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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    We continue our coverage of Hurricane Sandy with another look at the Belmar area. When you speak to beach town residents, the ongoing feeling is still one of suspicion when it comes to real timelines of rebuilding and regaining the quality of life they lost, but also one of encouragement for jobs well done by city, government and residential volunteers, who jumped right in to help in this continuing tale of aftermath triumph and tragedy. I spoke with musician and Belmar Elementary School teacher Tom Brennan, a member of Shore Blue, who tells us in his own words what…


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    Pat Veil is an artist that has evolved diagonally. He utilizes musical doorways with forced entry and lurks down avenues of dark, intellectual passage, and it has put him in his present and most interesting situation to date. That situation is a band called Sir Dove.

    Sir Dove is the culmination of the best of The Brighton Bar alumni. Guitarist and producer extraordinaire Skiz is best known (besides his stellar production work here) for his role in The Chilling Details, Montagna & The Mouth To Mouth, and as an accordionist for Weezer. Bassist Ben Ross also did time in…


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    I spoke with Joe Barcellona by phone this week, and he told me that like most, they are waiting for the insurance company red tape to unravel. After months of claim denials, Barcellona is understandably exhausted about talking on the subject. “There is truly not a lot to say about when we’ll be up and running at this point. Honestly, we’re trying to get back into operating mode, but the damage and the waiting have been pretty extensive.”

    While he couldn’t really go into detail due to ongoing legal battles with their New Jersey insurance company, he did say…


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    For well over 30 years, the Brighton Bar has been the premiere home for original music. From locals to worldwide national acts, the Brighton Bar has welcomed everyone into their little club on the oceanfront of Long Branch, New Jersey.

    I grew up on Brighton Avenue. The bands were outrageous, and so were the fights with the Monmouth College muscleheads at the Laugh Inn next door. Wayne had the guitar shop across the street where you could buy crazy vintage gear or have repairs done before a gig. Sirianni’s up the street was the best old man bar on…


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    Patrick Baker And Beyond – Bird On Buffalo

    Patrick Baker is best known for his time in the Trenton-based band The Semibeings, a group that he, brother Joe and songwriter Keith Monacchio used to make a significant wave with in the ‘90s. After the disintegration of that unique band, Monacchio and the Baker boys splintered into different musical hemispheres, feeding their writing styles with great big helpings of compositional experimentation. The Bakers went on to form JunkyGood and Monacchio formed The Commons. Both acts were engaging, and both made great musical contributions to the scene.

    Baker continues that spirit…


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    Willie Nile is back with a kamikaze dive into rough and rowdy rock territories. For those who think, “Well, the guy hangs out with a bunch of Jersey icons, so it’s going to be that same sort of sound,” you will be way off the mark. Nile actually got his start in the middle of the Greenwich Village music scene, becoming a popular fixture in the Village’s folk clubs while drawing influence from the emerging downtown punk scene.

    Nile continues that interesting and ever-evolving hybrid journey that’s seen him wade through the complex domains of fickle major label stratospheres…


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    I had a chance to discuss some of the underlying problems left in the wake of Sandy with legal professional Evan Wolfe. Wolfe got his start in the music industry representing musicians and producers and actually met his wife while battling TK Records mogul Henry Stone.

    If you think that’s a bit odd, think about the guy he went up against and what he’s known for. Stone was responsible for spearheading acts such as KC And The Sunshine Band and he eventually joined another famous name to form Sunnyview Records. That individual was the infamous Morris Levy, the man who…


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    Waiting For Henry is best described as a brand new band of old-school friends. Dave Slomin is an extremely humble guy who sent me tracks for his new record with the twice repeated message, “I hope [the record] doesn’t suck too much for you.” And the short answer to that obviously overly polite statement would be that it definitely doesn’t.

    Waiting For Henry reminds me of another great East Coast group called The Grip Weeds. Stylistically the two are light years apart, but compositionally speaking, they are two rare examples that understand great songs, use great stories and construction…


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    Eryn Shewell has been doing her own thing for as long as I can remember. If there was ever a theoretical situation where a bunch of musicians would be hanging out in a group, inevitably there would be Shewell, off in a corner with her own group of people. As far as being part of the scene, she’s always remained distant from the broader-based bunch, and I understand why.

    Ever since she released Window Pane in 2008, Shewell has evolved in a quick and logical manner, shedding stylistic skins in an effort to end up where her latest self-titled…


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    The Jersey Shore Music Festival is set to hit Ocean County on July 20 at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, New Jersey. When I first heard that a music festival featuring local musicians was being held at a major commercial venue, my first thought was, “Okay, who got caught doing what on video?” But as “too good to be true” as it might seem, Joe Ciano and Tyler Culley have put it together with their business partners and made a simple dream work.

    The Jersey Shore Music Festival is also not solely about the music. Although the music is the…


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    Tony Tedesco doesn’t have much time for social courtships, especially when it comes to saying what’s on his musical mind. Some writers paint pictures of unrealistic fantasy, gnashing teeth against melancholy regret as they hastily summon unicorn themed happy endings, but Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 are an intuitive unit that gets right to the point of a theme. Whether it is celebratory or grim, there’s no filibustering on this band’s agenda. Full Fathom 5 are just at ease discussing an abusive parent (and the revenge taken) as they are about painting a hermit-like nautical adventure of life…


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    When it comes to Sandy, stories continue to surface from local musicians, businesses and industry people. Through the ordeals endured, they give us some scary detail of the damage and the insight of being grateful to have survived. This week, we continue with two Monmouth County residents who experienced harrowing times during the storm, and have returned to a place where things are leveling out. The physical storm may be over, but the overall experience will stay with them forever.

     

    Lindsey Miller – The Sunday Blues

    During Sandy, our roof started ripping off. We had a massive waterfall-like…


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    I can’t believe that nine months have passed since Sandy hit us. It’s even tougher to figure out why I’ve passed through communities that are still struggling with repairs and payments. I’ve heard so many tales about residents not getting the insurance company compensations or timely and logical answers, and people seem to be getting more and more frustrated about a systematic procedure that if one may judge, doesn’t really work too well.

    As individuals attempt to climb out of the difficulty and despair of being displaced and left adrift, I thought I would continue to ask some of our own musicians about…


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    The Black Clouds have always inhabited their own dark and stormy sector. Hailing influential thunder from the early ‘90s, The Black Clouds embrace the still fresh and tumultuous days of the West Coast sound, a sound that resulted in the extinction of the metal pop dinosaurs of the ‘80s. Comprised of guitarists/vocalists Dan Matthews and Rob Blake, bassist Gary Moses and drummer Cory King, The Black Clouds have returned leaner and louder with their latest release, Better Days.

    Rob Blake had always been a standout musician even before I made his acquaintance back in 2005. Rambunctious and Keith Moon…


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    Most of what we’ve been discussing up until now concerns physical damage from the storm. The unequivocal evidence that scattered around the media like so much confetti has taken our main focus, leaving many oblivious as to what else this storm has done. We are all focusing on the enormous power unleashed on our homes of wood and metal. But something I never thought about during the aftermath story selection is the massive shift of priorities to deal with, and the additional stressful plights that have captured the minds of storm surviving residents.

    Economic damage is epic in the post-Sandy…


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    I recently read a quote that allegedly came from Dale himself. It simply said, “When I start playing, I’m a rollercoaster of sound. I don’t know what’s coming next, I never do, and I sit and sign and talk to the people afterwards.”

    As someone who had the honor of meeting and talking to Les Paul quite a few times, this reminded me of something he would say. Like Paul, Dick Dale is a true innovator that literally feels his way through his music. A humble individual, he listens to his fans and discusses the topics ranging from performance…


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    This week I wanted to touch on what many feel is the most annoying brand that’s ever been slapped on the Jersey Shore’s continuing myriad of mantras: “Stronger than the Storm.” The state awareness campaign aside, New Jersey has basically thumbed its nose at working stiffs that were caught in the reality of Sandy, and took their rebuilding campaign to the limits by involving an out-of-state jingle writer to fill our airwaves with the most incomprehensible nursery rhyme on the planet.

    According to news outlets, Brushfire Marketing, based out of Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, came up with the idea and…


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    I’ve had the opportunity to attend several music festivals this year. Most were quite horrendous from a business perspective. I won’t name names, but suffice to say that these Tri-State ventures haven’t had much luck with the combined evils of Mother Nature and an economic slump that just continues to get worse. From torrential downpours and lightning storms to overestimations for space, arguments over trademarks, parking, band payments, vendor issues and more, I’ve watched these “grassroots” promoters try turning every open field into the next Bonnaroo or Woodstock, and they’ve been fairly consistent disasters.

    That’s why I’m a big…


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    I’ve been talking about the aftermath problems of Hurricane Sandy for months now. One of the insurmountable obstacles has centered on victims not getting quick payouts or assistance from government and commercial agencies. There are people out there who haven’t had comfort in almost 10 months.

    What do we do about it? Most of us don’t really have the funds to do much good on a one-on-one basis, but when people band together, that problem can get solved quite fast. As usual, I pondered and put the word out to all of our friends, asking for answers from anyone who…


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    Rising from the ashes of numerous local band fires, The Sunday Blues came to realize early on that if they were going to create and play music, they would have to do it on their own terms.

    Vocalist/guitarist Keith McCarthy logged countless hours with blue-collar kings Maybe Pete, as well as a sideman for Rick Barry, Arlan Feiles and others before teaming up with vocalist/guitarist Lindsey Miller. Miller was best known for her founding role in the Americana band Divine Sign, a group that was popular on the circuit for several years. The two pooled influential ideas, writing new…


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