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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    I have covered more than a few instrumental bands on these pages over the years. Two that come to mind are the wildly popular Chemtrail as well as the vital, rockabilly sounds of The Black Flamingos. The Hive Mind is yet another offering from the non-vocal genre that leans way into the progressive direction of bands such as Animals As Leaders, The Mars Volta, Don Caballero, Between The Buried And Me, and Hella.

    Hailing from the rich musical fields of Ocean County, The Hive Mind is a prog rock band that formed in the fall of 2012. Comprised of Jake …


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    The Gray Company – Shoplifters

    The Gray Company was formed in early 2014 and hails from Union, NJ. Their music has been described as “an eclectic mix of indie rock, soul, and even a little taste of jazz.” They released their first EP, Island Fortress, Island Home, in February 2015. They released their sophomore project this summer in the way of Shoplifters. Shoplifters is an interesting mix of Jersey-hewn tunes with a flavor all theirs.

    Comprised of Zebeeb Awalom – vocals/guitar, Jason Fandino – guitar, Adrian Kabigting – bass, and Josh Howard – drums, The Gray Company uses …


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    Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes hardly need an introduction from me. With a body of work consisting of 25 releases with the Jukes alone, Southside Johnny Lyon has left quite a mark on the rock and roll world. Southside has also released several solo records, and releases with LaBamba’s big band, and one with the Poor Fools. He has also released other projects with Gary U.S. Bonds, Rusty Cloud, Killer Joe and several illustrious others.

    And while his associations with some of rock’s biggest names have been going strong for many years, Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes have …


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    Thomas Wesley Stern – Never Leaving

    Thomas Wesley Stern has always been a favorite here at the Aquarian, and I’m glad to have them back with another musical offering. Featuring music crafted from the original methods of past greats, Thomas Wesley Stern travels many a road to discover true calling. Featuring music made with old world instruments such as violin, banjo, stand-up bass and acoustic guitars, Never Leaving is a look into influential directives made unto their own. Consisting of musicians Gary Mayer, Joseph Makoviecki, Robert Jackson, James Black, James Herdman and Justin Herdman, Thomas Wesley Stern takes their …


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    10th Avenue Burrito has been making quite a name lately. Between their new location and the choice of musical offerings they’ve taken on, 10th Avenue Burrito looks to be a winning combination of food, drink and cutting-edge musical contributions.

    The original 10th Avenue Burrito opened in Belmar back in 2004 and did quite well before moving a block from the Belmar Train Station into the Belmar Plaza, between 9th & 10th Aves at 801 Belmar Plaza. Since then, owner and head chef Brian Katz has gone on to take over the old Fixx location on West Front Street.

    The atmosphere …


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    Helping Hand For John And Kelly – The Stone Pony – Dec. 13

    Once again we come together to help one of our own. Kelly DiCapua was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer on Oct. 20 of this year. She was scheduled just one week later for a mastectomy. Since she was going to be disabled for up to six months, her employer deemed it fit to cancel her insurance the day before her surgery and inform her she would not have a job to come back to. He did wish her luck, however.

    As a result, the expenses are …


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    The 23rd Asbury Music Awards – The Stone Pony – Thursday, Dec. 17

    The Asbury Music Awards have been a staple in the New Jersey music scene for over two decades. During that time, many local musicians have gone on to bigger things outside of the area. Performers such as River City Extension and The Front Bottoms have made headway across the world. Musicians such as Sarah Tomek (Steven Tyler) and Matt O’Ree (Bon Jovi) have gone far beyond the city by the sea, adding their talents to top bands and performing all over the world.

    But the main function …


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    Joe Makoviecki is a singer-songwriter from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. He is one of the founding members of the indie folk band Thomas Wesley Stern and has been playing with them since 2010. All the while, while releasing four albums in the last five years with Thomas Wesley Stern, Joe has been consistently releasing LoFi LPs, EPs, and singles on makoviecki.bandcamp.com.

    Compared to Thomas Wesley Stern, which is very folky and harmonious, Joe’s solo music is a rawer, more relaxed take on the same personal lyrics he usually brings to the table.

    Joe has been writing songs and …


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    The Black Clouds – Going Places

                I got a chance to speak with Dan Matthews this week about what the band has been up to. He handed me a four-song, self-titled EP. The Black Clouds have been on the scene since 2004, and their 2008 debut disc, Wishing Well, put them on the fast track of New Jersey original rock royalty. The Black Clouds played Bamboozle in 2008 and followed with a self-funded, self-booked U.S. tour in 2009, which saw them hitting 25 shows in 30 days. Another short tour—again funded and booked entirely by the band—followed in 2010, …


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    JESSE MALIN : NEW YORK BEFORE THE WAR

    The Asbury Angels first came to light in 2012. The mission for Asbury Angels was and is to honor the lives and history of members of the Asbury Park music community, including, but not limited to, musicians, tech support persons, DJs, journalists, club owners, record company personnel, managers, and promoters.

    In its first year, Asbury Angels inducted well-known people such as Tom and Margaret Potter, Clarence Clemons, Bill Chinnock, John Luraschi and our first bona fide rock star, Arthur Willard Pryor. Each year the community comes together and honors the next …


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    We’ve all, at some point, have been going to The Saint since it opened in November of 1994. In that time frame, we’ve witnessed some of the best local and national acts on the planet and made lifelong friends along the way. The Saint is a space that can be best described as a New York-style original music bar located in the heart of Asbury Park. With its oblong shape and original bar (it was once The Clover Bar), The Saint has always provided great entertainment within its homey, neighborhood space. But as original music bars continue to close, and …


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    BlowUpRadio has been a driving force on the original music scene for over 15 years now. Headed by Larry “Lazlo” Seltzer, BlowUpRadio has helped elevate many local musicians while providing a well-rounded selection of music from artists of many genres. Just days after BlowUpRadio.com celebrated its 15th anniversary, the Copyright Royalty Board handed down their decision on internet royalties for 2016-2020. The new rates were a steep increase, and a provision for small, hobbyist broadcasters like BlowUpRadio.com, was removed from the new decision. These circumstances led to Live365, the host of BlowUpRadio.com’s internet radio station, to announce that they were …


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    I first had the opportunity to write about Willie Nile with the 2009 release of House Of A Thousand Guitars. Although I had heard of him 10 years earlier, it was not until this particular project that I had the suitable vehicle (The Aquarian) in which to explore this exciting artist more completely.

    Willie Nile’s story is intricate and varied. From his teenage years as a budding writer to his days as a major label artist, Nile has always impressed thousands of fans and moved forward in his craft. In his three and a half decades as …


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    I first became aware of Richie Scarlet with his 2010 release of Fever. Since that timeline, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of reviewing each of his releases and enjoying his live performances with his band. 2012’s I Plead The Fifth was especially good, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Scarlet’s next salvo of punk-edged blues rock since that time. Over the New Year holiday, I once again had the chance to see Richie Scarlet play live up in Middlebrook, New York, and his combination of showmanship and writing expertise was right on the money. Scarlet had recently released a new …


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    Born from the collaborative efforts of Asbury Park’s own Breathing Blue and The Vinyl’s, Bounders is a Monmouth County band inspired by groups like As Tall As Lions, Radiohead, and Foals. Bounders is a six-piece group featuring dual vocalists, three guitars and a full complement of alternative-based rock rhythms. Featuring local writers and players such as Matt Basilotto, Rob Bost, Drew Duddy, Jason LaRaia, Rudy Meier and Justin Sanford, Bounders is out in support of their brand new project titled, Narrows.

    Bounders recently contacted me about their new record, upcoming shows, as well as single info, and I wanted …


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    David and Valerie Mayfield stopped off in town to play The Saint on Sunday, Jan. 31, along with Tony Tedesco and Full Fathom Five. While I had heard about them from Tedesco, I had never had a chance to actually watch what they did. Their set was both intimate and engaging. Their particular brand of country-tinged folk was both invigorating and passionate. Their bio tells a more detailed story about a duo that has laid some serious mojo on the music scene.

    It shows us that David and Valerie started playing music together in the late 1980s when they formed …


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    I’ve been going to the Stone Pony since 1979. I’ve had the honor of playing the stage with some of rock’s biggest names. I’ve been through many of the club’s changes and have met many wonderful people who worked its many jobs. The Stone Pony is like home to me. The current staff are my friends, and I’ve seen many great acts come through the doors in that time frame. But to get the real story, I’ll let the club bio tell most of the actual story. I’ve left much out due to space, but anyone who knows the club …


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    Inspector 7 Signs On Joy Vay From The TV Tramps

    Inspector 7 is down in Mexico to kick off their second Mexican tour. This multiple-night extravaganza starts in Mexico City and ends at “Ska Wars” in Cuautitlan, which is expected to draw a crowd of over 2,000 punks and skins who have been patiently awaiting their return since last year.

    Joy will be lending her signature powerhouse vocals to the band for their latest tour dates south of the border. Joy Vay, singer and rhythm guitarist of NJ punk band TV Tramps, lends her pipes to former Little Dickman Record …


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    Benefit for NJArts.net – Crossroads – March 13

    Jay Lustig has long been regarded as one of the leading authorities when it comes to New Jersey music. His latest benefit show will feature artists from NJArts.net’s 350 Jersey songs list, including Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens and Richard Barone of The Bongos.

    Lustig is a journalist who has been covering the arts in New Jersey for 31 years and was previously the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the state’s largest daily newspaper, The Star-Ledger. Concert promoter John Scher has called Lustig “the ultimate authority on all things entertainment in …


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    BAKED BY HEROES: ASBURY PARK BAKERY AND U.S. ARMY VETERAN TEAM UP TO RAISE FUNDS FOR DRIVEN BY HEROES

    Confections of a Rock Star, the Jersey Shore’s first gourmet rock ‘n’ roll-themed bakery in Asbury Park, launched its web series, “More Famous Than You,” this past December. The show gives rock stars an opportunity to create a special dessert that is sold at the bakery for a month with all proceeds being donated to the star’s charity of choice. Driven By Heroes, a nonprofit organization that provides veterans with free transportation to medical appointments, was selected as the charity …


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