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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    If you asked Peter Prasa about his place in the world, he’d probably say he wasn’t born for these times. But everyone he’s touched is grateful for his experienced life views and his musical works. Peter Prasa is a singer-songwriter that plays all the instruments in the studio. And while it’s true that he is extremely versatile and able to do so much on his own, he is always inviting friends and other musicians to join him onstage and in the studio. Peter Prasa is an old soul with a musical talent for telling stories and creating emotions through song. …


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    I’ve written about Sharkmuffin in the past, and they’re back with another way-out disc filled with punk angst and riot girl panache on Tsuki.

    Sharkmuffin is Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch, a duo of Brooklynite sirens bred from the waves of the Jersey Shore. Influenced by everyone from Nirvana to The Ronettes, Sharkmuffin adds a unique jagged edge onto ‘60s beach pop meets ‘90s alt sound, a genre lovingly dubbed “opti-mystic glam-grunge.” With several cross-country tours (including many return trips to SXSW) and no shortage of EPs, Sharkmuffin has been creating a veritable whirlpool of musical chaos. Their 2015 …


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    Doug Zambon and the boys from The Vansaders have been tearing up the scene and generating much interest with their repertoire of punk-tinged music for a while now. No Matter What is their fourth studio effort since releasing Stuck In New York City back in 2014. When it comes to describing their sound and style, the band says it best with their short bio:

    “The Vansaders seem poised to launch closer to the top of Asbury Park’s music scene, touting a banner mix of punk, rock, and folk that both reflects well upon and contrasts with what’s going in the …


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    Val Emmich has worn many hats in the entertainment field. Songwriter, musician, actor and writer, Emmich pools real experience, imagination and a passion for excellence in everything he does. And while he has experimented with written word quite extensively, The Reminders is Emmich’s first foray into storytelling in novel form. Born partly of a truth and mostly of fiction and the wonderment of how certain people are never forgotten, The Reminders is the story of two unique individuals with memories and life feelings that cross over each other like a rhubarb pie covering.

    Emmich tells the story of each character, …


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    Michael Askin has been part of the scene for several years now. Getting his start in Asbury Park bands in the early 2000s, Askin went on to perform with many local top dogs before going on to do his own thing. Groups such as Mabel, Divine Sign and My State Of Attraction all held court with Askin before he decided to go his diverse way.

    When it comes to describing Askin, iconic songwriters such as Samuel Beam (Iron And Wine) and James Taylor come to mind. His laid-back vibe has gotten him noticed by producers like Gordon Brown (Mr. Reality, …


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    Jackson Pines’ bio tells me everything I need to know when it comes to describing the goings-on of Joe Makoviecki. Makoviecki is a 27-year-old singer-songwriter from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, a surprisingly dense wood with meandering cedar streams and undulating sand paths that can lose even a seasoned hiker. It is here he discovered his love for honest, homemade music, which he has been making with fellow Jackson native James Black for the last six years. A bassist and welder, James and Joe have been playing folk music with their friends in Thomas Wesley Stern since 2010, traveling …


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    Kristy Chmura combines indie, folk-pop, and alternative influences to create emotionally driven music that has captivated many listeners spanning generations. Kristy’s voice has its own original qualities, but listeners have compared her voice to popular recording artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and Amy Lee of Evanescence. Kristy’s newest release, Stained, Glass Heart, features eight original tracks written, produced, and performed by Kristy, along with co-producer Damien Musto. Kristy’s musical influences span across a wide variety of genres and artists which contribute to her eclectic style of songwriting.

    Kristy Chmura is a full-time professional, freelance harpist, vocalist, and …


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    Little Big Toe recently released its third installment entitled Is This What You Hear In Your Head? The album was recorded in Edison, NJ in Jimmy James Cutrera’s apartment, and includes 14 tracks, mostly performed by James himself—with a few cameo appearances from friends.

    This project was inspired by many personal trials and tribulations, including a soul-sucking job, injuries and many other hellish moments that are best forgotten. The recording process itself was the most effortless of the three LBT releases with a more relaxed, honest and fun recording approach, as opposed to the typical head beating against the wall/over-analyzing/stressful …


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    When it comes to describing Bebe Buell, there’s not much standard information that can be given that hasn’t been printed before. Yes, she was a very lucky young Southern girl who was hired by the Ford Modeling Agency in New York, and yes, she was a Playboy centerfold in the 1970s, but she was also so much more. Buell may be known for dating rock idols, but she also wanted to be one in her clear way since she first showed up.

    When she wasn’t busy jet-setting all over the world with one-time beaus such as Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello, …


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    I’ve known Jaime for many years now. I first met her as part of the Hoboken darlings The Fave several years back and was always a fan of the band’s attitude and her natural vocal attack. Fast-forward to 2017 and Jaime has her latest self-released project out called Nowhere. To call Jaime Rose a seasoned vocalist and songwriter would be putting it way too simply. In the past, she had teamed up with brother Dom to produce some of the area’s best original music, and that trend continues with her own release this month. Usually, you would find Jaime …


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    Keith Kenny’s bio says it best when describing Keith at a show. “If the audience at a Keith Kenny show were to close their eyes for the performance, they would swear that there was a full band on stage. The audience, however, is too busy dancing to the one-man act’s layered guitar riffs, foot stomping percussion, blues harmonica, and emotionally charged lyrics to even think about looking away.”

    The New Jersey native can emulate the sound of a full rock band with his percussive fingerstyle approach to the acoustic guitar and an array of effects pedals. Kenny has even customized …


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    Sylvana Joyce has been hypnotizing audiences along the Northeast with her drama rock for quite a while now. One would not expect such a grand human carnival to emanate from her petite Eastern-European exterior, that is until the house lights dim. Sylvana’s persona, a Greta Garbo meets Alice Cooper circus leader of epic proportions, gallivants and taunts the audience with her cheeky, grandiose, and expertly divined performances of her original music.

    Influenced by everything from Rachmaninoff to film noir, her brand of rock touches on many genres, having equally delighted audiences for soul songstress Nikka Costa, internationally touring rock-jazz trio …


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    Some of you may not know who Michael Alago is, but you’ve heard the results of his talents on record. Michael Alago signed and produced some of the world’s top artists including bands and performers like Metallica, White Zombie, Cyndi Lauper, Johnny Rotten and Nina Simone, to name an illustrious few. Michael Alago is a lifelong New Yorker who grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and remains in the Big Apple to this very day. And while Brooklyn is where Michael got his start, he’s been all over the world in his journey for musical excellence.

    From age 12 to …


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                The Inversion Circus was born in 2014 as the brainchild of guitarist Chris Macock and bassist Chris Davison. The idea was to create music they wanted to play despite what is popular. Chris and Chris have been playing together in various projects for the last 20+ years and have an inseparable musical bond (not to mention they are like brothers) which allows them to quickly jump from one genre to another and still know what the other is about to do, and can be heard in their music.

                When it came time to get a drummer, there was no search …


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    New York City’s Fruit & Flowers just released their debut EP, Drug Tax. Fruit & Flowers have toured all over America in the last year, building a solid fan base as well as scoring instant successes at SXSW two years in a row now. The crowds they play in front of have been increasing by leaps and bounds as new fans tune into their highly original sound. They are currently crushing it on tour in the Midwest and Canada.

    Little Dickman’s Chris Yaniak recently told me that their tour bus (Sylvia) looks like something out of a war zone. …


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    Vocalist Johnny Ott, guitarist Jimmy Ray, and drummer D.T. Graves (on and off) have been in The Cryptkeeper Five since its 1997 origin, with many different supporting players over the years. The trio played music together in a band called Navalistic Death before the Cryptkeeper Five as well. Johnny’s first CK5-leaning lyrics were for a song called “Black Death A Go-Go.” At the outset, the group was a “straight ahead punk rock band,” according to D.T. Their first album, Dear Dr. XI Wanna be The Creature (1997), not only reflects this musical direction, but also was characterized lyrically …


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    I’ve known Freddie Fry for several years now, and if there’s one thing I can say with certainty, it’s that he loves music and supports the national and local scene every chance that he can. This is a guy who has scads of stories to tell about some of the rock and roll’s biggest names. He was there years back and continues to associate with some large names in the entertainment industry. As I was getting ready to review his latest CD, I noticed that rock icon Ed King (one of the founding members of The Strawberry Alarm Clock and …


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                Formed in the winter of 2012, Looms consists of Sharif Mekawy (vocals, keys, guitar), Harry Morris Jr. (guitar), A. Hammond Murray (bass) and Louis Cozza (drums). The group’s music is written around vocals and melodic instrumental arrangements with an evolving catalog that runs the gamut of song construction. Rock, pop, jazz, electronic, folk, and more are dissected and deconstructed down to their essential components, and then reimagined. Their sophomore LP, How It Has To Be, is out now on Little Dickman Records, and they’re currently touring the Northeast in support.

                When I first heard this band, so many influential …


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    Christine Martucci and Anthony Krizan are two well-known New Jersey-based musicians that have appeared on this page more than once. Seasoned musicians and songwriters, they both have interesting stories to tell.

       Krizan first rose to fame in 1994 as lead guitarist for the commercially successful jam band, the Spin Doctors, however, before joining the popular group, he had carved out industry recognition in his right, having been signed to both Polygram and Chrysalis Records. He also wasted no time in lending his superb songwriting skills to the cause, co-writing the band’s third album, which included the theme song for Michael …


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    Jersey City sensation, Sunshine & The Rain, have just released their second recording since the 2015 release of their limited edition 7” single, described further down below. The new record once again features the married duo of Ashley Morey (vocals, bass) and Justin Morey (guitar). Their bio has a decent amount of information concerning their style and influential guidance.

    There’s a long lineage of bands who’ve taken the girl-group sound of the ‘60s to a more bombastic level. Melding those classic pop hooks of the past with a more chaotic musical setting. Think Ramones, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Go-Go’s, …


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