Thursday, May 28, 2015

What's Going On: 5/28, 5/29, 5/30 & 5/31, 2015

Mazel Tov

Happy Crystal Anniversary, CoolMom!

Sorry for being a little late with this one today. I've been kind of distracted as it's our 15th wedding anniversary today. Somehow I got the coolest woman in the world to agree to spend the rest of her life with me, and I've just been kind of reveling in that fact this morning.


Things get started with a busy Thursday. CoolMom and I will be bopping around Asbury Park as we celebrate. American Aquarium come to Asbury Lanes with Thomas Wesley Stern, Brian McGee, and goodnightgoodmorning. Volt Direction play their second-ever show at Asbury Park Yacht club with Daughter Vision and Ceremonial Abyss. I got a chance to catch them on Sunday, and it's cool to hear some fresh sounds coming out of Asbury Park. Sounds of Spring Fest kicks off at The Candy Barrel in New Brunswick with Eagle Daddy, Fond Han, Lake Effect, and Kadian Quartet. The Great Depression are back at The Court with Sistine, 18th and Addison, and Hunson Abadeer. Jersey Rock has the lovely and talented Dough Zambon along with the lovely and talented Emily Grove for free at Pier Village in Long Branch. In Brooklyn, if you managed to get in an RSVP, you can check out the premiere party for The Chris Gethard Show at Rough Trade with Mal Blum, Jeff Rosenstock, Hiccup, and a band of Jersey upstarts known as Screaming Females. Worriers kick off their tour with Caves at Silent Barn. That show also features Don Giovanni labelmates Alice and Sundials.

On Friday, The Court Tavern hosts a benefit for Nate Gluck featuring Old Wounds, Manalive, The Holy Terror, Jaguar Shark, and Hounds. The weekend long Red Bank Riverfest kicks off at Marine Park. Geoff Rickly of Thursday plays Maxwell's Tavern in Hoboken with Meghann Wright, Gatherers, and Help Me Help You. Sounds of Spring continues at Nowhere USA with Turnip King, Mal Devisa, BLKBX, and YJY. The Pure Thirteen play The Saint with Shiksa, The Drive Home, Conover, and Chiaroscuro. The Empty Hearts are back in town at Wonder Bar with The Doughboys, Tara Elliot, and Lost Romance.

It's another installment of the always fun Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market on Saturday. Saturday also brings Murder Junkies to the Brighton. There are two Sounds of Spring shows in Bruns with Professor Caveman, Morris Alba, Super City, and Forth Wanderers taking the evening slot at Candy Barrel. CachaBacha, Bruise, Phantom Lanterns, and M. Rudin play a matinee at Pigeon Pad. Paul Rosevear, Tri-State, Miss Ohio, and Adam and The Plants are at Lot 13 in Bayonne. The Jersey Born Music Festival takes over Cookman Ave. in Asbury.

Crossroads in Garwood has two shows on Saturday featuring a bunch of our favorites. The matinee brings together Eastern Anchors, Overlake, Sink Tapes, Dollar Store Riot, Galanos, and RocknRoll HiFives. In the evening you can catch Inside Drivers, Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch Hands, and our buds in Black Flamingos.

Also on Saturday, Tierney's Tavern in Montclair presents the second annual Tierney's Tavern music festival. The free all-day event features The Porchistas, Jersey Shore favorites like Accidental Seabirds, Thomas Wesley Stern, and Bone & Marrow, plus more for a total of 13 bands.

Sunday is weirdly packed out. Ghost Camp, The Corrinas, The Welts, Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Conover, and Teenage Halloween try to do a show at Aidan's Garage. Two more Sounds of Spring Shows: dollys, Diplopia, Loser Groove, and Maeby Funk at PussyPad early. Perennial Reel, Gypsy Wig, Night Idea, Sojourner at In The West late. Karmic Juggernaut, We Used To Cut The Grass, and Max Swan are at The Saint.


Asbury Lanes (Asbury): American Aquarium / Thomas Wesley Stern / Brian McGee / goodnightgoodmorning, 7pm, $10 adv, $12 door (ALL AGES)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Volt Direction / Daughter Vision / Ceremonial Abyss, 8:30pm, FREE

Candy Barrel (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #1: Eagle Daddy / Fond Han / Lake Effect / Kadian Quartet, 8pm, $5

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): The Great Depression / Sistine / 18th & Addison / Hunson Abadeer, 7pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Pat Dinizio / Jennifer Matthews, 8pm, FREE

Pier Village (Long Branch): Jersey Rock Bands on the Boardwalk w/ Emily Grove and Doug Zambon, 6pm, FREE

Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn): Chris Gethard Premiere Party w/ Chris Gethard / Screaming Females / Hiccup / Jeff Rosenstock / Mal Blum, 7pm, RSVPs CLOSED

Roxy & Dukes (Dunellen): Awesome The Podcast: Garden State Line / Pig Iron Profits, 9pm, FREE

The Saint (Asbury): Coquette / Civil Youth / Bone & Marrow, 7:30pm, $10

Silent Barn (Brooklyn): Worriers / Caves / Sundials / Alice, 8pm, $7

The Waiting Room (Rahway): Wolfasaurus REX / Julius Seizure / Proletariat / Audio Insight / Circuitry, 7:30pm, FREE

FRIDAY (5/29)

Anchor's Bend (Asbury): Plato Zorba, 8pm, FREE

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Matt Scuteri & The Jive Stewards, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Mile Marker Zero / The Shape / Through The Grey / Park Ape / The Color Atlantic, 7pm, $12 (18+)

Clash Bar (Clifton): The Sun & The Moon & The Stars / Avoider / (Damn) This Desert Air / Artic Sleep / Sun Voyager

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Nate Gluck Benefit ft. Old Wounds / Manalive / The Holy Terror / Jaguar Shark / Hounds, 9pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Fat Back Band, 9pm, FREE

Marine Park (Red Bank): Red Bank Riverfest, 5pm

Maxwell's Tavern (Hoboken): Geoff Rickly / Meghann Wright / Gatherers / Help Me Help You, 8pm, $13 adv, $15 door

Nowhere USA (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #2: Turnip King / Mal Devisa / BLKBX / YJY, 7:30pm, $5

The Rail House (Rahway): Life.After / Spiral Scar / PA Angelo / All New Atmosphere, 9pm, $3

The Saint (Asbury): The Pure Thirteen / Shiksa / The Drive Home / Conover / Chiaroscuro, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Splintered Sunlight, 7pm, $14 adv, $16 door

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): The Empty Hearts / The Doughboys / Tara Elliot & The Red Velvets / Lost Romance, 8pm, $20 adv, $22 door


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

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Peter Scherer, 9pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Murder Junkies and at least six other bands, 6pm, $12 adv, $15 (ALL AGES)

Candy Barrel (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #4: Professor Caveman / Morris Alba / Super City / Forth Wanderers, 8pm, $5

Clash Bar (Clifton): The Fiendz / The Omega Men / Monster Truck Fanclub

Convention Hall (Asbury): Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market

Cookman Avenue (Asbury): Jersey Born Music Festival w/ Quincy Mumford / Christine Martucci / The Nerds / B-Street Band / more, 11am, FREE

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Apparus / Corey Clark / Bodega Satellite / Secret Photos, 7pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Eastern Anchors / Overlake / Galanos / Sink Tapes / Dollar Store Riot / RocknRoll HiFives, 2pm, $8

Crossroads (Garwood): Inside Drivers / Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch Hands / Black Flamingos, 9pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Grip Weeds / Brother Andrew, 9:30pm, FREE

Lot 13 (Bayonne): Tri-State / Paul Rosevear / Miss Ohio / Adam and The Plants, 7pm, FREE

Marine Park (Red Bank): Red Bank Riverfest, 11am

The Pigeon Pad (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #3: CachaBacha / Bruise / Phantom Lanterns / M. Rudin, 3:30pm, $5

Roxy & Dukes (Dunellen): Garden State Line / Backyard Superheroes / Milan and The Sour Goat / P-Funk North, 9pm, $12

The Saint (Asbury): The F.L.O.W. / Baked Goods / Black Suburbia, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): River Monsters, 7pm, $15

Tierney's Tavern (Montclair): Tierney's Tavern Music Festival ft. The Porchistas / Accidental Seabirds / Thomas Wesley Stern / Bone & Marrow / Karyn Kuhl Band / more, 11am, FREE

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Marc Ribler / Lance Larson, 9pm, $10

SUNDAY (5/31)

Aidan's Garage (Sea Bright): Ghost Camp / Corrina, Corrina / The Welts / Prince Daddy & The Hyena / Teenage Halloween / Conover, 4pm, $5

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Deal Casino, 7pm, FREE

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Roswell Debacle / The Wailing Kids / Vertigogo / Melting Watches / Collector, 6pm

In The West (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #6: Perennial Reel / Gypsy Wig / Night Idea / Sojourner, 8pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Country Comfort, 1pm, FREE

Marine Park (Red Bank): Red Bank Riverfest, 11am

PussyPad (New Brunswick): Sounds of Spring Fest #5: dollys / Diplopia / Loser Groove / Maeby Funk, 3:30pm, $5

The Saint (Asbury): Joe Salk's Rock Band School, 1pm, $10 adv, $12 door (ALL AGES)

The Saint (Asbury): Karmic Juggernaut / We Used To Cut The Grass / Max Swan, 7pm, $10

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): D.R.I. / The Casualties, 4pm, $16 adv, $19 door (ALL AGES)

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Bonzo Bash & Randy Rhoads Remembered, 3pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Tumulty's Pub (New Brunswick): Boy vs Ghost / El Americano / Ever So Noble / Kailey Rocker, 9pm, FREE

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Wonder Jam, 3:30pm, $5

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Single from Brooklyn's Dead Stars

Photo: Susan Hunt

"Calm Punk"

Just about a year ago, Brooklyn's Dead Stars released what would end up being one of my favorite records of 2014. Slumber is a collection of fuzzy, 90s-influenced, guitar pop that I absolutely (metaphorically) wore out over the course of last summer.

I feel like I read or saw somewhere once that the band described their fuzzed-out pop sound as "calm punk." I may be imagining that, but it describes their laid-back yet sometimes hard-edged sound pretty well. It's also the title of the first single from their forthcoming, second LP.

"Calm Punk" delivers more of what I loved from Slumber. Like Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Weezer, or some of the recent descendants of those bands, Dead Stars drench their hook-laden pop in noise and distortion. There are some meaty guitar leads and aggressive vocals, but things don't get too crazy. It all stays pretty easygoing, almost calm.

Dead Stars have several New York-area dates coming up. They'll be celebrating the release of Calm Punk with a show on June 4th at Brooklyn's Alphaville that also includes Charlie Bliss, Dances, and Jangula. I'm hoping to catch them at one of their Northside Festival shows -- either at The Gutter on June 12th or at Union Pool as part of the Old Flame Records Showcase on June 14th.

New Single from Worriers

Worriers at Knitting Factory Brooklyn in February.

"They / Them / Theirs"

Lauren Denitzio's Worriers have something that I really like. I've always been drawn to a politically-charged message wrapped in an accessible package. Billy Bragg took on big issues like war and peace and capitalism on all of those records that I loved throughout my high school and college years. Worriers take a more personal approach.

"They / Them / Theirs" addresses society's construct of the gender binary. "What if I don't want something that applies to me? What if there's no better word than just not saying anything?" and "We are floating between two ends that don't matter." Denitzio takes that very personal feeling and extends it out to kind of ask, "How about treating people like people before we try to put them into a category or a box?" The band deliver that message as a fast-paced piece of pop punk that should have audiences singing it in unison for everyone to hear.

The song is the first single from Worriers' debut full-length, Imaginary Life, which is due on August 7th from Don Giovanni. The album was produced by Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace.

I saw Grace being interviewed by Larry King once. King asked her what it felt like to be in the "wrong body" or something, and her response was something along the lines of, "I never felt like I was in the 'wrong body.' I just felt like me." Her collaboration with Worriers on "They / Them / Theirs" is a great one, and I look forward to hearing the rest of the record.

Worriers have also announced a tour that brings them to our area a few times. They kick things off tomorrow with a show at Brooklyn's Silent Barn that also features Caves, Sundials, and Alice. After a few weeks spent traversing these United States, Worriers come to Starland as part of the IDOBI Meltdown festival on Friday June 26th with Lifetime, The Menzingers, and Laura Stevenson. They close out the tour with a stop at New Brunswick's In The West on June 29th.

Check out "They / Them / Theirs" below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Single from YJY's Upcoming EP

Photo: Jill Hendershott

"Couch Surfin USA"

A few months back, I shared with you the "Tiny Desk Contest" video entry from Princeton-area indie rock quartet, YJY. The single coil jangle and the obvious sense of humor of "Through Being Hip" attracted me to the band immediately. Until now, though, that was the closest thing YJY had to an official release.

That changes today as YJY have released their first official single and video for the title track to their upcoming EP, Couch Surfin USA. The song is a bit noisier and fuzzier than that Tiny Desk entry -- maybe leaning a little more toward the shoegazy pop of Dinosaur Jr. than the summery jangle of Real Estate. That, of course, is more than fine by me.

"Couch surfin on a wave of nostalgia," sings Steve Sachs. The video, shot in 4:3 black and white and simulating the effect of a poorly tracking VCR on a VHS camcorder, has a nostalgic feel to it. A montage of performance footage and candid shots of the band and their friends, "Couch Surfin USA" also maintains that sense of humor that drew me to the band in the first place. YJY guitarist (and Roy Orbitron bassist) Ricky Lorenzo edited the whole thing.

Check out the video below and head over to YJY's Bandcamp page to stream / download "Couch Surfin USA." The EP of the same name is due on July 7th from our friends at Sniffling Indie Kids (Sink Tapes, dollys, NGHTCRWLRS, and many more).

You can check YJY out locally next month when they hit Wonder Bar on June 29th.