When Tim Sommer was a student at NYU, he hosted Noise: The Show, which turned a generation of listeners (including your editor)onto obscure early hardcore bands like Flux of Pink Indians and Even Worse. A few years later, Tim had an A&R job at Alantic Records and talked his boss into signing four South Carolina frat boys with the unlikely name Hootie & The Blowfish. Now, nearly 30 years later, Tim has written the definitive story of that band and its generation-defining album cracked rear view, along with an unsparing look at the record industry of that era.
Editor Jim Testa reviews new releases from cartoonist turned musician David Heatley, longtime fave Kevin Devine, NH's New Norde, NYC's Lovechild, South Jersey's the dt's, Montclair's Roy Orbitron, NYC's Super User Friendly, and the UK's Curse Of Lono. Read Jim's reviews here...
Jersey Beat's Rich Quinlan chats with Tracy Hightop, the veteran lead guitarist of Long Island blues powerhouse Jane Lee Hooker.
Read Rich's interview here....
Paul Silver never rests and this week has reviews of Companion, Double Cheese, Steve & Gini Jackson, One Armed Joey, Rip Room, Slang, and Walker Brigade, in addition to last week's reviews: Graduation Speech, Moonraker, Pulley, Say Sue Me, Jesse Tyler Wall, and a ska split EP from The Rumjacks and Flatfoot 56. He's also got reviews of The Drowns, Night Court, Parade of Horribles, Tony Jay, The Wilful Boys, Chuck Yoakum, Deaf Lingo, Dewey Defeats Truman, Market, Pershagen, Bob Stinson's Bleeding Hearts, the Jeanines, Alice Genese's new duo Ov Stars, perennial ska-punk faves the Slackers, a 2-song demo from Flexurhead, dreampop mavens Tiny Blue Ghost, and pop punk faves Mean Jeans and Warren Franklin.
Read Paul's column here...
Rich closes out 2021 with reviews of the consistently wonderful pop-punkers the Dollyrots, North Dakota's Shotgun Facelift, Lithuanian (!) doom-metalheads Sullen Guest, and Chicago's Touched By Ghoul, which Rich describes as "an explosion of nervous energy wound tightly into a ball of delightful ferocity that embodies everything that brilliant noise rock should be." Rich also review the debut album from Body/Dilloway/Head, the exciting new collaboration between Aaron Dilloway and Kim Gordon, along with new releases from Steve Conte, The Hushdrops, Skunk D'Gunk, Big D & The Kids Table, Rise Against, and Dan Vapid & The Cheats. Oslo's Cocktail Slippers, Barcelona's Crisix, Astoria State, Pink Turns Blue, David Duchovny, Acid Tongue, Ferocious Designs, Flotsam & Jetsam, Oh The Humanity, Assertion, Death from Above 1979, Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders, Grande Royale, Skegss, Atria, Great Shake, and lots more!
James Damion doesn't just review records, he
actually goes to record stores and buys them, and graces
us with write-ups of four punk and HC reissues he's just
checked out: This month, we sent James a box of vinyl LP's from Big Neck Records, including albums by Klaxo, Future Kill, and Bashford, as well as a 7-inch from Lasso on the venerable Sorry State Records. James also checks out newly issued vinyl from D.C.'s Indian Summer, reissued demos from Visual Discrimination and Sweden's Step Forward, and a new release
from Chris Matthews of seminal DC artpunks Shudder To Think.
James also reviews The Gears, Finland's
013, Ireland's The Defects,
Outburst, BL'AST, and Change.
He talks about the historical importance of John
Peel's Peel Sessions and reviews The Ruts
newly released session,
Mark "Bort" Hughson is back with reviews of Long Drag, Buglite, and a bizarre compilation of songs from a prank call website. Also, reviews of Black Midi, School Of X, John Savage's Alternate History of Electronic Music, and another comp of video game music.
Read Mark's column here...
Read Mark's column here...
James Damion speaks with Michele Cruz Gonzales, the outspoken author, activist, teacher, public speaker and onetime drummer of the groundbreaking East Band band Spitboy. They talk about her music career, feminism, and much more.
Jon D'Amore is a Jersey guy who headed to Hollywood to work in music as well as television and film, but he's also the author of six books. The latest, George & Me, combines scifi with American history in a unique way. Jon talks to editor Jim Testa about his books, his process, and offers some advice for aspiring writers.Read Jim's interview here...
James Damion interviews teacher and author Nancy Barile about her new memoir I’m Not Holding Your Coat: My Bruised-And-All Memoir of Punk Rock Rebellion. Nancy reminisces about coming of age in the punk and hardcore scene and how that influenced her as a person and a teacher.Read James' interview here...
It's that time of year again when Jersey Beat's staff shares their favorites albums, EP's, and singles. Check out the lists from Paul Silver, Rich Quinlan, Jim Testa, James Damion, and Mark Hughson.
Jersey Beat's Grady Trexler talks with Jarrett Dougherty of New Jersey's Screaming Females about the interactive tour archive he's compiled, as well as the how the trio survived the pandemic and the Screamales' approach to keeping their band DIY and independent.
Jersey Beat's newest reporter Grady Trexler catches up with Rob Romano to chat about his new project Chico Romano, his longstanding band Professor Caveman, and the state of the New Brunswick music scene.
Tris McCall presents another video culled from his ongoing project "McCall's Alamanac," which features songs, stories, and tour guides inspired by cities in our fifty states. Today, Jersey Beat premieres the video for "On Indian Schools," representing Phoenix, Arizona. For more, visit McCall's Almanac.com.
Ricky Rochelle is a drummer, singer, songwriter, and now a newlywed and solo artist. We caught up with the veteran pop-punker to talk about his new release "Unleash The Demos," Ramonescore, and post-covid life on his native Long Island
You may recognize Michael Kelly’s name from the album credits on releases from Ash Williams or Matt Caskitt & The Breaks. But Kelly has a solo project too, under the name Buckley’s Angel. Begun around 2015 as a solo acoustic folk-pop-punk effort, Buckley’s Angel has evolved over time, with Kelly recruiting some friends to record full-band songs. Now Buckley’s Angel are announcing their upcoming debut EP, “Pinnacle Room,” due out in August via Paper Street Cuts. Jersey Beat is proud to present the premiere of the first video single from the EP, “Exit Culture.” - Paul Silver
Deb Draisin interviews Lizzie Edwards, the scintillating frontperson of NYC's Lizzie & The Makers.
Legendary folk-rock guru Peter Stampfel illustrates the
history of pop music in the 20th Century the only way
he knows how - by picking and playing a favorite tune
from each of the century's 100 years. The project is called
Peter Stampfel's 20th Century In 100 Songs, available
now in a CD box set, digital download, or stream. Editor
Jiim Testa caught up with Peter in COVID lockdown to talk
about this magnum opus and the other many projects this
busy octagenarian has in the works.
James Damion talks with Pete Tabbot of Vision about his
life in the NJ hardcore scene, his career as an educator
and health officer, and his work on the City Gardens documentary,
Riot On The Dance Floor.
The first thing Jersey Beat's James Damion did when he
moved to Seattle several years ago was find all the good
record stores. One of his favorites is Singles Going Steady,
manned by Byron Wilson. In this interview, Byron talks
about the store, his experiences growing up near Gilman
Street, his love of cooking, and his band The Expendables.
James Damion talks to Pete Martinez, owner and proprietor
of New Jersey's only drum shop, The Drum Den in Hoboken.
Pete talks about following his passion, playing in bands,
and what you'll find at his unique store.
The Happy Fits - Calvin, Ross, and Luke - started playing
together for fun in the summer before they started college,
back in their hometown of Pittstown, New Jersey. Five
years later, these up-and-coming, tour-seasoned, full-time
musicians will be releasing their much-anticipated sophore
album, What Could Be Better, at the end of August.
Jim Testa talked to the exciting young trio about their
music, their passionate singalong fan base, their early
DIY touring, and how to be a band in 2020.
Joe Darone first grabbed Jersey Beat's attention as the
teenaged drummer of The Fiendz, but these days he's best
known for the experimentalist Suit of Lights. With a new
album on the horizon, Joe chatted with Jersey Beat's James
Damion about his long career in both music and graphic
arts, his approach to music, and what might come next.
New Jersey lost one of its finest bands when The Everymen
disbanded in 2017 and frontman Michael VM relocated to
North Carolina with his family. Jersey Beat's James Damion
catches up with Mike to talk about living in the South,
remembering the Everymen, and looking at what comes next
in his career.
Jersey Beat's Rich Quinlan was so moved by the latest
EP from Gdansk, Poland's Trupa Trupa that he contacted
the band and interviewed lead singer/guitarist Grzegorz
Kwiatkowski. Here, Kwiatkowski talks about his band's
process, his denunciation of Holocaust deniers, and the
realities of being a rock band in Poland.
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
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.
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.
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
read Rich Quinlan's review of Mike Watt's Ring Spiel '95
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...
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.