North Jersey Notes: Easy Tiger: Freehold, NJ

I was recently contacted on Facebook about a band out of Freehold, NJ. The band was pretty good! I mean, they weren’t really my cup of tea, but after hearing their song “Fireworks,” I couldn’t get the freaking hook out of my head for days! Oh, yeah! The name of the band is Easy Tiger. They are a fairly new band, but show lots of promise for growth as a band. Singer Rob Nardone is only going to get better if he is writing hooks like this now.

The members of Easy Tiger are no strangers to the New Jersey music scene, as they are all former members of Jersey bands that were once on the scene. Easy Tiger formed in the spring of 2009, and though they might be newcomers to the scene, their experiences in music go back about 10 years. Singer Rob Nardone started the alternative rock group, The Bank Robbers when he was 15. That band did some extensive touring and accumulated a nationwide fan base, which helped them garner the attention of Universal Records, which distributed the group’s 2006 disc, Tomorrow Belongs To Me. Drummer Gary Gandy was also a member of The Bank Robbers. Their band gained so much notoriety in the alt-rock genre that Rob and Gary were even asked to join U2 on stage for a song during the Vertigo Tour’s stop in East Rutherford, NJ.

Shortly after that cameo appearance, The Bank Robbers disbanded. Rob and Gary frantically rummaged through the local rock scene to find musicians to start a new group with. Luckily, the punk/pop band Signature Escape also saw their demise, which led guitarist Jay Rieg right to Rob and Gary. Easy Tiger began writing songs as a three-piece and the music was pouring out. Rounding out the line-up is bassist and singer/songwriter Amy Malkoff. Amy approached the band really eager to fill the spot. Rob and Amy share the vocal duties, which helped them create an atmosphere of diverse sounds that is rarely heard by their counterparts in the local Jersey music scene.

Easy Tiger is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on their debut as-yet-untitled EP, which will feature their uber-catchy song “Fireworks.” I have to admit, I can hear the song on some Playstation 3 baseball game or something. That’s just what it reminds me of. Give the song a listen and find out where they’re playing next at


My favorite twin sister acoustic duo, HelenaMaria from Flemington, NJ, recently made it to the Top 10 of Folgers Coffee’s Jingle Contest. You know that jingle that goes, “The best part of wakin’ up is Folgers in your cup?” Helena and Maria sent in their version of the jingle and were voted into the Top 10 out of the whole entire country! You can vote HelenaMaria into the finals now by voting for them on the contest’s website,, where you can also hear their version of the jingle. Stay up-to-date with the very busy HelenaMaria on

The boys from Last Days Of Empire recently made some changes to their line-up with two new members, guitarist Vlad Ukhmylenko and drummer Johnny Sarantinoudis. Along with the line-up change, Last Days Of Empire will be playing a couple of special shows in April opening for Jonah Matranga, singer and guitarist of the Sacramento-based hardcore band, Far. Catch them together live this Thursday night, April 15, at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, and Friday night, April 16, at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ. For more info on Last Days Of Empire, log onto

And finally, my bud Steve Brown from Trixter is now moonlighting as Eddie Van Halen! No, Steve has not joined Van Halen. Aside from playing his solo gigs and occasional shows with Trixter, Steve has joined the ultimate Van Halen tribute band, Unchained. Steve is perfect for this especially because he plays just like his childhood idol! You can check Unchained out at

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 0742. 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:

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

4/14—Steve Brown—The Copper Bottom, Florida, NY

4/15—Last Days of Empire/Jonah Matranga—Crossroads, Garwood, NJ

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

4/16—Last Days of Empire/Jonah Matranga—The Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

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

4/17—Easy Tiger—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, 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—Steve Brown—Airirang Japanese Restaurant, Mountainside, 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—Vandora/Crowning Point—Washington Theater, Washington, NJ

4/24—Diablo Royale—Crash Mansion, NYC

4/24—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Grasshopper, Morristown, NJ