Jersey Beat Music Fanzine


Field Medic at Alphaville 05/11/2019

Whenever I go to shows in new places, it is always an adventure for me, mostly because I always get lost. I followed my map through the slanting streets of Brooklyn, until my location matched the red pin denoting Alphaville, but with the street quiet and the security door still barring the narrow venue, I had my doubts. If you ever find yourself wandering Bushwick in search of a drink or music - or both - trust that this deceiving exterior holds much more within.

Fast forward to six o'clock when the lights went on, the doors opened, and I stepped inside what was a narrow but cavernous bar with bands setting up in the back room. With a small, low platform for performers and a disco ball scattering light around the room, Alphaville made me nostalgic for a time I am not sure I have even experienced.

The opening band was called Another Michael. To my surprise, it was not just a guy named Michael. The band from Philly incorporates a mix of indie pop elements into a sound that defies immediate classification. While soft spoken if not shy at the mic, Michael Doherty and crew revealed their true power with keyboards, electronic percussion, and acoustic and electric guitars. The tenderness of the songwriting combined with deep basslines and percussion to delivered an emotional punch. In a melancholy falsetto, the lyrics "I know everything there is to know about you / I know your favorite song from 2002" struck an nerve. Vague enough to be relatable yet specific enough to hit home, whatever it is that drove Another Michael to write these tender tracks, I felt it too.

After Another Michael, the man of the hour took the stage. What should we call him? Some call him the lo-fi cowboy, a name fitting his set up of Goodwill boombox, cassette tapes, harmonica, and two acoustics. The man behind it all is Field Medic aka Kevin Patrick.

A true breh (the coolest way to say 'bro'), Field Medic creates a new kind of folk with acoustic guitar backed by simple beats on his boombox for that crunchy lo-fi feel. Field tells a wandering musician's tale full of lost love, longing, and lots of beer. He does not ask for pity, rather wins you over with humor ("That beer called Becks, it reminds me of a haiku I wrote,") and sincerity ("I gotta sell some shirts to try and make the rent.")

"This song is for all you lovers out there," he prefaced no less than four songs. One of these was "Henna Tattoo," the breakout single from his latest album "Fade Into the Dawn." Despite the upbeat facade, it is a wistful account of lost love. Some fans call it an answer to "uuu," his poppy, number one hit, with which he ended the show (for all the lovers out there). If you are wondering how the kids do folk these days, look no further than The Man, The Myth, The Mullet that is Field Medic.



Movements, Turncoat at Irving Plaza 05/07/2019

Another weeknight, another sold-out show, this time it’s Movements, a SoCal post-hardcore band. Considering it was an early show, I wasn’t expecting it to be a wild night but I was wrong. The first sign was when I walked in to merch tables for bands called Drug Church and Trash Boat. Okay, I am guilty of not checking the lineup in advance but sometimes surprises are nice.

The room was nearly full even when the first band, Drug Church, began their set. A group of punks from Albany, they did a good job getting the energy up in the room. Next was Trash Boat, hailing from the UK. Here, I was pleasantly surprised. With age, my musical tastes have drifted slightly from the hardcore scene, but Trash Boat won me with their intermingling of melodic riffs and appropriately timed breakdowns. The English accent also appealed to the American girl in me. Following was Boston Manor, also from the UK. The room was packed at this point and the center of the room was swelling with a near visible tension before opening up a pit. With heavy encouragement by the band, a circle pit almost the width of the whole floor opened up. Crowded surfers passed overhead every minute. Even the more docile fans cramped between the periphery of the pit and the barriers had smiles. This is a band worth seeing again if you are into high energy harcore.

Finally, Movements was up. Formed in 2015, Movements is a relatively young band with a fanbase to match. They would have been my jam as a teenager, a thought which revealed itself to be self evident as I looked around myself. Nonetheless, young fans, old fans, new fans, longhaul fans, the crowd was as mixed as their setlist which featured their early work as well as songs from the 2017 album “Feel Something.” This is the album that got me hooked on the band. It features the songs, Daylily and Submerge, as well as Deep Red which has a killer bassline that had even more kick in person.
Having built a rock steady foundation with the loud yet nostalgic and moody stories told on “Feel Something,” Movements certainly holds potential for the future.


Turnover, Reptalien, Illusion at Brooklyn Steel 05/06/2019

On the outside, Brooklyn Steel is just another tall brick building with a name fitting the industrial history of Williamsburg. On the inside, another sold-out show by headliner Turnover, on a Monday night no less. This was going to be good.

The show opened with some hard core punk provided by the band, Illusion. The teens waiting for the dream poppy headliner looked shaken by the big stage. They were followed by Reptaliens, who brought us a lo-fi 60's day dream. The costume changes involving various wigs and alien masks added to the ambience but what really got things going was lead vocal and bass, Bambi Browning. Her dreamy voice and exuberant bass playing really helped set the stage for the rest of the night.

The next band Turnstile was another 180. Judging by conversations around me, a good portion of the turnout that night appeared to have been loyal fans of the hardcore punks from Baltimore. If Reptaliens set the mood for the night, Turnstile really turned things up.

At this juncture a mosh pit opened up and crowd surfers slung their bodies toward stage, lifted by the strength of fellow concert-goers. Though it was growing late (I have work tomorrow...) if I could endure Turnstile, I could at least wait for Turnover. When the moshers dispersed and groups of girls pushed their way to the front, I knew it was time.

Despite a lengthy setup, Turnover was worth it. Scenery of a colorful sparkling neighborhood was projected on the screen behind them. A teen injured by a crowd surfer seemed to instantly recover once the twinkly dream pop tunes began. She and everyone else was jumping and singing along (there was no moshing). Although their older work has a more punk twist, Turnover went with more of their newer, dreamier tracks.
When they played one of my personal favorite, Dizzy on the Comedown, thoughts of the workday tomorrow floated out of my mind, I was glad to have endured all to see Turnover.



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