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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    The public has been fascinated with reality-based TV talents ever since things kicked off in the 1940s with shows such as Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. To sit in your living room and take a look into the private persona of individuals that could fail miserably or become the next heralded champion, is the ultimate voyeuristic indulgence, and so far, it hasn’t slowed down.

    But it took New Zealand producer Jonathan Dowling to reignite things in the late 1990s with the re-focused music-based show called Popstars. Popstars placed singing competitions back into the mainstay…


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    OK, I’m going to come out and say it: I am glad summer is over. I can now rejoice, safe in the knowledge that I will get a welcome break from Facebook posts crowing about how wonderful it feels to have unlimited free time to lounge on the beach as working class stiffs like yours truly simmer in stop-and-go traffic. I can kick back and breathe easy, delighted that the tourists have lost interest and scurried back to their overcrowded and noisy abodes in the Oranges, Rockaways and Palisades. Good riddance to the never-ending procession of lemmings that clog…


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    New Jersey songwriter Kevin John Allen continues his musical journey with the release of The Long Road Of Life. Out on the highway, playing bars, theaters, state fairs and just about any other venue that will have him, Allen has always kept one true goal in mind, and that goal is to initiate music lovers so that they tag along on his carnival ride through real-time storytelling. From Maine to Texas, Allen is keenly focused when it comes to spreading the word about the very road he travels.

    Kevin John Allen is definitely no stranger to that open highway,…


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    Chris Pope – London Town Throws Down

    When I think of the explosive times of late ’70s, early ’80s punk, I can’t help but think of bands such as The Insults, Sham 69, The Buzzcocks and the UK Subs just to name a select few. In today’s world of cookie-cutter sterility, the attitude of ballsy, passionate music had all but faded into its own self-imposed extinction. But if you look around, you’ll still find a few soulful dreamers who come from that old school mold, and they’re keeping the golden past alive in the present day arenas with genuine…


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    Skaters Boardslide Into The Asbury Lanes – Oct. 17

    The recently signed Warner band Skaters are quite frank when it comes to their actual skill of skateboarding. They simply don’t have any. Just as there is no tribe called Quest, no one named Tabitha in Tabitha’s Secret and with the exception of Dennis Wilson, no surfing Beach Boy, Skaters are a thematically-driven idea when it comes to their moniker. Like a skater, they opt for taking risk, inhabiting areas off of the mainstream and honing skill instead of hanging with the Lemming brigades. What they lack in skateboard etiquette…


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    Out on a recent birthday celebration over at The Wonder Bar, I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with Christine Feola. Feola is the hottest up-and-coming go-to girl when it comes to locating and promoting fresh events and unconventionally great bands. One of the acts that Christine suggested I come see was Sparta, New Jersey, transplants Deal Casino. Yes, I know they’ve been covered extensively in the area, but for whatever the reason, I’ve never had a chance to usher them into Shoreworld territory, until now.

    Named after the famed beach community that boasted membership from guys like movie…


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    I first met Stolen Rhodes back in 2011 at the first Liberty Music Festival in Philadelphia. It took a few concentrated listens, but once I understood the influential battle cries of reviving a style ignored by popular music, I became quite interested in the band. I covered their second release, Falling Off The Edge, and based off of that initial meeting, and offering of recorded music, I become a fan of their sound. Flash-forward to the summer of 2014 as we once again conversed on the group’s progress. That resulting conversation included Stolen Rhodes handing me their latest disc,…


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    Matt Duke – Singer/Songwriter

    You could say that Mount Laurel, New Jersey, artist Matt Duke is a pioneer. Duke was the artist that launched a relationship between Rykodisc and the Drexel College-based Mad Dragon Records. His 2006 record, Winter Child, was the linchpin that put Rykodisc firmly into the mix and Duke onto the distribution table. These combinative results led to Rykodisc stepping up and partnering with Mad Dragon, as well as displaying interest in other student-run labels that looked to have much to offer.

    It was probably just a matter of time before Rykodisc asked Duke to sign…


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    Dubbing themselves “New Jersey’s First Supergroup,” The Satisfactors are on the rock and roll move to give you what you need. The band is quick to the point and doesn’t waste time blanketing the listener with cleverly hidden messages or silly vulnerability issues about puppy love. They play bare-bones rock along the lines of Bachman, Turner, Overdrive, The Godfathers and Georgia Satellites. Leather jackets, pussy and tube-rattling electrics battle it out on the band’s eponymous offering, The Satisfactors.

    The Satisfactors are a seasoned grouping with star power punch. Featuring Bruce Ferguson from The Easy Outs, Gar Francis of the…


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    October is the month of transformation. It’s the period when seasonal blooms of red and gold become spectacular reminders that the present days grow shorter, darker and different. It’s the heralding of change that turns its back on the past and tugs at the sleeve of our future. But that past becomes part of our collective experience as we delve into the next phase of our unexpected lives.

    With that change comes the precarious presence of life’s never-ending lottery. David Gresham, better known as “Pockets,” passed away last month, and it has left an indelible mark on all who…


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    When I first met Bebe Buell, all I really knew about her was that she was part of New York’s underground elite. She was the stuff of glossy magazines, late night parties with Mick Jagger and a living breathing queen of rock and roll’s most infamous scene. A former Ford Agency model, the 17-year-old Virginian blew into town and ripped the industry wide open with her innocent “country girl meets rock bad boys” image. That legendary portrayal culminated in a November 1974 Playboy centerfold spread. Her subsequent dismissal from the agency only solidified her punkish image with the Big…


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    When it comes to the sections of our lives, Jared McCloud will tell you that, at least at first, the pieces don’t fit easily. McCloud got his puzzle-solving start in the hard rock/heavy metal arena, learning to mix and position bridges, choruses and crunchy verses before breaking from that camp and heading into a completely different method of musical communication.

    Jared McCloud understood that to find destiny he’d have to develop a unique perspective for his songwriting message. He quickly discarded past preconceptions and assimilated into the musical solitude of the solo artist, embracing the application of a staunch…


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    Chris Dickson is a musical entrepreneur that is truly making a difference in his own way. For over five years, Dickson and his crew have been marching to their very own beat with the Rent Party presentations at the South Orange Elks Club. In a modern day world where I see bands struggling to meet club ticket minimums and bring in fat bar receipts, Chris Dickson has taken the phrase “grass roots” all the way to the bank. The food bank that is. Proceeds from Rent Party shows are freely donated to help fight the all-too-real problem of hunger…


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    The Brighton Bar Hosts Sharky's Machine, A Benefit For Jacko - Dec. 20

    As most Shoreworld readers are aware of by now, New Jersey musician and longtime promoter Jack “Jacko” Monahan fell victim to necrotizing fasciitis, a debilitating illness that has resulted in the amputation of his leg. Bands and music scene friends immediately came to his aid, raising money for medical costs to help him move ahead with life. But as we all know, the insurance and medical professions make barely surviving a daunting task and more is needed.

    Monahan is best known from his role as frontman…


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    I first met Michael Askin during his time in the Mable and Divine Sign. Askin’s simple and melodic guitar style was a key focus with those bands, and he went on to utilize said skill as both an in-demand sideman and focused solo artist. Soft-spoken and humble, Askin is the Devil’s Advocate surprise that they never see coming. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” is the approachable way of Michael Askin. In a tough and veritable sea of growing New Jersey talent, Askin dominates on well-known compositions such as “Captain Of A Sinking Ship” and “Spoke Too Soon,”…


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    River City Extension Drummer Steve Tambone Passes Away

    I can clearly remember the formation and quick-paced growth of River City Extension. Unconventional and unique, the Toms River group was everything that their suburban brethren were not. In an area filled with the rallying cries of “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Rosalita,” River City Extension was an odd, Dr. Moreau-styled island unto itself. Their eclectic style of overcharged Black 47 folk and anthemic Pine Barrens punk pushed them into places most Jersey bands could only dream of going.

    River City Extension went out fast and furious, developing a…


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    Chris Rockwell is well known as the Monmouth County scene-stealing poet and rock-hop artist. Wherever there is an art-filled event in the area, it’s a good bet you’ll find Chris Rockwell deep in the middle of the action. But it doesn’t stop there. Rockwell is an equal opportunity tunesmith, jumping between commercially viable genres and peppering the audience with free-flowing displays of original style and delivery.

    Chris Rockwell And The Stickball Social Club are an unapologetic blend of Spaghetti Westerns, Cake, Slick Rick, Super Fly and G Love. Calling Rockwell a literal hip-hop artist is a completely distorted description.…


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    Mark Weiss is living proof of the American Dream. From humble beginnings as a scrawny kid hawking concert photos out in front of Madison Square Garden, to regal treatment by rock and roll’s royalty, there are probably very few photojournalists that can tell the story that he has experienced firsthand. From the boardrooms of major label giants to the private, fantasy-fueled jets of the world’s biggest entertainers, Mark Weiss has traveled the world to capture our heroes in their moments of glory. But just like the struggles he experienced in the beginning moments of his career, Mark Weiss is…


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    I’m always on board when talented people find each other. It just always makes sense when musicians with common passions throw in and double down for that elusive gold. The culmination of individual experience moves into a collective powerhouse of presentation and style that is tough to beat.

    That thought brings me to my next Shoreworld guest. Williams Honor is the “Country by the Sea” duo comprised of producer/multi-instrumentalist Gordon Brown (Mr. Reality, Highway 9) and powerhouse vocalist Reagan Richards. The group’s name flows as smoothly as their collective songwriting skills. Fueled by the memory of their fathers—American patriots…


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    According to both Native American and Druidic belief, the fox represents deep interactions of adaptability, cunning, observation, integration, diplomacy and swiftness of thought and action. New Jersey’s aptly named Foxanne is the explosive equivalent of that definitive description.

    What I immediately noticed in the rudimentary performance of lead singer Chelsea Gohd and her band is a giddy, unbridled writing and performance style. Flying far outside the commercial zones, Gohd’s magical voice swipes wide brush strokes of original flair along the lines of Francis Quinlan (Hop Along) and the most often used descriptive of Laura Stevenson. Her band pays little…


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