Wednesday, January 31, 2018

PHOTOS: Long Neck Played Monty Hall with Mikey Erg and Adult Mom, 1/28/17

Will This Do?

Lily Mastrodimos's (ex-Jawbreaker Reunion) Long Neck released Will This Do? last Friday. The album is the second for Long Neck and the project's first full-band effort. On the record, Mastrodimos's formidable voice meets pop-infused arrangements. The collection combines indie, Americana, and punk in a way that always works well for me (see: Laura Stevenson), and Will This Do? has been in rotation here for a while.

Long Neck followed up the release of Will This Do? with a Sunday-night show at WFMU's Monty Hall in Jersey City. Joining them on the bill were Mikey Erg and Adult Mom.

On hand for the show was new CoolDad Music contributor, photographer Rose Lamela. Below are some of the images Rose captured from the evening. You can check out the full photosets as well as the rest of Rose's work over at Flickr. Stay tuned for, hopefully, more from Rose here in the near future.

All photos by Rose Lamela.

Adult Mom

Mikey Erg

Long Neck

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lowlight, The RockNRoll HiFives, and Coach N' Commando Played Old Franklin Schoolhouse and It Was Beautiful, 1/27/18

The RockNRoll HiFives

Back to School

On Saturday night, CoolMom and I drove to Metuchen to see Lowlight, The RockNRoll HiFives, and Coach N' Commando play a show at the borough's historic Old Franklin Schoolhouse. The building is a one-room schoolhouse constructed around 1807 as Metuchen's first school. It's maintained by the Metuchen Borough Improvement League and hosts events throughout the year.

This was my second time attending a show at the spot; and, once again, the vibe was family-friendly, neighborly, and really just all-around beautiful. There were tables set up around the room, and a stew was cooking in the kitchen.

CoolMom and I walked in as Coach N' Commando were beginning their set; and we, along with the rest of the room, were absolutely floored. The duo of M. Witte (guitar / vocals) and Swayne (drums) delivered a mind-blowing set of finger-picked, rootsy, bluesy rock that had people hooting after every song. After their set, the guys packed up and headed down to Asbury for another show that evening at Asbury Park Yacht Club.

Coach N' Commando

 [Note: Guitarist M. Witte released a solo album, Ol' Boy, earlier this year that is a must-listen. It's dark and real and worth every minute of your time. I've had Ol' Boy for a while, and it was our primary reason for arriving at the schoolhouse so early.]

Our friends Lowlight and The RockNRoll HiFives both have big things happening. Lowlight are gearing up to head out on the road with Pretenders, and The RockNRoll HiFives are packing up to tour Japan. On Saturday, though, we had them to ourselves. Lowlight's set felt extra-special in front of the hometown crowd, and The RockNRoll HiFives sent everyone home sweat- and confetti-covered.


Kids danced.

Grown-ups sang along.

The RockNRoll HiFives

The whole evening had a community feel that's missing from a lot of shows.

We would've stayed all night, but we had to get home to the cooldaughters. We'll be back to the schoolhouse again, though. I hope we see you next time.

Make sure you check out M. Witte's Ol' Boy. Grab your tickets for Pretenders and Lowlight at Count Basie Theatre on March 30th. Look for updates from The RockNRoll HiFives as they get closer to their April tour of Japan.

Pics from Saturday are all in the Flickr galleries and on the Facebook page.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Videos from Native Sun and Big Bliss

Native Sun and Big Bliss both have shows at Baby's All Right later this week.

Check These Out

I'd originally intended to use Check This Out as my main space for posting one-off songs and videos that I wanted you to, well, check out. Just a spot where I could leave stuff without boring you with my bloviating. But, sometimes, I can't resist bloviating about stuff, especially when it comes from bands I really really like.

So here are two new vids you should check out.

Native Sun, "Palindrome"

Towards the end of 2017, I came across the debut EP from Brooklyn's Native Sun, Songs Born From Love and Hate. The five-song set combines influences like The Rolling Stones, glam, and psychedelia as it crunches and swaggers along. As much as I enjoyed the EP, Native Sun truly blew me away when I saw them live at the Little Dickman Records / PaperCup Music holiday party in December.

Native Sun just released a video for ...Love and Hate track "Palindrome." The song rolls up all the EP's influences into a three-minute burst. The video is a collage of old-timey and / or seemingly random images interspersed with short glimpses of Native Sun's incendiary live show.

Native Sun play a late show at Baby's All Right this Thursday, February 1st, as part of an amazing bill with Stuyedeyed and a DJ set from The Nude Party.

Songs Born From Love and Hate is out now on PaperCup Music.

Big Bliss, "Contact"

Big Bliss know how to do post-punk. The chimey guitars, prominent bass lines, and cool detachment are all there for anyone (like me) who lives for this stuff. The band's 2016 Keep Near EP was one of my favorites of that year, and it produced a single and video in "High Ideal" that marked Big Bliss for me as a band that should be huge already.

Big Bliss are back with a new single and video, "Contact." Directed by Micah Weisberg & Bill Dvorak, "Contact" is a burst of color that contrasts singer / guitarist Tim Race's pleas for contact with images of the band being separated from the viewer by that fourth wall. Big Bliss know how to do videos, too.

Big Bliss will release "Contact" along with another single, "Override," via Exit Stencil Recordings on Friday, February 2nd.

Oh My Rockness named Big Bliss NYC's Hardest Working Band of 2017. The site is hosting a show on Friday, February 2nd, featuring Big Bliss along with other Hardest Working Bands Fruit & Flowers, Darkwing, Sic Tic, Grim Streaker, and THICK at Baby's All Right. You can pick up "Contact" 7-inches at that show.

You may as well bring a sleeping bag and just stay at Baby's for both nights. Both bills are -- as the kids like to say -- sick.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Blushing, Weak, 2018

EP Review

Back in November, I shared the title track from Weak, the sophomore EP from Austin shoegaze quartet, Blushing. The band officially released the five-song collection today, and it lives up to the promise of that early single.

I used a couple of my tried and true shoegaze / dream pop words to describe "Weak:" swirling, explosive. And, while I may not be creative enough as a writer to really get at the crux of it; throughout the EP, Blushing deploy the contrast between swirling, explosive, crashing noise and Christina Carmona's and Michelle Soto's angelic vocals. "Hidden Places" starts off as dark post-punk before sailing off on its chorus of "I can wake up in your head if I can't wake up in your bed." "Bliss" is softly floating dream pop that expands to fill all available space as it moves along.

The aggressive intro to "Bound" is one of my favorite musical things of this very young year. It's a bit of a misdirection, though, as the song softens up quickly. Again, Blushing play with contrasts to great effect.

Closer "Love You Twice" may be the standout here for me. It's the best fusion of pop and shoegaze on the EP, and it doesn't hurt that it gives me a bit of a Jesus and Mary Chain ("No one gets to love you twice / Love you twice" had me feeling a bit of "I'll be your plastic toy...") vibe during the chorus. The bridge is incredibly satisfying.

When I wrote about "Weak," I said, "It's just my thing. What can I say?" That pretty much sums up my feeling on the entire EP. I love this stuff, and Blushing do it really, really well.

Weak is out now over at Blushing's Bandcamp page. You can get vinyl via Austin Town Hall.

Blushing play a release show on Saturday, January 27th, at Cheer Up Charlie's in Austin with the incomparable Ringo Deathstarr, Single Lash, and AitGA.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

What's Going On: 1/25, 1/26, 1/27 & 1/28, 2018

Lowlight are back at Metuchen's Old Franklin Schoolhouse for a night of family-friendly, neighborly good vibes on Saturday.

Grammys! Yay!

Is it just me, or has this month just dragged on forever? Everything moves more slowly for me in the winter, so maybe it's like a theory of relativity thing or something. I don't know. I'm just ready to move on. Oh, the Grammys happen this weekend. Big whoop.

This weekend's shows start with Grayling, Ragged Lines, El Haunto, and Shark Club at Asbury Park Brewery. I think that one may be preceded by an early set from Brazil's Ashley Delima, but I'm not sure. Big Bliss are back at Brooklyn Bazaar, this time with Water Park, Sic Tic, The Rizzos, and MIGHTY. The National play some kind of Citigroup / Ticketmaster Verified Fan / Grammy Week thing at Irving Plaza. That's sold out of course. Looms, Casual Male, Seasonal Beast, and BOMBZ are at Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Roxy & Dukes hosts Doc Rotten, Houston & The Dirty Rats, and Alpha Rabbit. Harborland, The Carousers, This Year's Comeback, and Caveart are at The Saint. Norwegian poppy punk band, Sløface, are at Elsewhere's Zone One in Brooklyn with Winstons and A Deer A Horse.

On Friday, Static Radio come to Asbury Park Brewery with Hot Knife, Nervous Triggers, and Hot Blood. APYC hosts Sweet Joey's Thing Of Beauty, Lyons, and Holiday. Brighton Bar is throwing a benefit to help young Liliana walk again featuring Frenular Delta, Painted Young, and The Paper Jets. Snail Mail, Lomelda, and Fits play a sold-out Brooklyn Bazaar. Waiting On Mongo are at Langosta. The Green play House of Independents with Jesse Royal and Leilani Wolfgramm. Pete International Airport take their tour to The Saint in Asbury with Soraia and Frankenstein 3000. Le Rug, Fiasco, TURBOSLEAZE, and Lost Boy ? play Brooklyn's Sunnyvale. Dentist head up to Union for a house show with American Lions, Brewster, Redhouse/Bluehouse, and Matthew Colin.

Quality Living, The Afraid Brigade, pioneer the eel, The Components, and Antoine Poncelet play New Brunswick's Court Tavern on Saturday. The Idea Men, Coach N Commando, and Grin N Bear (final show) are at APYC. One of my all-time faves, Tommy James & The Shondells, play Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. Lowlight are back home at Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen with The RockNRoll HiFives and Coach N Commando. Nicole Atkins is back in Jerz for a show at Montclair's Outpost in the Burbs.

The Chubby Pickle in Highlands hosts a fundraiser for The Project Matters on Sunday featuring Justin & Alina, Colton Kayser, Aunt D and The Boys, and Tyler Safert. Long Neck are at Monty Hall in Jersey City with Mikey Erg and Adult Mom. Fruit & Flowers play Rough Trade NYC on Sunday with Lola Pistola, Dances, and Sic Tic. Princes of Tides DJ a free hang at The Saint.

Have a great final weekend of the longest month ever. I hope your favorite wins a Grammy. Don't drink and drive.


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

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Ashley Delima, 7pm, $5

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): (Not Sure. I guess this is after the other one?) Grayling / Ragged Lines / El Haunto / Shark Club, 7pm, $10

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Jenny Cat / Carlsea / Rottgut / Proper / Diedre Forrest / Rhonette Smith, 7pm, $5

Brooklyn Bazaar (Brooklyn): Big Bliss / Water Park / Sic Tic / The Rizzos / MIGHTY, 8pm, $8

Crossroads (Garwood): Ren Thomas / The Have Some Hotel / Silent Knight, 8pm

Fox & Crow (Jersey City): Sean Kiely, 8pm

Irving Plaza (NYC): The National, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Knitting Factory Brooklyn (Brooklyn): Looms / Casual Male / Seasonal Beast / BOMBZ, 8pm, $10 adv, $13 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Tor Miller / Zaritza, 8pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Best of Essex 4, 8pm

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Doc Rotten / Houston & The Dirty Rats / Alpha Rabbit, 7pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Harborland / The Carousers / This Year's Comeback / Caveart, 7pm, $8

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Lanco / Bob Polding Band, 7pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Zone One at Elsewhere (Brooklyn): Sløtface / Winstons / A Deer A Horse, 7pm, $10-$12

FRIDAY (1/26)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Colton Kayser Band / Far In The Maples / Pam Flores, 9pm, FREE

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Static Radio / Hot Knife / Nervous Triggers / Hot Blood, 7pm, $10

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Sweet Joey's Thing Of Beauty / Lyons / Holiday, 10pm, FREE

BoonTunes (Boonton): Sister Munch / John Cozz / Tula Vera / Decoration, 7pm

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Rock for Liliana To Walk Again ft. Frenular Delta / Painted Young / The Paper Jets, 6:30pm, $10

Brooklyn Bazaar (Brooklyn): Snail Mail / Lomelda / Fits, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Flexy Glass / Jeff Linden & The Black Spot Society / Matt Dubrow & The Captives, 9pm, FREE

Clash Bar (Clifton): The Adventure Soundtrack / Lily Vakili Band / The Accelerators / Stuyvesant, 9pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Black Dog (Zeppelin covers), 10pm

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): Blackout Paul / Drifting Figures / Symetria, 6pm, $10 adv, $15 door

Fox & Crow (Jersey City): Karen Kuhl Band, 10pm

Gutter Bar (Brooklyn): The Space Merchants / Baglady / Hellrazor / Professional Man, 8:30pm, $8

House of Independents (Asbury): The Green / Jesse Royal / Leilani Wolfgramm, 8pm, $20-$75

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

Meatlocker (Montclair): The Warhawks / Jack Names The Planets / Tony Saxon / Crust, 9pm

The Saint (Asbury): Pete International Airport / Soraia / Frankenstein 3000, 7:30pm, $10 adv, $12 door

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Lakehouse Big Gig, 6pm

Sunnyvale (Brooklyn): Le Rug / Fiasco / Lost Boy ? / TURBOSLEAZE, 7:30pm, $8

Union, NJ (Ask): American Lions / Brewster / Dentist / Redhouse/Bluehouse / Matthew Colin, 7pm, $5

White Eagle Hall (Jersey City): Boombox / Horizon Wireless, 8pm, $20+

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Swift Technique, 8pm, $10


The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Jason Portizo and The Magnificent Bastards, 11pm, FREE

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Thee Idea Men / Coach N Commando / Grin N Bear, 9:30pm, FREE

BoonTunes (Boonton): Super Movies / Sunflower / Paper Aircraft / Jean Pool / Junkanoo, 7pm, $10

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Creds / My Life On Film / Rosehaven / Sick On Sunday / more, 7pm, $10-$15

Brooklyn Steel (Brooklyn): Destroyer / Mega Bog, 7pm, $25

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Broken Past / High Octane, 9pm

Clash Bar (Clifton): DEFCON-1 / Interstate 125 / Lieder, 8:30pm

Crossroads (Garwood): North Ave, 7pm, $5

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Quality Living / Afraid Brigade / pioneer the eel / The Components / Antoine Poncelet, 8pm, $5

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): Joe Lynn Turner / Chevonne and The Fuzz / Ryder / Fragile Sky, 7pm, $27.50+

Espresso Joe's (Keyport): Jon Caspi (Solo) / Pete Jager / Ezra Caspi, 7pm, FREE

House of Independents (Asbury): Emo Night Brooklyn: Asbury Park, 9pm, SOLD OUT (OK...)

Irving Plaza (NYC): Childish Gambino, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Sandy Mack, 9:30pm, FREE

Mayo Performing Arts Center (Morristown): Tommy James & The Shondells, 8pm, $39-$69

Meatlocker (Montclair): Tula Vera / Warpark / Roswell Debacle / Geese / The Nectars / Teen Unit, 9pm, $10

New Brunswick (Ask): Fire Is Motion / ManDancing / Rita Fishbone, 7pm, $5

Old Franklin Schoolhouse (Metuchen): RockNRoll HiFives / Lowlight / Coach N Commando, 7:30pm, $10-$15

Outpost in the Burbs (Metuchen): Nicole Atkins, 8pm, $30 adv, $35 door

The Saint (Asbury): Baron Praxis / Trustfall / Sunshine Spazz / Crust, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Lakehouse Big Gig, 9am

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Waiting On Mongo, 10pm, FREE

SUNDAY (1/28)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Things from QWAM and Russian Baths

QWAM celebrate the release of their debut EP this very night.

An EP, a Single, and a Coupla Shows

QWAM, Feed Me

This past Friday, Brooklyn punk quartet QWAM released their debut EP, Feed Me. The five-song collection finds the band experimenting with more sounds than straight-up punk rock. Opener "Feed Me" and second track "Glitter Paint" do both feature buzzsaw, punk guitars and Felicia Lobo's snarling vocals. The latter even brings in some shouted whoa-ohs. But things change up a bit on the final three tracks. "Crazier Than Me" is a 90s-inflected alt-rock slow build. The previously-released poser takedown, "Doggie Door," brings back the gang vocals; but, this time, things are a bit poppier. "Dirty Feet" is my favorite track on the EP. It's a fuzzy, kind of epic, take on making your way in the big city.

Feed Me works best for me when QWAM expand their palette into influences beyond punk rock, but the entire EP is an adrenaline rush that sounds like it will translate into something pretty insane live. Speaking of live, QWAM celebrate the release of Feed Me tonight, January 24th, at Knitting Factory Brooklyn with help from Dead Stars and Jigsaw Youth.

Feed Me is out now.

Russian Baths, "Slenderman"

Russian Baths' debut EP, Penance, is due on February 23rd from Good Eye Records. To this point, the band's only recorded output has been 2016 single "Ambulance" / "Ghost." Last week, Russian Baths gave us a taste of Penance in the form of "Slenderman."

Combining shoegaze and post-punk with some relentless drumming from Jeff Widner, "Slenderman" plays like a dark, fitful dream. Jess Rees's vocals are disconcertingly beautiful when contrasted with the noise that surrounds them. Kind of like when you're watching a horror movie, and the small, stoic child is the scariest thing about it.


Check out "Slenderman" below.

Good Eye Records have partnered with CoolDad Music to present Russian Baths' Penance release party on February 22nd at The Saint in Asbury Park. Joining Russian Baths for that one will be Dentist, The Black Clouds, Baked, and Grace Vonderkuhn. See ya there.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TC&I, Great Aspirations, 2018

EP Review

By Henry Lipput

"Scatter Me," the first track on TC&I's 4-song Great Aspirations EP, is probably the most upbeat song about death I've ever heard.

"Scatter me far and wide / Up in the hills where we walked," a loved one is instructed on how to dispose of the deceased's ashes. And don't make it a sad, dreary affair but rather make it a celebration of a life: "Scatter me fondly like wedding bell rice" and "Scatter me sweetly in wedding dress white."

If there are parts of "Scatter Me" that remind you of something by that great British rock band XTC (perhaps "The Meeting Place" from Skylarking), it shouldn't be surprising. The TC in TC&I is Terry Chambers; and the I is Colin Moulding, both of whom were founding members of the band. This is the first time they've worked together since the early 80s. After it became clear that XTC would never tour again, Chambers put down his drum sticks, left England, and moved to Australia (He recently moved back to England). Moulding stayed with the group until their last album, the brilliant Wasp Star (Apple Venus Pt. 2).

In 2016, I was thrilled to discover that Moulding was recording with the Berlin-based, California native, and psychedelic-leaning singer, songwriter, and producer Anton Barbeau on Barbeau's Magic Act and Allyson Seconds's Little World albums. Moulding played bass and sang backing vocals on those albums but with TC&I he's taken a lead role again. He wrote all of the songs on Great Aspirations, sang lead vocals (and is in fine voice), and played, bass, guitar, and keyboards. I don't know what Chambers has been up to in Australia, but he obviously hasn't missed a beat when it comes to drumming and provides a strong backbeat for all of the songs.

On "Greatness (The Aspiration Song)," over a swinging melody, Moulding sings (perhaps with a bit of tongue in cheek) of wanting to not only be better, but also to be as good as his heroes: "Overwhelming greatness is where I want to be / Make my daddy proud of me / Hope my mamma lives to see / My greatness." He gives a shout out to his idols Churchill, Hitchcock, Spielberg, and Gershwin before making it clear that "like McCartney -- that's where I want to be!" But for fans of his previous work, Moulding, as one of the best bass players in the post-Beatles world, is already there.

"Kenny" has Moulding's lead guitar front and center, and there's strong bass-and-drums work as well. I really like the sound of this song; but, not being from the UK, I'm not quite sure what it's about although there are lyrics that mention a young man becoming famous all over England.

The spoken-word "Comrades In Pop" is an interesting story of how, according to Moulding, things work in pop music. "It's the guy that writes the hits that gets the money in this funny old world of pop / The bassist and the drummer might be lucky but never seem to get a lot." Since this EP was made by the bassist and drummer of a certain band, you could get the impression that Moulding is talking about them.

But, although Moulding wasn't the primary songwriter in XTC, he generated songs for every album as well as singles like "Life Begins At The Hop," "Ball And Chain," "King For A Day," and, one of XTC's most successful releases, "Making Plans For Nigel."

With Chambers adding interesting drum patterns to the mix, Moulding continues: "You start out high school buddies and swear allegiance for all time / But when the checks come rolling in / It's cash or I resign."

With Great Aspirations, Moulding and Chambers may very well become the bassist and the drummer who get lucky.

Great Aspirations is out now on Burning Shed.

Hop Along Announce New Album. Release First Track.

Hop Along at Wonder Bar in 2016

"How Simple"

Back in 2015, I found Hop Along's Painted Shut and simply loved it. The album touched on genres from folk to country to shoegaze in a way that just worked. Everything was held together by the honest and heartfelt voice (as a singer and as a songwriter) of Frances Quinlan. The Philly four-piece just announced that their third album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, will arrive on April 6th via Saddle Creek. To accompany the announcement, Hop Along released the first single, album opener "How Simple."

From the first line where Quinlan sings, "I suppose one, One, ONE...," we get that same tension she's able to build up with her voice. Again, the song combines folky elements (the acoustic guitars) with some Built To Spill-ish / Pavement-y indie rock (the quirky guitar solo) while even being kind of danceable at times.

"How Simple," according to the band, deals with learning about yourself and, maybe, not really liking everything you find out.

Hop Along have also announced a string of spring tour dates that will bring them to Philly for a hometown show at Union Transfer on 5/19 and to Brooklyn Steel on 5/30.

Hop Along on Tour

5/1: Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
5/2: Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts
5/3: Boston, MA @ Royale
5/5: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
5/6: Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
5/7: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
5/8: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
5/10: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
5/11: Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
5/12: Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
5/14: Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
5/15: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
5/19: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
5/30: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
6/1: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
6/2: Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont
6/3: South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
6/5: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
6/6: Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
6/8: Toronto, ON @The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
6/9: Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
6/10: Chicago, IL @ Metro
6/12: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
6/13: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
6/16: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
6/18: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
6/19: Austin, TX @ Barracuda
6/22: St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
6/23: Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar

Monday, January 22, 2018

Poster Children to Release First Album in 14 Years. Here's the Title Track.

Poster Children by Nathan Keay

"Grand Bargain!"

Like CoolMom, Poster Children were born and grew up in Champaign, Illinois. The band formed when Rick Valentin (vocals, guitar) and Rose Marshack (bass, vocals) met at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the mid-eighties, just about the time that CoolMom was discovering music like, well, Poster Children. Over the next 15-plus years, Poster Children released 11 LPs and EPs covering styles from punk to indie rock to post-hardcore and more. Recently, the band announced that they'd be returning with their first album in 14 years to mark one year since the inauguration of Donald Trump. Last week, they shared title track "Grand Bargain!"

Engineered by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago, Grand Bargain!, according to the band, is "a return to their formative years" featuring "a raw and intense fury matching their heralded live performances." The title track would seem to bear that out. It's angular, political, prog-punk and opens with Valentin declaring "America held hostage: Day 1!" I've listened to the song about 50 times since discovering it, and the edge still hasn't worn off.

Grand Bargain! is currently up for pre-order via Pledgemusic and slated for a May 2018 release.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Henry Lipput's 2017 Favorites

Ten Albums, an EP, a Live Album, and a Reissue

By Henry Lipput

Last year was a good year for music, and I found a lot of new stuff to listen to (which is always a bonus). In fact, five of the ten albums (and the EP) listed below are from musicians I had never heard of until last year. I reviewed all but one of the albums (plus the EP) on this list (and my views haven't changed), so I decided to include excerpts from these reviews below (although I've added a brief statement to give a context to the review). The one album from a band that was on my best-of list last year and the reissue get new words for this post.

Once again, I would like to thank CoodDad for giving me an opportunity to share my views and the music I love. And I also want to thank him for his patience in my sometimes getting reviews to him after I've promised it last week.

By the way, at the end of this list is a Spotify playlist with my favorite songs from each of the releases. I hope you enjoy listening to it.


The Magic Es, It Goes On

The Magic Es are the best British rock and roll band since the heyday of the Gallagher brothers. There. I've said it. And It Goes On is my favorite album of 2017.

In my review I wrote: "The Magic Es take this rock-and-roll stuff seriously. On their debut album, this [band] from Norwich, England, plays with a commitment -- and a sense of dynamics -- that I really like a lot. My favorite track, "One Shot," has all of this and more. Starting with a hushed, solo piano, the song slowly adds a guitar lick and cymbal tapping and then the full band comes crashing in. The lead and backing vocals really mean it when they sing: "You've got one shot / To make it what you want / Give it all you have."
Fallon Cush, Morning

This is the band's second album in two years with an expanded lineup and the continuing strong backing vocals of Suzy Goodwin.

In my review I wrote: "I started listening to Fallon Cush just before Bee In Your Bonnet came out, and Morning has all of the elements that I like so much about the band. First, there's the songwriting of Steve Smith. Morning shows his range and contains both rockers ('Long Shot') and ballads ('My Achilles Heel'). Then there's his singing, a bit like Dylan but with a warmth and a sense of taking the listener into his confidence ('In Your Backyard')."

The Hangabouts, Kits & Cats and Saxon Wives

With this album The Hangabouts took care of my power pop fix for 2017.

In my review I wrote: "John Lowry, Gregory Addington, and Chip Saam are The Hangabouts from Detroit (with a little help from their friends including a guest vocalist, three drummers, and mastering by The Legal Matters' Andy Reed). The acoustic guitar (not unlike George Harrison's work on 'And I Love Her') and quiet vocals on 'Sensation Overnight' are lovely. And the final track, 'Follow The Sunshine,' is a gentle number with some swell slide work by guest guitarist Ken Greene."

The Nature Strip, Beetle Bones

The third full-length album from this Australian band and the first in which the songwriters John Encarnacao and Pete Marley each contribute an equal number of songs.

In my review I wrote: "The styles and arrangements [of the songs] are as different as the subjects and include 1960s guitar jangle, psychedelica, new wave, and post-punk.

Encarnacao's 'Eyes Are Blinded' is a slow burner and another example of how The Nature Strip uses musical elements from the past to create their own sounds. Marley's 'Supermoon,' which closes the album, is a fine example of gorgeous pop craftsmanship and contains jangely guitars and a marvelous melody."

Cotton Mather, Wild Kingdom

Robert Harrison and company continue their mission to write a song based on each of the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. At the end of 2016, the band recorded an EP with the marvelous Nicole Atkins; and 2017 saw the release of both the Wild Kingdom album and Young Life, a 6-song EP. And there is word of a new album being released in early 2018. Harrison may be the best musical magpie since Ray Davies as Cotton Mather picks and chooses from the history of rock music as evidenced in the terrific Byrds-sian riff of "Girl With A Blue Guitar" and the Elvis Costello-Get Happy! vibe of "I Volunteer."

The Jigsaw Seen, The Jigsaw Seen For The Discriminating Completest(Rarities And Singles 1989-2015)

Previously released singles, EPs, flexidiscs, and compilation album tracks originally put out on various labels. Plus they've been remastered!

In my review I wrote: "On one of the covers, 'Luci Baines' by Arthur Lee and his pre-Love band The American Four, the Jigsaws take a soulful 60s single and make it woozy and spacey. My favorite track on the album is their version of The Bee Gees' 'Melody Fair.' The original was string-laden, harmony-rich, and pslightly psychedelic. But The Jigsaw Seen has turned it into a Revolver-era mashup with 'She Said, She Said' guitars and a McCartney bass line from 'Rain.' It's terrific and wouldn't have been out of place on Cotton Mather's Kontiki. It's that good."

Deal Casino, Deal Casino

The songs and performances on their full-length debut album, as the press materials like to say, range from Nick Drake to Led Zeppelin.

In my review I wrote: "Deal Casino is the sound of a band at the peak of their powers. It's as if they knew this was the right time to make the album instead of two or three years ago. With Joe P on vocals and guitar, Jozii on guitar and keys, Jon Rodney on bass, and Chris Donofrio on drums they're a world-class rock outfit."

Ron Sexsmith, The Last Rider

The singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter released his 13th album.

In my review I wrote: "It's no surprise that Sexsmith's songwriting reflects the influences of both past and current greats. He's said his songs are a combination of the folk singers and British Invasion artists he's always admired. And anyone who follows him on Twitter or has taken a look at his YouTube videos of solo acoustic covers of classics like 'Windows On The World' by Bacharach and David, 'Wedding Bell Blues' by Laura Nyro (um, dressed up as Nyro), and a great, upbeat 'But Not For Me' by the Gershwins recognizes where he's coming from and what he brings to the table (much like the Last Supper homage on the album cover)."

Son of the Velvet Rat, Dorado

Austrians now living in Joshua Tree and singing about the West with the help of the great Victoria Williams.

In my review I wrote: "Son of the Velvet Rat's new album, the fine, moody, Americana-tinged Dorado, opens with a high, lonesome harmonica. Then, frontman, songwriter, and guitarist Georg Altziebler begins to sing about seasons and endings in a voice (a blend of a very weary Tom Petty by way of Dylan and a bit of Tom Waits for good measure) of a man who's seen a lot of life."

Nick Garrie, The Moon and The Village

A mature singer-songwriter and storyteller releases his third album since 1969.

In my review I wrote: "Garrie plays a gentle, acoustic guitar on the reassuring 'I'm On Your Side:' 'Those tears you've cried / I've cried them too.' But things will get better: 'I can tell you, honey / In the morning time / You're gonna feel as right as rain / 'Cause me and Doctor Jangle's gonna fix you up/ And get you on your feet again.' I'm not sure what Doctor Jangle is supposed to be, but to me it sounds like an endorsement for the healing power of music."


Adam and the Plants, Born With the Gift Of Magic

I not only got to review the EP, but I also interviewed Adam.

In my review I wrote: "The first track is 'Side Man.' The song rocks, but there's a lot of things going on as well. There's an early 60s guitar playing at one point (think of the opening to Del Shannon's 'Runaway').'Madeline' is a really cool pop song about a woman who dresses down: 'Corduroy was your finery' (What a great line!). There's some jangle-ly guitar and an excellent solo. The whole thing reminds me of the songs on Pernice Brothers' Yours, Mine & Ours album. Take it from me, that's high praise indeed."

Live Album

Various Artists, Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … And More

In April 2016, the biggest names in indie rock performed a tribute to one of the most influential albums of the last forty years.

In my review I wrote: "To me, one of the most amazing things [Chris] Stamey and his musicians and vocalists have accomplished in the Third performance -- in addition to the great guitar playing and sympathetic vocals on 'Dream Lover' and 'Holocaust'-- is recreating the album's sense of things barely being kept together. A lot of this, astonishingly, is reproduced in the concert. A crucial element is the use of the original wind and string arrangements by Carl Marsh who conducts the orchestra. And it didn't hurt to have The Kronos Quartet as the concert's string section."


The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

What can I say?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of this album, Giles Martin (son of the legendary Beatles' producer, George Martin) and his engineers remixed Sgt. Pepper. Using the Beatles-approved mono mix and notes made during the initial work, they've used the original non-"bounced-down" tracks to remix the disc. I can't explain this nearly as well as Martin does in this NPR interview made just before the remix was released late last Spring. What's so special? Well, the Beatles really rock and the backing vocals are a joy to hear. Lennon's on "She's Leaving Home" especially, as well as his sitting-right-next-to-him lead vocal on "A Day In The Life." The CD versions are great; but if, like me, you grew up with the record, the vinyl is amazing.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

What's Going On: 1/18, 1/19, 1/20 & 1/21, 2018

Earth Telephone play APYC with Lost In Society on Saturday.


Busy busy weekend at CDMHQ with both cooldaughters swimming at Princeton. Early warmups for CD2, followed by afternoon action with CD1. Maybe I'll have some time to go browsing at Princeton Record Exchange. Anyway...

This weekend kicks off with Avery and The Man Devils, Mike Frazier, Gin War, and Oil at Asbury Park Brewery on Thursday night. Looms, Hot Curl, Funcrusher, and Parrot Dream play BerlinNYC. Psychiatric Metaphors, Retail, Secret Crush, and a top secret headliner play a show in Ridgewood, Queens. gods play The Saint with Heaven, Seaside Caves, and The Tide Bends.

On Friday night, The Burns, Modern Crowds, and Justin Franco play for free in The Asbury's Soundbooth Bar. We're Ghosts Now, My Cruel Summer, and Riley Shiro do the same at APYC. BerlinNYC hosts Acid Tongue, Baked, Max Pain and The Groovies, and Drug Couple. The Crypt Keeper Five head east for a show at Brighton Bar with The Turnbucklers, The Accelerators, The Clydes, and Mike Daly and The Planets. Toy Cars celebrate the release of Paint Brain at House of Independents with Well Wisher, Halogens, DRMCTHR, and latewaves. Royal Trux play the first of two nights at Market Hotel in Brooklyn. Acid Dad open this one. Lana Del Rey comes to Prudential Center in Newark. Chemtrail, Yawn Mower, Grey Goes Black, and Revive are at The Saint. It's free rock at Stosh's in Fair Lawn with Overlake, The RockNRoll HiFives, Delicate Flowers, Fairmont, and Spicy Girl. White Eagle Hall in Jersey City hosts Black Wail, Debra Devi, Hey Anna, The Components, and Universal Rebel.

THICK, Bodega, Grim Streaker, and The '94 Knicks make up a great Saturday bill at Alphaville in Brooklyn. Also on Saturday, Earth Telephone, Lost In Society, and Les Dangers play APYC. Pete International Airport come to Brighton Bar with Ribeye Brothers and Frankenstein 3000. At Elsewhere in Brooklyn, David Johansen plays NY Dolls for the first time in a long time. Joining that bill are Daddy Longlegs, Babyshakes, and Beechwood NYC. Brian Rothenbeck & The Adventuring Party celebrate their own record release at Clifton's Harpn N' Bard with help from Lowlight, Hidden Cabins, and T. Gunn. Band Of Changes are at Hopewell Theater in, well, Hopewell. Market Hotel hosts the second night of Royal Trux, this time with Shilpa Ray. God Tiny, High Pony, Looms, and Genre Mono are at Our Wicked Lady in Brooklyn. The Saint hosts a benefit for the NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assualt featuring Avery Mandeville, Alexa Mazurkiewicz, Tara Dente, MACK, Fiona Silver, and The Vaughns.

On Sunday, Remnants, Warm Needles, The Carousers, and Steve Burks are at the brewery. U.S. Bombs come to Brighton Bar. The Infamous Stringdusters play The Stone Pony.

That's a lot of stuff. Not sure when I'll be able to break away from swim meets; but I'll, hopefully, see you around. Don't drink and drive.


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

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Avery and The Man Devils / Mike Frazier / Gin War / Oil, 7pm, $8

BerlinNYC (NYC): Looms / Hot Curl / Funcrusher / Parrot Dream, 8pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Pete International Airport / Frankenstein 3000 / Ribeye Brothers, 8pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Tor Miller, 8pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Matt Pless / Ash Dakota / Certain Spiders / The Little Engineers / John Cozz, 9pm

New Brunswick (Ask): Weller / Milkmen / Ragged Lines / Rest Ashore, 7pm, $5

Ridgewood (Queens): Pyschiatric Metaphors / Retail / Secret Crush / SECRET HEADLINER, 8pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): gods / Heaven / Seaside Caves / The Tide Bends, 7:30pm, $5

FRIDAY (1/19)

Alphaville (Brooklyn): Bilge Rat / Stove / Fovea / Pet, 8pm, $8

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): The Burns / Modern Crowds / Justin Franco, 9pm, FREE

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): We're Ghosts Now / My Cruel Summer / Riley Shiro, 9:30pm, FREE

BerlinNYC (NYC): Acid Tongue / Baked / Max Pain and The Groovies / Drug Couple, 8pm, $10

BoonTunes (Boonton): The Foxfires / Jean Pool / Dr Law / Sexy Heroes / Harrison A. Lindsay, 7:30pm, $10

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Crypt Keeper Five / Turnbucklers / Accelerators / The Clydes / Mike Daly and The Planets, 8pm, $8

Championship Bar (Trenton): Hub City Stompers / Molly Rhythm / Babe Patrol / Ate Bit / Pissed!, 7pm, $12

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Quincy Mumford, 9pm, FREE

Clash Bar (Clifton): The Wedge / Acid Priest / Smock / The Daddies / Shred Flintstone, 8pm, $10

Crossroads (Garwood): Day One / Missing Aimee, 9pm

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): Flobots / Tropidelic, 7pm, $15-$20

House of Independents (Asbury): Toy Cars (Record Release) / Halogens / Well Wisher / DRMCTHR / latewaves, 9pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Karmic Juggernaut, 9:30pm, FREE

Market Hotel (Brooklyn): Royal Trux / Acid Dad, 8pm, $25

Prudential Center (Newark): Lana Del Rey, 8pm, Like $80

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): The Graveyard School / Bitter Crush / Dicks Electric / 6 Gun Sound, 8pm, $15

The Saint (Asbury): Chemtrail / Yawn Mower / Grey Goes Black / Revive, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Judas Priestess / Dark Horse / Metal Life Crisis / Triple Goddess, 7pm, $17 adv, $20 door

Stosh's (Fair Lawn): Overlake / The RockNRoll HiFives / Delicate Flowers / Fairmont / Spicy Girl, 8pm, FREE

White Eagle Hall (Jersey City): Black Wail / Debra Devi / Hey Anna / The Components / Universal Rebel, 7:30pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Wonder Bar (Asbury): The Nerds, 7pm, $17 adv, $20 door


Alphaville (Brooklyn): THICK / Bodega / Grim Streaker / The '94 Knicks, 7pm, $8 adv, $10 door

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

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): The Mercury Brothers / My Lonely Heart / Ernest / Above The Moon, 7pm, $8

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Earth Telephone / Les Dangers / Lost In Society, 9:30pm, FREE

BoonTunes (Boonton): Losing Streak / Catch The Break / Jean Pool / America Part Two / Shred Flintstone / Glume, 6:30pm

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Pete International Airport / Ribeye Brothers / Frankenstein 3000, 8pm, $12

Clash Bar (Clifton): Cideways / Pixel Face / Violent Island / Self and Other / ROSTAFA, 8pm, $10

Crossroads (Garwood): Sabbra Cadabra / That Metal Band / MetalliCON, 8pm

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): I Am Fighting / Joe Crawford / Thomas Vincent / Lucas Matt, 7:30pm, $12 adv, $15 door

Elsewhere (Brooklyn): David Johansen Plays NY Dolls w/ Daddy Long Legs / Baby Shakes / Beechwood NYC, 7pm, $25

Flemington DIY (Flemington): The Billy Hart Jazz Academy, 7:30pm, $10

The Harp n Bard (Clifton): Brian Rothenbeck & The Adventuring Party (Record Release) / Lowlight / Hidden Cabins / T. Gunn, 8pm, $8

Hopewell Theater (Hopewell): Band Of Changes, 8pm, $20+

House of Independents (Asbury): 90s Dance Party, 9pm, FREE

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Sharief Hobley, 9:30pm, FREE

Market Hotel (Brooklyn): Royal Trux / Shilpa Ray, 8pm, $25

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Chalk & The Beige Americans / Experiment 34 / Cyclone Static / Yorkshire Tenth / Mike Holman, 9pm, $8

New Brunswick (Ask): Teenage Halloween / Uh-Huh / Glazer / Hill Boys, 7pm, $5

Our Wicked Lady (Brooklyn): God Tiny / High Pony / Looms / Genre Mono, 7:30pm, $10

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Cirque De So Weird ft. Burlesque / music by QIET, 7pm, $15

The Saint (Asbury): Ella Rose / Just 6 Hours / Dress Code / Leah Nawy, 1pm, $12 NO ALCOHOL ALL AGES

The Saint (Asbury): NJ CASA Benefit ft. Alexa Mazurkiewicz / Avery Mandeville / Tara Dente / MACK / Fiona Silver / The Vaughns, 6pm, $10

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Granger Smith / Dave Hangley / Smithfield, 7pm, $20

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Jim Squirrel Benefit ft. Des & The Swagmatics / Pat Roddy, 7:30pm, $10

SUNDAY (1/21)

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

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Sunday Night Trivia w/ Gentleman Jim, 7pm

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Remnants / Warm Needles / The Carousers / Steve Burks, 7pm, $8

BoonTunes (Boonton): Entia / Massa Nera / Hundreds of AU / Second Arrows / Closer, 7pm

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): U.S. Bombs, 5:30pm, $18 adv, $20 door

Crossroads (Garwood): Alec Meza / Nia Waqia / Joey Colaiacovo / Rio Kwess, 6pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Flemington DIY (Flemington): Centerfolds / Oh, Weatherly / Plans / The View From Here / Machines Never Forget / Future Reflection, 5pm

Meatlocker (Montclair): Queensway / Sanction / Recycled Earth / On Sight, 9pm, $10

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): The Tribute to Howlin' Wolf, 6pm

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswich): Powerlines / Green Knuckle Material / 81 Rich, 8pm, $5

The Stone Pony (Asbury): The Infamous Stringdusters / Dangermuffin, 7pm, $22.50 adv, $25 door

Zone One at Elsewhere (Brooklyn): The Muckers / Native Sun / Gnarcissists, 8pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Just Some New Stuff from Death Hags, Long Neck, and Ought

Ought at White Eagle Hall

Coming Around

I've been moving kind of slowly, sleepwalking almost, as January has progressed. Slowly but surely, though, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I've been exercising more and getting to bed nice and early when I have the chance. Tonight, I'm even going out to shoot my first show of 2018. Getting there.


After a day of kind of floating around, I decided to look through what's been coming in lately. Here are some things that looked really interesting.

DEATH HAGS, "Metal Teeth"

DEATH HAGS is the solo project of DTCV's Lola G. I caught a set from DTCV at SXSW last year and came away extremely impressed. When I saw this one come through, I had to check it out.

After touring the U.S. and Europe at the end of last year, DEATH HAGS released debut single "Metal Teeth" last week. Lola G says that the song "is about personal transformation and women reclaiming their freedom to be angry, strange, loud and dangerous." The song is dark, hypnotic post-punk; and it simmers with some of that anger.

Long Neck, "10,000 Year Old Woman"

Lily Mastrodimos, formerly of the topically-named Jawbreaker Reunion, has taken Long Neck from a solo effort to a full band for the project's upcoming LP, Will This Do?. Following the release of singles "Mine/Yours" and "Elizabeth," which showcased the new full-band set-up, Long Neck premiered acoustic track, "10,000 Year Old Woman" a few days ago.

"10,000 Year Old Woman" is a song about winter and waiting too long. It provides a showcase for Mastrodimos's beautiful voice and vivid songwriting. When Mastrodimos sings, "Let me walk home alone / Let me walk without you," I get this image of someone turning up their collar to the cold and heading into the darkness.

Will This Do? is out via Tiny Engines on January 26th. Long Neck plays Jersey City's Monty Hall on January 28th with Mikey Erg and Adult Mom.

Ought, "Disgraced in America"

I saw Ought open for Waxahatchee at the end of last year, and they blew me away. They just released the video for "Disgraced in America" off of their upcoming LP, Room Inside the World.

The Heather Rappard-directed, animated video is a sight to behold. It moves and changes along with the music and made me think, "Maybe this is what having synesthesia feels like."

As for the song, I listened and kept trying to put my finger on what band it was reminding me of. Then I realized it was reminding me of Ought. I mean, you can probably pick out some of the influences on this band; but they've put them all together into a sound that is distinctively their own.

Room Inside the World is due on February 16th from Merge.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Screaming Females Released Their A.V. Undercover Sessions (Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow) for General Consumption Today

Screaming Females at Paul's Tavern, Lake Como, NJ in 2017

"Shake It Off" / "If It Makes You Happy"

We're big, big fans of Screaming Females over here. They're a great band made up of some awesome people, and they blow the doors off of anywhere they play. You knew all of that already. You may have also known that the New Brunswick trio have made a couple of stops at the A.V. Club studios over the years where they gave their take on a pair of other people's songs as part of the "A.V. Undercover" series.

Screaming Females put their own, unmistakable stamp on "If It Makes You Happy" by Sheryl Crow and, a few years later, "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. Both of these disappeared from the A.V. Club site at some point which was really sad, but Screaming Females have made both available digitally today. People who pre-order Screaming Females' upcoming, seventh studio album, All at Once, will receive a limited-edition 7" that includes both songs for their troubles (Hoping that also applies to fanboys who pre-ordered this album several months ago).

All at Once is due from Don Giovanni Records on February 23rd; and Screaming Females are setting out on a big, huge tour in support of the record. That tour brings the band to Jersey City's Monty Hall for three nights of release shows from February 22nd through 24th. They make their way back to this neck of the woods in April with shows at Union Transfer in Philly and at Brooklyn's Market Hotel. They set off for Europe in May.

You can stream both covers via Spotify (or anywhere else, I'm assuming), and all the tour dates are below.

Screaming Females on Tour

Feb. 22: Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall (w/ Teenage Halloween)
Feb. 23: Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall (w/ Snakeskin)
Feb. 24: Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall (w/ Spowder)
March 2:  Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
March 3:  Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
March 4: Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St
March 5: Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
March 6: Nashville, TN @ The End
March 7: Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
March 8: Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
March 9:  St Paul, MN @ Turf Club
March 10: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
March 11: Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
March 12: Pittsburgh, PA @ Roboto Project
March 13:Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
March 14: Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
March 15: Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
March 16: Winooski, VT @ Monkey House
April 4: Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel *%
April 5: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer  *%
April 6:  Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel *%
April 7: Hamden, CT @ The Space *%
April 8: Providence, RI  @ AS220  *%
April 9: Rollinsford, NH @ Sue's  *%
April 10: Portland, ME @ SPACE - *%
April 11 Easthampton, MA  @ Flywheel *%
April 12:  Ithaca, NY@ The Haunt *%
April 13: Detroit, MI @ El Club *%
April 14: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *%
April 15: Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight *%
April 16: Masquerade - Atlanta, GA *%
April 17: Gainesville, FL @ The Wooly *%
April 18: Tallahassee, FL @ Mickee Faust Club %
April 19: Pensacola, FL @ City Arts Center %
April 20: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa %
April 21: Austin, TX @ Barracuda %
April 22: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada %
April 23: Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry's
April 24: Chattanooga, TN @ Sluggos
May 19: Liege, BE @ Kultura
May 20: Ramsgate, UK @ Ramsgate Music Hall
May 21: Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
May 22: Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
May 23: London, UK @ Oslo
May 24: Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
May 25: Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin
May 26: Paris, FR @ Espace B
May 27: Amsterdam, NL @ Sugar Factory
May 28: Köln, DE @ Buman & SOHN
May 29: Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
May 30: Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang

* = w/ Thou
% = w/ HIRS

Cool Show Announcement: Dentist, The Black Clouds, Baked, Russian Baths, Grace Vonderkuhn at The Saint, 2/22/18

Poster by Sarah Ver Hoeve

CoolDad Music & Good Eye Records Present...

A couple of weeks ago I shared the announcement that Brooklyn's Russian Baths had signed with our friends over at Good Eye Records for the February 23rd release of their EP, Penance. In that post, I also mentioned that Russian Baths would be holding a NJ release celebration at The Saint on Thursday, February 22nd. We now have all the details for that show, and it's going to be -- as the kids like to say -- a banger.

Joining Russian Baths on the bill will be Wilmington, Delaware's Grace Vonderkuhn,

Russian Baths' Brooklyn paisanos in Baked,

Asbury Park rock and roll heroes, The Black Clouds,

and Asbury's indiesurfpop sweethearts, Dentist.

Everything goes down at The Saint in Asbury Park on February 22nd. Doors open at 7pm, and $10 gets you inside.

You can RSVP to the event right here. See you there.

And here's another listen to "Ambulance" by Russian Baths just for good measure. Look for some sounds from the new EP as the release date gets closer.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Playlist for 1988

Here's a picture I took of Dinosaur Jr. in 2015. They made, maybe, my favorite song in 1988.

High School Grad

1988. I turned 18. I graduated from high school and started up at NYU. I voted for the first time. 30 years ago. Shit, I'm old.


I figured I'd make up a playlist of some of the music from that year.

Green by R.E.M. was a big album for me back then. I remember spinning it on my combination turntable / tuner / tape deck as my parents and I moved me into my dorm room in Hayden Hall on Washington Square West. Hayden sat just around the corner from the address where my grandmother first lived after arriving in America as a young girl from Italy. (UPDATE: I must be remembering Document as far as the moving in part goes. I don't think Green came out until later in the year now that I think about it. Hey. It's been 30 years.)

Worker's Playtime by Billy Bragg was another big one. Like lots of Billy's stuff from back then, the lyrics are a little dated now; but that's what makes it such a fun listen as part of a look back kinda thing.

Some of my favorite songs of all time are on here. I play Morrissey's "Everyday Is Like Sunday" on the guitar almost every, single day. I don't know another song by The Primitives, but "Crash" is an absolute masterpiece that foreshadowed lots of the sounds that would come just a few years later. The Sugarcubes' "Birthday"  and Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype" are songs that kind of define the year for me. Other songs like "Feed Me with Your Kiss" by My Bloody Valentine and -- maybe my favorite song ever -- "Freak Scene" by Dinosaur Jr. are songs I came to know a good while after 1988.

Prince's Lovesexy came out in 1988; but Spotify has it in its 45-minute, single-track format; so I left it off. Michelle Shocked doesn't have her stuff on Spotify, otherwise "Anchorage" from Short, Sharp, Shocked would be here. Same goes for Camper Van Beethoven. The only track from Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart available on Spotify is "O Death," and I much would have preferred something like "She Divines Water" or "Turquoise Jewelry."

This one's collaborative so feel free to add to it.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Premiere: New Single from C.R. and The Degenerates' Upcoming Final LP

C.R. and The Degenerates

"Twenty Acres"

Back in November, we shared the video for C.R. and The Degenerates' "Once." That song comes from the band's next -- and final -- LP, The World According to C.R. We're just a week away now from that album's January 19th release on Sniffling Indie Kids; and C.R. and The Degenerates have come to us one, final time for a single premiere. Today, the band are sharing "Twenty Acres."

C.R. and The Degenerates started as, primarily, the solo project of Chris Gennone. As time went on, Gennone brought aboard friends to help realize his vision; and The Degenerates transformed into a full-time, full band. "Twenty Acres" fits right in with that evolution. Gennone says, "'Twenty Acres' is a reflective song about surrounding yourself with friends and good people. It guests Steven Donahue from Young Legs and The Big Drops on vocals."

"The World According to C.R. is a fitting end to this Degenerate run, considering most of these songs were written independently and not really rehearsed or anything," Gennone continues.

But with endings come new beginnings. Gennone and his band will be back under a new name later this year. "If you've seen us live lately, you can kinda see the direction we're going in. We've got about 14 songs or so that we're recording in February."

Check out "Twenty Acres" right here, and look for The World According to C.R. next Friday via Sniffling Indie Kids.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What's Going On: 1/11, 1/12, 1/13 & 1/14, 2018

Dentist help to kick off Light of Day 2018 at The Saint on Thursday.

Happy Birthday to Me

Completion of another trip around the sun for CoolPoppy and me this weekend. He celebrates a big one on Friday, and I just get a year older on Saturday. Sharing birthday cake since 1970. It's also Light of Day 2018 weekend in Asbury, so there are a whole bunch of shows centered around that and the fight against Parkinson's disease.

Things kick off with the weekly open mic at The Asbury. House of Independents hosts one of the Light of Day opening parties with Bobby Bandiera paying tribute to Tom Petty with help from Dramarama. Clouded Filter, Jack Names The Planets, and Tony Saxon are at Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck. The Nude Party play NYC's Mercury Lounge with Insecure Men and ZZZWalk. A Deer A Horse are at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn with Pop. 1280, Dad, and Irrevery. Philly's Purling Hiss play Sunnyvale with Mike Donovan, Long Hots, and Justin Frye & Greg Fox. Light of Day's "First Note" happens at The Saint with Lemats, The Double Negatives, Zaritza, JAHK, Just Six Hours, and our BFFs Dentist.

On Friday, it's CoolPoppy's 70th! Off With Their Heads bring their acoustic tour with Stacey Dee and Seth Anderson to Asbury Park Brewery. Also on that one are Mikey Erg, Nervous Triggers and Brook Pridemore with comedy from Jess Alaimo, Taylor Allen, and more. American Trappist return to APYC with Jesse Lee and The Cranston Dean Band. Darkwing, The Smirks, Mean Siders, and Plaid Dracula are at Brooklyn's Gutter Bar. Finding Feebas, Brian Rothenbeck & The Adventuring Party, and The Vaughns celebrate Feebas's single release at Pino's in Highland Park. Finn Wolfhard's Calpurnia play Rough Trade in Brooklyn. It's the annual Light of Day Asbury Angels induction at The Stone Pony.

Saturday is my natal anniversary. Not sure where I'll be celebrating yet. The Moms, American Lions, Weakened Friends, and Well Wisher play AP Brewery. Light of Day brings "Women Who Rock" to APYC featuring Pamela Flores, Lauren Patti, MACK, Tara Dente, and Renee Maskin. Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank hosts a tribute to Pat DiNizio with The Smithereens, Steven Van Zandt, and Patty Smyth and Scandal. Murphy's Law are at Crossroads in Garwood with Iron Chic, Doc Hopper, Nine Eighteen, and Damage Done. Asbury Underground takes over downtown Asbury again with sets at just about anyplace that can host them all afternoon. Spowder, GNäRDS, and Exmaid play In The West in New Brunswick. The Saint hosts three different Light of Day shows starting at 12noon. It's "Tacomania" at The Stone Pony featuring Ropetree, Mirk, and Funeral Students. Light of Day's Main Event happens at The Paramount in Asbury, and you never know...

On Sunday, MACK, Lauren Patti, Ella Ross, and Dave Melillo are at the brewery. Two Inch Astronaut, Fern Mayo, Baglady, and Shred Flintstone play Brooklyn Bazaar. Brian Fallon does a sold-out solo show at the Basie. Wild Honey, Big Bliss, Hypoluxo, and Fruit & Flowers make up a fantastic bill at Elsewhere's Zone One in Brooklyn. Off With Their Heads make their way to Trenton's Millhill Basement with Stacey Dee, Seth Anderson, Sammy Kay, and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.

Plenty to do after a bit of winter hibernation. Happy birthday to my dad. Have fun, everyone. Don't drink and drive.


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

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Tor Miller, 8pm

Crossroads (Garwood): Infinitus Mortus / The Angry Pirates / Jenny and The Felines / Team Rocket / Brian Erickson, 7:30pm, $10

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): Clouded Filter / Jack Names The Planets / Tony Saxon, 8pm, $10 adv, $15 door

House of Independents (Asbury): LOD: Bobby Bandiera tribute to Tom Petty w/ Dramarama, 7pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): LOD: Blue Hawk Records Showcase w/ Vini Lopez / Dan Amato / Ernest / more, 7:30pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): Skyeline / Earth Dad / The Open Minds / Actually, I'm A Ghost / Mondays, 8:30pm

Mercury Lounge (NYC): The Nude Party / Insecure Men / ZZZWalk, 9:30pm, $12

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Sol Patches / JEDoubleF / Raymond Strife / Karma Kids, 9pm, $6

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: Dentist / Lemats / The Double Negatives / Zaritza / JAHK / Just Six Hours, 7pm, $8 adv, $12 door

St. Vitus Bar (Brooklyn): Pop. 1280 / A Deer A Horse / Dad / Irrevery, 8pm, $10

Sunnyvale (Brooklyn): Purling Hiss / Mike Donovan / Long Hots / Justin Frye & Greg Fox, 8pm, $12

Wonder Bar (Asbury): LOD: Wonder Jam, 7pm, $13

FRIDAY (1/12)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): LOD: Ashley McKinley Trio / Sam Sims Band / Dark City Strings, 9pm

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): LOD: Bobby Mahoney, 12midnight

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Off With Their Heads (Acoustic) / Stacey Dee / Seth Anderson / Mikey Erg / Nervous Triggers / Brook Pridemore, Comedy from Jess Alaimo / Taylor Allen / Allie Mae / JC Hendricks / Alyssa Stevensono, 7pm, $12

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): LOD: American Trappist / Jesse Lee / Cranston Dean Band, 9pm, FREE

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Highschool Superstars / My Lonely Heart / Cardinals / Jeff Linden / Idle Wave, 8pm, $8

Crossroads (Garwood): The Sensational Soul Cruisers / Black Velvet Band, 8pm, $15

Flemington DIY (Flemington): Blood Moons / Gonzeaux / Columnaris / Mat Morgan, 7pm, $5-10

Gutter Bar (Brooklyn): Darkwing / The Smirks / Mean Siders / Plaid Dracula, 8pm, $7

House of Independents (Asbury): LOD: Kashmir (Zeppelin Covers), 8pm, $20 adv, $25 door

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): LOD: Acoustic Carousel, 8pm, FREE

Meatlocker (Montclair): cooper johnson / DEADGXD / matt4evr / svrin / Sleepingforyears / Big Ripz / Eraq, 9pm

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Missed Munsons / Ghost Pressure / Houston & The Dirty Rats, 8:30pm, $8

Pino's Gift Basket (Highland Park): Finding Feebas / Brian Rothenbeck & The Adventuring Party / The Vaughns, 8:30pm, $5

Rent Party (Maplewood): Marry The Sea / Shark Hat / The Linemen, 8pm, $10

Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn): Calpurnia (Finn Wolfhard), 6pm, $13

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Matt Witte / The Fermenters / Secret Admirers / Giant Flying Turtles, 7pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: The Walk Arounds / Ropetree / Dead Fish Handshake / Lower The Veil / Everything Falls / Uncrated, 7pm, $8 adv, $10 door

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Those Amazing Decades, 8pm, $12

The Stone Pony (Asbury): LOD Asbury Angels, 7pm, $25+

Tim McCloone's Supper Club (Asbury): LOD: Albert Lee / Bobby Bandiera Band, 7pm

Transparent Clinch (Asbury): LOD: The Mercury Brothers / Emily Grove / Danny Clinch & Rachel Ana Dobken, 5:30pm, FREE

Wonder Bar (Asbury): LOD Open Mic, 6:30pm, $15


Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): The Moms / American Lions / Weakened Friends / Well Wisher, 7pm, $8

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): LOD: Women Who Rock ft. Lauren Patti / Pam Flores / MACK / Tara Dente / Renee Maskin, 8pm, FREE

Beacon Theatre (NYC): Streetlight Manifesto, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Brothers Union / Ernest / Goodluck Spaceman / Anthony Campana, 7pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Clash Bar (Clifton): M.O.T.O / SixtToEight MathematicS / 1-800-BAND / After The Burn, 8pm, $10

Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank): A Celebration of Pat DiNizio ft. The Smithereens w/ Steve Van Zandt / Patty Smyth / Scandal, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Crossroads (Garwood): Murphy's Law / Iron Chic / Doc Hopper / Nine Eighteen / Damage Done, 8pm, $15

Downtown Asbury (Asbury): Asbury Underground ft. everybody, 12pm

Espresso Joe's (Keyport): Guitar Pull ft. Deena / Rhonette Smith / Aquino / The Clydes, 7pm, FREE

Gutter Bar (Brooklyn): The Royal They (Record Release) / Illiterate Light / El Silver Cabs / The Rizzos, 8pm, $7

The Harp n Bard (Clifton): Tony Saxon / ManDancing / Tri-State / crowded shoulders, 8:30pm, FREE

House of Independents (Asbury): LOD: Tribute to Prince ft. Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why, 7pm, $15 adv, $20 door

In The West (New Brunswick): Spowder / GNäRDS / Exmaid, 7:30pm, $5

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): LOD: The Dough Boys, 9pm, FREE

Maxwell's Tavern (Hoboken): Morgan Treni & The Landscapes / Michaela McClain / Bern House, 8:30pm, $10

Meatlocker (Montclair): I Can Dream / Laces Out / Alexander Paul Takes Over The World / Entia, 8pm

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Jersey Fresh Show, 10pm, $7

Old Franklin Schoolhouse (Metuchen): Mike Herz / Carla Ulbrich / Pat Wictor, 8pm, $10, Kids under 12 $5

Paramount Theatre (Asbury): LOD Main Event, 7pm, $43+

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Glenn Alexander & Shadowland / The Lonesome Pines, 7pm, $10

Russo Music (Asbury): Monte / Danny Scerbo / Max Connery & Chase Landgerbe, 6pm, FREE

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: Barbara Paskin / Debbie Gangemi / Pam McCoy / Jo Wymer / Rosemary Conte / Maureen McCrink / Tara Elliott / Layonne Holmes, 12noon, $12

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: Guitar Army, 6:30pm, $25

The Saint (Asbury): HANKANDBEZZY, 10pm, $8 adv, $12 door

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Tacomania ft. Ropetree / Mirk / Funeral Students, $10 for Ocean of Love for children with cancer

Transparent Clinch (Asbury): LOD: Singer / Songwriter Round, 3pm

Wonder Bar (Asbury): LOD: Asbury Blues, 12noon, $18

Wonder Bar (Asbury): LOD: Full Tilt Boogie 6pm, $18

SUNDAY (1/14)

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

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Sunday Night Trivia w/ Gentleman Jim, 7pm

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): MACK / Lauren Patti / Ella Ross / Dave Melillo, 6pm

Brooklyn Bazaar (Brooklyn): Two Inch Astronaut / Fern Mayo / Baglady / Shred Flintstone, 8pm, $8 adv, $10 door

Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank): Brian Fallon, 8pm, SOLD OUT

Elsewhere (Brooklyn): Wildhoney / Big Bliss / Hypoluxo / Fruit & Flowers, 7pm, $10

Irving Plaza (NYC): Say Anything, 6:30pm, SOLD OUT

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): LOD: Songwriters by the Sea, 3pm, $15

Meatlocker (Montclair): Rockstar Racecar / The Missed Munsons / Trick Blue / Houston & The Dirty Rats, 8:30pm, $10

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Off With Their Heads (Acoustic) / Stacey Dee / Seth Anderson / Sammy Kay / Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, 7pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: Musicians on a Mission ft. The Wag / The Cucumbers / Downstream / Nick Ryan Band / Ty Mares & The Running Dog Band, 12noon

The Saint (Asbury): LOD: Random Test / Funktion, 7:30pm, $8 adv, $12 door

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswich): Hartwell / My Cruel Summer / Shane Zen, 8pm, $5

The Stone Pony (Asbury): LOD: Kids Rock, 12noon, $20