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Jersey Beat Music Fanzine
 

 





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.

Read Jim's reviews here...

Rich reviews new releases from New Jersey's Holy City Zoo, Florida punks Up For Nothing, Useless Eaters, and Slow Buildings.
Read Rich's column here....

Leslie Snyder reviews David Bowie's final album "Black Star," a fascinating foray into jazz that proves that Bowie, even when dying of cancer, continued to explore new sonic territory fearlessly.

Read Leslie's review here...

 

 


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 here...







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.

Read Paul's column here...

The Chills -

"As Long As It Takes"

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...

Leslie Snyder reviews new releases from Brooklyn's Rio En Media, cowpunk artists Jenny Don't & The Spurs, and Dallas, Texas' The Disappearing Act.

Read Leslie's reviews here...



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 him here...



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...

Dangerous 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 ‘n’ roll.

Read Dave's review here...


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 Weasel.

Read their reviews here...



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.

Read Jim Testa's review here...


Jack 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 Records here...






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 here...



 

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.

Read Rich Quinlan's review here...



by Joe Wawzyrniak

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 Curious Quail.

Read Joe's column here...

 

 

 

 

 


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 it here...


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!

See our Best of 2014 lists 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...


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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