North Jersey Notes: (Damn) This Desert Air – Wayne, NJ

While I was surfing the Internet looking for a band to feature this week, I came across a very cool band out of Wayne, NJ, on the WRXP local band page, which by the way, is a very cool way for local bands to promote themselves with a NYC radio station. Anyway, I came across (Damn) This Desert Air, so I gave them a listen and thought that they were pretty good for a band from North Jersey. My question is why have I never heard of them before? Could it be that they try to stay out of the Jersey scene? Or is it that they just haven’t been promoting themselves enough? Regardless, I got to hear songs like “Calling Orion,” “This Landslide,” and “Nightingale,” which exhibit what this band is all about, and that is a band of extremely talented musicians! Singer Craig Cirinelli is just amazing. Yes, there are some effects on his voice, but you can tell he genuinely has a great voice, and the musicianship in (Damn) This Desert Air is something that I haven’t heard in a while in a local band.

(Damn) This Desert Air has been a band known to create some pretty big, booming melodic rock, while injecting some heavy guitar riffs creating a unique modern-rock sound. (Damn) This Desert Air feels that they’ve tapped into an audience who not only desired a blast of sound, but are also attentive to the dynamic detail in their music. The members of the band have quit notable projects like Instruction, Nora, Elemae, Merciana, Ex Number Five, and The Fire Still Burns to put this band together. They’ve been purposely managing themselves since they formed, giving them a realistic approach at building (Damn) This Desert Air on their own terms and at a manageable pace in today’s fickle musical climate. (Damn) This Desert Air is made up of singer Craig Cirinelli, guitarists Shawn Reams and Mike Wolff, Alf Bartone on bass, and Ti Kreck on drums.

In 2008, the group was one of the final bands added to a tribute compilation CD for the ‘90s rock band Failure, which was released by Pop Up Records. The CD was called The Nurse Who Loved Me, A Tribute To Failure, and their contribution was a song called “Sergeant Politeness.” Here in April 2010, Pop Up Records will be releasing (Damn) This Desert Air’s recent EP, Distance Waits, while the boys recently inked a deal with Bastardized Records to release the EP in Europe. You can give (Damn) This Desert Air a listen at, where you can also find out where they’re playing next.


A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the boys from With Daggers Drawn got a facelift. They parted ways with former singer Jason Marcos and replaced him with former 40 Below Summer and Black Market Hero singer Max Illidge. They also added Max’s guitarist Joey D’Amico to the new power packed line-up. What I didn’t tell you a couple of weeks ago, was that With Daggers Drawn plans on debuting this new line-up in a very big way. They’re going to do it down at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, on March 6 with fellow Jersey metal heads, God Forbid, and the all-female metal band Kittie. Now that show should kick you in the teeth and leave you for dead! For more info on this show, log onto

My bro, Anthony Sidotti and his new band, The Dirty Stayouts, have been in the studio recording some new material for their first CD with my brother, Sarge, who many know as the soundman from Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ. These guys have been playing every gig thrown at them, which I think is amazing and proves that they are here to work. I seem to get a text from Anthony every weekend saying where The Dirty Stayouts are playing. It just blows me away with all the shows that they play. Anyway, check out The Dirty Stayouts at Who knows? You might even hear something new from their upcoming CD.

And finally, if you haven’t bought a ticket to see former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, this Saturday night, Feb. 6, what the hell are you waiting for? My band Mean Venus is opening, and so is that band from the Independent Film Channel, ZO2. This should be a great show, so if you haven’t bought your tickets, get them now!

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! Also, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet, do it now at

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

NJN Concert Calendar:

2/4—Killcode—John Varvatos (Old CBGB’s), NYC

2/5—Kosmic Daydream—Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

2/6—Mean Venus/Sebastian Bach/Z02—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

2/6—Charetta—Mr. Beery’s, Bethpage, NY

2/6—Lamps Burning—Bar East, NYC

2/6—Dinosaur Eyelids—Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

2/11—Dinosaur Eyelids—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC

2/12—Lieder—Bar East, NYC

2/13—Piston Driven/Anaka—Don Hill’s, NYC

2/19—Rahway—Millennium Music Conference, Harrisburg, PA

2/19—Atom Strange—The Field House, Etter, PA

2/20—Warhorse/Full Scale Riot—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

2/20—(Damn) This Desert Air—Eerie Trackside Manor, Port Jervis, NY