Friday, May 24, 2019

Robert Forster, Inferno, 2019

Album Review

By Henry Lipput

Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster's new album, the splendid Inferno, is his first solo album in four years and his third since 2008's The Evangelist. Actually it's his seventh overall if you count the four albums he released between Phase I and II of the great Go-Betweens which ended with the untimely death of Forster's bandmate and co-founder Grant McLennan 13 years ago. The wonderful compilation Intermission collects songs from both of their solo careers between 1990 and 1997.

Inferno was recorded in Berlin and produced by Victor Van Vugt who also engineered Forster's first solo album Danger In The Past in 1990. Also working with Forster again are Brisbane-based multi-instrumentalists Scott Bromley and violinist Karin B√£umler from Songs To Play (2015) as well as drummer Earl Havin and keyboardist Michael Muhlhaus.

In an interview with the Near Perfect Pitch podcast, Forster described Inferno as a "performance record." "It's four of us playing in the room," he said. And you can hear the interplay between Foster and the other musicians. You can also hear it in his vocals which, in many songs, have a looseness that shows he's in the groove and might even be having some fun.

For example, on the opening track, the bluesy "Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgement," he sings in a near falsetto on the lines "Take the sour / If you take me / I can scoff and lour / And scold for an hour." And in the last verse there's an impassioned tone to his voice.

The standard-waiting-to-happen "I'll Look After You" has a small jazz ensemble sound and a gentle vocal from Forster. "I'll look after you / Tell yourself that I could help you to see / That it could be me." But he's not asking someone to be his partner; instead he's asking her to come back which gives the song a much different meaning.

"Life Has Turned A Page" has a bossa-nova feel to it and is the kind of story song at which Forster is so good; it reminds me of the terrific "Let The Light In Babe" from his The Evangelist album. "I'm Gonna Tell It" has a funky groove, a swooping violin, and call-and-response backing vocals. I'm just not sure if Forster actually gets around to telling us what he promises to tell us. "No Fame" has a old Go-Betweens sound like "Draining The Pool For You" and other classic Forster gems from that period.

"Inferno (Brisbane in Summer)" rocks like a 50's Sun session and has the kind of piano playing that George Martin added to Beatles' recordings like "Long Tall Sally." There's also some blistering electric guitar work on the track. "The jungle is coming up to the door / The birds that are calling are hard to ignore," Forster sings in a voice like David Byrne. If it doesn't yet sound as if the song is about global warming it certainly does here: "The jungle is coming / And so is the drought / The people are screaming / 'Let me out!'"

Inferno is out now on Tapete Records.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

What's Going On: 5/23, 5/24, 5/25 & 5/26, 2019

Snail Mail play a sold out Asbury Lanes on Saturday.
Happy Summer

Memorial Day Weekend, or MDW as people like to say nowadays. It's the unofficial start of summer. Here's wishing that all of your summer dreams come true.

The never-ending Snail Mail tour returns to Asbury on Saturday. Lots of cover songs at The Pony all weekend. Other cool stuff.

Have fun. Have a constructive summer. Don't drink and drive.


The Anchor's Bend (Asbury): So You Want To Be A Comedian?, 8pm

Arlene's Grocery (NYC): The Vaughns / Strawberry Blonde / Lucky, 7pm, $10

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

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Fourth Wave Launch Party 2.0 ft. The Foes Of Fern / Renee Maskin / Des & The Swagmatics / The Shady Street Show Band, 7pm

Baby's All Right (Brooklyn): Skegss / Daddies, 7pm, SOLD OUT

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Serious Matters / Noise Brigade, 7pm

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Luke Dowler / Gary Wright / Max Carmichael, 9pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Running Late / Switch Mob / more, 6pm, $10

The Downtown (Red Bank): Matt Dubrow & The Captives / Jackson Pines / Tara Dente & The Blind Pilots, 7pm, $10

FM Jersey City (Jersey City): RADHA / A-Natural / Evangelia / Ashton Ramdehal, 8pm

House Of Independents (Asbury): MulletCast LIVE, 7pm, $10-$12

Pet Shop JC (Jersey City): Serpent Worship / Has Glenn Seen This? (Misfits Tribute), 8pm

The Saint (Asbury): Lost Leaders / Cranston Dean, 7pm, $13

Trans-Pecos (Queens): Tula Vera / Shred Flintstone / Diva Lotto / Snowyard, 8pm, $10-$12

White Eagle Hall (Jersey City): The Motet, 8pm

FRIDAY (5/24)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Natalie Farrell Trio / Colton Kayser Band / Monte, 9pm

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Dance Party, 9pm

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): latewaves / West Means Home / Anyone Anyway / Idle Wave, 8pm, $10

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Daughter Vision / Sentient Moss, 9:30pm

BB&T Pavilion (Camden): Slayer, 6pm, $29.50-$99.50

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Big Bam Boo / Cranston Dean Band / That's How They Get Ya, 9pm

Clash Bar (Clifton): The Muckrakers / Mikita / Baron Praxis, 8pm, $10

Crossroads (Garwood): Apollo Sonders / Bryan Hansen Band / Fake Pockets / The Extensions, 7pm, $10

FM Jersey City (Jersey City): Tula Vera / A Boy Named John / The Neverends / Chubb's Wooden Hand, 7:30pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): SuperMEGA, 7pm, SOLD OUT

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Billy Hector, 9:30pm

Meatlocker (Montclair): Coach's Son / Remis / Top Bloke / honestdant (& no friends), 9:30pm

Mercury Lounge (NYC): Skegss / Daddies, 7pm, SOLD OUT

Millhill Basement (Trenton): The Cryptkeeper Five / The Vansaders / Tim & Dim, 9pm, $6

Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn): Filthy Friends / Dressy Bessy, 8pm

Perth Amboy: Waterfront Arts Festival ft. Joe Taino / Jay Valera / The Feeling Messengers, 6pm

Red Tank Brewing (Red Bank): The Black Clouds / Woodfish / Lost Transmission, 6pm

Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn): Laura Stevenson / Mal Blum / Completions, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Stuff Bros. / Glenn Alexander & Shadowland, 8pm

The Saint (Asbury): Chad B "Never Stepped On" Release Party, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): The 80s MTV Experience (whatever that is), 7pm, $15-$19

White Eagle Hall (Jersey City): Rainbow Kitten Surprise, 9pm, SOLD OUT

The Whitechapel Projects (Long Branch): PT3, 8:30pm

Wonder Bar (Asbury): The Nerds, 8pm, $18-$20

World Cafe Live Upstairs (Philly): Jesse Gimbel / Rachel Ana Dobken / Erin Fox, 8:30pm, $5


The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Taylor Tote, 9pm

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Snail Mail / Long Beard, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Des & The Swagmatics, 9:30pm

BoonTunes (Boonton): Subtitles / Reilly & Co. / Bravely / Serencia / The Last Arizona, 7pm, $10

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Memorial Day Weekend Fest ft. 50+ bands, 2 Stages, Free BBQ, 12:30pm

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): The Sinking / The Down & Outs, 9pm

Collective Art Tank (Asbury): Will Wood, 7pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Paul Rose / Crewman Number Six / The New Black, 7pm, $10

House Of Independents (Asbury): The Bomb Digz, 5:30pm, $20-$75

House Of Independents (Asbury): 90s Dance Party, 10pm

Index Art Center (Newark): John Cozz (release show) / steve. / Gambo / LKFFCT, 7pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Waiting On Mongo, 9:30pm

Meatlocker (Montclair): Anticitizen / Offensive Threat / Stolen Wheelchairs / Sewer Skrewer, 9pm

Mercury Lounge (NYC): The So So Glos / Bodega / Emmerson & Her Clammy Hands / Baglady, 7pm, $16

Millhill Basement (Trenton): TV Tramps / Basic Bitches / Puppyboy, 7pm

Old Franklin Schoolhouse (Metuchen): Dylan Birthday Bash ft. Danny Alderman / Bruce Donnola / Ben Davis / Hank Reineke / Matt Telliho / Death & Heaven, 7pm

Perth Amboy: Waterfront Arts Festival ft. Nalani & Sarina / Reality Suite / Lowlight / Jorge Loayza / Pepperwine / Lou Dawg, 12noon

Pianos (NYC): FRiTZo / aBIRD / Janet LaBelle / Quality Living / Furies / Rosey Bengal, 7pm, $10

Pino's Gift Basket (Highland Park): Brenyama / RGD / The Extensions, 8pm

The Saint (Asbury): The Fusions, 7:30pm, $10

The Seafarer Bar (Highlands): Levy & The Oaks / Natalie Farrell, 7pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Splintered Sunlight (Dead covers), 7pm, $16-$20

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Dance Party, 8pm

SUNDAY (5/26)

The Asbury Hotel, Rooftop (Asbury): Karmic Juggernaut / Psychotic Submarines, 7pm

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Sandy Mack, 4pm

Asbury Park Music Foundation (Asbury): The Spirit of the Upstage Club, 9:30pm, $5

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Levy & The Oaks / Bottled Blonde, 8pm

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Memorial Day Weekend Fest ft. 50+ bands, 2 Stages, Free BBQ, 12:30pm

Collective Art Tank (Asbury): Will Wood, 7pm

Dublin House (Red Bank): Ribeye Brothers (2 sets), 7pm

Flemington DIY (Flemington): Amygdala / Massa Nera / Entierralos, 7pm, $5

House Of Independents (Asbury): Hot Mulligan / Belmont, 6pm, $16-$18

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): The Wizard, 1pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Shady Street Show Band, 9pm

Meatlocker (Montclair): Purple Shadows / Old Sport / Palms Down, 9pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Village Green / GASM, 6:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Promised Land (Jersey covers) / Dave Alen Band, 6pm, $17-$20

Toms River (Ask): Swamp City Rockers / Coward, 8pm

Wonder Bar (Asbury): John Eddie, 8pm, $17-$20

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Email Playlist, Volume 10

Titus Andronicus announced the release of An Obelisk with single "(I Blame) Society."


I didn't forget. Just been lazy and a little under the weather the last few days. Lots of interesting stuff here from lots of albums that have already come out.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Premiere: New Single from Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain by Jordan Galiano


North Jersey four-piece, Blue Vervain, describe themselves as a "mood rock" band. Started by singer / guitarist Jon Khan (former Morningside Lane) as a solo project in the summer of 2018, Blue Vervain grew into their current incarnation with the additions of James Pawson (bass), Nikki Marroccoli (keys), and Ori Yekutiel (drums). They take their name from a flower used as an alternative remedy for anxiety and depression; and Blue Vervain say that they strive, through their music, to provide a sort of alternative remedy of their own to those who may be struggling.

Blue Vervain recently joined the roster of NJ's Mint 400 Records, and their debut LP, Wounds, is due on September 6th. Today, we're premiering the album's first single, "Cycle."

"Cycle" starts off with some subdued guitar and vocals from Khan, before building to a cathartic outro. The song brings together elements of emo, alt rock, and indie which makes for an appropriately moody result.

Blue Vervain will be performing at this weekend's Jersey Shore Festival in Seaside Heights on May 18th. They've also got a few summer dates lined up which you can check out below. Pre-orders for Wounds will start on August 9th.

Blue Vervain shows
5/18/19 - Jersey Shore Music Festival, Seaside Heights, NJ
7/13/19 - 7th Annual Deutschtown Music Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
7/19/19 - Mint 400 Records Showcase, Stosh's, Fair Lawn, NJ
8/16/19 - Shaker's Pub, Oakdale, NY