Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's Going On: 4/28, 4/29, 4/30 & 5/1, 2016

Bob Mould plays NYC's Webster Hall on Friday.

This Is a Packed One

Lots of friends and favorites playing shows this weekend. I think I'm actually double-booked with tickets in hand for a couple of nights. Nice problem to have I guess.

Things kick off on Thursday night with an open mic night at Groov Cafe in Montclair that has Delicate Flowers, Ice Giant, The Double Negatives, and more as featured artists. New Brunswick's Red Lion Cafe hosts a packed out bill that includes The Dark Matters, Experiment 34, Cold Weather Company, The Vaughns, and more. Lowlight play Wonder Bar when they open for The Sheep Dogs. Way down on the bill for Basement, Turnstile, and Defeater at The Stone Pony is LA's Colleen Green whose I Wanna Grow Up was one of my favorite records of last year. I'll be headed to Brooklyn's Market Hotel for an evening with The Thermals, Summer Cannibals, and Amanda X.

Friday is bursting with stuff. APYC hosts the Fun While You Wait record release / homecoming show with We're Ghosts Now and Cold Weather Company. The Vansaders, The Sex Zombies, Finchler, and Plato Zorba make up a great bill at Brighton Bar. The Citizen in Jersey City has Hell and The High Waters, Sammy Kay, Jared Hart, Rocky Catanese, and John The Gun. Seaside Caves open for new wave icons A Flock Of Seagulls at House of Independents. Shellshag, Teenage Halloween, Ghost Camp, and GULPS are at In The West. The great Laura Stevenson plays Brooklyn's Shea Stadium with Crying and Chris Farren. Bob Mould and his band rattle Webster Hall with Ted Leo.

I told you earlier this week about the Dez Cadena benefit at Brighton Bar this Saturday featuring Lost In Society, Jon Caspi & The First Gun, and more. Since then, they've added Reagan Youth and Suicide Crisis to an already solid bill. Red Bank's 10th Avenue Burrito gets back into the free shows with gods, Von Mons, and The Tide Bends. Following his band's set at Brighton, Zach Moyle heads to APYC for a free show with Sammy Kay and Chris Brown. Seaside Caves are back at it, this time at Atlantic City's Boneyard for TUFF TURF's record release show. The Milwaukees, Magic Mountain, and The RockNRoll Hi-Fives play Pino's in Highland Park for free. It's Rutgers Day all day on the RU College Avenue campus with performances from The Brixton Riot, Hong Kong Graffiti, and more.

Hot Blood head up to Brooklyn's Grand Victory on Sunday for a benefit show that also features Urban Waste, Hyman Holocaust, Examine, and Agit├Ątor. New Brunswick's Scarlet Pub has Fleeting, The Maravines, Keepin' The Family, and Cape Ferello. It's the Hoboken Spring Music & Arts Fest on Washington St. in Hoboken.

There's gotta be something you'll love happening this weekend. Whatever you do, you can take comfort in the idea that CoolMom is finally getting to see Bob Mould!

THURSDAY (4/28)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Sumtin' Good, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Faster Pussycat - Don Jamieson's That Metal Show, 6:30pm, $15 adv, $18 door

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Bad William / Kadian Quartet / Shadowplay / Beggars / Twelve Times Kevin, 7:30pm, $8

Groov Cafe & Juice Bar (Montclair): Delicate Flowers / Ice Giant / The Double Negatives / more, 6pm, donation

Inkwell Coffee House (Long Branch): Music Night at The Inkwell, 9pm

Market Hotel (Brooklyn): The Thermals / Summer Cannibals / Amanda X, 8pm, $15

The Meatlocker (Montclair): Mark Nestman / Will Wood / Young Legs / Heavy Bird / Alec James and The Sweet Release, 9pm, donation

Red Lion Cafe (New Brunswick): The Dark Matters / Experiment 34 / Cold Weather Company / Little Rose / The Vaughns / Jeff Linden & The Black Spot Society / GHyp:See & The Wichts, 7pm

The Saint (Asbury): Broccoli Samurai / Mister F, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Basement / Turnstile / Defeater / Colleen Green, $16.50 adv, $20 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): The Sheepdogs / Lowlight, 7pm, $15

FRIDAY (4/29)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): We're Ghosts Now / Fun While You Wait (Record Release) / Cold Weather Company, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Vansaders / The Sex Zombies / Finchler / Plato Zorba, 8pm, $8

The Citizen (Jersey City): Hell and The High Waters / Sammy Kay / Jared Hart / Rocky Catanese / John The Gun, 8pm

Clash Bar (Clifton): Stereo Jo / The Schwam / Tyrannosaurus Sex / The Stripped Down Aces

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN COVER SHOW! featuring: Rise Against / Coheed And Cambria / Marilyn Manson / Billy Joel, 8pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): A Flock Of Seagulls / Seaside Caves, 7pm, $30

In The West (New Brunswick): Shellshag / Teenage Halloween / Ghost Camp / GULPS, 8pm, $5-$7

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): We Used To Cut The Grass, 9pm, FREE

Naner Manor (New Brunswick): ManDancing / Fire Is Motion / Puddle Splasher / Henrietta, 7:30pm, $5

Roxy & Dukes (Dunellen): Izz / Valdez, 8pm, $22 adv, $30 door
The Saint (Asbury): The Bastard Suns / Bumpin Uglies / Eastbourne, 7:30pm, $12 adv, $14 door

Shea Stadium (Brooklyn): Laura Stevenson / Crying / Chris Farren, 8pm, $15

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): The Used, 7pm, SOLD OUT

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Keller Williams, 7pm, $20 adv, $22 door

Webster Hall (NYC): Bob Mould / Ted Leo, 6:30pm

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Saints In The City (Springsteen Tribute), 7pm, $10

SATURDAY (4/30)

10th Ave. Burrito (Red Bank): gods / Von Mons / Tide Bends, 10pm, FREE

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Sammy Kay / Zach Moyle / Chris Brown, 9pm, FREE

Boneyard (Atlantic City): Tuff Turf (Release Show) / Seaside Caves / Zebras & Bulls / DJ JGUTZ, 8pm, $5

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): NJ Benefit for Dez Cadena ft. Dez Cadena & The Buzz Aldrin Trio (doing Black Flag) / Lost In Society / Jon Caspi & The First Gun / Reagan Youth / Pep Rally / Suicide Crisis, 7pm, $10

Candy Corral (New Brunswick): Squash / Wild Rice / Sybil, 8pm

The Citizen (Jersey City): Appalachian / Gospel ft. Ariel Guidry and Tony Blunda / Carolyn Light & Ceallaigh Pender / Snazzy Donkey, 8pm

Clash Bar (Clifton): Fairmont / Above The Moon / Feudal Brothers / Brenyama

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Robots And Monsters / Cipher / Deadly Nights / Enigma Machine / Hounds, 8pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): Turtle Soup & Souper Groove All Stars, 7pm, FREE

Kremlin (New Brunswick): Old Hands / AD.UL.T / Slag Fairy, 7pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Waiting On Mongo, 9pm, FREE

MillHill Basement (Trenton): I Have Been Floated / Groovy Movies / Cheeky, 10pm

Naner Manor (New Brunswick): steve. / Larry Nodder / Nervous Dater / Surfshirts, 7pm, $5

Pino's (Highland Park): The Milwaukees / Magic Mountain / The RockNRoll Hi-Fives, 8:30pm, FREE

Rutgers, College Ave. Campus (New Brunswick): Hong Kong Grafitti / Brixton Riot / Johnny Cola / Painted Young / Chase and Treasure, 10am

The Saint (Asbury): Jon Stickley Trio / Dark City Strings, 7:30pm, Probably something like $10?

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): The Used, 7pm, SOLD OUT

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Delta Rae, 7pm, $18 adv, $20 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Boardwalk Benefit for Homeless Animals ft. Vincent Pastore's Gangster Squad, 9pm, $15 adv, $20 door

SUNDAY (5/1)

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Ron Tomaino / Bobby Mahoney / Eugene Tyler Band / Lex RocHart / COMEDY OPEN MIC, 6:30pm, $5

Grand Victory (Brooklyn): Pink Ink Fund Benefit ft. Urban Waste / Hot Blood / Hyman Holocaust / Examine / Agit├Ątor, 3pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): Suzanne Westenhoefer, 6pm, $35-100

In The West (New Brunswick): Jr. July / Glazer / Biggbutt / Casual, 7pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Shimmering Strings, 1pm, FREE

Paradise: Lost (New Brunswick): Fond Han / Morningside Lane / New Politicians / An Atomic Whirl, 7pm, $5

Roxy & Dukes (Dunellen): Closet Carpenters (Carpenters Tribute), 7:30pm, $10 adv, $15 door

The Saint (Asbury): Lord Bishop / Colossal Street Jam, 6:30pm, $10

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswick): Fleeting / The Maravines / Keepin' The Family / Cape Ferrello, 8pm, FREE

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Jonita Gandhi, 5pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Summer Showcase, 1pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Washington St. (Hoboken): Hoboken Spring Music & Arts Fest, 11am

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Wonder Jam, 3pm, $5

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Parakeet, KASA, 2016

Album Review

Last Friday night was the first night of Passover. Ever since we've been together, CoolMom has included me on her tradition -- first bringing me to Seders hosted by her aunt and uncle, then having me accompany her to one held by one of our grad school classmates in Seattle, and finally having us host our own. This year, we weren't too on the ball in terms of knowing when Passover started or anything; so, on Thursday night, CoolMom told me that she'd invited her mom over for dinner on Friday and that I needed to prepare while she was at work. Um... ...OK.

I had plans for heading to Asbury Park Yacht Club that night, and I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling after a big holiday dinner and wine. The bill at APYC included Volt Direction, a project of John Herguth and Alicia Testa that I'd seen before and really enjoyed, and the UK's Parakeet, a relatively new band I knew nothing about. I was full and sleepy but decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see something new and different in Asbury Park; so, after we hustled mominlaw out the door, I was off. Such a good decision.

Parakeet at Asbury Park Yacht Club

I'm no expert on electronic music, but I really like Volt Direction. There's just something about the way Testa's vocals intertwine with the sounds, and the band are unique in the rock heavy Asbury Park. Parakeet blew me away with their short set, and I spent the rest of the weekend listening to their debut full-length, KASA.

The project of Mariko Doi (Yuck) and James Llewellyn Thomas (The History of Apple Pie, whose 2013 single "See You" is still a favorite of mine), Parakeet inhabit a space somewhere between dream pop and shoegaze, aka "Maybe CoolDad's Favorite Space in Popular Music." On KASA, Parakeet move among quiet, sweet, and more loud and aggressive sounds with ease. Even with this varied approach -- sometimes within the same song -- KASA is a pretty cohesive collection.

The album opens with the acoustic sway of "Pine Hill," showcasing some of the glue that holds everything together which are Doi's distinctive and distant vocals. The other running theme is the canvas of shoegaze guitar sounds that almost all of the songs paint over with guitar leads or pop melodies. "Pink Noise" and "Lie Lie Lie" are swirling dream pop, while the airiness and expanse of single "Summer Apathy" are grounded by a bass line that runs through the whole song.

"Just a Little Longer" is a standout as Doi's vocals intertwine with the lead guitar making the song sound almost like a duet. "Sugar Rush" is the heaviest track on the album -- and the one the band closed with on Friday to a great response -- but, through all the fuzz and big chords, Parakeet's pop leanings are still evident. The most overtly shoegazy track on KASA is probably "Sugar Candy Mountain" with its "glide guitar" sound. Closer "Seabreeze Lullaby" is a little more upbeat and fast-paced than the title might suggest and throws in a few curveballs adding some organ sounds in among the squall of guitar.

So, what have we learned? Don't let unfamiliarity or a food coma dissuade you from heading out to catch something new -- especially when it's FREE ferchrissake. You may find something you'll love now and for years to come.

KASA is available now as a cassette and digital download from Parakeet's Bandcamp page. You can also listen to it / grab it from your favorite digital music store.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Benefit for Dez Cadena ft. Lost In Society, Jon Caspi & The First Gun, Dez, More. April 30th, Brighton Bar.

Dez Cadena performing with Jon Caspi and The First Gun (photo via JCFG)

NJ Fundraiser

NJ natives Jon Caspi & The First Gun have organized a show at Brighton Bar in Long Branch to benefit Dez Cadena of legendary punk bands, Black Flag, The Misfits, and FLAG. The fundraiser takes place this Saturday, April 30th, and will feature performances from Lost In Society, Jon Caspi & The First Gun (ft. Dez Cadena on guitar), Pep Rally, and Dez Cadena and The Buzz Aldrin Trio peforming Black Flag. There will also be special appearances by Jimmy Gestapo and Raven (of Murphy's Law) and Russ Iglay (of Underdog).

Cadena had to end his almost 15-year run of performing with The Misfits when he was struck with throat cancer. He's doing well now and preparing to head back out on the road with FLAG, but treatments have resulted in a pile of medical bills. The proceeds from this show will help to offset some of that.

Since leaving The Misfits, Cadena connected with Jon Caspi & The First Gun over the recent death of their mutual friend "Mr. Lou" DeMartino. The pair recorded a song together called "SUN" for Brighton Bar Records. The song is Cadena's first release since his battle with throat cancer. Jon Caspi says of the song, "This song is a tribute to Lou and is about how truly sad and tragic endings can sometimes lead to good things. We'd rather have Lou back with us, but since we can't, we are glad that this came about because of him. It was Lou's gift to us." The video for "SUN" is being released in conjunction with the show.

You can RSVP to this Saturday's show right here.

If you can't make it (or even if you can), there's also a GoFundme site for Dez Cadena here.

And you can check out the video for "SUN" below. You can download the track over at Jon Caspi & The First Gun's Bandcamp page.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Yawn Mower Streaming Their New EP

EP photo: Michael Burke

Get to the Boat

The Asbury Park duo of Yawn Mower -- Mike Chick (baritone guitar / vocals) and Biff Swenson (drums / vocals) -- have just made their EP, Get to the Boat, available for streaming ahead of its May 5th physical release date.

Recorded by Paul Ritchie at Insidious Sound and mastered by Pat Noon at Eight16 Studios, Get to the Boat, is five tracks of noisy, bouncing... ...I don't know... ...garage pop maybe. Yawn Mower are hard to classify, but they draw on influences like garage rock, indie rock, surf, and punk. The band released an EP in January that included covers from Girls and The Beach Boys / Yo La Tengo, and the songs on Get to the Boat display lots of the same DNA.

Subject matter includes weird dreams, commuting, a typical day in Asbury Park, the 24-hour news cycle, and nascent juvenile delinquency. Like everything Yawn Mower do, every song comes with a healthy dose of humor.

Stream Get to the Boat over at Yawn Mower's Bandcamp page. You can grab a physical copy when they help GayGuy / StraightGuy celebrate their own record release on May 5th at Asbury Park's House of Independents along with The Black Clouds, The Battery Electric, and Dentist.