Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview: Henry Lipput Chats with Power Pop Pioneer, Tommy Keene


...Currently on Tour with Ivan Julian

By Henry Lipput

Tommy Keene, singer, songwriter, and major guitar hero, has been delighting power pop fans since his debut album, Strange Alliance, was released in 1982. He's currently doing a solo acoustic tour with his friend, ex-Richard Hell & The Voidoids and former Matthew Sweet guitarist, Ivan Julian. I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with Tommy on the phone about his career, the tour, his influences, and what's next.

Henry Lipput: You're touring the States now, but you just got back from playing in Japan. How did that go?

Tommy Keene: It was great. I went over there about a year and a half ago as part of this band The Small Square which is Paul Chastain and John Richardson. John Richardson has played drums with me on and off since '89. Paul was in Velvet Crush and I toured a lot with him in '94 and '95.

We toured on their record but the promoters, when they found out I was in the band, said would you do a little opening solo set, so I said yeah. I did that, and then this time we went over and did seven days of me headlining with a rock outfit. It was great. It was a lot of small clubs very packed with people. Everything is about space over there.

It's interesting because the crowds there are a little younger, I think, because the two Matador albums in the '90s I put out ten years after Strange Alliance came out there in Japan. So I think people probably discovered me around then, '96, '98. and then went back and maybe got the other things.

It was a really great trip, and audiences were fantastic, enthusiastic, and really nice people. It was really cool.

HL: You're touring now in the States, and you're touring with Ivan Julian. Can you tell me a little about him and how you got connected?

TK: In DC, I joined a band called The Razz which was a big, big band in town, kind of new-wave, for lack of a better word. I'd been in a band that opened for them so I joined this group, and the bass player, Ted Niceley, went to school with Ivan Julian, and I met Ivan and then we became friends.


When The Razz broke up, he said come and move to New York -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids had sort of imploded -- and we'll put a new band together. We hung out from December, January 1980, February, March. I hung with Ivan and stayed in his apartment, went all around the city, and hung out in all these cool places, and met all these celebrities. He was sort of a kingpin up there. He was in one of the top five CBGB bands.

Then I got this offer to join this woman, Suzanne Fellini, who had an album out on Casablanca. It was really good money so I did that. Ivan went on to form The Outsets, which was his band, and we kept in touch. After that experience with her, I moved back to DC and I got my own band together.

We've sort of just been in touch throughout the years. He played with Matthew Sweet for about five or six years and I would see him every time he came to LA.

But about a year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and I was trying to get a hold of him and then he got a hold of me finally. He told me that everything was great and he was in remission. He said what are you doing and I said I was going to Japan to do this solo tour and he said can I come along? Can I get on that? And I said sure, that's great. I thought it would be better than just Tommy Keene going out playing these dates. It was more of an event. Because Ivan hadn't toured under his own name for so long.

So that's where we are. And we've been working really hard to promote and get people out.

HL: It looks like you and Ivan are doing some interesting stuff. It says it's acoustic but what I saw on your website has you plugged in and he's playing acoustic. 

TK: Well, my set is 75% acoustic and then 25% just playing electric guitar, just a couple of the more rock stuff. And for the encore at McCabe's we did "Mother's Little Helper" -- I don't know if we're going to do the same song every night. But the point is, after my set, he's going to come on and we're going to do a song together.

HL: You've got what I think is a wonderful, clean guitar sound, especially on your earlier recordings, and some of my favorite guitarists have that kind of sound. I guess the best example is Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze but also Peyton Pinkerton who played with Pernice Brothers. What were your influences?

TK: Certainly the Beatles, number one, and then I would say The Who. It's funny, just the other night, I wouldn't really want to show my age here, the anniversary, March 31st, 1968. I was nine, and my brother and I saw The Who in DC at the DAR Constitution Hall on The Who Sellout tour. And that was just so amazing, just a life-changer.

I would say if we're talking just about influences, guitar influences, I like the clean sound a lot but then I also love groups like The Who and Led Zeppelin and on and on.

My deal is I have a kind of a two-sound or a two meshed-together sound. I have a clean sound and a kind of over-driven, distorted, very rock sound. On stage, I have what's called an A/B box where I'm going to two amps at the same time. So I can have a clean amp on or the dirty amp on or both. And a lot of people have copied this -- and I won't name names -- but all more famous than me. Because when I was starting my group in the early '80s, I could never find one amp that did what I wanted. So, finally, this friend of mine said use two, find the two that get what you want and you can just run this A/B box between them. I've stuck with that ever since.

HL: Your first album came out in 1982. I was wondering: in the early '80s, there was a lot of American power pop. There was your album -- I just recently reviewed for CoolDad Music two reissues of New Jersey-based power pop bands, The Modulators and Smart Remarks. There seemed to be a lot of power pop going on in that time period.

TK: I remember being in high school and wanting to sound like Aerosmith. We couldn't really play those songs because the lead playing was quite advanced so I think we stuck to songs like The Beatles and The Who and stuff that was a little more power chords and rhythmic stuff rather than super-fast lead breaks.

And, at the same time, I noticed groups out in LA and a few in New York were coming out by the dozens -- there was 20/20, The Plimsouls -- and it seemed to me they were doing sort of what I was trying to do. Probably what caused that uprising of power pop groups was that whole LA scene. And in '83, or a couple of years later, I think 20/20 came out in '79, all these bands are trying to do that.

It was amazing that all these big record companies were signing all these bands because it was just a trend. We tried to get in on that. We didn't get in on that trend, but we got in on the next trend.

We did a bunch of what we thought were demos at a friend's studio. And we tried to get a major label. All these people came to see us and no one bit. We got hooked up with this little label out of North Carolina called Dolphin, and they said we want to put out an EP. It had six songs from the demos and ended up being the original Places That Are Gone EP.

And it was perfect timing because the whole mid-Atlantic, Southern thing of Let's Active, R.E.M., the dbs -- although they'd already broken up by then -- that thing was totally in vogue and then the record companies came back and started checking us out. Which eventually led us to a deal with Geffen.

So for once in my career, I was doing what was really trendy, for lack of a better word. And we were in the right place at the right time.

HL: Your last album, Laugh In The Dark, came out back in 2015. Are you working on anything now?

TK: I am, but very slowly. I want to take a little more of a break this time. I put out a live record on my own, called Showtunes2. Showtunes came out in 2001. That was through Parasol. But I wanted to put something out because we were doing some tours, just to sort of fill the gap in between my next record.


We did a Midwest tour last October and in February was the Japan tour and now April into May is going to be this solo tour. I wanted something to sell on the website and sell at shows as a sort of holdover and really hunker down at the end of May and take the next six months off and write.

What I'm hoping is to come up with enough good songs to comprise a record and have it come out sometime in 2018. Probably later 2018, say August or September. That's kind of my game plan for right now.

Tommy and Ivan are performing in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, 4/25, at Club Café. Here are the remaining dates for the tour:

April 27 – Chicago, IL – The Hideout
April 29 – Madison, WI – Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
April 30 – St. Paul, MN – The Turf Club
May 4 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat

Premiere: New Video from Sleepy Hollow's Guilty Giraffe


"Doom Song"

Guilty Giraffe, from Sleepy Hollow, NY, have a lot in common with their Mint 400 label mates. They are completely DIY -- producing, mixing, and mastering their own records. Where they may deviate slightly from many of the bands on the label is in the intensity and sheer volume of their sound. "They are, by far, my loudest band on the label," Mint 400 honcho Neil Sabatino told me. I can be all for loudness. My love of Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine is well-documented here; and, like those bands, Guilty Giraffe don't necessarily pursue volume for its own sake

Today, Mathew McGinnis (guitar / vocals) and Felipe Reis (drums) are giving us the video for "Doom Song." It's the first single from their upcoming Server Error; and, even at just two minutes, it shows that the band have a sense of dynamics. "Doom Song" combines elements of post-hardcore and metal with shoegaze and prog to be both blistering and dreamy.

Check out "Doom Song" below, and look for Server Error on May 5th from Mint 400 Records.





Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Round Up: Spowder, Jeff Caudill, Grey Goes Black, and The Duskwhales


Excuses, Excuses...

So...

...I go through this from time to time. I'm not sure if it's boredom or burnout or laziness or something else. But I have these times when I'm not sure what I want this site to be, and I just get stuck. There's lots of great stuff floating around out there; and it comes across my virtual desk every, single day. Even with amazing contributions from Henry Lipput, Matt Chrystal, and others, this site is still very much me; and that's how I want it. Since it's just me, though, content is dependent on how busy or hectic things get at CDMHQ or even just on my mood, which can be... ...variable.

That's all to say that, for reasons I can't fully explain, I feel like I've been dropping the ball a bit in terms of coverage for the last little while. Yes, March and April were very busy with things like SXSW, the anniversary show, and Spring Break; but I think I should do better. So I'm going to work on some system of getting myself better organized so I don't get distracted and forget to tell you about so many things. In the meantime, here's a bunch of stuff that's worth at least a few moments of your time.

Spowder, Health Palm

OK. I'm kind of on the ball with this one, which the band released at a show just last night. As I said back when we premiered single "Miracle Grow" a few weeks ago, Spowder blew me away when they opened for Screaming Females back in February. Health Palm is the rare studio effort that manages to capture the energy of a band's live performance.

Dylan McCleary screams "P-p-p-p-p-Pulp!!" over chugging and angular rhythms on "Pulp." "The Man with Two Mouths" finds the band exploring more traditional, fast-paced garage punk; while things get slow and spacey with the title track. The one thing that comes through on Health Palm is that Spowder are a unique and interesting band who deserve an audience way beyond the basements of Central Jersey.

Health Palm is out now on Sniffling Indie Kids.



Jeff Caudill, Reset the Sun

Here's another one that was just released. Caudill is the former frontman of late-90s emo band, Gameface. Since that band went on indefinite hiatus in the mid-2000s, Caudill has fashioned himself into an Americana singer / songwriter.

Reset the Sun is a collection of six country-tinged songs that mix the feel of 70s AM radio with an occasionally heavy rock edge. Caudill's pristine vocals play off of some bluesy guitar on "Bruised Ribs, Broken Heart" to place the song somewhere between straight country and 90s alt rock. "Tears in My Ears" is a classic twangy, driving song: "Hands on the wheel like it's no big deal. Make my getaway." The title track is acoustic, allowing Caudill's vocal to take center stage.

Admittedly, Reset the Sun is a bit of a change from what we usually cover here; and it couldn't be more different from something like Health Palm. Once I spent some time with it, though, Caudill drew me in with both his songwriting and his voice.

Reset the Sun is out digitally now with a limited, vinyl Record Store Day release planned for tomorrow.



Grey Goes Black, And Inside There Was Only Water

I've told you about Grey Goes Black here a few times. The band's dark, electronic-infused indie rock is on full display on And Inside There Was Only Water, and it slots nicely into one of my many sub-wheelhouses.

The far-off dreaminess of "Please" gives some heft to Matt Casoni's, well, pleading. Similarly, a simple break-up song becomes something earth-shattering on the six-minute "Gone." "Helpless" ends things on a more hopeful note as Casoni talks someone back from the brink.

And Inside There Was Only Water marries 80s darkwave with 21st century indie rock. It's an engaging combination. The set is available now over at Grey Goes Black's Bandcamp page.



The Duskwhales, Sorrowful Mysteries

And here it is. The release that inspired this whole post. I got this album from Virginia's The Duskwhales maybe 3 weeks ago. I'd seen the band at The Saint several months back and was really taken by their approach to 60s-inspired pop. During about the fourth or fifth inning of the Yankee game (I'm back to watching baseball regularly, btw) the other night, I saw that The Duskwhales were in Asbury Park for a show that very evening and thought, "SHIT! I totally forgot about this one!"

That stunk because this album is flat-out great, and I would have loved to have encouraged you all to go to that show. Alas, we can't go back in time; but I can tell you that Sorrowful Mysteries is actually a joyfully beautiful pop record in the vein of something like Tommy James and the Shondells.

The various keyboard sounds and vocal harmonies on bouncing opener "Good Times" are infectious. "In The Year of Jubilee" is some amazing synthesis of Brian Wilson, George Harrison, and Split Enz. It was "Slow Down, Jerusalem" that had me making the Tommy James connection. And I actually hate when I spend all my time comparing a band to other bands, but The Duskwhales are obviously students of 60s pop and 80s new wave.

"Estranged Brother" is a great example of the way The Duskwhales take those sounds and twist and contort them into something of their own making. There's a complexity in the arrangement -- synths, piano, horns, percussion, and the vocals -- that puts the song somewhere way beyond simple pop.

Another example of the way the band combine a series of conventions into something unconventional is that only one of the 10 songs here is under four minutes long. The songs never drag, and they feel just as tight as any two-and-a-half minute pop song.

So, in an effort to correct my oversight, I'll tell you that Sorrowful Mysteries is available over at The Duskwhales' Bandcamp page and that The Duskwhales are at The Footlight Bar in kind of nearby Queens next Friday, 4/28, with Def.GRLS, The Big Drops, and Darkwing.



I guess I'll just go get a pen and paper and make a note of interesting stuff as it comes in. Then I'll just stick that on my monitor or something so that when I'm going down the rabbit hole of YouTube camera reviews, it will be right there in front of my face.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What's Going On: 4/20, 4/21, 4/22 & 4/23, 2017

Sharkmuffin are in Lake Como on Thursday to open for Sheer Mag.

Fake Holiday Weekend!

We've got a weekend full of ersatz holidays to celebrate. Hopefully, your job doesn't make you work on 4/20, and you can spend some quality time with your family on Record Store Day. And, if you haven't made your Earth Day brunch reservations yet, I don't know what to tell you. You can celebrate all of these, and whatever else you feel like making up, at some great shows this weekend, which also brings us The Asbury Park Music and Film Festival.

Things get started on Thursday night when Chris Carrabba's Twin Forks come to House of Independents. Whiner, Sunflower, LKFFCT, Hoboken Moms, and Basement Beers play Montclair's Meatlocker. Modern Crowds, The Mercury Brothers, Yawn Mower, and Primal Static are at The Saint. Lake Como punk hotspot, Paul's Tavern, hosts Sheer Mag, Sharkmuffin, and Teenage Halloween in what promises to be what the kids call a real "banger."

On Friday night, The Asbury Hotel has Cold Weather Company, The Mercury Brothers, and (I believe) the first-ever full-band performance from Wetbrain. Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son play APYC with The Vaughns. Dez Cadena brings his band to Brighton Bar with Jon Caspi & The First Gun, Zombie Mafia, and The Slants. Mint 400 records hosts one at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City that features The Ones & Nines, Don Kincaid & The Wait, The Skullers, Underlined Passages, and Young Legs. Mike & The Mechanics are at House of Independents. That show will be broadcast on a future airing of PBS's Front & Center. It's the second installment of the Makin Waves Rock Circus at Roxy & Dukes with The Paper Jets, Lowlight, Black Flamingos, Yawn Mower, and between-set performances from Vivi Noir and Vertical Fixation. Robert Randolph and The Family Band are at The Stone Pony.

Saturday brings a rooftop Earth Day rally to the AP Festhalle & Biergarten featuring music from Black Flamingos. New Brunswick's Court Tavern hosts a benefit for Elijah's Promise featuring Comb The Desert, Lowlight, Disposable, RockNRoll HiFives, and The Turnbucklers. Lots of Asbury Park Music and Film Festival stuff at House of Independents all day culminating in a late-night show from The Battery Electric, The Cold Seas, and Geez Louise. Waiting on Mongo are at Langosta. Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul are at The Paramount. Stevens Institute in Hoboken hosts Jeff Rosentstock, Hodera, and The Moms. Me First & The Gimme Gimmes play a sold-out show at The Stone Pony. It's Volume 2 of "Fight for Your Right to Potty" at Paradise in Asbury with music from Rick Barry and Geena and Dragster. All proceeds from that one go to benefit the TransYouth Project.

Record Store Day is also this Saturday. After a contentious senate confirmation hearing, Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) is the official RSD Ambassador. The RockNRoll HiFives play Asbury's Groovy Graveyard with The Junk Rumblers. Check your local record store for events and what stuff they'll have in stock.

On Sunday, APMFF rolls on with "Beatles Day" featuring Marshall Crenshaw at The Paramount in the afternoon and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band taking over the space for the evening. Noise In The Attic is back to raise money for Monmouth and Ocean County Food Bank at The Inkwell in Long Branch. That one features Ashley McKinley, Alexander Iannone, Meg Cannon, Dan Whitener, and John Conte. Danny Clinch, Blue Lizard, and Kat Phunk close out APMFF with a show at Wonder Bar.

There is really a ton to do this weekend, and I'm sure you'll find something. Here's wishing a peaceful 4/20 to you and yours.

THURSDAY (4/20)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Open Mic, 8pm, FREE

Clash Bar (Clifton): Sunrot / Dutchguts / Fuzzy Osborne / Pisskvlt

House of Independents (Asbury): Twin Forks / Dan Layus, 7pm, $20

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Leo Bud Welch w/ Stringbean and The Boardwalk Social Club, 9pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Whiner / Sunflower / LKFFCT / Hoboken Moms / Basement Beers, 9pm, donations

Monty Hall (Jersey City): Witch Taint, 8pm

Paul's Tavern (Lake Como): Sheer Mag / Sharkmuffin / Teenage Halloween, 7:30pm, $12 adv, $14 door

The Saint (Asbury): Primal Static / Modern Crowds / Mercury Brothers / Yawn Mower, 7:30pm, $10

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Testament, 6pm, $25 adv, $30 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Teddy Midnight, 7pm, $8 adv, $10 door

FRIDAY (4/21)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Cold Weather Company / Wetbrain / The Mercury Brothers, 9pm, FREE

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son / The Vaughns, 9pm, FREE

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Dez Cadena Band / Jon Caspi & The First Gun / Zombie Mafia / The Slants, 8pm, $8

Cathedral Hall (Jersey City): The Ones & Nines / Don Kincaid & The Wait / The Skullers / Underlined Passages / Young Legs, 7:30pm, $10

Chef House (Ask): Shiloh / Shark Club / Kova Tova / The Beekeepers / FeedMe To The Forest, 7pm, $5

Clash Bar (Clifton): Electric Frankenstein / Voices of Doom / Symbol Six

Gold's (New Brunswick): The Dead Flowers / Experiment 34 / The Off-Brand / Electric Sensei / A Boy Named John, 7:30pm, $5

House of Independents (Asbury): Mike & The Mechanics, 8pm, $35-$125

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Jet Weston and His Atomic Ranch Hands, 9pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Vendors Market ft. ok friends / ANNA OH / Shred Flintstone / Sad Lips / The Little Engineers / Hiroshi Jaguar / New Alone, 5pm, FREE entry

Millhill Basement (Trenton): From The Archives / Old City Revival / Sojourner / Prior Engagements / Like The River, 9pm, $5

Roxy & Duke's Roadhouse (Dunellen): Makin Waves Rock Circus ft. Lowlight / The Paper Jets / Black Flamingos / Yawn Mower / Vivi Noir / Vertical Fixation, 8pm, $15

The Saint (Asbury): Prim / Geraldine Val / Little Vicious / Nyland, 7:30pm, $10

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Jake Owen, 7pm, $39.50 adv, $43 door

Studio Luloo (Oaklyn): Laureate / Kids These Days / Our Fair City / Hand Me Downs, 9pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Robert Randolph & The Family Band / Matt O'Ree Band, 7pm, $22 adv, $27 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Lucky Chops / Roots of Creation, 7pm, $18 adv, $20 door

SATURDAY (4/22)

Anchor's Bend (Asbury): DC and Friends, 8:30pm, FREE

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Emily Grove and David Ross Lawn, 8pm, FREE

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): DJ Atom Worth, 11pm, FREE

Asbury Park Festhalle & Biergarten (Asbury): Earth Day Rally on the Roof ft. Black Flamingos, 12pm

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): DJs Riff Raff, Jack The Ripper, Foggy Notion, 9:30pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Operation: Anarchy 2017, 12pm, $10

Clash Bar (Clifton): Paul Mauled / Jersey Panic / Stereo Jo / Minor King

Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank): Bobby Bandiera Presents: The Music of the Traveling Wilburys, 8pm, $29-$99

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Comb The Desert / Lowlight / Disposable / RockNRoll HiFives / The Turnbucklers, 8pm, $10 donation to Elijah's Promise

Crossroads (Garwood): The Slackers / Screwface / Overmind, 8pm, $15

Groovy Graveyard (Asbury): Junk Rumblers / RocknRoll HiFives, 4pm

House of Independents (Asbury): Finding Joseph I screening, 12:30pm, $15 adv, $20 door

House of Independents (Asbury): A Conversation with Max Weinberg, 4:45pm, $25-$150

House of Independents (Asbury): Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why Tribute to James Brown / Get on Up! screening, 6:30pm, $15 performance, $20 film & performance

House of Independents (Asbury): The Battery Electric / The Cold Seas / Geez Louise, 10:45pm, $10

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

Meatlocker (Montclair): Hexxus / Sunrot / Devoidov / Wholewrecker / Come And Get It, 8pm

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Dinosaur Eyelids / Alpha Rabbit/ Doc Rottens / Casino Sundae, 9pm, $5

Outpost In The Burbs (Montclair): The Jayhawks / Johnny Irion, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Paradise (Asbury): Fight for Your Right to Potty 2: Rick Barry / Geena and Dragster, 8pm, $8 adv, $12 door, All proceeds benefit TransYouth Project

Paramount Theatre (Asbury): Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul, 7pm, $127+

Paul's Tavern (Lake Como): Spinal Ramones / Fuck It, I Quit / Ides / Swamp City Rockers, 8pm, $8

Pino's Gift Basket (Highland Park): Brenyama / Youth Moose / We're Ghosts Now / The Afraid Brigade, 8pm, FREE

The Saint (Asbury): Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, 11:30am

The Saint (Asbury): Drewcifer, 7:30pm, $15 adv, $17 door

Stevens Institute (Hoboken): Jeff Rosenstock / The Moms / Hodera, 7:30pm, Free for SIT students, $5 for guests

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Me First & the Gimme Gimmes / Masked Intruder / Pears, 7pm, SOLD OUT

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Waynard Scheller, 7pm, $16

SUNDAY (4/23)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Sunday Night Trivia w/ Gentleman Jim, 6pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Speed Queen / Tight Lipped / Erotic Novels, 8pm, $5 donation to Greenpeace

House of Independents (Asbury): Morricone Youth live re-score of Mad Max, 4pm, $15

Inkwell Coffee House (Long Branch): Noise In The Attic ft. Ashley McKinley / Alexander Iannone / Meg Cannon / Dan Whitener / Jon Conte, 8pm, $5 donation to Monmouth / Ocean County Food Bank

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Tribute to Lee Morgan, 1pm, FREE

Muchmore's (Brooklyn): Evvergreen / Sunflower / LKFFCT / Benchmark, 9pm

Paramount Theatre (Asbury): APMFF Presents Beatles Day w/ Marshall Crenshaw, 1pm, $26

Paramount Theatre (Asbury): Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 7pm, $32-$50

The Saint (Asbury): Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, 11:30am

The Saint (Asbury): Culture feat Kenyatta Hill / Random Test, 7pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswick): Cover Show: Powerlines (Led Zeppelin) / Renee Maskin (Bowie) / Alejandro Atacusi (Beatles) / Erin Walsh (Amy Winehouse), 8pm, $5

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Danny Clinch / Blue Lizard / Kat Phunk, 7pm, $16