North Jersey Notes: Beatrix Kiddo

My band, Mean Venus, recently performed at an amazing benefit at Tiki Stadium in Keansburg, NJ, to remember the life of a great guy named Anthony DiGrigorio. Turns out, Anthony suffered from the same disease as The Elephant Man. The benefit was a lot of fun, but that’s not what my feature is about this week. It’s about the band that went on after mine! They were amazing! The name of the band was Beatrix Kiddo! Kiddo was the right word for this band! They were young, they had the look, and they were great musicians. I’ve seen a lot of bands in my years writing this column, but this band had something special! Everyone in the club pretty much stopped to watch these kids who had teased-up hair and wore eyeliner. Their look was very retro 1980s. So retro that even Steve Brown from Trixter, who also played at this event, turned to me and said that these guys reminded him of Trixter when they were kids and new on the club scene, and he also commented about the way the kids were dressed, saying “I can’t believe it’s back! The look is back!”

Beatrix Kiddo is a very young South Jersey-based metal/rock band with a unique attitude and sound that was formulated from their idols that ranged from bands like Atreyu to Bullets For My Valentine to Mötley Crüe (Yes, this made them a shoe-in to be my feature band of the week!). They formed in 2007 and practiced their asses off well into 2008, which helped them win a Monmouth County Battle Of the Bands. Earlier this year, the band hit a personnel snag, and changes had to be made for the better of the band. Right before the summer started, Kiddo emerged with a new, strong, and solid line-up with lead singer and lead guitarist Jimmy Forest, whom I found out later was the son of a member of the band Push whom I used to see at Studio One in Newark, NJ, back in the day, but now I’m showing my age. Anyway, joining Jimmy is rhythm guitarist Anthony Santora, bassist Max Schultz, and drummer Matt Kondratyk. After, solidifying their line-up, Beatrix Kiddo began to spread like wildfire and landed a gig on this year’s Warped Tour.

They’re currently in the studio recording their debut CD, Teenage Tragedy, which will feature songs like “Steal Your Love,” “Girlfriend,” “Memories,” and the title track “Teenage Tragedy.” Every one of these songs is a possible hit from what I heard live. They’re songs are anthemic, extremely hooky, and a lot of fun! I have to admit these kids rocked harder then some of the bands that I’ve seen recently that were three times their age! Live, there is tons of energy as singer Jimmy Forest would wave his hands in the air as to coax the crowd to scream or sing along, and then he would pump his fist in the air like their was 20,000 people in the audience! They even had the balls to perform a cover of Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” (Don’t even ask how I knew that!).Yes, these kids are destined for stardom, and I for one, would love to be there when the stardom strikes! You have to see them live! Trust me! I have to admit I am a fan! Find out where Beatrix Kiddo is playing next or give them a listen at


I just got a text message from my old Smoke Star singer, Ivo, and he wanted to tell me that his band Mercury Morning will be opening for national recording artists Marcy Playground. You know them! They’re that band that did that song “Sex And Candy.” Remember them now? They’ll be playing at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Oct. 2. You can buy tickets by contacting Mercury Morning on their MySpace page,

The boys from Killcode were recently named the support act for the Re-Fueled East Coast tour. Who is Re-Fueled? It’s original Fuel singer Brett Scallions and current Fuel bassist Jeff Abercrombie with a couple of friends playing a set of Fuel songs. The show is in Long Island this Friday night, Sept 25, at The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, NY. For more info about Killcode, log onto or check out Re-Fueled at

And finally, I think I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but the event is actually happening this weekend, and it’s called “Jam For Janice.” The event is being hosted by the band Our Black Friday and is turning into quite the rock ‘n’ roll festival! Radio station WDHA will be broadcasting live and there will be bands performing throughout the whole day. Among some of the bands set to perform are Split Point, Xeromore, Fuel Daddy, my band Mean Venus, Seventh Story, of course, Our Black Friday, Christine Martucci, the Def Leppard tribute band Adrenalize, and the Led Zeppelin tribute band Black Dog. “Jam For Janice” is being held to raise money to help pay the medical bills for the mother of Our Black Friday guitarist Scott Williams. The event is being held on Sept. 27 at Lurker Park in East Hanover, NJ. It starts at 11 a.m. and ends around 7 p.m. Tickets are required for this event and the last time that I spoke to Scott from Our Black Friday, he told me that tickets were going fast! If you’re interested in donating or buying tickets for “Jam For Janice” log onto

That’s all for now! And remember, if your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your demos and press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424. No cover bands, please!

Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

NJN Concert Calendar:

9/24—Steve Brown—The Forge, Ringwood, NJ

9/25—Mean Venus—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/25—Killcode/Re-Fueled—The Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale, NY

9/25—Steve Brown—Porter House, Montvale, NJ

9/26—Christa Renee—IM Automata Chino, Jersey City, NJ

9/26—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

9/27—Killcode/Re-Fueled—The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY

9/27—Milan/Marcy Playground/Nine Days/Jimmie’s Chicken Shack—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/27—Our Black Friday “Jam For Janice Benefit”—Lurker Park, East Hanover, NJ

9/28—Diablo Royale—Arlene’s Grocery, NY

10/2—Milan—The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ

10/2—Mercury Morning/Marcy Playground—The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY

10/3—Christine Martucci and the Ladies of Rock ‘N’ Roll—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

10/3—Daylow—Festival in the Borough, Washington, NJ

10/3—Our Black Friday—The Cup, Linden, NJ

10/3—Split Point—The Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

10/9—Rahway/Mean Venus/Infernophonic/UFO—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

10/9—Our Black Friday—The Bitter End, NYC

10/10—Saint Caine/The Dirty Stayouts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/11—Split Point—The Crossroads, Garwood, NJ