Our world was shattered by the loss of Dan McLane this past
week. Dan was original member of the Harmonica Lewinskies
and more recently his own group, the Dan McLane Family Band.
He was a musician, singer, songwriter, but more importantly,
one of the brightest spirits I've ever know. Oliver Ignatius,
the guru of Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, said it best: "It
is our most crushing loss, and it is our deepest defeat to
confirm the untimely passing of our beloved soul brother number
one Dan McLane, pillar of our community, life-giving lover
of the universe, the warmest, gentlest and most kind human
we have known."
In remembrance, I'm reposting this interview I did with
Dan and the Harmonica Lewinskies in 2012, when Octopus
Wallstreet was released. Dan was one of the first friends
I made when I discovered the Mama Coco's collective and all
it took was about a second; one big smile and one of Dan's
gregarious bear hugs and he made me feel like we'd already
been friends for years. Dan had that effect on everybody.
All we can do to honor his memory is to try and follow his
example: Be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little
more loving, and a little more life-affirming every day we
remember him. And we will remember him always. - Jim Testa
Read my 2012 Harmonica Lewinskies interview here...
How much you want to bet a few of the albums in Paul Silver's
latest column wind up on your Year End Best Of List? There's
plenty to pick from: Power-pop from The All-About,
hilarious pop-punk from The Maxies, vintage
Hoboken indie-pop from East Of Venus, Japanese
legends Shonen Knife, and the long-awaited
full-length from punk rock heroes Mean Jeans,
as well as new releases from Bastards Of Young,
Bullnettle, DFMK, Divers, Pinned In Place, and
a split 7-inch from Bruiser Queen and The
You might've heard that Punk Rock Bowling, the annual bowling
tournament/punk rock festival/bacchanalia that BYO Records
hosts in Las Vegas, is coming to New Jersey this year. We
finally have ALL the details -- who's playing, where, when,
and how much it will cost. Check out the details here...
Soundcloud, and Bandcamp make it easy for musicians
to have their music heard, but how do you get your fans
to pay for it? Three local music industry experts will help
musicians address that topic as part of a special panel
at this year's Hub City Festival in New Brunswick.
On Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 pm in the Court Tavern, musicans
can get that advice from Joe Steinhardt (of Don Giovanni
Records,) Mike Mehalick (Of Speak Into My Good Eye.com)
and Keith Roth
(host-producer for Sirius XM Satellite Radio and 95.9 the
Rat, co-founding producer of Main Man Records, member of
Frankenstein 3000, session player and sideman, and star
of the recently released “Let Me Down Hard”
The panel has been organized and will be moderated by Bob
Makin, veteran NJ music journalist. Topics will include
touring, the legal minefield of publishing, the question
of whether a band needs management, and effective ideas
for distribution and marketing your music.
The panel will be followed by a concert featuring five bands
from the New Brunswick and Asbury Park music scenes: Cold
Weather Company, The Vaughns, The Roadside Graves, Battery
Electric, and Professor Caveman. For more information, visit
Hub City Music Festival website.
Bob Mould - Hold On (Merge Records)
Bob Mould's been enjoying a late-career renaissance which
his latest album Patch The Sky continues. These are passionate,
private songs with exquisite guitar tones that recall Mould's
best work in Husker Du.
Hoboken's Diplopia is the solo project
of former Perenniel Reel guitarist Evan Dibbs, a beautiful
collection of jazz-inflected folk with finger-picked guitar
and sophisticated composition. Roy Orbitron offers
heady cowboy rock, Experiment 34 come out
of New Brunswick with a solic classic rock approach, while
Baltimore's Underlined Passages serve up
a warm pop jangle. Finally the prolific Sink Tapes
from New Brunswick move their shoegazey sound into new and
Joe W. is back and swinging from the heels on his first
column of the Spring, raking through new releases from Hoboken
singer/songwriter Ryne Meadow, classic
rockers Peter Wolf and Willie Nile,
indie buzz bands Deardarkhead and Adult
Books, as well as Holy Wave, Black Peaches,
Save Ends, the High Violets, and Brett Harris.
On Revol, NYC's Sons Of An Illustrious Father jump
from DIY orphans of the storm, buffeted by the vagaries
of Brooklyn's flavor-of-the-week class system, and make
a bid for national recognition with an album that's alternately
dark, blusey, heavy, and transportingly spiritual. Read
Sam Braverman's review here...
New Age Healers' new release 'Ghost' showed up in our inbox
with only a heavily redacted press release and an ethereal
video that we found both fascinating and slightly disquieting.
We share this with the proviso that you listen at your own
risk. For more information, visit New
Theory's sprawling double album Lolita Nation is the latest
album from this underrated band to be reissued by Omnivore
Records, and our Joe Merklee says it's well worth another
visit. " Hearing it all again after so many years was
a revelation," Joe writes. "Here was a band firing
on all cylinders. Anyone who was fortunate enough to have
heard this lineup live could vouch for the fact that they
were capable of rocking as hard as anyone while being skilled
enough to deliver on the more understated songs." Read
his review here...
The future voice of American theater?
Karimloo is a rising star in theater and films. David Boyle
profiles this exciting new actor here...
Back when I first started going to the open mic at Muchmore's
in Williamsburg, I met Samantha Roche and Trevor Rue, a
young folk-pop duo who sang together under the name Bitterheart.
I instantly became a big fan and now I'm proud to have Jersey
Beat introduce a brand new track from the pair called "Someone
Anthrophobia's back! Jersey
Beat's favorite heavy band has come out of retirement with
"six sludgy, heavy slabs of no frills, angst-fueled
power" on the "Rewired" EP. Rich also reviews
new extreme metal from NJ's Toothgrinder,
indie punk from Boston's Kal Marks, melodic
metalcore from High Hopes, and new releases
from New Jersey's Holy City Zoo, Florida
punks Up For Nothing,Useless Eaters,
and Slow Buildings.Read Rich's
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.
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
"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...
Snyder reviews new releases from Brooklyn's Rio En Media,
cowpunk artists Jenny Don't & The Spurs, and Dallas,
Texas' The Disappearing Act.
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...
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.
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...
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
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bands and a resource for all those interested in
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