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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to play with the minds and wallets of victims long after the physical damage has been done. We’ve talked about the pre-dawn attack of looters; we’ve scratched our heads at the red tape of insurance companies and adjusters. Legal professionals have instructed us to act before deadlines or walk away with nothing. Add the ever-present knife in the back of dishonest businesses and scamming charities, and you’re probably thinking that it might make more sense to move on than to stay put in this hornet’s nest of inhumanity.

    Ok, I know I’m a…


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    Thomas Wesley Stern invokes images far removed from the northern lifestyle that most of us know. This is a band that uses a modern approach to salute a simpler time of the distant past, which is funny because I’ve heard that they recently been accused of (hold your breath for it) utilizing the power of electric instrumentation.

    Like al-Qaeda chatter, journalist feeds whisper and lament, shaking heads of disappointment at a group that cut its musical teeth on the ample sounds of the faraway folk lands. Traditionally shrouded in rich, vibrant acoustic instrumentation, Thomas Wesley Stern are finding out…


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    Greg and Karen Nixon are just regular Jersey folks. They love the summer, an occasional libation, and most of all, they love the great state of New Jersey. When Hurricane Sandy hit home, they didn’t wait for the feds to pick up the pieces. They jumped into action with a solid plan and goal of providing home rehabilitation assistance to families in dire circumstances, free of charge.

    I spoke to Greg and Karen recently, and the first thing that hit me was the fact that here is this couple with nonexistent political influence, and no real money, and they’re…


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    Jon Leidersdorff is a musician who has cultivated invaluable information from the ground up. From his early days in the Outcry, to commercial writer, producer and engineer, Jon has learned about the music industry from an insider’s perspective. But I have to admit that when he initially told me about his idea of an “all-in-one” complex, I was fairly skeptical. In a town that seems to regularly abandon current crushes and move on to the next hip thing, it just seemed like he would be left holding the bag. However, six months into the birth of this vision, the…


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    With a thematic stance on all things in the state of the emotional world, Stacie Rose’s new album, Stars, Stripes And Milestones, is a real-time journey into that wondrous maze of life. Rose wraps deeply personal topics in the fine, lyrical pondering of a world we can never predict. Her musical vision extols the celebration of birth and the never-ending dance of beginning anew. As Rose herself says, “If you have a heart that beats and your soul is pure, you will be touched by life’s trials and tragedies, the same way extreme joy will pry open locked doors…


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    New Heights Festival Takes Over Seaside Heights On Sand, Land And Sea

    When it comes to unique festival approaches that work, the folks over at NHF are among the leading innovators in New Jersey and beyond. They’ve figured out a way to bring multiple projects together in one concentrated area while offering a myriad of options at absolute best possible cost to the attendee. That cost for something like this? It is absolutely free.

    This weekend, September 13-15, Seaside Heights’ North Beach and boardwalk will be home to the first annual New Heights Festival. This free admission, three-day event…


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    The Larry Stevens Band - Heart On Fire

    Larry Stevens is an artist that has nailed many outstanding credits to his wall of local fame. From Peter Frampton to Blood, Sweat & Tears, Stevens has experienced the stage with all the greats. Hailing from the Montvale, New Jersey “hood,” Stevens is a musician that has survived cultural and audience shifts, doggedly plying his wares on television, radio and live performance since he was a youngster.

    Stevens is out on the road in support of his latest EP, Heart On Fire. This is Stevens’s fifth release since he first stepped…


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    Souper Groove Music And Camping Festival Returns To Freehold On Sept. 27

    When Turtle Soup member Jeff Mahajan first started tossing his idea for a grassroots festival around, I’m sure folks rolled their eyes at him. I mean, here’s one of those zany musicians who thinks that they can change the system, and do a better job than the promoters. But after unveiling a simple and effective formula that knocked the promoter community (yes, there is such a bizarre thing) on its ear, Jeff and his “Souper Crew” are getting ready to continue that success, launching phase two…


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    Gallery 13 Goes Gory – Oct. 5

    Gallery 13 has been home to many New Jersey artists over the last few years. From photographers to painters, Gallery 13 has taken the opportunity to host to some interesting subjects. Their intended goal is to provide a venue for artists that demonstrate amazing creative abilities and perceptions, in hopes of opening their presentations to a larger, general audience. From hardcore collectors to the general public, Gallery 13 strives to attract them all.

    Their latest client, Gorgeous & Gory is probably one of their most controversial and intriguing to date. Gorgeous &…


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    It seems that with the invasion of Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, picture taking has experienced a growth of immense proportions. And although this is a great springboard for the subsequent crop of artists, these programs offer little in the way of showing anyone actual experience or ways to earn credibility. And it’s become a huge problem, especially in the local scene.

    As Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) quoted in Jurassic Park, “I’ll tell you the problem with what you’re using here: It didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done, and you took the…


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    Today’s popular music is far from what I would consider easy to categorize. Styles drift into multiple genres and the public is as fickle about meaningful choices as a tornado is with geographical touchdown spots. Technological hardware and software breakthroughs have made pleasing that public as easy as clicking some silly sound effect buttons and tossing out 50 baited marketing hooks designed to catch anything and everything.

    Today’s traditional songwriter has to compete with a new breed of “artist” that draws more and more from the superficial bag of production and marketing tricks than from anything real and honest.…


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    I first met Damian Cordisco at Baimonte’s game room on Fischer Blvd. in Toms River back in the late 1970s. The game room was brand new, and an exciting place for kids to shoot pool, play video games (yes, they had been invented back then), and do whatever else 15-17-year-old rebels spend their boundless time doing. The game room was the epicenter of the social scene, and everyone that came from BellCrest and Silverton went there. From rock and roll band formations to woods party gatherings, they all originally took place at the game room.

    Even as a young…


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    Keith Kenny Invited To Headline UXO Concert In Laos

    Vientiane, Laos, has been named the proverbial “City of Sandalwood,” a descriptive identifier handed down from the deep communications of the Pali, the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism. It is also the world’s most heavily bombed country, per capita, in our war-torn past.

    More than half a million bombing missions were conducted over Laos, and over 2 million tons of mega-powered ordnance were dropped on the area between 1964 and 1973. Approximately 75-80 million unexploded bombs of all types remained in Laos after the Vietnam War.

    New Jersey native and…


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    Jim Mill hails from the gritty city of Lakewood. Tucked into the northern section of Ocean County, Lakewood is well known for its turn-of-the-century popularity as a pristine vacation resort for folks such as the Rockefellers and the Goulds. Of course, much has changed since those golden years when there was real cocaine in Coca Cola, but one thing remains true: Lakewood is home to enormous amounts of A-list talent. From sports stars like Brandon Carter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Senator Robert Singer and various artists and musicians such as Lew Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears), Lakewood…


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    Danny White – If We Never Meet Again

    As American as Chevrolet, baseball and apple pie, Danny White is back with another foray into the mellow, coastal-spun credibility of a Jersey-born rock and roll son. His latest is titled If We Never Meet Again, and was produced by the team of CJ Eriksson (U2, Matchbox Twenty and Phish) and Shelly Yakus, an influential producer who has worked with everyone from John Lennon to Tom Petty.

    White embraces the historical sound of his idols on If We Never Meet Again. Utilizing a simple, straightforward compositional approach, White and company blow…


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    Aquarian Founder James Rensenbrink Passes At 81

    James Rensenbrink is a name that I grew up with. From my late teens, The Aquarian was my bible when it came to all things rock and roll. From exciting stories about national and local acts, to want ads promising greatness and fame, there wasn’t an issue that I didn’t read from cover to cover at least five times. James had pretty much moved on from musical editorial by the time I came on the scene, but his reputation as an original commentator who lived and breathed print medium was well…


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    Sammy Boyd Presents: Bobby Rydell – The Wild One Is Back! McLoone’s Supper Club – Nov. 29

    Bobby Rydell was one of the early “teen idol” purveyors of the rock and roll sound. From his beginnings in the 1950s appearing on shows such as Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club, to being called one of the “most sought-after nightclub and concert acts in America” by Kim Summers, Philadelphia-born Bobby Rydell has continued to wow fans all over the world during his amazing 63-year career span. Rydell will be making a rare, Jersey Shore appearance at McLoone’s Supper Club on Nov.…


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    21st Annual Asbury Music Awards – Dec. 12 – Live From The Legendary Stone Pony

    The holiday season is upon us. The flurry of holiday activity is an intense period where most of us can only hang on for dear life as it does its best to hand out nervous breakdowns. But part of the addictive fun is that hustle and bustle of new places to go, exciting things to do, and wonderful people to see. The idea of fast-moving scenarios and unforeseen directions keeps us in the moment and over the top, but I’m pretty sure none of…


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    Sean Marshall – Anchor Sleep

    Sean Marshall is best known for his substantial lead guitar and harmony talents with Monmouth County up-and-comers Lightning Jar. Marshall’s penchant for description and his painstakingly detailed formulation of sound are the attention-grabbing vessels used on his latest EP, Anchor Sleep.

    Marshall demonstrates why Jason Pomeroy and Nathan Maier actively sought him out for LJ in their formative stages. When listening to songs from the EP, the first two thoughts that come to me are the writer’s ability to come up with offbeat choices of essential song sections when composing and the magical act…


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    There are four New Jersey bands that come to mind when following in the footsteps of late 1970s punk rock perfection. Of course, you have The F-Bombers, who mix the raw and emotive angst of The Runaways with in-your-face action reminiscent of The Distillers, and the grease fire hot sounds of The Obvious, a band that combines the influential intensity of Nirvana and the stage sensationalism of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Sex Zombies have reunited, so their clash of Iggy, Ian Dury and The Replacements puts them firmly on this top list as well.

    The…


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