Beth Porter and Ben Please perform as The Bookshop Band,
a fantastically literary avant-folk band from the U.K.
that writes songs about the books and authors who appear
at their home base, a book store in Bath called Mr. B's
Emporium of Reading Delights, which sounds like something
out of a Roald Dahl story but actually exists. The band
launches a three-week U.S. tour with a performance at
Hoboken's Little City Books on Wednesday, January 16.
Rich Quinlan cleans out his queue to start the new year
with 2018 releases from the insanely prolific Grim
Deeds, Kleenex Girl Wonder, Obnox, Burly, Grandchildren,
Marshmallow Coast, Nioht Beats, the Transgressors,
and a punk rock single from The Blankz.
James Damion dives into 2019 with five reviews that look
back at hardcore's past with reissues and old demos as
well as looking forward with new music. He reviews a lost
Seventies album by the Mods, the exciting new releases
from NJ's School Drugs, old demos from Pushed Aside and
Ray Cappo's Better Than A Thousand, and the new split
EP from Toys That Kill / Iron Chic.
James Damion catches up with Cinema Cinema, the two man
demolition derby that's been rocking New Jersey - and
the world - with its throttling brand art-damaged noise-punk
since 2008. James and the band's guitarist/vocalist Ev
Gold discuss Cinema Cinema's origins, its motivations,
and its future.
James Damion catches up with Jerry Lardieri, singer/guitarist
of NJ's long-lived Brixton Riot, to talk about their upcoming
record, the band's history (and future,) the changing
landscape of the Jersey club scene, and even a little
Paul wraps up 2018 with three final
reviews of new albums from Authority Zero, Mr.
Lewis & The Funeral 5, and Sleepersound.
Then check out his last batch, which includes NJ's own
aBIRD, Brendan Kelly & The Wandering Birds,
A Cast of Thousands, Drug Church, Jagger Holly, Jigsaw
Youth, John Mafa, Neighborhood Rats, the Rev. Horton Heat,
Tightwire, Israel's Useless ID,
and Western Star.
Jim Testa reviews three favorite local releases of 2018:
Rockstar Racecar's second album The Real Housewives
of Pyongyang, Sunshine & The Rain's sophomore
release Beneath The Stars, and anti-folk mainstay
Brook Pridemore with his latest release, Metal Is
My Only Friend.
You might know New Jersey musician Adam Bird from Those
Mockingbirds, but his new persona as aBird chucks the
chunky guitars in favor of multi-dimensional synths. James
Damion chats with Adam about his new sound and his personal
struggles. Read James' interview
In the video for "Conspiracy Theory," Tris McCall
connects the dots behind the greatest mysteries of the
last one hundred years. Directed by George Pasles of Overlord,
the video will not only blow your mind but also have 'it's
all connected' running through your head for days!
Burning Down The Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and The
Fall of the Berlin Wall tells the story of how punk
rock kids in East Berlin helped foment the revolution
that brought down the wall.
John Lisa played an important role in the Staten Island
hardcore and punk scene of the late Eighties and early
Nineties. He talks about those days, his infatuation with
EDM, and his legacy in the hardcore scene with James Damion
Kinky Friedman - irascible, uncouth, politically incorrect,
and one of the wittiest songwriters ever to come out of
Texas - returns with his first album of all-new original
songs in 40 years with Circus Of Life. Kinky
mouths off on his career, songwriting, Imus, Nelson Mandel,
Barbara Jordan, and most of all, politics, with editor
Jim Testa. Read his interview here...
Leslie Snyder reviews new releases from NJ's Sean Kiely,
Eureka CA, The Innocence Mission, We Are Muffy, Adrian
Aardvark, Jesse Ainslie, and lots more!
Ask Peter Horvath to provide a list of all the bands he’s
played in and after he stops laughing, he'll rattle off
"just the main ones:" Etcetera, P.E.D., September
Violence, Seething Grey, Separate Peace, Halo Boots, Greyhouse,
and finally, The Anderson Council (1999- present) and
the Beatles tribute band Hey Bulldog (2004- present.)
There is simply no way to talk about the last 30+ years
of New Jersey music – punk, indie, underground,
call it what you will – without mentioning Peter
Horvath, and so we happily and proudly present James Damion's
the label that's given us first-class reissues of nearly-lost
albums from Game Theory, Alex Chilton, Jellyfish, and
dozens of others, steps up its game with the release of
Peter Holsapple's first new studio album
in 21 years, Game Day.
Holsapple hasn't lost his ear for melody and his soulful
yowl has aged like a fine wine; what's new here comes
from Peter's ability to look back over a long and well-lived
life and reflect on his successes, failures, joys, and
disappointments. This is a standout collection of adult
songwriting from one of the pioneers of power-pop.
Jersey Beat's newest correspondent Kyle Andrew Smith talks
about a recent show at Jersey City's weekly outdoor concert
series Groove On Groove that featured an array of local
talent. Check out his report here...
Tory Anne Daines's brave search for self and fulfillment:
Read James Damion's interview here.
The Weehawken based team of Jack Skuller and Luigi Sardi
(plus the drummer guy) have been racking up acclamations
and quality gigs while moving towards the release of their
debut album "Meet The Skullers." Today you can
hear their new single "I'm Your Man," a cover
from one of NYC punk's major innovators, Richard Hell.
As most of our readers know, Jersey Beat has competed
at BYO's Punk Rock Bowling tournament and punk festival
for quite a while now, so this year we're presenting a
report from someone new to the whole thing. With our new
friend Rex Stickler relating his experiences, this Jersey
Beat PRB report bears a striking resemblance to another
account of a wild Vegas weekend by a certain Dr. Thompson.
So, complete with bowling, punks, alcohol, drugs, bands,
crazed Uber drivers, and a joie de vivre that's
hard to miss, here's Rex's account of Beer
& Bowling in Las Vegas...
dragged our old metal columnist Eric Walls out of retirement
to review the comeback covers album of Burn The Priest,
who of course became metal gods under the name Lamb Of
God. Eric (and editor Jim Testa) were there when Burn
The Priest played a blistering, sweaty set at the Wilmington
Exchange Festival back in 1998, and Eric remembers that
night as well as reviewing this new release. Read his
If you were a fan of Garden Variety - or Retisonic, or
Blue Tip, or the Hasbros, or Red Hare - you know drummer
Joe Gorelick, one of the most underrated and overlooked
stickmen in the punk rock underground. James Damion caught
up with Joe for an extensive interview about his career,
his passions, and where he's going next. Read James' interview
Jersey Beat's newest staffer Jesse Gillett offers his
opinions on the new releases from two of Brooklyn's best
and brightest, post-punk art-rockers Big Ups
and singer/songwriter Eleanor Friedberger.
He also reviews records by Digital Criminals
and the Chris Gethard Show's house band, The LLC.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club comes to Jersey City's White
Eagle Hall on Friday, May 11. Our Deb Draisin caught up
with guitarist Peter Hayes to ask the band's health and
career struggles and how their latest album and tour have
the 10-year old group back on the right track. Read Deb's
Jersey Beat is very proud to be bringing you the Rock
N Roll Hi-Fives' tour diary as Jersey City's favorite
family band - dad Joe, mom Gloree, son Evren, and daughter
Eilee - tour Japan! Eilee and Evren will be checking in
whenever they can with stories and photos of their adventures.
(Poor kids, they go to Japan and they still have homework!)
We've added the final two chapters, Part 4 and Part 5,
which winds up the trip and the group's last show in Japan.
Read it here...
Mark Hughson reviews Resettlement, the latest
from freeswinging electronic band Red Black Red.
This year's Asbury Music Awards had been postponed from
last November to April, 2018, and yet very little was
done to promote the event, not even emailing invites to
the nominees, ballots to the voters, or a press release
to New Jersey media. Editor Jim Testa wondered what the
consequences of that inaction have been; the answer isn't
pretty. Read his editorial here...
For a while there, it looked like the annual SXSW music
festival in Austin had lost its
soul to corporate branding and superstar headliners, but
this year's iteration turned
out to be a pleasant throwback to the days when it functioned
primarily as a show-
case for young or little-known bands struggling to reach
a wider audience. Read
Jim Testa's story here...
Our good friend Oliver Ignatius of Holy Fang Studios
(formerly Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen) is back with a new
single, a mind-bending funk exploration called "Citys
A Hell." Check it out!
Jersey Beat favorite Adam Bird (formerly of Those Mockingbirds
and Perfuma) has
rebranded himself as aBIRD and offers
this beguiling video (shot by another
longtime scene stalwart, Rob Fitzgerald) showcasing his
new sound. The track
combines an Eighties retro-vibe with a modern edgy sound,
and is well worth
Editor Jim Testa picks ten songs from 2017 that summed
up the best of the
2017, including tracks from old favorites like the Feelies,
Ted Leo, Wyldlife,
the Front Bottoms, Peter Stampfel, and Antietam, and new
bands like Rips
and Downtown Boys.
See Jersey Beat's Top 10 Songs of the Year here...
Our editors and writers have been busy going through
all the music they've heard in 2017 and picking their
Damfino blends catchy pop with heartbreaking lyrics and
adult insight. Recorded at Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen,
One False Move And I'm Yours will be released
on September 22. The first single and video from the album,
"Visit To A Women's Planet, mixes a delightful childlike
animation with Joe Merklee's plaintive vocals." Catch
Damfino at Issyra Gallery in Hoboken on Monday, Sept.
Jersey Beat celebrated it's 35th anniversary with an
amazing show at Maxwell's Tavern on April 14. Jim Testa
wrote up a short history of the zine here...
Highlights from Jersey Beat's 35th Anniversary
Show at Maxwell's Tavern:
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...
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
fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming
bands and a resource for all those interested in
rock and roll.