North Jersey Notes: Vextion, Anaka and More!

VEXTION—Farmingdale, NJ

Vextion drummer Rob “Bobman” Crowther recently reached out to me via to let me know about his band’s recently released EP, called What I Am. Musically they’re a hard rock band with singer Kate Ortiz’s melodic vocals giving them some pop flair. The title track along with “Unwind” and “Between the Lies” are a few key tracks to listen to if you’re going to give Vextion a listen. These songs rock!

Vextion formed in 2006 by singer and guitarist Kate Ortiz, who round up lead guitarist George “Dex” Day, Max Orozco on bass and Bobman on drums to join her. Kate and her band are no strangers to the scene though, as they’ve all played in various local bands over the years. And after five years of perfecting what they wanted Vextion to become, it seems they’ve finally reached their goal. They reached the semi-finals of the Break Contest Battle of the Bands down at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, and placed even better in Best Buy’s Battle of the Bands in 2010. This year, Vextion was asked to play at Blue Claw’s Stadium in Lakewood, NJ. That’s pretty cool!

Vextion recently released their first five-song EP, What I Am, in their attempt to take their music to the next level. They hope that the EP will give them a face on this local music scene. If you would like to check Vextion out, log onto to give the band a listen or find out where they’re playing next.



Jimmy Pallis from the band Anaka recently caught me up with what the band was up to, and they seem to have some pretty cool things going on. They’re currently in the studio recording a full-on acoustic CD with all brand new Anaka songs, and that’s not all! They’re also in the midst of writing brand new music for their next electric CD. Also, this past spring Anaka celebrated their 10 years together by re-released their debut CD, Down Devil’s Road, all remixed and remastered as a 10th Anniversary Edition. For more info, log onto

Looks like my bros from A Lesson in Violence might finally have it together! It appears that they’ve finalized their lineup with former Dead Letter Box guys Dave Alexander on vocals and Tony Ortiz on drums, former Split Vision shredder “Big Tim” Allen on guitar and former Vintage Lust bassist Tony Ruccio. They’re even threatening a debut live performance in North Jersey sometime in September. I’ll keep you posted on that! For now, you can “Like” them on Facebook, where you can listen to their songs “Decimate,” “Chaos Consumes” and “Burn Your Bridges.”

And finally, if you haven’t done so already, get your Sekond Skyn and Cycle of Pain tickets now at The show, which features Black Label Society bassist JD DeServio’s band Cycle of Pain and the debut of new Sekond Skyn singer Travis Neal, happens this Friday night, Aug. 19, at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. I just got a copy of the new Sekond Skyn EP, The Rising Tides, and I have to say, do yourselves a favor and see these guys live with Travis singing! They are awesome! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! That’s for your tickets!

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:

8/17—Steve Brown—The Firehouse Eatery, Rahway, NJ

8/18—King Hell!—R Bar, NYC

8/19—Charetta—Moose Lodge, Lindenhurst, NY

8/19—Sekond Skyn/Cycle of Pain/Lords of Mercy—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/19—Steve Brown—Willie McBrides, Branchburg, NJ

8/20—Charetta—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

8/20—Scarlet Carson—The Trocadero Balcony, Philadelphia, PA

8/22—Steve Brown—Dutchman’s, Long Beach Island, NJ

8/23—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

8/24—Steve Brown—The Copper Bottom, Florida, NY

8/25—Tied in 2—Manahawkin Flea Market, Manahawkin, NJ

8/25—Steve Brown—The Firehouse Eatery, Rahway, NJ

8/26—Incognito and DePalma/The Bulletboys/Rahway—The Brighton Bar, Long Beach, NJ

8/26—Charetta—Mulcahy’s, Wantagh, NY

8/27—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

8/28—Kittie/Voodoo Terror Tribe—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/30—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ