North Jersey Notes: Bern And The Brights, Montclair, NJ

One of my buds told me about this band out of Montclair, NJ, that I thought had a very interesting sound. The name of the band was Bern And The Brights, and they had this Dave Matthews Band sound with a female singer. To be honest, this music is not my cup of tea, but for alternative music fans, this stuff is pretty good and would be a big hit in coffee shops in NYC. My favorite tracks on the band’s electronic press kit included a song called “May In New York” for its ballsy sound and a new song called “Sangria Peaches” which I felt had that DMB sound that I spoke of earlier. It also helps that singer Bernadette Malavarca can sing her ass off!

Bern And The Brights have built quite a name for themselves since forming in 2008. By the end of the year, they proved to be one of the top local acts in New York City by earning the NYC Emerging Artist Of December 2008 award in some local New York City magazine, which also highlighted Bern And The Brights as one of the Top 50 NYC Emerging Artists for the whole year of 2008. Some of the other artists considered on this list were: Chairlift, The Vivian Girls, and April Smith and the Great Picture Show, just to name a few. Early in 2009, Bern And The Brights was featured on WRXP’s The Rock Show with Matt Pinfield and Leslie Framm. Their show has a segment called “Local Licks,” which plays music from unsigned local bands. Also in 2009, Bern And The Brights won a songwriting contest through WRXP, which led to an opening slot for Butch Walker at Webster Hall in NYC. Joining singer, lead guitarist, percussionist, and songwriter Bernadette Malavarca in Bern And The Brights is acoustic guitarist Catherine McGowan, violin player Nicole Scorsone, bassist Shawn Fafara, and drummer Jose Ulloa. I guess they are considered The Brights.

Bern And The Brights is about 120 performances into their career as a band playing all over the tri-state area and New England. They’re known for their energetic live shows and strong musicianship that can take over and transform any room. I also just read that they were recently selected as one of The Aquarian’s “On The Verge Bands” for 2010! Is there any more proof needed that you need to check out this band? Find out more about Bern And The Brights at

North Jersey Notes Updates

My bud, Rob De Luca, formerly of Spread Eagle and current Sebastian Bach bassist, recently emailed me to let me know how great the road has been for him from the summer of 2009 till now. Rob spent last summer playing bass for the legendary U.F.O. and then when that tour ended, he jumped right into the Sebastian Bach tour without any rehearsals, where they opened for Alice Cooper and then Guns ‘N’ Roses all throughout Europe. Rob, who is currently in South America opening for GNR, found a minute to write me about his solo project, Of Earth. His label, Lovember Records, recently released the band’s debut CD for free download on Check it out when you get a chance! It’s not bad at all!

The boys from Apathy will be playing their last show on June 23 at the Whiskey Bar in Hoboken, NJ. No, the band is not breaking up, so fear not, Apathy fans! That show will mark the end of their Decade In Violence promotional campaign. The boys have been working their tails off in promoting the CD meaning that this will be a well deserved break for them. Keep up-to-date with Apathy by logging onto

And finally, my bass brother A.J. Tes from the band Piston Driven has been working on another project called Riley Grace. Riley is a young female singer and songwriter who is ready to take on the music industry like a tornado. She grew up in the industry and is currently being produced by Trip Squad Productions leader and M.O.D. guitar legend, Tim McMurtrie. Give Riley Grace a listen at, and be prepared to be extremely impressed!

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your 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!

NJN Concert Calendar

4/9—Uncle Freak—The Loop Lounge, Passaic Park, NJ

4/9—Trixter/L.A. Guns—The Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale, NY

4/10—Our Black Friday/Bern and the Brights—The Cup Complex, Linden, NJ

4/10—Kosmic Daydream—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

4/10—Bern and the Brights—Bowery Poetry Club, NYC

4/10—Pain of Days (Rock N Roll for Nick Benefit)—Tiki Stadium, Keansburg, NJ

4/11—Ender/Fantazma—Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ

4/14—Bern and the Brights—Red Lion, NYC

4/16—Killcode—Mercury Lounge, NYC

4/16—Ghost and the Big Sky—Shortways Barn, Hawthorne, NJ

4/16—Moth Eater—Mr. Beery’s, Bethpage, NY

4/17—Our Black Friday—Big John’s Pub, Newfoundland, NJ

4/17—Ender—24 Club, Princeton, NJ

4/21—Hades—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/23—Fantazma—88.7 WPSC Radio Brave-A-Thon, Wayne, NJ

4/23—Ender—BMIA Building, Browns Mills, NJ

4/23—APW/STEMM/Panzie*/PUi—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/23—Bern and the Brights—Tierny’s Tavern, Montclair, NJ

4/24—Nuclear Harvest/Seas of Wake/Murder League All Stars/Piston Driven—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/24—Rahway—Crash Mansion, NYC

4/24—Apathy—Pick Wick, Poughkeepsie, NY

4/24—Diablo Royale—Crash Mansion, NYC