In Memoriam: Pat DiNizio: An Immense Loss For New Jersey

In Memoriam: Pat DiNizio: An Immense Loss For New Jersey

The year is 1980: disco is dying, hair is beginning to get bigger, and Pat Dinizio has just formed The Smithereens with Jim Babjak, Mike Mesaros, and Dennis Diken in Carteret, NJ. An ad was placed right here in The Aquarian Weekly by DiNizio, as he searched high and low for musicians to help him create a demo. Infectious hooks and power pop would soon become the band’s signature style as they followed in the footsteps of fellow Jersey boys, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.

The year is 1988 and Ferris Bueller had just taught that generation’s youth how to have the best sick day ever. The Smithereens’ second album, Green Thoughts, was floating around the Billboard Top 200 chart and their lead single, “Only a Memory,” was at No. 1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. They will quickly become a big inspiration to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s early music. At that same time, they will open up for The Ramones, Lou Reed, and many other incredible artists. The Smithereens were beginning …

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Taking Back Sunday: Four Years of Holiday Cheer

Taking Back Sunday: Four Years of Holiday Cheer

Taking Back Sunday is headed back to New Jersey for their annual holiday concerts at Starland Ballroom — and for the fourth year in a row, fans will have the opportunity to mingle with the band and enjoy some festivities before the Saturday show.  Not only will there be an acoustic set, but there will also be a pop-up shop where local vendors will be selling some goodies, and a Santa to take selfies with. Portions of proceeds will go to charity — and the $10 ticket includes an exclusive poster. Getting a chance to spend time with the Taking Back Sunday guys and the money goes to a good cause? It doesn’t get more joyful than that!

I had the chance to speak with frontman Adam Lazzara ahead of the New Jersey shows and we talked all things holiday…and Tom Petty.

What are your plans this holiday season?

Well, we’ll be headed up northeast for the shows at Starland Ballroom on the 15th and 16th. Other than that, we have some family in D.C. …

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Shoreworld – Tom Kanach: Undertow

Shoreworld – Tom Kanach: Undertow

Photo by Kristen Driscoll Photography | www.KristenDriscollPhotography.com

I’ve had the privilege to be friends with Tom Kanach for some 35 years now. Kanach got his start with the well-known Monmouth County punk band Mischief, and he hasn’t looked back since. Mischief released one record before disbanding out of the need for growth. Tom then went on to form a band called Well of Souls, which was a continuation of Kanach’s pop sensibilities and songwriting prowess. Influenced from everything from early Beatles, to The Dead Boys and David Cassidy, Kanach honed a lean and mean craft as a writer, moving way beyond the average rock aficionado birthed in garages, and becoming a true contender on the scene.

I had the privilege to work with Tom in the early nineties when I joined Well of Souls, replacing their guitar player and joining Tom in the joyous labors of writing and shaping the mid-nineties with dozens of well-written songs that should have taken us out of New Jersey and onto bigger and better things. But alas, that didn’t …

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Mac McAnally Is Southbound

Mac McAnally Is Southbound

Even if you don’t know Mac McAnally by name, you’ve probably heard him, or heard his music. Not only when he’s backing up Jimmy Buffett as part of the Coral Reefer Band, but from his work with Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Alabama, Zac Brown, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Little Feat, the Allman Brothers, and the list goes on. In fact, he’s won the CMA’s Musician of the Year award a record eight times, and was recently nominated for a ninth.

Mac has also hit the charts himself, and he’s now revisiting his best known songs, this time backed by a full orchestra. The new album, Southbound, had its genesis at a benefit show he performed with some of his Coral Reefer bandmates in his home state of Mississippi. At the event, award-winning chef, Robert St, John, suggested to Mac that he’d love to hear some of his songs with an orchestra. Mac said, “Let’s talk!”

I caught up with Mac to ask him about the new album, how the project came about, …

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Manhattan Beat: Boy Named Banjo, Children of Bodom & More!

Manhattan Beat: Boy Named Banjo, Children of Bodom & More!

Boy Named Banjo/City Winery/Nov. 20, 2017

    Boy Named Banjo began in a classroom of a preparatory day school for boys in Nashville, Tenn. William ReamesWillard Logan, and Barton Davies started playing bluegrass together in 2011 and recorded an album later that year in a school closet. The trio performed locally, highlighted by a 2013 performance between periods at a Predators game. Boy Named Banjo released a sophomore album, Long Story Short (2014), and an EP, Lost on Main (2015), and won a statewide contest that landed the band on the Bonnaroo stage in 2015. The group presently consists of vocalist/banjo player Davies, vocalist/guitarist/harmonica player Reames, vocalist/guitarist/mandolin player Logan, drummer Sam McCullough, and bassist Ford Garrard.

At City Winery, Boy Named Banjo’s music could no longer be called bluegrass in the honest sense of the word. Rather, the band expanded beyond the genre to the more encompassing Americana tag. Boy Named Banjo stayed true to its acoustic-styled origins, but adapted its roots music to a palate that was closer to …

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Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Prudential Center: June 16, 2017

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Prudential Center: June 16, 2017

NEWARK, NJ–­­­–Everyone has a story and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have always known how to find those stories and tell them in ways you never tire of hearing. During the band’s sold-out 40th anniversary show at Prudential Center on Jun. 16, fans remembered what it’s like to be an “American Girl” raised on promises, that you don’t have to live like a “Refugee,” and why “It’s Good To Be King.” With a mischievous grin that seems to say we’re all sharing the same secret, Tom Petty has endured as the narrator of peoples’ lives for four decades, making this …

by   |  10/11/2017  |  Comments Off on Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Prudential Center: June 16, 2017

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Who Built The Moon? (Carolina International)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Who Built The Moon? (Carolina International)

When you think of Noel Gallagher in 2017, there is a good chance that you think of one of two things: Oasis’ overplayed, but forever legendary, “Wonderwall,” or the constant insulting and bickering between him and his brother, Liam Gallagher, in the news and on Twitter. Well, with his new …

by   |  12/06/2017  |  Comments Off on Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Who Built The Moon? (Carolina International)


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