North Jersey Notes: Cecilia Celeste, Jersey City, NJ

Kieran Sullivan, from the band Cecilia Celeste, recently emailed me because he felt that good things were happening for his band, so he figured he’d enlighten me. I decided to give Cecilia Celeste a listen, and by the way, this name is so deceiving! I assumed that the band would be fronted by a woman, but there are four dudes in the band. Anyway, I logged on and listened to songs like “So Much,” “365 Days” and “October Leaves,” and I felt that these guys are as alternative rock as alternative rock gets. They remind me a little of the band Cracker. The songs were well written and exhibited excellent musicianship. Sullivan’s vocals aren’t too shabby either!

Cecilia Celeste formed in the winter of 2009, and only a couple of months after forming, they released a seven-song EP called Screwtape. Their debut EP quickly made an impression around the tri-state music scene, so Cecilia Celeste began to showcase at popular venues in NYC such as the Knitting Factory, Arlene’s Grocery, and Piano’s. A year after the release of their attention-grabbing EP, while playing a packed Bitter End, the band caught the attention of producer Steve Wall, who’s known for his work with Norah Jones, Matisyahu, Meshell Ndegeocello. Steve Wall decided to produce some of the stand out tracks that the band had. Those recordings became Cecilia Celeste’s five-song EP, October Leaves, which led to the band’s first single and video “So Much.” Cecilia Celeste is made up of singer and guitarist Kieran Sullivan, guitarist Nick Afflitto, bassist Steve Bonacio and drummer Evaldo Soare.

Their EP October Leaves continues to garner major attention while the band is touring and finishing up more songs for their debut LP. In March of 2010, Cecilia Celeste was invited to play the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, and in April, they were picked out of thousands of other local to compete in the “Hard Rock Cafe Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands.” Cecilia Celeste went on to win in a landslide victory at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. You can give Cecilia Celeste a listen at, where you can also find out where they’re playing next.

North Jersey Notes Updates

My bros from Astoria, NY’s Auraborus have gone from a five-piece to a four piece parting ways with one of their guitar players, Paul Milne. The new quartet is currently working on songs for their upcoming debut EP, which will feature the songs “Control” and “Can’t Take It” Both songs are little bit more on the prog-metalcore side than their previous work, and singer Dave Alexander’s signature voice really puts a stamp on these songs. You can hear the new Auraborus tracks on

Guitar whiz Angel Vivaldi, whom we last saw in With Daggers Drawn, emailed me recently to let me know that he will be performing a special night at Ding Batz in Clifton, NJ this Thursday night (8/12). The night is being dubbed “A Night of Pure Guitar 2010” and will feature Angel Vivaldi, Rob Balducci, and Dave Weiner from the Steve Vai Band. Angel said that he also had a chance to play in front of his hero Steve Vai a few weeks ago, which he said was quite a rush! Personally, I wonder what Steve Vai thought of Angel’s playing. I know that I’m blown away! Check out Angel Vivaldi at

And finally, the kids from Filter Effect landed themselves a phenomenal gig opening for Queensryche and their Cabaret show, which comes to the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park on Aug. 18. Queensryche is calling the show, “The First Adults Only Rock Show”! Tickets can be purchased at or at The Stone Pony box office.

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 where you can also let me know where you’re performing next. 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

8/12—Last Red Ember—Bar Anticipation, Belmar, NJ
8/12—Angel Vivaldi/Rob Balducci/Dave Weiner—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ
8/13—Bern and the Brights—Tierney’s Tavern, Montclair, NJ
8/13—Diablo Royale—The Cherrywood, Clementon, NJ
8/13—Pain of Days—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ
8/13—Blue Food—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC
8/14—The Meyer Rossabi Band/Christine Martucci—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ
8/14—Black Water Rising—The Trocadero Balcony Bar, Philadelphia, PA
8/14—Atom Strange—Crash Mansion, NYC
8/14—Diablo Royale—Juggs N Strokers, Merrick, NY
8/18—Filter Effect/Queensryche—Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ
8/20—ZO2—The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY
8/21—Filter Effect—Keansburg Rock Festival, Keansburg, NJ
8/27—Voodoo Terror Tribe/Cookiehead—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ
8/28—ZO2—Queens Library, Flushing, NY
8/28—Borgo Pass—Ace of Clubs, NYC
8/28—Will Killmore—Bogota VFW, Bogota, NJ
8/29—Murder League All-Stars—Bar A, Lake Como, NJ