This has been a big year for Kevin Devine: His Kickstarter
campaign to fund two new albums raised a whopping $115,000,
and next weekend he'll reunite with his old band The Miracle
of '86 for shows at Maxwell's and the Mercury Lounge. We
talked with Kevin about his career, his Kickstarter, his
old band, and his future plans; read Jim Testa's interview
Asbury Lanes mounted its own production of The Rocky Horror
Show, complete with
transvestites, monsters, dancing girls, and lots of fun.
Phil Rainone reporters here...
Our friends from North of the Border, the baseball-obsessed
pop-punk band the Isotopes, recently toured through the
U.S. and kept a journal for us.
Here is Part One of The Isotopes Tour Diary here...
Part Two is here...
Part Three is the funniest episode yet. A catastrophic breakdown,
a redneck mechanic, all the fun of tour! Read it here...
Springsteen On Springsteen - Interviews, Speeches, and
Encounters Edited by Jeff Burger (Chicago Review Press)
Springsteen On Springsteen creates an endearing
portrait of the artist: Caring, responsible, well-versed
in those musical heroes who came before him. He loves all
the same artists I love. His eloquence in the interview
situation is yet another art form and you get to know him…I
mean, really know him this time. Coming, as this book does,
on the heels of Peter Ames Carlin’s highly recommended
and epic Bruce biography, this one was more than pleasant
surprise. It was a mini-revelation. Read Phil Rainones's
Take a few thousand heavily tattooed, severely dysfunctional
punk-rock lifers, a couple dozen of the world's best punk
rock bands, marinate everything in alcohol, tobacco, and
recreational whatevers, and then dump the whole shebang
into the center of the most debauched city in America. That's
Punk Rock Bowling, and Jersey Beat was there. Read Jim Testa's
Art Rock Diva Rallies To Save Mermaid Parade
Amanda Palmer's been a lightning rod for criticism in recent
months, but she also rushed in to help save Brooklyn's beloved
Mermaid Parade at a gala benefit. Deb Draisin talks fins
and finances with the controversial art-rock diva here...
The weather sucked, the logistics left much to be desired,
and the roller coasters often seemed like a better alternative
than the music, but the Skate & Surf Festival managed
to return to New Jersey this year. Deb Draisin braved the
weather and the trek to Great Adventure, read her report
Front Bottoms return with their second album, one
of the most anticipated New Jersey releases of the year, and
all that talk about maps and swimming pools seems to have
turned dark and moody. In contrast, the second album from
Connecticut's The-All-About hums with post-adolescent
energy and earnestness, even if its protagonist is more lovelorn
than a lover. Recorded and then abandoned in 1991, Eleventh
Dream Day''s New Moodio been resurrected and proves
to be on of the Chicago indie stalwarts' best albums to day.
Jim Testa also reviews the buzzed about new releases from
Deerhunter and Vampire Weekend.
Read Jim's reviews here...
Jon D'Amore grew up in New Jersey. In fact, we went to
high school together. What I didn't know then was that in
just a few years, I would be at Rutgers buried in books
and the student newspaper, while Jon would be in Las Vegas,
helping the mob run a multi-million dollar scam. The ups,
the downs, the sex and drugs, the good guys and bad guys,
double crosses and surly bosses, it's all here in this alternately
funny, touching, and at times gripping roman a'clef.
Read Jim Testa's review here...
Ageless Jersey Rockers Invade Middle School
New Jersey power-pop kings The Smithereens performed a
rare local concert at Woodbridge Middle School recently,
and our Phil Rainone was there for every ringing power chord.
Read his review here...
Draisin tracks down one of rock's most flamboyant frontmen,
Jimmy Urine of the electro-trash-inustry-punk-reggae-techno-metal
combo Mindless Self Indulgence. Read her interview here...
You've read those rants online: Punk is
dead. Rock 'n' roll is over. Why music sucks. Brooklyn
What frontman and sometimes Jersey Beat scribe Jamie
Read his argument here...
The Night Birds, our favorite NJ punk/hardcore/metal combo,
recently performed at Stevens Institute of Technology, which
just happens to be bassist Joe Keller's alma mater. We asked
Joe what it was like studying to be an engineer while minoring
in punk rock, and you can read his answers here...
Night Birds to play bassist Joe Keller's alma mater
The ageless Suicidal Tendencies celebrated its 30th anniversary
this year with the release of a new album, 13. Deb
Draisin caught up with frontman Mike Muir to talk about the
band and the ceaseless march of time. Read her interview here...
MIKE MUIR: The Ageless Frontman Speaks Out
Deb reviews Suicidal Tendencies live at NYC's Best
Buy Theater here...
Mindless Self Indulgence rocks Irving Plaza
New York City's first "industrial, jungle, rock, punk,
techno freaks" had a homecoming at Irving Plaza, and
Deborah Draisin was there to capture all the insanity. Read
her report here...
EMILY'S ARMY - Lost At 17
THE EVERYMEN - A Very Short Tribute to Jonathan
NIGHT BIRDS - "Maimed For The Masses"
FACE TO FACE - Three Chords And A Half Truth
HARE - Nights Of Midnite (Dischord)
PORCHISTAS - The Porchistas Live
- The Time Has Come To Rock N Roll
PAL - God Save MCFK EP
Self Indulgence - How I Learned To Stop Worrying...
Fairmont- The Grand And Grandiose
yet another Fairmont album. This will be full-length number
7 and is around our 15th or 16th release. In a lot of ways
this new record was not very fun to write because it was
being written during the worst year of my life. It’s
all very personal and I don’t really want to cheapen
the gravity of the situation I was in by writing about it
in a press release. While I was going through my own personal
problems our drummer Andy Applegate almost died on two different
occasions due to chronic health problems. Honestly I don’t
even know how this album got written, I’m not sure
if it’s terrible or amazing. All I know is here it
is and it’s finished. Things have improved dramatically
for all involved and this album is the lasting document
of a period of my life I would like to, but will never forget.”
– Neil Sabatino
We appreciate you downloading this album. If you’d
like to hear more Fairmont you can purchase MP3’s
of everything we’ve released everywhere MP3’s
are sold or you can stream us on Spotify, or visit our websites.
Clilck on the download button for your free album.
Read Deb Draisin's review of The Grand &
Adam Bird of Those Mockingbirds and Mikey V of The Everymen
are two of New Jersey's most vital scenemakers, both as
musicians and as part of the state's DIY music community.
The duo approached us with a novel idea: What if, instead
of each band being interview by Jersey Beat, they just interviewed
each other? We loved the idea, so here is Adam Bird interrogating
the Everymen's Mike, followed by Mike grilling Those Mockingbirds'
Adam. Read their joint interviews here...
Ever wonder what it takes to not only start an indie record
label, but keep it going for ten years in the current economy?
Brooke Parciak talks to Neil Sabatino, owner/operator of
New Jersey's Mint 400 Records, not so much about music but
about the nuts and bolts of keeping a label alive. Read
her interview here...
The Bronx' blue collar punk continues to rock on band's
Damien Ellinghaus digs into the fourth self-titled album
from Los Angeles-based rockers The Bronx and finds it frothing
with the same fervor as the band's excellent earlier releases.
Read his review here...
NJ's Death By Improv troupe brings its comedy
stylings to To Be Continued bookstore
The Death By Improv improvisational comedy troupe has competed
in national competitions and performed in clubs across the
state, and recently put on a show at the multi-use To Be
Continued Bookstore in Metuchen, which has been hosting
a variety of events. Phil Rainone reports on the yuks here...
Editor Jim Testa catches up with two overlooked
albums from 2012 - Anderson Council's Britpop-infused Looking
At The Stars and the new-wavy pop of the ageless Catholic
Girls' Exposed. He also reviews new EP's from NJ bands Boxed
Wine and Holy City Zoo. Read his reviews here...
Oliver Ignatius & Co. craft a new Brooklyn sound
It's an industrial building in a largely residential Brooklyn
neighborhood. There's a cemetery across the street and a karate
school upstairs. But in this non-descript basement space,
dubbed Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, a uniquely talented producer
in his early twenties is churning out a series of indie rock
recordings by unknown young bands with names like Oh! My Blackbird,
Sons of An Illustrious Father, the Harmonica Lewinskies, and
The Great American Novel. Jim Testa visits with Oliver Ignatius,
the guru of Mama Coco's, to find out how so much great music
is coming out of this virtually unknown studio. Read his story
Jim Testa Interviews The Harmonica Lewinskies
and the Great American Novel here...
by Joe Wawzyrniak
The "lively and passionate" Jersey City
combo Snowball 37 kick things off
in Joe's column, followed by new releases from Hoboken's
Rainbow Fresh, the Anatomy of Frank, MS MR,
the Diemakers, and singer songwriter Joe
Hertler. The swaying sounds of the tropics
fuel the debut EP from Brooklyn's Swaai Boys,
followed by bracing American folk rock from Asbury
Park troubadour Rick Barry and the
cracked Tom Waites-ian post-prog of Walter
Sicklert & The Army of Broken Toys.
Read Joe's column here...
Hot on the heels of several other Bruce Springsteen
biographies, Phil finds Springsteen On Springsteen
provides deep insight into the man and the artist.
Phil also reviews new releases from teen punks Emily's
Army, Jersey ska punk kings Streetlight
Manifesto, Asbury Park songstress Eryn
Shewell, singer songwriters Shannon
McNally and Jann Klose,
as well as new releases from Pepper, Catbirds
Say Yeah, and Salt. Phil checks out the latest
from Celtic rockers The Tossers, the Record Store
Day vinyl repackaging of Joan Jett's classic Album,
and new releases from Mike Lefton, Mission South,
and the Scotch Bonnets.
Read Phil's column here...
Paul checks out young NJ punk The Antics,
the Chapin Sisters' beautiful tribute
album to the Everly Brothers, the latest from New
Wave avatars Depeche Mode, a new
album from Minneapolis folkies Patches &
Gretchen, and a slew of pop punk records
from Rad Girlfriend Records. Paul
also raves about the latest from edgy pop punks RVIVR,
and also reviews a slew of new albums from
the Deer Tracks, the Isotopes, Luxury Liners,
The Manx, Marine Electric, the Recues, NJ's
Risk Relay, buzzed-about garage rockers
Thee Oh Sees, Thinking Machines,
and Your Future Lovers.
Paul's column here...
Rich reviews the debut full-length from Brooklyn-turned-Seattle
pop punkers Big Eyes, discovers a
rich vein of Nineties worship from Lawnmower,
and checks out the latest from NJ punks Man
Overboard."Staggeringly passionate and
explosive," Jowls impresses
Rich with their new album Cursed on the reliable Tiny
Engines label. Rich also reviews the weird but wonderful
Land Of Blood And Sunshine and the
latest from Run,Forever. Can't judge
a book by its cover, or a band by its publicity photo.
One look at NJ's Dinosaur Eyelids
and you'd never guess such cleancut gents would be
capable of the thunderous roar of their new album,
Rich's column here...
BY AUDREY ZEE WHITESIDES
Columnist Audrey Zee Whitesides sounds off on the
latest release from Cat Power, political
punk rockers The Capitalist Kids,
and longtime pop punkers Toys That Kill. Read
his column here
Zac Coe reviews Wheel, the
latest from Laura Stevenson. On Bad Books'
II, the collaboration between Kevin
Devine and Manchester Orchestra's Andy
Hull continues in another engrossing and
enjoyable album that plays off the strengths of both
of its "supergroup" participants. On Safe
Travels, the latest album from Jukebox
The Ghost, the band's two songwriters finally
manage to focus on common themes. "They meet
somewhere melancholy and triumph, both reckoning with
loss, love and death in a broad, relatable and utterly
danceable way," says our Zac Coe, resulting in
"the best pop album you wil hear this year."
Read his column here...
Beat's Dominick Knowles dissects the new Thom
Yorke solo project, Atoms For Peace;
the latest from Brooklyn duo Beacon,
whom Dom hails as "a bright guidepost for groove-based
electronic;" Peter Hook's largely
negligible electro experiment Low Ends; and
the latest release from Henry Laufer, aka Shlomo,
" consistently inconsistent, but also consistently
In his first column, Dominick takes a pretty tough
look at three recent releases: Qluster, Naked
Lunch, and The Epilogues.
Stay tuned for more, and if you're a local electronic
band looking to be reviewed, get in touch. Read Dominick's
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.