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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    When it comes to the subject of Yoko Ono, so much vilification has been written about her that it’s almost pointless to reiterate here. But love her or hate her, you have to think about the fact that if John Lennon saw something wonderful and original in Ono, what was the issue with the rest of the world? I happen to believe that it comes down to one of the planet’s oldest emotions. That illogical, crazy reaction we know as jealousy. The fact that millions thought she broke up The Beatles was really just a reaction to the fact…


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    Garage rock is a misunderstood and overused term. Most carelessly throw it out there as a descriptive for a bunch of nerdy high school kids exorcising their pimply-faced angst in a desperate attempt to flag some sign of approaching adulthood. But it’s far from that. Some of the world’s best bands started in that humble, oil-stained space and have managed to retain the rare components of that legendary lore and an enthusiastic, creative style.

    I have covered a plethora of bands that made their name in that legendary two-car storage space. Groups such as The Chesterfield Kings, The Doughboys (kings …


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    It’s been almost a year since The Porchistas graced us with their musical melting pot of whiskey-swilling, barn dance rough and tumble wonderment. 2015 welcomes them back with much anticipation. Wielding a creatively diverse vengeance, the boys demonstrate that a bit of absence does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder, or, in this case, makes the inquisitor grow more curious.

    The Porchistas first caught my attention from the display of their organically hewn zest for musical exploration. Absent from their image was the typical pomp and circumstance of poppy performance. In its stead was a direct and whirling communication …


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    Picture the setup. You have a group of seven to eight hardcore members huddled around a custom-made bar, drinking beers and raving from 9 p.m. to midnight. One-liners, ad-lib enforcement and laughter fill the space. It’s longer than the length of a Bruce Springsteen concert, and twice as interesting. This is no amateur group of gossip mongers. This is a professionally tuned band of individuals that know their subjective game and come together like a well-oiled machine to dish hours of highly engaging entertainment. I was fortunate to be a guest last year, and it was one of the most …


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    New Jersey music continues to progress at a brisk pace. The evolution of creativity is a journey that shuttles us through the travails of ardent and tumultuous times and introduces us to the good, the bad, and the ugly of popular culture and our own special brand of interactive response. From basements and garages, to soundstages and worldwide theaters, generations of shore talent have taken the shot to shine in their own way, creating wide platforms for bigger and better opportunities for future generations. These modern day troubadours take to the stage, studio and the open road in the name …


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    The world continues to spin on a dangerous axis of racially charged restlessness. The violent reactions to alleged police brutality and a perceived lack of sensitivity and understanding between black and white Americans have led to a bitter stalemate. Media-hyped incidents pitting white law enforcement against young, black men are the growing news of the day. But regardless of what the media portrays for the linings of their own pockets, there are many positive actions that are downplayed.

    The standout individuals that cross lines in an effort to change our interactions do exist, and they have paid the ultimate price …


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    Lo Kloza was first introduced to me a few years back with the head-turning sound of her eponymous 2012 EP, Lo Kloza. Combining the vocal powerhouse of Sara Bareilles and the compositional know-how of No Doubt and Katy Perry, Lo Kloza scored big with a packed release and an ongoing procession of ardent fans. Kloza learned several important lessons from that release, including the use of said music to push her development into different genres and influential styles.

    The one thing I always liked about Kloza is that she never approached her project with the frivolous concern of being …


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    Pat DiNizio is a New Jersey musician that needs no introduction. The Scotch Plains native and his band The Smithereens was one of the biggest East Coast draws in the ’80s. The Smithereens churned out gold and platinum success with songs such as “Behind The Wall Of Sleep,” “Only A Memory” and “A Girl Like You.” But like many groups from that time frame, the cultural and stylistic tidal wave of grunge shifted the public focus into a completely different area of musical direction. But to the band’s credit, they have remained close, staying together and releasing records right into …


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    Mad Feather Group is a band that’s been around the national block. Originally from the Jackson and Toms River areas of New Jersey, the group wandered to Boston, Massachusetts, and Asheville, North Carolina, before coming back to the home state that started it all. Forming sometime around 2009, the group’s core remains virtually unchanged right up until now.

    When you first listen to what is written about the group or read some of their self-deprecating anecdotes, you can understand how Mad Feather Group might come to view themselves as a simple bunch of pals making music on a Saturday night. …


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    Christine Martucci has always been a fighter. From her “boots on the ground” time as a Sergeant in the Army right up to her musical and personal tribulations, she’s not one to cower or back down in the face of adversity. I have covered several of her performance and recording timelines, and was curious to see what directive she had applied with her latest CD, Angels Of War.

    Martucci is well-known as a powerhouse vocalist, fronting big bands and sidling up to the traditional influences of Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge. But on Angels Of War, gone is …


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    Asbury Park Music In Film Festival – April 10-12 Citywide

                Asbury Park has long been home to many different events aimed at uniting music with other industry offerings, including a previous film festival. But the Asbury Park Music In Film Festival is the first to bring all ingredients together under one big successful roof of visual and audio-based interaction.

    The inaugural APMFF kicks off on April 10 and will run through the weekend. Featuring an interesting mix of original music and independent visuals, the festival serves as a vibrant vehicle for artists and aficionados focused on everything related to musical …


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    The Cookman entertainment scene is steeped in traditional offerings of the very best. From local heroes to world-famous rock stars, they’ve all played a part in this area’s notoriety. And while musical contributors still rule the day, other forms of entertainment have either been constant mainstays in the area, or are coming into their own as we speak.

    During the unpredictable late 1980s through early 1990s desolation, art galleries were actually the business that dominated the playing field of Cookman Avenue. They were responsible for holding down that sector of the city’s cultural continuation just as the original music kept …


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    Sometimes a name just keeps flashing onto the radar, surfacing time after time until it’s impossible to ignore. That’s pretty much how I would describe New Jersey native Taylor Tote. A savvy songstress that packs a stylistic punch, Tote hits you with the right-left combo of a tactician on a musical mission. Her compositional directive is to the proverbial point and highly effective in centering her fans on what she has to say. The cumulative result of those qualities is a highly addictive sound that most songwriters twice her age chase for years to achieve.

    What Taylor lacks in early …


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    Ole Marius Jørgensen “The Way North”: Portraits Of Norwegian Folklore – May 1 – June 13 – Exhibit No. 9 Asbury Park.

    The descriptive phrase “Norwegian Strain of Surrealism” caught my interest when reading about this next Shoreworld offering. Ole Marius Jørgensen is a fine art photographer based in Oslo. His bio states an intricate combination of humor and a Norwegian effort of whimsical finesse in his work and finds his core inspiration steeped in old folk tales and Nordic sagas. He likes to shoot in the sparsely populated and legendary areas of the great Northern regions. Many of …


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    White Tiger – Rock And Roll Animals Back On The Prowl – The Pure Event Center – Sayreville, NJ May 8

    When I recall rock during the late ’70s and early ’80s, clubs such as The Osprey, Emmett’s Inn, The Colonels Garter, and The Chatterbox are some of the first to come to mind. Hell, even crazy Art Stock’s Birch Hill stakes a claim in my weathered brain. These halls hosted the heady days of double-stacked Marshalls, huge glitzy productions, and flashy Nordic-themed costumes that would make The Babys OD from fashion sensory overload. The very air was pushed into …


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    Like many who know this next Shoreworld band, I got my first listen through The Aquarian’s own Chris Barry. It’s hard to fathom that it’s been some 10 years since Chris disappeared into the world beyond, but his rock and roll legacy lives on and his writing includes some of New Jersey’s most enduring music. The Catholic Girls are a prime example of the vital gems that Chris brought to life in these pages.

    Ignited by Gail Petersen and Roxy Andersen, The Catholic Girls were the first all-female band in New Jersey to be signed to a major label …


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    If you don’t know the name Tony Appleseed, let me bring you up to speed. Tony Appleseed may seem to be a strange relative of the 1700s American pioneer, but the truth be told, he has more cognitive powers in the way of distributional seed. Anthony DeFabritus III is the actual man behind the branch-filled curtain of the spheroid, and he has many ripened and intricate movements of fruition when it comes to dropping rooted new ideas throughout the land. DeFabritus is the proverbial nurseryman and four-string ploughman behind bands such as Accidental Seabirds, Little Big Toe and part-time resident …


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    The ’80s were one of the key periods for New Jersey music. With visible bands such as The Smithereens, the Misfits and Skid Row covering wide ground, the myriad of underlings that came so close was astounding. Everyone I know has a story of “almost.” From signing toothless contracts to losing key label mentors, the “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda” list is vast. The real winners from that crazy time are the individuals that see the writing on the wall and make chess-like moves to guarantee some continuity for their career future.

    One of those grounded visionaries is Bruce Tunkel. Tunkel got …


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    Every now and then, area musicians clue me in to some extremely interesting national and international performers. When Emily Grove texted me about this next group that she was sharing the Langosta Lounge stage alongside, it was with great enthusiasm that I delved into their minstrel-like musical revelations. The group is called Feline & Strange, and they hail from Berlin, Germany.

    Steeped in the complex traditions of theater and improv, Feline & Strange proceeded to supply the Langosta Lounge crowd with a healthy dose of finely-crafted cabaret reciprocity not witnessed here until now.

    Fronted by the sultry and vivacious Feline …


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    Asbury Park continues to evolve with event strategies and guided entertainment tours. Spanning the last couple of decades, the town criers have been getting closer to presenting logical events that cater to music and art fans looking for a genuine way to experience all there is to offer. Asbury Underground is the cleanest effort to date, bridging the gap between social media savvy and word of mouth marketing, and it’s a smart combination. Blending everything from the creative world with a smooth interaction of local business and geospatial targeting, Pat Schiavino and Rick Barry look to be the city’s best …


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