One thing that I, as a writer, have prided myself on for the past 10 years here at The Aquarian has been local, unsigned music in the North Jersey area. For the most part, I’d like to like that I’ve become a staple on the music scene, where I’ve gotten to know many bands on a personal level and vice versa. Through the years, I’ve featured many great bands in my column, “North Jersey Notes,” but you can only go so far with print media because you can’t really hear the bands. You can only read about them and learn about them through their website links. That’s why we need shows like WDHA’s Homegrown Spotlight, with the lovely Lindsay Klein, who spotlights a local band every night by playing some of their music.

But there’s a new kid in town, and her name is Maria Mar, from the WRAT. Maria, who’s also the Promotions Coordinator and Assistant Marketing Director for the Jersey Shore rock station, took over the local “Jersey Rock” segment back in January with some ideas of her own. The segment is actually the longest running local music show in Ocean and Monmouth County. So, Maria went to program director Carl Craft and told him that she wanted to host the show, but she also wanted to revamp it.

Maria wanted the segment to be a half-hour, where she chooses one band per week, plays some of their music, plugs their social media pages, websites and upcoming shows, or even have the featured band on for an interview. Maria’s request was granted, and Maria Mar’s Jersey Rock Radio Show was born. The show airs Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 p.m. until midnight.

After talking to Maria for a little bit on the phone about her new show, I got the sense that she was really passionate about it. That is both the show and the local music scene. We agreed that there is so much musical talent here in New Jersey, but no one really knows about it and few actually seem to care, so it’s up to us to force it down everyone’s throats!

I love what Maria is doing right now, and that is giving really good unsigned bands some publicity! When I spoke to her, she was about to kick off her first Jersey Rock Live show at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, which she hopes to be a recurring event so that fans of her show can also experience the bands live. Maria also said that the event could be used as open submission nights for bands to come down with their press kits to submit for the show.

When I asked Maria where else a band can submit their press kits—and I asked this question for all of you—she said that bands can email her at jerseyrocks@wrat.com or they can mail their CDs to 95-9 The Rat, Attention: Jersey Rocks, 1731 Main Street, South Belmar, NJ 07719. I can’t make it any easier for all of you unsigned bands out there trying to get some airplay. There it is on a silver platter, so send your stuff into Maria Mar right now and tell her Tim Louie sent you!

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