Monday, April 27, 2015

Photo Highlights of the Goodbye Tiger release show with Owel, dollys, and Long Faces at Asbury Lanes, 4/24/15

Goodbye Tiger celebrated their record release at Asbury Lanes on Friday.

The Pixelated Soul

I posted some video the other day of dollys performing new song, "Friendly," as part of the Goodbye Tiger record release show on Friday night. The night really did belong to the headliners who played to a large and enthusiastic crowd to close out the evening. The band were celebrating the release of The Pixelated Soul, their intricate and experimental full-length.

New Brunswick orchestral post-rockers, Owel, brought their own light show and impressed with both originals and a couple of strategically placed covers. Long Faces performed acoustically as a trio to start things off and delivered an intimate and engaging set.

Here are some photo highlights of each band.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Watch dollys Perform a New Song at Asbury Lanes (Video)


Goodbye Tiger held the release show for their new album, The Pixelated Soul, last night. It was a great, packed out show featuring a solid and eclectic bill of supporting bands -- Owel, Long Faces, and dollys.

Last week, we premiered dollys' "How Charming" right here. The band have since made both songs from the single available as a free download at their Bandcamp page, and you should definitely go grab it if you haven't already. Last night, I captured them performing another new song called "Friendly." Have a look at that below.

I'll have photo highlights of all of last night's bands posted here sometime this weekend; but if you just can't wait, you can head over to Flickr and check out the full sets.

In the meantime, let dollys send you off on your Saturday night.

Friday, April 24, 2015

River City Extension, Deliverance, 2015

Album Review

This one took me a while. Well, all the albums I have backed up in my queue have taken me a while; but I had wanted to get to Deliverance a little sooner. The delay worked in my favor, though. As I listened to Deliverance, the third full-length from Toms River's River City Extension, in the weeks since its release, I was able to identify a little more with the record than I was when it first appeared. Where I was personally in April just allowed the record to speak to me in a different way than it would have back in March.

A little background first: In 2012, River City Extension released the masterful Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger. It's a folky record that slotted in with a lot of the folksy, Americana music that was popular at the time. River City Extension were an eight-piece band back then, and Anger was set to be their breakout record.

In a sense, it was. The band grew their fanbase and played to big, enthusiastic crowds on tour. In another sense, though, it wasn't. National radio airplay and late-night television appearances never materialized. Members left the band, and River City Extension went from an eight-piece to a trio -- Joe Michelini, guitarist John Muccino, and keyboardist Patrick O'Brien. I get the sense that there were some low points for the remaining members, frontman Michelini in particular. Those moments of asking, "What are we doing this for? What's the point?"

I can identify with that. The answer that came back, apparently, for what remained of River City Extension was, "Because we have to." And so, Deliverance.

In addition to being an album about overcoming those doubts and staying true to oneself, Deliverance is also kind of an exercise. It's a songwriting exercise for Michelini who decided not to write any songs about love, religion, or drinking for this record. It's also an exercise in the construction of an album: get across what you want to say in a tight 10 songs, and allow the sequencing of the songs to say almost as much as the individual songs themselves.

The record opens with "Something's Gotta Give," which immediately shows that this is a different River City Extension. Electric guitars, lots of strings, and a noisy, slightly off-kilter ending. "Sooner or later, you gotta answer to someone," sings Michelini. He reveals who that someone is in the next line, "If you can't tell yourself the truth, then it's already gone."

"You put everything on the line unaware of what you're fighting for," Michelini sings on "Man of Conviction." He starts to get a sense of what he's fighting for, I think, on "Ohio" -- one of the tracks here that comes closest to the Americana sound of the band's earlier work -- when he shouts "I'm making my decision!"

And if you take the "no love songs" edict seriously, then "Indian Summer" almost sounds like a song to those who may have left the band after River City Extension didn't find the national success they may have expected: "Is there truth in your art?" "Go ahead and leave. I'll wait for your heart to change."

The jazzy "I Wouldn't Worry" sees Michelini coming to terms with the fact that, maybe, his desire to stay true to his art isn't viewed by everyone as the best personality trait. "I wouldn't change a thing," he says.

The second half of the record leads off with "Deliverance Pt. 2." The band recorded the album in an empty Pocono ski house, and here they take advantage of the sound of some birds outside. The song opens with a movie theme sounding overture and deals with Michelini's "final revelation" and his realization that "the world is spinnin' round without me."

He makes observations on the funky "Girls" like, "It's hard to be yourself when the world is so critical." But, despite the cost, he can't help producing his art on "White Blackmail," telling its personification, "I love you honey. Take what you want from me." In a moment that had me thinking back to that line in "Girls," "Vox Populi" sees the "voice of the people" spitting in your face.

The album closes with the quiet "I'm Not There." It's optimistic, noting, "Things are hard now. It's gonna work out. I've seen the far end of the storm."

River City Extension have experienced some lows, disappointments, maybe even the loss of a little faith. Joe Michelini, John Muccino, and Patrick O'Brien stuck it out, though; and made, collaboratively, the album they wanted to make. They've filled out to a five-piece, adding Josh Gilman on bass and, following the devastating death of drummer Steve Tambone, Shane Luckenbaugh on drums. The sound is new. The influence of John Muccino, who recorded with the band for the first time here, is obvious.

It will be interesting to see how the existing River City Extension fanbase responds to Deliverance. If the live shows are any indication, I think they like it just fine. And, while I'm sure the band would love it if everyone loved this record; I'm also sure they wouldn't have done anything differently.

Deliverance is out now on Anchor & Hope.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What's Going On: 4/23, 4/24, 4/25 & 4/26, 2015

Black Wine head up to Bayonne tonight for a rare performance as Black Wine.

In Which I Complain a Little about Being Sick

I've heard lots of people complaining about colds and sickness this year, and I've managed to avoid it. Until now, that is. It's been a tough week of feeling under the weather, but I should be back at around 80-90% by the weekend. I'll be ready to go. You should be, too.

I'm toying with the idea of heading out on Thursday. Cold Fronts are back at Asbury Lanes with Made Violent. Black Wine head up to Lot 13 in Bayonne for a show with Désir Decir, Earworms, Drilling For Blasting, and Shark Jumper. Brooklyn's Union Hall has The Box Tiger, Off and On, Camden, and our friends in Hey Anna.

On Friday, Goodbye Tiger celebrate their record release at Asbury Lanes with Owel, dollys, and The Long Faces. Barr Barians and Finchler play for free at APYC; while Plato Zorba, Underwater Sounds, and Dan Waszay are next door at Langosta. Guitar legend Jeff Beck plays a sold out Count Basie. Our good buddies in Paper Streets venture to Pallisades in Brooklyn for a show with Happy You, Pinegrove, and Stumpf. Joe Grushecky is at The Saint with Eddie "Kingfish" Manion. Lake Effect, Debt League, Bird Hotel, and Southern Queers play Tumulty's in New Brunswick. Dark City presents Blendmode, Chemtrail, The Hive-Mind, and No More Pain at Wonder Bar.

On Saturday night, Jon Caspi and The First Gun celebrate their record release with a free show at Asbury Park Yacht Club by paying tribute to themselves. Each of the other bands on the bill -- The Extras, Inc., Humongous, Tri-State, and The Bomb Shelter Dropouts -- will do at least one cover of a Jon Caspi Song in what promises to be an evening of good natured self-indulgence and fun. Right next door at Langosta, The Ribeye Brothers play a free show with Long defeats.

If they weren't touring in Canada right now, I'm sure The Battery Electric and Hot Blood would be in Branchburg on Saturday afternoon for Ed The Punk Fest featuring the self-styled legendary GPP. Also on that bill are Teenage Halloween, Puddle Splasher, Brook Pridemore, The Uncommonly Good, and more. Saturday evening brings The Gray Company, Perennial Reel, Deal Casino, Dizzy Bats, and The Vaughns to the Banana Stand. Cold Weather Company, Lowlight, and Darksongs (ft. members of The Roadside Graves) are at Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen. If you're still into them and you know a TCNJ student, faculty member, or staff member, you can catch Paramore at the CUB with The Wonder Years in Ewing.

It's a special Sunday Service at Asbury Lanes with Jeff Rosenstock, Chumped, The Moms, and Sammy Kay. Brian Shaheen holds his record release with a matinee at The Saint also featuring Jake Tavill and Chris Brown. Vundabar, Milkmen, Cousin Brian, and Eagle Daddy are at Glitterbox.

See you out there. I'm sure some live music and a beverage or two will be just what the doctor ordered.


Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Cold Fronts / Made Violent, 7:30pm, $8 adv, $10 door (ALL AGES)

The Batcave (Montclair): Foxes In Fiction / Bellows / Sharpless / Fire Is Motion / Pinegrove, 7pm, $10

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Split Squad / The Cynz / TV Tramps / Lieder, 7pm, $10 (18+)

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Aimless Again / The Catching / Debt League / Overhold, 8:30pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Pat DiNizio, 8pm, FREE

Lot 13 Longbar (Bayonne): Black Wine / Désir Decir / Earworms / Drilling For Blasting / Shark Jumper, 8pm, $4

The Meatlocker (Montclair): Gregory Mckillop / Daephne / Archie Alone / Help Me Help You / Ambary Lake, 8pm, donation

The Saint (Asbury): Comedy and Hip Hop, 8pm, $7

Union Hall (Brooklyn): The Box Tiger / Off and On / Hey Anna / Camden, 8pm, $10 adv, $12 door

FRIDAY (4/24)

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Goodbye Tiger (record release) / Owel / dollys / The Long Faces, 7:30pm, $10

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): The Barr Barians / Finchler, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): David Peel (Record Release) / Pat Veil and The Beech Needles / Chaos Kings / The Henninger Coalition, 8pm, $8

Clash Bar (Clifton): King Dead / The Dead Drop / Unkempt Herald / Crime Scene / Rabid Weasels

Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank): Jeff Beck, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Arcways / General Collection / Heavy Flow / Blithedale Romance / Ian Bamberger Trio, 7pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Plato Zorba / Underwater Sounds / Dan Waszay, 9pm, FREE

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Walk The Plank / Aggro Or Die / Future Primitive / Condition Oakland, 9pm, $6

Pollak Theater at Monmouth U (West Long Branch): Roger McGuinn, 8pm, $35

Pallisades (Brooklyn): Pinegrove / Happy You / Stumpf / Paper Streets, 7:30pm, $5

The Saint (Asbury): Joe Grushecky and Eddie "Kingfish" Manion / Nicky Addeo / Steve Reilly / Laura Crisci, 7:30pm, $20

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Sixx: A.M., 7pm, SOLD OUT

The Stone Pony (Asbury): B Street Band, 7pm, $15 adv, $20 door (ALL AGES)

Tumulty's Pub (New Brunswick): Lake Effect / Debt League / Bird Hotel / Southern Queers, 9pm, FREE

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Blendmode / The Hive Mind / Chemtrail / No More Pain, 7:30pm, $10


Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Sex Toy Bingo, 8pm, $10 (18+)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Jon Caspi and The First Gun (Record Release) / The Extras, Inc. / Humongous / Tri-State / The Bomb Shelter Dropouts, 9pm, FREE

The Banana Stand (New Brunswick). MOVED FROM PIGEON PAD.: The Gray Company / Dizzy Bats / Perennial Reel / The Vaughns / Deal Casino, 7pm, $5

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Operation Anarchy 2015 ft. Midnight Mob / Nights Of Malice / Flowers To Flames / many more, 12pm, $12 adv, $14 door

Clash Bar (Clifton): Tony Surfers Birthday Show

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Ashes Of Your Enemy / Shadows Of Dawn / Causticaudio / Me With Creeps, 7pm

Ed The Punk's Palace (Branchburg): GPP / Teenage Halloween / Puddle Splahser / Brook Pridemore / Basement Beers / The Uncommonly Good / Dutchboys / Overhold / Killer Waves / Wisteria, 3pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Ribeye Brothers / Long Defeats, 9pm, FREE

The Meatlocker (Montclair): The Interstellar Catastrophe, 10pm, donation

Old Franklin Schoolhouse (Metuchen): Cold Weather Company / Lowlight / Darksongs, 6:30pm, $5

Paradise: Lost (New Brunswick): tile / Miloflak Sisters / Your Mystery Guest / Party Cops / ЯadarnooN, 8pm, $5

The PussyPad (New Brunswick): Vasdueva / Edelweiss / Fire Is Motion / El Americano, $5, 8pm

The Rail House (Rahway): The Box Tiger / Off and On / The Ricecookers / Sean Cameron Cooley, 8pm, $5

The Saint (Asbury): Slim Chance and The Gamblers / Citizen Band Radio, 7:30pm, $10

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Atreyu / Unearth / Old Wounds, 7pm, $20 adv, $25 door (ALL AGES)

TCNJ CUB (Ewing): Paramore / The Wonder Years, 8pm, Student tix $20, Grad / Faculty / Staff $25

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Peter V and Blues Train, 7pm, $10

SUNDAY (4/26)

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Jeff Rosenstock / Chumped / The Moms / Sammy Kay, 6pm, $10 (ALL AGES)

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Art Of Edgar / Salmon Jam / Tommy and The Kooks / Sound Buddy, 2pm, $10 (ALL AGES)

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Dog House Swine / Park Ape / Dog Lift Leg, 7pm, $7 (18+)

Glitterbox (New Brunswick): Vundabar / Cousin Brian / Milkmen / Eagle Daddy, 7pm, $5

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

The Meatlocker (Montclair): Overhold / Jean Pool / Tesla's Revenge / Devon Goods / Greg McCruden / Tory Lava, 9pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Brian Shaheen (CD Release) / Jake Tavill / Chris Brown, 2pm, $10

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswick): Hostage Crisis / Bootstrap Bandits / Shimmy Schwartz / Atomic Earth / Steve Kelly / Joe Galuppo, 8pm, FREE

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Benefit for UFO Researcher Jose Escamilla ft. Dana Gaynor Band / Mikell's Plot / Magical Voodoo Review / more, 2pm, $10 adv, $15 door (ALL AGES)

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Wonder Jam, 9pm