Friday, March 24, 2017

Interview with High Waisted at SXSW 2017

High Waisted at Stay Gold in Austin, TX

Somewhere in Austin

I've written quite a bit about High Waisted here. The New York City band's 2016 debut, On Ludlow, with its surfy, spaghetti western vibe, is a favorite of mine. I'm also pretty sure that High Waisted's Jessica Louise Dye holds the distinction of being the subject of what I consider to be the best picture I've ever taken in my life.


One of my goals for SXSW was to hook up with High Waisted for an interview. I caught their set at the Cigar City Management Nochebuena Party, but they were playing so many shows around Austin that getting interview time with them was tricky. We managed to steal a few minutes in a lovely corner of East 7th Street somewhere in the vicinity of Side Bar, Empire, and Barracuda.

We had a nice chat about their life as an unsigned touring machine and the sacrifices they've made to make High Waisted their number one priority.

My guerrilla videographer skills need a little work, the sun was playing games with us, and my editing capabilities are almost non-existent; but I think you still get the gist of how hard these people work to try and make something happen for themselves. They also manage to be really enjoying the ride.

High Waisted are currently entertaining spring breakers somewhere in Florida. They make their way back home in early April. You can check out their remaining tour dates below and listen to / purchase their music over at their website,

High Waisted on tour

3/24 -- Kismet Vintage -- Delray Beach, FL
3/25 -- High Dive -- Gainesville, FL
3/26 -- The Souk at Wilbury -- Tallahassee, FL
3/27 -- Georgia Theater -- Athens, GA
3/28 -- Kings -- Raleigh, NC
3/29 -- The Southern Music Hall -- Charlottesville, VA
3/30 -- The Pompei Lounge -- Staunton, VA
3/31 -- Easy Greasy -- Harrisonburg, VA
4/01 -- House Party -- Richmond, VA
4/02 -- DC9 -- Washington, DC

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Donovan Blanc Are Back with a New Album

The Color of Hearts

From the early days of CoolDad Music -- since our very first year five years ago, as a matter of fact -- I've been telling you about NJ band Honeydrum. The band specialized in lo-fi, retro-inspired pop reminiscent of something like Ariel Pink. Short, infectious pop songs about lots of those things that pop songs are about: love, obsession. Honeydrum put out music at furious clip, releasing something like 9 EPs over the course of two years.

In 2014, frontman Joe Black and bassist Ray Schwab released a full-length as Donovan Blanc. Their self-titled debut brought many of the ideas in Honeydrum to a fuller more polished realization. Now, Donovan Blanc are back with The Color of Hearts. On their latest release, the band play with the sounds of 70s disco. There's a definite Bee Gees vibe that comes through on opener "Never Let You Down" as well as "I've Never Loved Someone (Like You)." The title track feels like soulful 70s AM radio pop. There's a hint of country twang on "You Made a Fool of Me" (which also sounds like it's played over one of the built in tracks on an electric piano you'd buy at the mall back when I was a kid) and "Breanna," but both still exude a disco vibe.

What shines throughout the album is the fact that Donovan Blanc know how to write a damn good pop song, whether that song is a disco bop or a country waltz.

The Color of Hearts is available now over at Donovan Blanc's Bandcamp page as either a download or a limited run of gold cassettes. Cassettes are also available via the Captured Tracks store.

What's Going On: 3/23, 3/24, 3/25 & 3/26, 2017

Anniversary Weekend!!

This is it. The big CoolDad Music 5th Anniversary Weekend. The main event takes place this Saturday, 3/25, at The Overlook in Convention Hall. We continue the party with a show at The Saint on Sunday, 3/26. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

On Thursday night, Brooklyn Bazaar hosts a benefit show for important Brooklyn DIY space, Shea Stadium. That one has members of the Shea Family including Bueno, Lost Boy ?, Stringer, and The '94 Knicks. The Jigsaw Seen return to The Saint with The Tide Bends, Phulton, and The LeMats. Lunch Ladies are up in Union with Hold On, Caulfield, Bettysally, Paul From The Internet, and The Reverie In Comraderie. Senses Fail are at Starland.

Friday night brings the tour-hardened Fun While You Wait and We're Ghosts Now to APYC along with The Mercury Brothers. Asbury Park VFW hosts a benefit show presented by Asbury Park Music Foundation that features lots of jazz & blues veterans from the area. P-Dub are at Langosta.  Mint 400 presents a big show in JC's Cathedral Hall with Adam & The Plants, Kult Of Mary, C.R. & The Degenerates, Guilty Giraffe, and Rosey Bengal. Bern & The Brights, Liv Lombardi, and Emily Grove are at The Porchistas Home Studio in Montclair. Capacitor Records holds a showcase at The Stone Pony featuring The Black Clouds, GayGuy/StraightGuy, Experiment 34, Yorkshire Tenth, Strange Eclipse, and Simple Sin.

Then, on Saturday...

Well, first... Casual, The Meltaways, and Exmaid are at Gold's in Bruns. The UK's Desert Mountain Tribe are at The Saint. New Found Glory play the first of two, sold-out shows at The Pony. 

But, really, the big thing on Saturday is the CoolDad Music 5th Anniversary Party co-presented with our beloved Asbury Lanes Family. It's 18+, and we have Shellshag, dollys, Smalltalk, and The RockNRoll Hi-Fives joining us for the celebration -- four bands who have meant a great deal to the blog over the last five years. I hope to see everyone there, so I can hug you, shake your hand, whatever and say thanks!

It's an unusually busy Sunday with Deal Casino heading up to BerlinNYC to play a show with The Cold Fronts, The Howl, and Journalism. Noise In The Attic hosts another benefit show at The Inkwell in Long Branch in support of one of my favorite charities in the world, GLSEN. Laura Stevenson is at Rough Trade NYC with Adult Mom and Hiccup. Crossroads in Garwood hosts Map Of Rome, Wyland, Experiment 34, and more. More New Found Glory at The Pony.

Finally on Sunday, Little Dickman Records and CoolDad Music keep the anniversary celebration going when we bring you Kino Kimino, Sharkmuffin, Ex-Girlfriends, Lunch Ladies, and EVL MOMMZ at The Saint for just $5. Sharkmuffin's Tarra Thiessen will play in three of the bands (and it's her birthday!).

I hope to see you at one of our shows this weekend. If you can't make it, still know that -- as always -- I thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending even one second here on the site. Here's to five more years!


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

Brooklyn Bazaar (Brooklyn): Benefit for Shea Stadium w/ Bueno / Lost Boy ? / Stringer / '94 Knicks, 8pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): Cash'd Out (Johnny Cash Tribute), 9pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): JoeP of Deal Casino, 8:30pm

Lucky 13 (Brooklyn): Womb Of Nations / Twin God / worldsucks / Phantom Knight, 8pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): The Jigsaw Seen / The Tide Bends / Phulton / The LeMats, 7:30pm, $10 adv, $13 door

Sharkey's Campus Inn (Union): Lunch Ladies / Hold On, Caulfield / Bettysally / Paul From The Internet / The Reverie In Comraderie, 9pm

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Senses Fail, 6pm, $17.50 adv, $20 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Hayley Jane and The Primates, 7pm, $8 adv, $10 door

FRIDAY (3/24)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Fun While You Wait / We're Ghosts Now / The Mercury Brothers, 8pm, FREE

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): DJ Mike Merrell, 8pm, FREE

Asbury Park VFW (Asbury): A Night of Jazz and Blues to Benefit Gladstone Trott, 8pm, $15 per person / $25 per couple

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Predator Dub Assassins, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Mark Aguilar & Family / Lauren Patti, 8pm, $8

Cathedral Hall (Jersey City): Adam & The Plants / Kult Of Mary / C.R. & The Degenerates / Guilty Giraffe / Rosey Bengal, 7:30pm, $10

Clash Bar (Clifton): Family Man / Ides / Toxicology / Dusters / School Drugs, 8pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Black Dog (Zeppelin Tribute), 8pm

House of Independents (Asbury): Billy Joel Songbook w/ Chris Pinnella, 8pm, $30 adv, $45 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Billy Hector, 9pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): NEAUX / NO SUN / AKRIS / SICK SHIT / TRÜ, 8pm, donations

Millhill Basement (Trenton): City Mouse / Dreadpool Parker / Dirty Merlins / Dim, 9pm

Porchistas Home Studio (Montclair): Bern & The Brights / Liv Lombardi / Emily Grove, 8pm, $10

Purgatory (Ask): Johnnycola / Serious Matters / Halcionne / Smooch, 5pm, $5

The Saint (Asbury): Paper Bird / Rose Blvd / Rachel Ana Dobken / Avery & The Man Devils, 7:30pm, $12 adv, $15 door

The Stone Pony (Asbury): The Black Clouds / GayGuy/StraightGuy / Experiment 34 / Yorkshire Tenth / Strange Eclipse / Simple Sin, 7pm, $12 adv, $15 door

Tiki Lounge (Ask): MNDBD / Sweats / DJ Gad Lee & Knostalgia / Tab Jones, 8:30pm, $5

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Pimps Of Joytime, 7:30pm, $15 adv, $17 door


The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Regina Sayles, 8pm, FREE

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

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Kidz From The Burbz / Harry Hei$t / Tattoo Money / White Owl, 9:30pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Overmind / After The Burn / Jon Caspi & The First Gun / Bionic Monkey / AristoCants, 8pm, $8

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): New Politicians / Casino Sundae / Dinosaur Eyelids / Finding Feebas, 8pm, $10 (Proceeds Benefit Elijah's Promise)

Fox & Crow (Jersey City): Glenn Morrow's Cry For Help, 10pm

Gold's (New Brunswick): Casual / The Meltaways / Exmaid, 7pm, $5

House of Independents (Asbury): Black Light Dance Party, 9pm, FREE

J House (Ask): Hong Kong Graffiti / Morus Alba / The Planet You / Brunsquick, 8pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Dark City Strings, 9:30pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Vendors' Market w/ Anna O'Connor / Astro Boy / Brielle Liebman / Kate Dressed Up / more, 3pm

Millhill Basement (Trenton): The Crypt Keeper 5 / The Carousers / From The Archives / The Low Doses, 9pm, Mixtape Nation Fundraiser

The Overlook (Asbury): CoolDad Music 5th Anniversary ft. Shellshag / dollys / Smalltalk / The RockNRoll Hi-Fives, 7:30pm, $10

Pino's Gift Basket (Highland Park): Spirit Pilots / Zero For Conduct / Risk Relay, 8pm, $3

Roxy & Duke's Roadhouse (Dunellen): Starman (Bowie Tribute), 9pm, $15 adv, $20 door

The Saint (Asbury): Great Lake / Garage Sale / Slapjack / Aruba Jon, 1pm, $12 (ALL AGES, No Alcohol)

The Saint (Asbury): Desert Mountain Tribe / J.K. Lago, 7:30pm, $10 adv, $13 door

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Billy Currington, 7pm, SOLD OUT

The Stone Pony (Asbury): New Found Glory, 7:30pm, SOLD OUT

Trash House (Philly): Coping Skills / Secret Mountain / Amanda X, 7:30pm, $5-$7 (Planned Parenthood Benefit)

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Jo Bonanno & The Godsons Of Soul, 8pm, $12

SUNDAY (3/26)

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

BerlinNYC (NYC): Cold Fronts / The Howl / Deal Casino / Journalism, 7pm, $8

Brooklyn Bazaar (Brooklyn): Hot Curl / Parrot Dream / Looms / Zechariah Funkhouser, 8pm, $10

Crossroads (Garwood): Map Of Rome / Wyland / The Ones You Forgot / Experiment 34 / From The Concrete / Sammy Cannillo / Astrokatz, 7pm, $10

Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery (Asbury): Quinton Smith / Meadowhawks / Rick Barry / Rachel Ana Dobken, 2pm

Inkwell Coffee House (Long Branch): Colin Adkinsson / Gary Mayer / Matt Cook / Michael Askin / Modern Crowds, 8pm, $5 (ALL PROCEEDS TO GLSEN)

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Ronnie Brandt and The Woodfield Brothers, 1pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): String Machine / Portrait People / Fire Is Motion / El Americano / subtitles, 8:30pm, donations

Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn): Laura Stevenson / Adult Mom / Hiccup (record release), 8pm, $16

The Saint (Asbury): The Hesh Inc. / Bruce Tunkel / Jenny Pilots, 1:30pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Kino Kimino / Sharkmuffin / Ex-Girlfriends / Lunch Ladies / EVL MOMMZ, 7:30pm, $5

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswick): The Have Some Hotel / johnnycola / House of Strays / Paul From The Internet, 8pm, $5

The Stone Pony (Asbury): New Found Glory, 7:30pm, SOLD OUT

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SXSW, Day 6: Dozen Street with Little Dickman Records

A New Saturday Tradition

I just wanted to do a quick recap of my last full day in Austin before getting back to regularly scheduled programming here. I still have a few SXSW-related things to post in the coming days -- pictures, another interview -- but this will be my final recap before turning focus to this weekend's shows.

After spending Friday night with Mastodon, Beach Slang, and others, a nice day hanging with friends sounded fantastic. Chris and Amy Dickman are my partners in crime on lots of things back here at home. They spent their first two days in Austin driving me all around; and, on Saturday, they'd assembled a loaded bill of bands at Austin's Dozen Street. All of that, plus free pancakes had me showing up just as the doors for Rock Or Die IV opened.

Ex-Girlfriends, Pink Mexico, Dead Coast, Fruit & Flowers, The Off White, The Nude Party, The Blind FRIGGING Shake, Sharkmuffin, Thelma & The Sleaze.

Lots of friends.

Chris Dickman and Sean Jones of The Off White

Lots of bands I'd pay to see anywhere.

Pink Mexico

(creamy) Tomato soup bloody marys. (Uh, no thanks.)


Lone Star.

Heather Cousins of Ex-Girlfriends rolling on the floor or climbing up on amps.


Tarra Thiessen of Sharkmuffin and Caroline Yoder of Fruit & Flowers hanging from the rafters.

Fruit & Flowers

Natalie Kirch of Sharkmuffin and Amy Dickman dancing with a dog.

Natalie, Amy, and friend


Amy Dickman smiling from ear to ear while The Blind Shake were playing.

The Blind Shake

Po' boys from the New Orleans-style restuarant next door.

Chris Dickman taking videos of everything.

The woman absolutely losing her shit to Thelma & The Sleaze.

Thelma & The Sleaze

No Fake Rockers.

It was a great, great day and something I hope can become a Saturday tradition for me as long as I keep making it down to South By Southwest. As funny as it may sound, maybe the best part of the whole trip was getting to hang with friends from back home in such a charged environment.

When it was all done, I headed back to my room, packed, tried to get ahead of some of what was waiting for me back home, and turned in early. I missed Saturday night; but, physically, it couldn't have happened.

You can see lots of the bands that played Rock Or Die back here in our area. Sharkmuffin and Ex-Girlfriends play this Sunday, March 26th, at The Saint with Kino Kimino, Lunch Ladies, and EVL MOMMZ. On March 30th, Fruit & Flowers play Langosta Lounge with tour mates Big Bliss and Joe P of Deal Casino. I can't promise that there will be any dancing dogs at either of those shows, but you can dance like crazy.