Bow Wow Wow (I Want Candy) were at The Brighton Bar on 3/2/13. Everyone I spoke to prior to the show was looking forward to seeing what the singer looked like and sounded like after all these years. Turns out it was a new singer along with Leigh Gorman, Matt Fuller and Lyle Riddle. Still a fun and entertaining show. They were all nice guys who hungout and watched all the opening acts. They even hung around after the show to take pictures with whoever wanted to. Bow Wow Wow is a Post Punk, New Wave, Tribal, Pop band from London. I always arrive at a show early to check out everything and get a good feel for whats to come. I love seeing all the bands perform, you never know who you might hear or see perform on any given night. This night was no exception from The Battery Electric (https://www.facebook.com/TheBatteryElectric?fref=ts), Strange Things Done In The Midnight Sun (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strange-Things-Done-In-The-Midnight-Sun/10865027773?fref=ts), Dentist (https://www.facebook.com/dentistband?fref=ts), The Glycerine Queens (https://www.facebook.com/Glycerinequeens?fref=ts) to The Antics (https://www.facebook.com/theanticsnj?fref=ts). I was excited to see The Antics, I had seen them months ago right after Hurricane Sandy by chance and really enjoyed their unique sound. They consider themselves a garage rock/basement jams/attic grooves type of band. They consist of Luke Meisenbacher- Vox/Guitar, Derek Rosengarth- Guitar, Kyle Hammerschmidt- Bass and Josh Reitan- Drums. They reside in Skillman, NJ and bring with them a sound that resembles the likes of Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, Television and The Doors (www.wearetheantics.com). Another cool band was Dentist a very sweet sounding band fronted by Emily Whitt and backed by Justin Bornemann, Bob Robert and Andy Bova. Dentist (that’s the band name), is soon to inspire many reviews that compare their music to a trip to the dentist. The band is influenced by 90’s Indie Rock and Surf Rock. The Glycerine Queens are a Hard Rock/Glam Rock all girl band from the Jersey Shore. They consist of Cynthia Rittenbach, Kayla Smith, Kayla Cervone and Jen Amoscato (www.glycerinequeens.com). The Battery Electric is a rock and roll band out of Asbury Park N.J. They sing about women, whiskey and fighting for freedom. They are currently recording with Pete Steinkopf of the bouncing souls and will be putting out vinyl and digital releases (TheBatteryElectric@gmail.com). Strange Things Done In The Midnight Sun was to say the least strange. Strange Things Done In The Midnight Sun is an unsigned, central-New Jersey based 4 piece who have as many musical influences as there are syllables in their name ranging from Joy Division to The Cramps to Klaus Nomi. Comprised of members of OS101, Don Juan Destroyer, and Casino Evil, they’ve been causing a ruckus within the New York City, NJ circuit for 6 plus years. But similar to the dilemma of Sysiphus, every time they’re just about to reach the the peak, the weight of their own design causes them to topple back down to square one. A mini-LP entitled ‘Done Waiting For The Day’ was self-released in the summer of 2007 of which a few tracks to this day receive modest airplay on local college stations, most notably “Petrol”, “Carousel” and “Dear Ol’ Dad”.
This past spring saw the release of ‘The Killing Wall’, a darker and more aggressive effort than the preceding mini-lp but despite the slight change in aural direction their goal still remains the same….only tenfold! That being more musical and sexual ambiguity, more audience-wide confusion, more faux-opera and, of course, more piñatas!
So this past weekend was round 1 of the break contest for the Skate and Surf Festival being held at Iplay America/Encore Event Center this coming May 18th and 19th 2013.The break contest is being held in multiple venues around and some of the round 1 winners have been announced. I was very surprised to see so many new, young and up and coming bands this year. All different styles and genres is what makes music go round. I consider myself very open minded when it comes to music so I can appreciate a great straight out rock band to a death metal screamo band and everything in between. This weekend was no exception with bands representing everything from rock, screamo, metal, ska, funk, hip hop and pop. I am always excited to see new bands so I can help promote them using my photography skills. The bands I was able to catch on Saturday was The Hopeless Carrion, By The Butcher, The Bass Polics, Lance Green, Half Daze, Clear The Path, Memora, Fairfeild, Three Cheers Too Late and The Project. I didn’t get to see Lovelectric, The Perfect Gentleman, Xero Gravity and 99 regrests but I have seen them all perform before so I am very familiar with them and can say that all four of the bands I missed moved on to round 2 including Lance Green, Half Daze, Clear To The Path, Farfield, Three Cheers Too Late and The Project. I was very impressed with the band The Project which is a young band created by Paul Sallee owner of Music University in Freehold, N.J. Half Daze is a band I saw at last years break contest and felt they were very much improved this year. Two bands I thought were very good that didn’t make the cut were The Hopeless Carrion and Memora definitely go check them out as well as all the other bands that performed. Sunday I was able to see Dear Jupiter, Seasons, WhoWeAre, Sunny Gang, Cinsera, Napalm Party and Mildly Medicated. The bands I missed Confused Disciples, Silent Perfection, Back To The Action, First To Friday and Stiff Motion. The winners from Sunday were Seasons, WhoWeAre, Napalm Party, Mildly Medicated, Silent Perfection, Back To The Action, First To Friday and Stiff Motion. Mildly Medicated, First To Friday and Stiff Motion are without a doubt three of my favorite bands that I have come to know and love over this past year. I think Dana from First To Friday and Amanda from Mildly Medicated are two of the best female vocalists I have heard in a long time. Both of them are backed up by amazing talented musicians who will only get better in time. I am so looking forward to the next round as the competition gets tighter. Congratulations to all the winners as well as to all the bands that enter the contest. Exposure is a very important part of these contests so always hold your head up and do what you love.
On Saturday Feb. 16th 2013 I had the pleasure of being at the Brand Of Julez headlining show at Webster Hall in NYC. I have been hearing about them for a while now but I haven’t had a chance to see them perform live. The show was hosted by the character himself Jonnie Rockit from Panzie and loaded with some cool openers : A Vegas Marriage, Fear Report, Dirty Black 7 and Xero Gravity. A Vegas Marriage started off the show, I had seen them perform live a few weeks ago at the Brighton Bar in Longbranch, NJ opening up for Joy Ride and was immediately impressed with Matthew’s unique voice and Justin’s stage presence. A Vegas Marriage is a three piece hard rock band out of Staten Island, NY ( https://www.facebook.com/Avegasmarriage ) . Xero Gravity came on next, they are a great band that I have seen many times and think they are one of the best young hard rock/metal bands on the scene. Xero Gravity met while all performing in a program called Rockit. In the Rockit Program, kids ages 8-16, who pass auditions, participate in a seven-week group program where they learn a specific repertoire of songs, supplemented with individual instruction. Around forty-five young musicians divvy up to form separate groups who together, at the program’s end, perform in concert replete with high-production gear and lighting at the legendary Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. That’s where it all began. Members are : Alex Peragine-Lead/Rhythm Guitars, Steven Rago-Drums/Percussion and Jack Rose-Vocals/ 4/8 String Basses. ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Xero-Gravity/230285076981884?fref=ts ). Dirty Black 7 was next, another cool sounded hard rock band out of NYC. DIRTY BLACK 7, NYC’S most original hard rock band. Verteran musicians , Ron Forte, Mike Butchar, Vin De Paola & Frank Puzzillo have teamed up to create a monster. AND this monster is looking to rock your area and give you what you want. Real Music performed by a real band. DIRTY BLACK 7 will grab you by the throat and leave you feeling better about the NYC area music scene. You will not be disapointed. ( https://www.facebook.com/DirtyBlack7/info ). Fear Report took the stage next, there unique sound is due to there diverse influences. They all love rock on the heavier side, but it’s each member’s personal influences that define the sound. From Dan’s love of post-hardcore, to Anthony’s metal edge… Sasha’s metal and grunge, Brendan’s grunge, indie, and alternative, to Rob’s classic rock and 80s metal. This is what defines them. They are just a rock band, but they all bring something different to the table when they write songs. And one song may sound a little different from the other, but to them that’s just Fear Report, because it represents them to the core. ( https://www.facebook.com/fearreport/info ). Well it was now time for Brand Of Julez, they are a hard rock band out of the Bronx, NY. They are made up of Julian Zamora – Vocals/Guitars, Brandon Zamora – Bass/Backing Vocals and Marshall Castaneda – Drums/Percussion. There sound was awesome, there stage presence was awesome and their look was awesome. They had everything you wanted to hear, see and feel at a rock show. The Brand Of Julez setlist was : Lights Go Out, Never Look Back, Power Within, My Life To Live, Read My Face, Breakthrough, Moving On, Powerless, A Better Day and Who Am I.
Panzie, Lower The Veil, Audio Machine and Black Ocean were on the bill for what was anticipated as one of the best shows of the year happening at The Saint on 2/9/13. I was so looking forward to this show not just because of an amazing lineup but also because of the awesome crowd of fans I knew this show was bringing. It had everything and everyone a show could ask for Tom and Mayhem from Scarlet Carson, Oldbridge MetalMilitia, Arrius Studios, Don Jamieson and so many more. Tim Louie who writes for the Aquarian Weekly plays bass for Black Ocean who opened up the night. They are a Rock/Metal/Groove band from New Jersey and boy did they rock. (http://blackoceanmusic1.wix.com/wwwblackoceanmusiccom#! , https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BlackOcean/154890224550593?fref=ts)
Next up was Audio Machine,
An eruption of pure ecstasy explodes in the form of hard hitting rock and roll and raw rage wrapped in a band called Audio Machine. This collection of clutch players formed in March of 2012 after some lineup changes and the addition of a new singer. Hackensack, NJ based, this band shows no signs of loss of momentum proving themselves a force and a fierce self-containing machine. As experienced m…usicians and professionals, this collaboration exudes complimentary musicality and harmonious chemistry. These dirty jersey boys bring a unique style of rock to the table (https://www.facebook.com/AudioMachineMusic
Next was Lower The Veil another tight sounding rock band out of New Jersey. LOWER THE VEIL; formerly known as “Friends of Bill Wilson,” is a Progressive Rock band hailing from the Jersey Shore. Frontman Damien’s dream was to one day front his own band that would perform the songs he wrote. He played in local bands as a teen that helped him to a…cquire a stage persona and sharpen his skills. At the age of 19, he was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident when he was struck by a drunk driver. After his recovery, Baldwin decided to join the United States Military. During his service, he married his high school sweetheart and decided to pursue his music career after his discharge. (http://lowertheveil.com/
Headlining the show was Panzie,
At first when you see them or hear the name Panzie, you’re not quite sure what to expect … but expect the unexpected.This band’s got it. They understand what it takes to put out badass rock ‘n roll. The beauty is that it comes naturally to them. They were born to do this. Front man Johnny Hawaiian is the last real American rock star and Panzie brings something back to hard rock that has been missing. Their songs are raw, energetic and aggressive, yet there’s something fine and sophisticated about their delivery.They have the “it” factor. They are everything you want in a rock ‘n roll band. Panzie is the whole package. They have well-written songs that you can listen to over and over again. You just don’t get tired of listening. They look good, they sound good and they deliver a live show to match. Their full-length album, entitled ‘Love & Blood,’ is destined to become a classic. This album rocks from beginning to end. Every track is memorable and stands on its own; it’s a hard rock album that takes you on a musical journey. Some of there musical influenses are Coal Chamber, Danzig and Type o Negative. They brought the house down last night to a steller crowd. Panzie left the Saint with alot of new fans who have never seen or heard of them before. (http://www.panzie.com/
First To Friday formaly Reality Check is taking the Central New Jersey area by storm. They just realeased their first single called Now Its Gone ( http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_16139164 ) I gave it a listen and love it, front woman Dana has the voice of an angel backed up by some pretty awesome musicians.
The electrifying shows and dynamic song writing is proof that the band First To Friday is an astonishing compilation of artists. This group of five teens brings a combination of originals and covers to its steady following, and always leaves the crowd exhilarated and wanting more. Reality Check is a rock band from various towns across NJ. Their music covers everything from classic rock to pop. First To Friday’s music and songwriting is influenced by icons such as Pink Floyd, Gun N’ Roses, Muse, Green Day, and Adele.
First To Friday has made appearances at major venues across New Jersey such as the world famous Count Basie Theater, The Stone Pony, and The Bamboozle Music Festival in Asbury Park. In addition to energizing the crowd, Reality Check has great compassion for non-profits such as Make A Wish, Foodstock, and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. These performances has kept the band grounded and connected to the community, and will never pass up an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate.
First To Friday has evolved into one of the staple bands in the legendary Asbury NJ music scene with their distinctive sound and style. Whether you enjoy the slash-like guitar solos, sweet & powerful vocals, or overall musicianship, this is a band that does not disappoint!
I covered the GameChanger Launch Event yesterday at The Encore Event Center where this years Skate and Surf will be held on May 18th and 19th. The day was about introducing mobile gaming apps with the characters being members of select bands like T Mills, Bayside, Senses Fail and more. The artists have never tried or seen the apps until yesterday at the launch party. It was great to watch as members of Bayside, Senses Fail and T Mills played the apps with their fans on a level that you usualy don’t see that often. John D feels that the concert business is on a huge downslide and that mobile gaming apps allowing the fans to be the band members will help the artists create a source of revenue that has been taken away from them by the high and mighty record labels. The Artists are doing all the work and everyone else is making the money while the artists are trying to get from gig to gig on sometimes just enough money for gas. In return for fans playing the games and purchasing extras to be able to enter and possibly win contests they will be rewarded by the bands for investing time and money. It will also allow fans to interact with the bands while the show is going on which can only enhance a fans experience at a show. The gaming industry id huge of all ages and I agree that it is a great way to have the fans be part of the show and not just be there. Everyone wants to leave with a great experience and thats what John D is trying to create.
Friday night 01/01/13 at The Gramercy Theater in NYC was a sold out show with Rubix Kube. The show was an amazing array of 80’s classic hits that brought out people of all ages. Most everyone dressed the part and sang along to every song on the set list. I was very impressed that they played for almost two and a half hours straight. Dee Snider was Rubix Kube’s guest and performed I Wanna Rock and We’re Not Gonna Take It. I was blown away by the continuous change of retro style outfits in a telephone booth/changing room on stage. The band made me and everyone there feel like we were right back in the 80’s watching our favorite artists perform live on stage. It was definitely one of the best performances I have seen and hope to see them again soon. The set list in order was : Jump/Walking On Sunshine/Danger Zone/Don’t You Want Me/Take Me Home Tonight/In A Big Country/Your Love/Mickey/Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic/Holiday/Get Into The Groove/Billie Jean/Hurts So Good/If I Could Turn Back Time/Lets Go Crazy/99 Red Balloons/Come On Eileen/Africa/Under Pressure/Still Of The Night/Photograph/Shadows Of The Night/Bon Jovi Medley/Talk Dirty To Me/Video Killed The Radio Star/Don’t Stop Believing.
RUBIX KUBE is taking the country by storm as the most original ’80s tribute band of all time. They perform a one-of-a-kind Eighties concert in their NYC headquarters, across the nation, and to galaxies far . . far away. The KUBE is more than just a cover band – it’s a totally awesome, true ’80s EXPERIENCE! Every super-charged show takes it to the max and guarantees to set the roof on fire and burn… down the house. (Metaphorically speaking of course). RUBIX KUBE is led by a male and female dynamic duo of karma chameleons, able to transform in the-blink-of-an-eye into the voice and character of any ’80s icon. Their supporting sidekicks are the four most-excellent polished and versatile musicians around – all decked out in their own vintage ’80s threads and with enough hairspray to take down Freddy Krueger, The Terminator, Beetlejuice, and all the Gremlins. Together The KUBE is able to crank out Pop, Rock, New Age, Dance and Hair Metal hits from the decade of decadence, and perform them just like the originals yet with their own gnarly twist. Talkshow host KELLY RIPA from “LIVE! With Regis And Kelly” has praised RUBIX KUBE as “Amazing. You definitely have to check it out, it’s so much fun. It’s like going back to The Eighties!” RUBIX KUBE has shared the stage with actual ’80s rockstars & legends such as: Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Bret Michaels of Poison, MC Hammer, Mike Score of A Flock Of Seagulls, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Taylor Dayne, and Tone Loc to name a few. RUBIX KUBE has had featured TV segments & interviews on The TODAY Show and FOX News, and parts on hit reality TV shows “Cake Boss” and “Dirty Money”. The ever-expanding list of celebrity fan attendees include: Kelly Ripa, Katie Couric, Lance Bass & Chris Kirkpatrick (of N ‘Sync), Boomer Esiaison, Mark Sanchez, Miley Cyrus, and Ivanka Trump.