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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    Bobby Kennedy’s Acid is a powerhouse combo of attitude past and extraordinarily present. With nuances of British punk and Smart Aleck barbs of alt-rock tongue-in-cheek, Kennedy weaves a dark and majestically diverse composite of original material. Flying miles above the current landscape of narcissistic hipsters and talentless divas, Kennedy’s sound is like an F-22 Raptor on its way to drop a payload full of rock and roll pandemonium on the latest “Bier” garden.

    Kennedy’s point of view encompasses the good, the bad, and the ugly of all we are. From overviews on lustful infatuation to obliterated romance, fatalism and the …

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    Paramount Backstage Presents: Graham Parker – The Most Restless Night On The Planet – June 27

    Sammy Boyd is leading the way as the area’s most creative promoter. Instead of just shoveling an overabundance of crazies into a room featuring too many bands and not enough sanely priced booze, Mr. Boyd and company sat down and asked the one, simple question that has eluded many promoters.

    That question is, “How can I present a show with a minimum of heartache and a maximum of value?” Well, besides his fun-filled Thursdays that have featured Pat DiNizio over at Langosta (Pat continues …

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    Griffin House is a Nashville singer/songwriter quickly making his presence known on our eastern coastline. Raised by All-American parents in the quiet suburbs of Springfield, Ohio, House knew early on what he wanted to do and how he was going to make it happen. Beginning with his early days as a theatrical star to his time as a golf prodigy, Griffin House utilized a keen sense of passionate direction and used life situation and experience to guide himself into becoming a compositional contender.

    From his early and attention grabbing 2003 release, Upland, to his high-profile 2008 release of Flying

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    Bobby Mahoney is a songwriter that has managed to create a smart balance of influential salute and independent direction. Often featured in local events including the annual Light Of Day series, Mahoney could have easily chosen the widely traveled “Thunder Road” and settled into the same career comfort that many local bands have chosen. The fact that his writing displays a restless, independent spirit and a risk-taking sense of adventure are the two reasons he initially caught my attention.

    My first foray into the world of The Seventh Son came in the form of Mahoney’s 2014 release, Friends In Low

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    When you listen to music currently offered today, emulation is fairly common. Whether it’s because we’ve come full circle as far as the basic language of music or it’s because there just isn’t much positive subject matter in the world gone mad. But whatever the reason, it doesn’t stop anyone from creating a story that they strive to take to the next level and make their own.

    Frankenstein 3000 is a band who fights the good fight when it comes to giving music lovers hope that the end is far from here. Born on the gritty, smoke-filled stages of iconic …

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    Back with a fresh new view on the ever-changing universe of modern music, The Vansaders roll into our tourist-packed Shoreworld with a brand new EP that is quick on the draw and easy on the ears. The band tends flourishing, homegrown pop rock from the gardens of The Offspring, Pennywise and Sum 41 in their current quest to impress. Comprised of six bombastic compositions, Jumping At Shadows ushers in the next generation of punk-laced popular sound that pays strict homage to the past while focusing on the needs of today’s ardent fan.

    The Asbury Park quintet is comprised of Doug …

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    Exhibit No.9 – “Suprimitive” Featuring Atle Østrem – Aug. 1-31

    Tom White and his staff at Exhibit No.9 are back with another journey into the center of your mind. And while it’s true that on any given night you can see original offerings of art on Cookman Avenue, “EN9” cull their artists and presentations from the proverbial cream of the crop, providing an enthusiastic excitement that is hard to top anywhere in town.

    Their latest undertaking is an exhibition called “Suprimitive.” Helmed by the Swedish artists Atle Østrem, “Suprimitive” is a vibrant mix of paintings and prints on paper and …

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    Sharkmuffin is a frequent area visitor that hails from the mighty, mighty burg of Brooklyn. I have to be honest, when I first heard the name, I thought that it was another Williamsburg band picking up stakes and driving their Penny Farthing into a town packed to the bursting point with ironic trustfundians all boasting (over craft beers) about how they’re the first geniuses to conquer Bond Street. But, having said that, this is one of those situations where repeated word of mouth (thanks, Chris Yaniak and Doug Zambon) truly focused my attentions on an extremely believable act.

    Comprised of …

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    Deal Casino – Nika

    Deal Casino is back with another unique viewpoint on modern musical communication. Armed with four heavy-duty and commercially viable missiles, Deal Casino takes a shot at everything from dedicated love to the soulless, gold-digging monsters that haunt our consciousness on Nika.

    Deal Casino continues to produce fresh and unapologetic music. Nika is yet another example of a band that understands perseverance, experimentation and goal. Like the projects before, Deal Casino stick to what works only for them. That includes returning to the production fold of Jon Leidersdorff and engineer Erik Kase. Leidersdorff’s commercially-honed vision combined …

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    Wild Adriatic – The Wonder Bar – Thursday, Aug. 20

    Talk about timing. Wild Adriatic just reached out to me about their new music as I was getting ready to launch this upcoming show announcement. Elmthree Productions, in conjunction with Dark City Entertainment, present a triple threat of raw, rock and roll treats. Featuring the aforementioned Wild Adriatic, they will also be joined by the supportive magic of The Cold Seas and Wyland.

    Wild Adriatic will be winding down their 13-date tour with a pit stop in the park before heading on and finishing things off with an appearance with …

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    If the title of The Grip Weeds’ new record seems oddly familiar, it’s because some of us crazies know about the 1967 John Lennon movie of the very same name. What it doesn’t tell you is that when it comes to identity, the band’s bizarre moniker pays acute homage to the movie, the man, and the timeframe. The Grip Weeds’ name is derived from Lennon’s character in the 1967 Richard Lester production of How I Won The War. In that film, Lennon plays Musketeer Gripweed, a parody-driven member of the 3rd Troop, the 4th Musketeers (a fictional regiment reminiscent …

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    Keith Kenny is back with nine songs recorded live at John And Peter’s in New Hope, PA. Distributed by Hit Play Records (a subsidiary of Sony Music), Keith takes the listener on a wild ride through stylistic and musically diverse selections of life. Kenny has quite the reputation as a soloist that makes huge sounds with an acoustic guitar and a few pedals. 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 generators. Kenny even customized a vintage red suitcase to use …

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    Jack Brag – Kiss At Midnight

    Original scene veterans Jack Brag are back with another intricate look into the creative minds of their collective. Featuring Jack Brag regulars Tony Donato on bass, pianist Jim Robertazzi and cellist Jay Varga, the band also introduces the talents of new guitarist Dave Falcone. Falcone was debuted on “Walking On Thin Ice” off of the Cut Pieces CD project of last year. Clint Gascoyne handles drums throughout. Jack Brag also utilizes the vocal prowess of Donna Deady throughout the CD.

    Add guest performances by The Brass Tacks horn section on “Someone To Kiss At …

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    Black Flamingos – Self-Titled – Little Dickman Records

    There are only a handful of successful instrumental bands that I know of in the area. The number one group that comes to mind is Chemtrail. Instrumental music is not an easy undertaking in a scene that produces so many talented alternatives, but success is out there, and if it’s approached correctly you can obtain a high level of status. Black Flamingos are an up-and-coming band who hails from the time-tested field of surf instrumental. And while there are quite a few in the Tri-State who dabble in the field, with the …

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    The Cynz are a full-throttle rock band formed around the songwriting talents of Cyndi Dawson (vocals) and Henry Seiz (guitar/vox). The band has been called “the closest thing to the 1970s CBGB’s you will get from a band that formed in 2011.” Their songs are hard-rocking tales of pain, heartbreak, survival, determination, redemption, and sometimes unbridled joy, at break-neck speed!

    Cyndi Dawson is described on their site as an on-stage visual tsunami. She leads the band through shamanic rock and roll rites of passage. Her raw, emotional stage presence along with the band’s edgy, powerful vibe is truly an experience. …

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    Thomas Wesley Stern is a band that I’ve discussed here in the past, and I’m always happy to give them ink with each new project they come up with. This latest release is no exception. Recorded at Lakehouse Music under the expertise of Erik Romero, Never Leaving features 11 diverse songs laced with backwoods flavor and Smoky Mountain feel.

    Thomas Wesley Stern are best friends from Ocean County, NJ, who specialize in writing songs based on American roots music while adding their own style of lyrics and performance. They enjoy traveling together and learning about people and the places they …

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    In 2008, vocalist/songwriter Bruce Ferguson and guitarist/producer/songwriter Bobby Kennedy started writing and recording songs together for a project that would evolve into the formation of The Easy Outs. The duo got to work writing and recording in late 2008 and finished in early 2009.

    Six months in the making, with a release on Main Man Records in June of 2009, The Easy Outs’ debut features the single “I Walk Alone” as well as other standout tracks like “Look Away,” “Get Some,” “Ego Trip” and “Sweet Revenge.” Bobby had gone on to other musical projects; it was Bruce Ferguson’s turn to …

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    After a 15-month timeline, Williams Honor has released their debut record. Performing up and down the coast, they honed their 11-song recorded set until they felt it was ready to go. But they didn’t just decide on the songs all by their lonesome. The material was gauged throughout live performances where their fans helped to decide which songs fit best. They spent a sizable amount of time writing and finishing the record in Nashville before coming back to the Jersey Shore and kicking off a series of shows. Shows such as Sammy Boyd’s Paramount Backstage Series, Gordon’s relaunch of Writers …

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    Led by the Toronto-born Johnny Douglas, Zombie Garden Club has had many successes when it comes to song placement. Numerous songs from this latest self-titled disc have found homes with Showtime’s Shameless, as well as other popular TV shows such as Necessary Roughness, Blue Mountain State, The Young And The Restless, Smallville, 90210 and Jane By Design. Douglas has been around the music business and has had songs recorded by the likes of Gregg Allman and Jeff Healy. Douglas has also shared the stage with legends such as B.B. King, Jerry Garcia, Roy Orbison …

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    When I first heard the name, I felt it was a minus to any talent that this band might possess. Thankfully, the name is spelled The Weeklings instead of The Weaklings. The name doesn’t make any sense to me, but nonetheless the band is extremely talented. The band tells us that the name comes from a vision that they had.

    Their informative descriptive continues with, “Once upon a time there were two little boys: Lefty and Zeek by name. They decided to get together because there was no reason not to. Together they grew guitars 4, 6 and 12 and …

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