North Jersey Notes: Panzie*, Scarlet Carson and Remembering Mike Koenig


My bro, Jonnie Rockit from Panzie*, recently leaked a few new songs from the band’s upcoming CD, Love And Blood, to me via email, and the tracks that I heard are simply nasty! “Angry Man,” “Dance (Mofo)” and “Rise” are the epitome of NYC’s dirty street sound with a hint of old school, underground NYC punk shining through. Panzie* will be releasing Love And Blood with party at the Mercury Lounge on Oct. 28, which is almost sold out, so hit the band up if you want in! You can contact them on their Facebook page, You can also hear “Angry Man” on the latest episode of my Internet radio show, Chigger Radio, by logging onto

Speaking of CD release parties, I was invited to Scarlet Carson’s at Starland Ballroom a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the release of their latest effort, Foreverless. I have to say, for an unsigned band, these guys seemed larger than life when they hit that stage. They put together a great show with tons of energy ripping through tracks off of the new CD and their first one, but they saved my favorite Scarlet Carson song, “West Coast Dreamer,” until the end of their set. I was totally impressed, especially with Santino Hollywood’s voice, which was simply fantastic! These guys have something going on. I’m not sure what it is, but if any major label passes up on these guys, there’s definitely something wrong with this industry! These young bucks out of Toms River, NJ, are already rock stars. They just don’t know it yet! Or do they? Check out the new Scarlet Carson now at

Moving back up to the North Jersey music scene, Will Killmore guitarist James Di Gangi has parted ways with the band that he started four years ago. In a recent Facebook post, James stated that his departure from Will Killmore was not on bad terms, and that he continues to be friends with the guys. He also said that it wasn’t that he didn’t have ‘the dream’ anymore, just that his dream had changed. I can respect that! I’ve known James since his band Thro, and he’s one talented guitar player. I’m sure we’ll see him pop up somewhere because with a talent like his, you just don’t go away! Besides, music is such an addictive bug, every time you try to get out, it keeps pulling you back in!

And finally, I can’t believe that I even have to write this, but it’s with great sadness that I do. A couple of weeks ago, the North Jersey music scene lost another brother and a soldier in LowBuz guitarist Mike Koenig, who finally lost his bout with brain cancer. When I started writing “North Jersey Notes” back in 2001, LowBuz was one of the very first bands that I ever featured. At the time, I was playing in two bands, Something Just and Smoke Star, when I befriended Mike and his LowBuz cronies. I eventually branched off and focused more on Smoke Star, which is where my bond with Mike Koenig grew stronger as Mike was the engineer and producer of almost all of the Smoke Star recordings.

It was then that Mike and singer Jeff Dixon became fans of our band, and we soon formed a strong bond playing as many shows together as possible, and sharing the same audiences. In the studio, Mike always became the fifth member of the band with his ear and talent to help arrange a song. When it came time to lay down my bass tracks, he was always a great supporter. He was a great mentor when he saw that I was stuck on a part.

On the stage with his band LowBuz, Mike Koenig was a great guitar player and tore it up better than the best of them. He was an excellent songwriter, and when it came to production, some great bands came out of his Crystal Studios in Park Ridge, NJ, like LowBuz, Smoke Star, Hostel Inc., Sixty Miles Down, Steve Bello, Blow Up Daisy and Years Of Static. The list can go on and on. I’m just trying to paint a picture of what an amazing person Mike Koenig was, and lucky for some of us North Jersey bands, Mike will be forever immortalized through our music, as well as his own!

I know everyone that knew Mike was just as stunned as I was to learn of his passing, and I wish that I could’ve seen him at least one more time, but since I couldn’t, this is the only way that I can pay a tribute to his life. So, please, the next time you have a drink or are taking a toke, have one in Mike’s honor because he would’ve wanted it that way! We will all miss you, Mike Koenig, R.I.P.

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:

10/13—With Dagger’s Drawn—Dobb’s, Philadelphia, PA

10/13—ZO2—The Hiro Ballroom, NYC

10/14—In Disguise/Sundown Conspiracy—The Cup Complex, Linden, NJ

10/15—Audio Insight—Casey O’Tooles, Wayne, NJ

10/22—Borgo Pass—Whoville, Bethpage, NY

10/28—Don Jamieson’s Gunfire-N-Sodomy—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/28—The Misfits/King Kelly—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

10/28—Panzie*/Ghosts of Eden/Beta Plus Embryo—The Mercury Lounge, NYC

10/29—Scarlet Carson—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

10/29—Voodoo Terror Tribe/Sardonica—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/30—Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy/Spider/Juliet’s Vice/DB Sleeze—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/30—Black Water Rising/Ace Frehley—Mulcahy’s, Centereach, NY

11/3—Will Killmore/Betrayus—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/4—Deathrash/Generation Kill/Hostile Rage—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/5—Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/5—Sebastian Bach/Natasha Komis/Knucklebone—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ