn, Nik Freitas, The Full Counts, Michul Kuhn, The Cutthroat Brothers, Magnapop, Mark Lanegan Band, AM Nice, Inhumanwich, Sleepcrawler, WesdaRuler, Black Beach, and Vinny Caruana.

Read Rich's column here....

 




James managed to score a copy of the debut album from Foxhall Stacks, the post-punk supergroup whose members include Brian Baker, Bill Barbot, and Pete Moffett, and says you need to find a copy too. He also reviews the comprehensive Garden Variety box set, an Echo & The Bunnymen Peel Session, the latest from Harley Flanagan's Cro-Mags, Juliana Hatfield's tribute album to The Police, and new releases from Cheap Cassettes, Ankle Monitor, and Dead Blow Hammer. James digs deep into the new experimental and groundbreaking album by Jersey post-punk duo Cinema Cinema, abetted on this album with horns and a swerve toward free jazz.

Read James' column here...







The Skullers are riding high with the release of their new ep, "Freight Trains & Party Games." Jersey Beat is honored to bring you the bonus track from that release, a version of the EP's standout single "She Denies Herself The Things She Loves" recorded live in the famous phonobooth at Jack White's Third Man Records in Nashville. "I couldn't go to Nashville without stopping at the Third Man Records recording booth," Jack said. "To me, that booth is the ultimate expression of individuality in music - one person, one guitar, one microphone, one vinyl pressing. Plus, Neil Young made an album in there. I was grinning a bit the whole time." You'll be grinning too when you hear the track.

 


2019 ain't over until the fat lady sings and Paul Silver clears out his queue. This week Paul's got reviews of new releases from A Cast Of Thousands, Gino & The Goons, Goodman, Micah Schnabel, Slow Rivals, Sweet Pill and the Whiffs. Paul's also got some killer year end releases from the Subjunctives and Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band. Plus Paul reviews DieAlps!, The Full Counts, Monotrope, More Kicks, Alaskan singer-songwriter Parker Longbough, and a 7 inch from Phratry Records' Sleepcrawler.


Read Paul's column here...





City Gardens may not be there anymore but the Trenton area still has a rock scene, as we discovered when we heard the debut full length from the young punk trio Gravity Centered. We wanted to know about them, their scene, and their music, and here's the results. You can check them out at Montclair's Meatlocker on Monday, November 18.

Read Jim Testa's interview here...


With apologies to the Dean's Consumer Guide, here are some capsule reviews with letter grades of a slew of releases that were either overlooked, unreviewed, or never handed in from our inbox, including Rebecca Turner, the Successful Failures, James Dalton, Anamanaguchi, The Clydes, Tall Days, Garcia Peoples, Amanda Rose Riley, Geowulf, Amy O, Slow Buildings, and Tony Low.

Read Jim Testa's reviews here...

 





Jersey Beat's newest staffer PHLIS chats with Ev Gold, guitarist and vocalist of Brooklyn post-punk powerhouse Cinema Cinema. They discuss the group's fifth album CCXMD as well as delving into the intricacies of the band's sound.

Read the interview here...

Montclair's Lily Vakili Band shares a chugging blues-rock manifesto on their new video "She Wants What."

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Calgary based writer Brett Klassen doesn't only fit every Canadian stereotype, but delivers blunt and honest takes on punk, rock, and hip hop and much more in this column.


Columnist Brett Klassen checks off new releases from Unhappy Fly, Attaboy, Lone Wolf, and WIVES, with results that range from the kick-ass to the disappointing.

Read Brett's reviews here...



Amy Rigby has long been one of our favorite singer-songwriters. Now she's one of our favorite authors too, with the publication of Girl To City: A Memoir, the story of her life from a young girl worshipping Elton John on the radio through the tumultuous NYC club scene of the 70's, to the release of her debut solo album in the Nineties.

Read Jim Testa's story here...

Amy Rigby will read perform and read from her autobiography Girl To City: A Memoir at Little City Books (100 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken) on Thursday, October 17. Showtime is 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $20 from LittleCityBooks.com, which include a signed copy of the book and a music download.

 

 






There's a riot (grrl) going on... on Long Island


The hottest band on Long Island happens to be the all female Sharp Violet, inspired by the #MeToo movement and their own experiences in the male-dominated world of music. Jersey Beat's Rich Quinlan, a Long Island boy himself, caught up with the band to talk politics, rock 'n' roll, and the future.

Read Rich's interview here...

Jersey Beat proudly presents "Burn Baby Burn," the first single and video from The Campbell Apartment's Curmudgeon, coming soon on NJ's Mint 400 Records. Ari Vais, the songwriter, guitarist, and lead vocalist of The Campbell Apartment, has been an underrated and overlooked presence on the West Coast indie-pop scene for a while, something we're eager to help correct. On "Burn Baby Burn," Vais mixes Eighties jangle-pop with the trenchant wit of Randy Newman and the ebullient catchiness of Fountains of Wayne. Check it out!



Jersey Beat is proud to debut the new single from Glenn Morrow's Cry For Help,
out now on Rhyme & Reason Records. The distinctive cover art by artist Renee
LoBue conveys the dark confusion of the lyrics, which question where society might
be headed. "Are you ready for the country, are you ready to learn?" Morrow sings in
his trademark plaintive voice. "Do you want to think it over, or do you just want to watch it burn?" Big bold guitars and driving percussion recall Morrow's role in
pioneering what came to be known as "The Hoboken Sound" while still sounding
modern and relevant. Glenn Morrow's Cry For Help will perform at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ on Friday, August 23.

 

 



Jersey Beat's James Damion interviews Steven DiLodovico, one of the partners in DiWulf Publishing, the startup that brought us the oral history of City Gardens. Steve talks about other projects in the hopper, how he became a publisher and why he loves doing it, and shares some personal information about his battle with Crohn's Disease.

Read James' interview here...



"Sometimes I wake up and my heart is beating so loudly that I swear it's trying to start a conversation. While my newest single, 'No Sleep Tonight,' was originally born out of insomnia, it later helped me realize an important life motto: Don't take yourself too seriously." So says NJ singer/songwriter Brett Altman, on the debut of his first single, which will officially be released on Saturday, August. Musician/producer Max Feinstein, who recorded the track at Silver Horse Sound in Hoboken, comments, "This is a special moment in which a songwriter is leveling with himself and dropping the veil of artifice. We captured this moment of unflinching honesty, and set it to an appropriately breakneck pace. I enjoy moments of truth and I prize efficient songwriting with well connected parts. 'No Sleep Tonight' represents both of these." Enjoy!

Join Brett Altman at his No Sleep Tonight Single Release Show" at Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 1) on Saturday, August 3, at at 7:00pm.There is no cover and Brett will be performing acoustic versions of his originals. Follow him on Facebook.

 



Our friends at HIP Video turned us on to Kodiak, a young Tom's River rock band that's turning heads by flaunting its love of Eighties tropes, big riffs, and bigger hair. Managed by legendary drummer Carmine Appice, Kodiak is working on a debut album, but in the meantime, there's this impressive video that shows off the band's chops with a dazzling combination of animation and shots of the Jersey shore.




The Dogmatics used to be one of our favorite Beantown bands back in the Eighties, and now the current lineup has announced it will be releasing its first new album in three decades on Rum Bar Records. Check out this teaser single, "Summertime."

 


Singer/songwriter Sam Davison says he's retired from show biz (we'll see about
that,) but on his way out the door, he's us graced with a compilation of his
delightfully offbeat recorded work entitled The Upper West Side's #1 Singer-
Songwriter
, available on his Bandcamp page. Included are several tracks from
his never-released foray into glam-rock, recording with Oliver Ignatius at
Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, and we especially love this track, "Adventures In New Mobility."

 


Mark Hughson's got the lowdown on the second solo album from the incomparably Mikey Erg, a groundbreaking, much talked about debut from queercore duo GRLWood, and a fun pop-punk outing from the Lucky Eejits. He also looks at four diverse releases: NYC Pop-Punk from Weird Skin, noisy old-school rockers Cherubs, female fronted indie from Summer Cannibals, and ethereal Eighties vibes from Electric Youth.

Read Mark's column here...


Dromedary Records continues its series of collectible singles with a new EP from the Sink Tapes. "Drac/Witch" and "Dogbrain Dirt" float somewhere between Eighties jangle-pop and Nineties slacker-rock, recalling the poppier side of Yo La Tengo. Gabe Chiarello's deadpan vocals and subtle but insistent melodies shine. Be sure to download the digital bonus track "That's Not Me," delightfully dreamy indie with a motorik beat.

The EP will be available in a limited run as a handmade, one-of-a-kind, lathe-cut picture disc in a clear plastic sleeve, with free digital download in the format of your choice. Dromedary's Al Crisafulli explains, "Lathe-cut records are expert works of craftsmanship, individually handmade in real time on antique equipment. They don't sound like regular records; they're mastered in mono and each record has individual pops and hisses that usually disappear with repeated plays. Initial run of just 40 records - when they're gone, they're gone." These sell out fast, usually within a couple of days, so head over to Dromedary's Bandcamp page.


It's too hot to go out, so Editor Jim Testa cranked the AC and dug into his pile of promos, resulting in a slew of reviews. There are Omnivore's reissues of the final two albums by Steve Goodman, both chuck full of bonus tracks; the latest from the pride of Asbury Park, Rick Barry;some swampy boogie from Tim and Susan Bauer Lee (aka Bark;) power pop from Car City and grungy rock from Castle Black; a double-CD of new American standards from the redoubtable Chris Stamey; indie pop from Joanna Sternberg; and a new release from Boston vets Dan Webb & The Spiders.

Read Jim Testa's reviews here...






Frank Iero took his fans for a ride around Manhattan with a Rocks Off cruise this Spring, providing fans with some sweaty, exhilarating sounds to go along with the magnificent views of the city. Deb Draisin was there, read her review here...



Every summer, Chris Butler - you know, the pop genius behind the Waitresses and a slew of brilliant albums - gets a nice big royalty check from his old radio hits, and he sings about that experience on this subversively dreamy track from his 2018 album Got It Together! Sure, summer's nice, but in Ohio, it just means that another cold winter is on the way.



Jersey Beat's James Damion caught up with his onetime Hoboken neighbor Paul Rosevear for an interview about Paul's 20-year career in the New Jersey music scene, songwriting, bands, and his new role as a father.

Read James' interview here...



Fairmont ranks as one of New Jersey's few local bands that's sustained a 20-year career with a steady succession of quality releases and shows. Now founding member Neil Sabatino turns back the clock, releasing a collection of demos and out-of-print early EP's that chronicle the band's earliest days. We talked to Neil about the release, his band's long history, and the economics of sustaining a band and a label in a career that spans the birth of Napster to the rise of Spotify.

Read Jim Testa's interview here...



Check out "Anything You Wanna Be," the new single from Asbury Park's Erik Mason. A lifelong resident of Monmouth County, Erik is releasing "Anything" as a teaser for his debut full-length album People Like Us, coming this fall.   The single is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube. The piano-fronted tune reminds us of a young Billy Joel with a little of Peter Allen's old pizzazz, and a perfect driving song for a breezy summer day.


Jersey Beat is proud to debut the latest video and single from NJ rock duo The Components, the team of singer/guitarist Ronnie Sena and drummer/vocalist Zoe Ekonomidis. "Space Invader" follows the Components' debut album Continuum, released earlier this year on Mint 400 Records. I discovered the Components at a Battle of the Bands - which they won by unanimous consent of the judges - and since then, they've become one of the Garden State's most consistent hard rocking acts, especially on stage where frontman Ronnie Sena delivers a performance that's equal parts Chuck Berry, Jack White, and Bruno Mars. Whether they're playing a basement show or strutting across the stage of White Eagle Hall, the Components warrant your attention.

 


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.

Read his reviews here...







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' roll.

Read Deb's interview here...


Rebecca Thompson joins the JerseyBeat team as our freelance live correspondent. Follow her adventures as she checks out Movements and Turnover.

Read her column here...


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...




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' interview here...

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.

Read Leslie's reviews here...





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.

Read James' interview here...

New Jersey Albums & EP's of the Year

Jim Testa

Paul Silver

Mark Hughson

James Damion

Rich Quinlan





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.

Read Jim Testa's interview with the band here...



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.

Read James' interview here...



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 baseball.

Read James' interview here...





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 here...

 


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 here...



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 long overdue interview...



Omnivore, 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.

Read Joe Merklee's review here...




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 here...


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.

Read Jesse's reviews 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
checking out.

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 here... And read Rich Quinlan's review of Mike Watt's Ring Spiel '95 here...


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 interview 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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