North Jersey Notes: Downcast Theory, Filter Effect, Antigone Rising and More!


Well, it took me until June to find my favorite local band this year! My bud, Jerry Sullivan turned me onto this great band out of Monroe, NJ called Downcast Theory, and from what I’ve heard so far, I am obsessed with these guys. I logged onto to hear “Call To Rise,” “Isolate,” “Wrong” and, my favorite track, “Invictus” off of the band’s latest, self-titled CD, which they released this past April. The songs were filled with infectious riffs, powerful vocals and melodies, and all-out unbelievable songwriting. I have to tip my hat to the Downcast Theory boys. I love their sound!

Downcast Theory formed in the latter half of 2007. And since their inception they’ve been trying to make a make a name for themselves in a rock scene that is so competitive that it will chew you up and spit you out in the blink of an eye. The boys have done their best to keep their shows as energetic as their music, which earned them gigs at prominent Jersey clubs like the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, NJ, and opening slots for national acts like Drowning Pool, Cold, Nonpoint and Powerman 5000 at the Starland Ballroom. Not bad for a band who has only been around for four years. Downcast Theory is made up of singer/guitarist Matt Simon, guitarist Jake Raynor, bassist Ryan Sauerman and drummer Matt Raunick.

Downcast Theory released recorded their album at the brand new Architekt Music in Butler, NJ, in late 2010. I have to commend the production of the CD as well. It sounds amazing! If I had to pick a band that Downcast Theory reminded me of, I would have to say Black Stone Cherry. These guys are that awesome! Give them a listen now at, where you can also find out where they’re playing next.


The guys from Filter Effect are doing something pretty interesting this Friday night, June 24, up at The Crocodile Rock Café in Allentown, PA. They’ll be performing at a pro wrestling event the venue is hosting. The band is being billed as the special intermission band for the evening. If you’re a fan of Filter Effect, this should be a fun show! For ticket info, call (610) 434 4600, extension number 6, or log onto

The girls from Antigone Rising will be returning to the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on Sept. 9. I know that it’s a little early, but mark your calendars for this show. I haven’t seen these girls live since their lineup change back in 2008, when my bud, drummer Dena Tauriello, and the Henderson sisters, Cathy and Kristen, decided to move forward with new singer Nini Camps after they took a short hiatus. With Nini as their lead singer, Antigone Rising continues to turn heads with their catchy hooks and sweet harmonies. Their new CD, 23 Red, should be out sometime this summer. For more info on Antigone Rising, log onto

And finally, one of my least favorite topics, Dave Incognito recently sent me yet another update on his new band. It turns out, Dave’s new project Incognito And DePalma was recently invited to open for ‘80s hair band The Bulletboys at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on Aug. 26. I thought this was an acoustic duo project but Dave told me that he actually has a full live band that consists of himself on vocals, Jason DePalma on guitar, Dan Eng on bass and Ralph Riccaridi on drums. If you want to get a taste of Incognito And DePalma, log onto, where you can hear their whole debut CD.

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, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!

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

Tim Louie is the author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

6/23—Steve Brown—The Copper Bottom, Florida, NY

6/24—Filter Effect—The Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, PA

6/24—The Paul Gargiulo Band—Hot Rod’s Barbecue, Wharton, NJ

6/24—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

6/24—Audio Insight—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

6/25—King Kelly—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

6/25—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

6/26—Return to Earth/Thank You Scientist—Canvas Clash Art and Music Venue, Boonton, NJ

6/29—Steve Brown—The Grasshopper Also, Carlstadt, NJ

6/30—The Dirty Pearls/Panzie*/Star Killer/Sweet Fix—The Bowery Ballroom, NYC

6/30—Incognito and DePalma—Bar A, Lake Como, NJ

7/2—The Paul Gargiulo Band—Hill Country, NYC

7/2—Audio Insight—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

8/14—Downcast Theory—Architekt Music Studios, Butler, NJ