The latest Scene Report is a fat one that features several of New Jersey’s buzzing bands and can’t miss events.
Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son will celebrate the release of their fifth LP and sixth record since 2012 on March 24 at Asbury Park Brewery with Secret Mountain and Haunt Club. The self-titled effort is a collection of new tunes, re-recorded or remixed old favorites, and live nuggets. Having been on tour since early February, Mahoney & Co. also will play their inspiring mix of Bruce Springsteen and The Clash at the final date in a month-long series of Jersey Rock showcases March 8 at River Rock in Brick with Taylor Tote and Wynward (see more about the showcases below). The East Brunswick-based road warriors also will play May 6 at Scarlet Pub in New Brunswick with Jeff Linden and the Black Spot Society and Kate Dressed Up.
STREAM JERSEY ROCK:
The free Jersey Rock Showcase Series also continues March 1 at The Saint in Asbury Park with Wicked Hollow, The Skullers, and Above the Moon. More about the shows and the bands can be found at http://wrat.com/shows/jersey-rock/, including news about a special guest appearance by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan at the Feb. 22 show at the Wonder Bar with Matt O’Ree Band. They performed their collaboration, “My Everything Is You,” as seen above.
STREAM The Skullers:
Also happening with The Skullers is a new Hoboken-set video for “Peace with You” from their debut EP, “Meet the Skullers.”A modern blues rock trio with a rockabilly soul recently featured in Bass Musician Magazine, The Skullers also will play March 3 at Fox & Crow, Jersey City; March 9, Parkside Lounge, New York City, and March 25, Meatlocker, Montclair. They also can be heard on WRSU’s “Overnight Sensations” on March 23.
Miranda Taylor of Hunchback and Black Wine returns to Don Giovanni Records with the April 6 album release of her new band, Exmaid. “Fair Sex” will be celebrated on April 14 at In the West in New Brunswick and April 21 at Long in the Tooth Records in Philadelphia. But first, the band will shoot a video on March 4 at Flemington DIY. For the clip, Exmaid needs extras and crew. For extras, formal dress is required. Bagels and snacks will be provided. For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/948253098677287/ or email ExmaidVideo@gmail.com.
Asbury Park-based fuzzed-out favorites Dentist have a few sweet shows coming up, including an official SXSW showcase in Austin, Texas. Upcoming dates for the Little Dickman recording act are the Asbury indie label’s Burger Revolution VI at The Saint in Asbury Park with Shut Up, Pink Mexico and Old Lady; March 11, The Odditorium, Asheville, N.C., with Brucemont, Antiphones, and Indigo de Souza; Little Dickman’s Rock or Die V, March 15, Hard Luck Lounge, Austin, with Stuvendeyed, FXF, Pink Mexico, Ex-Girlfriends, Gustaf, Old Lady, JWC III, and Shred Flinstone; later that evening, a SXSW Official Showcase at BD Riley’s, and another Little Dickman SXSW showcase on March 17 at Valhalla with The Gloomies,
Honduras, Boytoy, Fruit & Flowers, Kino Kimino, Sharkmuffin, High Waisted, and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Both Burger Revolution and March 17 show at Valhalla are co-presented by CoolDad Music and Garden State Beardos.
STREAM John Ginty:
Grammy-winning keyboardist John Ginty, the Railroad Earth side project Shockenaw Mountain Boys, Montclair-based rootsy groovesters The Porchistas, and the young Americana outfit The Outcrops will make up “Jay’s Jersey Jams, Vol. 3,” the latest in a series of benefit concerts for NJArts.net, one of Makin Waves’ publishers. The March 18 all-ages show at The Stanhope House will support the comprehensive arts and entertainment website run by former Star-Ledger/NJ.com entertainment writer/editor Jay Lustig. Once again organized by fellow journalist Tom Skevin, Jay’s Jersey Jams will be rather tasty with Ginty taking a break from gigs with Dixie Chicks, plus three of the members of RRE sewing even more of their bluegrass roots.
“We are always glad to support Jay Lustig, Tom Skevin and NJArts.net … It’s where I go first to find out all I need to know about what’s going on in the arts in N.J.,” said violinist-guitarist-vocalist Tim Carbone, who’ll play in Shockenaw Mountain Boys with Railroad Earth band mates Andy Goessling (multi-instrumentalist, vocalist) and John Skehan (mandolinist), as well as former RRE bassist Johnny Grubb.
Multi-platinum selling artist Fetty Wap has introduced his newest RGF Island signee, Tapia, with his debut single, “Lie No More.” The versatile New Jersey artist blends elements of dancehall, R&B, and hip-hop within the catchy uptempo record that questions his girl’s intentions and fidelity. Tapia just wrapped up performing with Fetty Wap on his sold-out For My Fans Tour.
On March 9, Chris Rockwell will release his newest studio effort, a self-produced emo-rap album, “Ten Years in the Breaking,” with a debut party at House of Independents in Asbury Park. In addition to a live performance of the LP by Rockwell and his band, the evening’s talented lineup includes Lyons, Cranston Dean Band, Drew the Recluse, international hip-hop artist Kosha Dillz, and a mob of special guests. The performance of the album will be accompanied by film and a special light show. Collaborators on the personal LP include Jimmy Mura of Harborland and studio whiz Zack Slater.
The mighty Colossal Street Jam continue their march with the “One Song a Month” campaign until they drop a new EP soon. The latest cut, “Mama,” is a hot, rootsy, R&B-drippin’ track in the spirit of their greatest influence, Grand Funk Railroad, as well the Gregg Allman Band, and features legendary Asbury Park harmonica player and band leader Sandy Mack. Hear its radio debut at 7 p.m. March 1 on Stu Coogan’s show on 90.5 the Night. The tune follows last month’s Allman Brothers-like “Just Take Hold” and will be followed on March 30 with a cover of Sugarloaf’s classic “Green-Eyed Lady” just in time for Colossal’s participation in the Makin Waves 30th Anniversary Party on March 31 at the Wonder Bar. They’ll play their own set and back Williams Honor, the Jersey Shore country duo of Gordon Brown and Reagan Richards, who have taken Nashville by storm with two independent hits.
Colossal also will play March 20 at The Cutting Room in New York City and be featured March 19 on the “What’s Next with Danny Coleman” YouTube show and March 30 on 1450 WCTC’s “Jersey Central” with New Jersey Broadcast Hall of Famer Bert Baron, one of the emcees of the Makin Waves anniversary party.
STREAM Doc Rotten:
Rising Trenton punksters Doc Rotten have a new video for “Better Days” from their “Fall Out” debut EP released late last year. That will be followed with two more EPs, one which once again was recorded by Sean Glonek and features a guest appearance by Johnny Ott of The Cryptkeeper Five. “Sick and Suffering” will be released March 29 and celebrated on March 30 at Millhill Basement in Trenton with CK5 and The Lamplighters. A video shoot for the track “Listen Up!” will happen March 4.
A second EP is underway with The Bouncing Souls’ Pete Steinkopf at the helm at his Little Eden Studios in Asbury Park. That is planned for an October release. In the meantime, Doc Rotten will play March 10 at Lovecraft Bar in New York City with CK5 and tour Virginia and Indiana in March and Texas and Colorado in April. They also will be featured on “Danny Coleman’s Rock on Radio” at on April 1 at http://www.coaradio.com/rock-on-radio/.
STREAM coLAB Arts:
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and coLAB Arts have collaborated on an art program and display with incarcerated youth entitled “150 Years is Enough” in conjunction with the Institute’s same-named campaign that seeks to transform the youth justice system. The exhibit was shared on Feb. 20 at the State House in Trenton but also can be seen at www.coLAB-Arts.org/150yearsisenough. New Jersey youth involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems worked with coLAB Arts, an arts organization based in New Brunswick, for several weeks to create the pieces. The campaign aims to close youth prisons and invest in a community-based system of care.
“Our juvenile justice system is scarred by extreme racial disparities and recidivism,” said participating state Sen. Ronald L. Rice, who represents Essex County in the 28th legislative district. “This exhibition shares the artwork of those who have been incarcerated, enabling all of us to see their talents, stories, and limitless possibilities. We spend about $250,000 to lock up one child for one year. Imagine the opportunities that could be created in a child’s life for $250,000.”
Other speakers at the reception included New Jersey Institute for Social Justice President-CEO Ryan Haygood, Youth First President-CEO Liz Ryan, “150 Years is Enough” Campaign Manager Retha Onitri, coLAB Director of Education and Outreach John Keller, and Krystal Seruya, the art progam’s lead instructor.
A diverse cast of women will perform Obie Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler’s celebrated The Vagina Monolouges at 8 p.m. on March 9 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. March 10 at the duCret School of Art in Plainfield. The historic art school will welcome filmmaker-producer Onxy Keesha to her hometown as director of the thought-provoking celebration of women’s sexuality and strength. Keesha, the founder of M. PoWer Arts, said she is excited to revive “The Vagina Monologues” on the heels of the national campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment. She said the narratives, originally staged in 1994 by Ensler, are more relevant today than ever. Using humor and drama, the play provides audiences with experiences and feelings not often shared in public to shed light on violence against women and girls. It also honors courageous women who dare to break the cycle of shame and silence associated with their own stories of violence and abuse.
“It feels great to bring community theater and performance arts back to Plainfield, and we could not have chosen a better venue then duCret because of its history and location,” Keesha said. “The people need a positive, creative outlet that also enlightens and uplifts. That’s what we do at M. PoWer.”
The company also has produced A Raisin in the Sun, Annie, Aida, and The Wiz. To mount The Vagina Monlogue, Keesha is joined co-director Danielle Tucker and producers Lesli Hall Price and Michele Tucker. Tickets are $18 at www.onyxkeesha.com/tickets and $25 at the door.
Music on Main Street presents the rootsy bill of singer-songwriters Aaron Lee Tasjan and Dylan LeBlanc on March 3 at The Theatre at Woodbridge Middle School. Tasjan is a Nashville-based talent formerly of the Razor & Tie recording act Semi-Precious Weapons, as well as a revival of New York Dolls. He has released two solo LPs, In the Blazes and Silver Tears,” as well as two EPs.
LeBlanc’s new album, Cautionary Tale, was recorded in his soulful hometown of Muscle Shoals, Ala., where studios have produced works by Aretha Franklin, the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The shimmering collection of arresting songs has been endorsed by Bruce Springsteen and Lucinda Williams. Tickets are $22 at www.WoodbridgeArtsNJ.org and $25 at the 7 p.m. door.
A Go Fund Me page has been created for longtime Stone Pony staffer Joe Ann White, typically one of the first smiling faces you see upon entrance to the fabled club. Joe Ann is recovering from a heart attack that occurred Feb. 20. She had two stent surgeries and is resting comfortably at home, but she will not be able to work for more than a month and has mounting medical and personal bills. Please show her the love she has shown to Pony patrons the past 20 years at https://www.gofundme.com/joeannwhite.
STREAM Karl Dietel:
Congrats to Karl Dietel Five, whose “Don’t Give Yourself Away” from the band’s self-titled debut album, is a Relix JamOFF Winner, which landed them a spot on the magazine’s January/February sampler: https://www.relix.com/media/audio/january_february_2018_relix_magazine_sampler.
STREAM The Weeklings:
The Beatles-inspired Asbury Park-based outfit The Weeklings have dropped a new single and video, “In the Moment.” The band will play behind it March 2, Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe, Pa.; The Fest for Beatles Fans, March 10, Hyatt Regency, Jersey City; March 21 and May 16, The Cutting Room, New York City; Lefty’s Birthday Bash, April 8, Hamilton Park House, Staten Island; April 13, The Lamp Theatre, Irwin, Pa; June 7, downtown Freehold; June 21, LBI Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, and July 31, Woodbridge High School Field.
Sonic Blume are an indie rock band from Red Bank, whose sound can best be described as “dreamy” with jangly, upbeat guitar melodies. Guitarist-keyboardist-vocalist Max Connery, drummer Danny Murray, bassist Andrew Phelan, and guitarist Chase Landgrebe met in 2014 at the Count Basie Theatre’s Rockit Academy. Influenced by The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine, the band formed in December 2015. Since then, Sonic Blume have opened for The Revivalists at The Stone Pony and “Stranger Things” star Gaten Matarazzo’s Work In Progress at Starland Ballroom, pictured above. Their self-titled debut EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Erik Romero at Asbury Park-based Lakehouse Recording Studios for its youth label, MOTO Records. Sonic Blume will play The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, March 11, with Mad Kings and Cubbage, and April 14 for the Just 6 Hours EP release show. They’ll also play the Jersey Shore Festival on May 19 in Seaside Heights.
STREAM I am Curbie:
After five long years of writing and perfecting his songs, Jersey Shore singer-songwriter-loop artist iamCURBIE will celebrate his debut release, “Better Late than Forever,” on March 3 at Maggie’s Bar & Grill in Lakewood. He also will play March 11 at Scarlet Pub with Raising Dinosaurs, Sunset Vanities and Greg Rekus. A six-date Mid-Atlantic tour will follow for the Pick Guy-sponsored reggae-rocker.
STREAM Prince & Beggar:
Young indie rock band Prince & Beggar have some tasty shows coming up behind their new album, “Surfacing at Zero,” and its first single, “Circle Birds.” They’ll play March 1, Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck; March 29, Dingbatz, Clifton; April 8, Crossroads, Garwood, and April 10, College of New Jersey, Ewing.
Randy Now’s Mancave in Bordentown will celebrate its fifth anniversary with Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Monty Python on March 8 and a variety of special guests and activities on March 10. The Mancave is run by legendary City Gardens promoter Randy Ellis. He also has coming up Mark Stuart, March 3; Phil Mcauliffe & Guy DeRosa and Frank Pinto, March 17; the Pixies tribute band Gigantic, March 24; Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch Hands, March 30; Robyn Hitchcock, April 4; Moot Davis Band, April 6; Dixy Blood, April 7; Brother JT and Mr. Unloved, April 13; Palmyra Delran and The Primitive Finks, April 14; Dan Bern, April 20; Graham Parker, April 26 and May 3; The Cucumbers, April 28; Cowbell Superstar and Jenny & the Felines, May 5; Chris Barron of Spin Doctors, May 11; Lipbone Redding, May 16; Midge Ure of Ultravox, along with a photo opp with the Batmobile used in the 1960s “Batman” TV show, June 2, and the XTC tribute Peter Pumpkinhead, June 15.
Poet-publisher Danny Shot will celebrate the release of his latest book, “Works,” on March 11 at Hoboken Historical Museum with Eliot Katz, Alicia Ostriker and Joel Lewis and March 25 at Bowery Poetry Club, New York City, with Bob Holman, Nancy Mercado, Melissa Goodrum, Timothy Ree and Marc Williams. “Work” is a love song to poetry and the brutal honesty needed to bear one’s soul, said the longtime publisher of “Long Shot” poetry magazine.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Kirk Miller was the soundman of New Brunswick’s Court Tavern during its heyday. In celebration of that, he has posted several amazing volumes of tracks on Soundcloud that he recorded in those days by such amazing and beloved Jersey acts as Big Nurse, Nudeswirl, The Untamed Youth, Crossfire Choir, The Selves, Mad Daddys, The Friggs, Pink Slip Daddy, Lunar Bear Ensemble, Chris Harford, Tiny Lights, Slaves of New Brunswick, From Good Homes, Nullset, Stretch, Bad Karma, The Barleycorns, Mars Needs Women, Shades Apart, as well as touring acts Alice Donut, Superchunk, and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. Here’s the link: https://soundcloud.com/user-309984514. Please do yourself a favor and check it out!
Bob Makin is the reporter for www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.