North Jersey Notes: Asphalt Green, Cloak Dagger, Audio Machine and More!

A couple of weeks ago, Asphalt Green bassist Alyssa Menes contacted me to check out her band out of Paramus, NJ. Well, since I loved her first name and she was a bass player, I decided to give her band a listen and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised because they weren’t bad at all. I loved the opening guitar riff in the song “Modus Operandi” and the Radiohead-feel of “White Whine,” but I felt there were some pitch and key problems at times for singer/guitarist Rob Janos in the songs “Seventh Hour” and “A Crying Shame.” I don’t think it was his fault because whoever engineered and produced these recordings should’ve corrected the pitches and off-keys, but it sounds like he let them go.

Late in 2009, four musicians from four different musical backgrounds came together to create what many thought was a pathetic attempt at a creative endeavor, but in the early weeks of 2010, Asphalt Green set out to prove the naysayers wrong, as they began to make a pretty decent name for themselves in the NYC and NJ underground music scene by performing at some high-profiled venues, like The Bitter End, the now defunct Don Hill’s, Kenny’s Castaways, and Sullivan Hall, while also hitting Maxwell’s and The Stone Pony. In the fall of 2010, Asphalt Green caught the attention of Big Mountain Entertainment, who now handles the band’s bookings and promotions. Asphalt Green is made up of singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Rob Janos, lead guitarist Ronnie Sena, bassist Alyssa Menes, and drummer Lee Davis.

After two years of working their tails off, Asphalt Green recently released their debut full-length CD, Sinners, Tricksters, Killers And Saints, which they recorded in their hometown of Paramus—home of the mighty Trixter. The gang from Asphalt Green plans to spend the whole summer touring to support their CD. You can actually catch them live tonight (4/18) at Sullivan Hall in NYC. If you can’t make that show and you’d like to hear some Asphalt Green, log onto


My bro Luke Rizzo, aka Cloak Dagger, aka brother of Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo, is getting set to release his second EP, Ethasu, on May 5. The CD will feature a couple brand new tracks along with a massive dance remix of his songs “Ale’ Sofi” and “Lumanji”. Cloak Dagger will be celebrating the release of Ethasu with a CD release party on May 5 at the Toro Lounge in NYC. For more info on Cloak Dagger, log onto

One of me new favorite local bands, Audio Machine has been up and down when it comes to singers, but it seems they’ve finally found their man! After many auditions and singers who lasted only a couple of days, Audio Machine has welcomed singer David Marcus into their band—and this kid is awesome! He’s got a killer voice, and the guys in Audio Machine will soon be unleashing their material for your ears to enjoy. Give these guys a listen on

And finally, I got to hang with my bro Dave Cardenas from Rahway, a couple of weekends ago at my gig at 7 Days Bar and Grill in Union Beach, NJ, and Dave was pretty excited to tell me about the new Rahway material that he and the boys have been writing. He told me that it’s like nothing they’ve ever written before, and that the new tunes are extremely radio friendly. I’m dying to hear this new Rahway material! Stay tuned for new Rahway music on

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:

4/18—Asphalt Green—Sullivan Hall, NYC

4/19—Hope Kills Fear—The Delancey, NYC

4/19—M-16/Deathalizer/FireHaze/BoundAlive/INC (Indestructible Noise Command)—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/19—Steve Brown—Pellegrinos, North Haledon, NJ

4/20—Condition Critical/Evil Eye Pandas/Lockdown/Man and Machines/Pyramada—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

4/20—Seven Witches/Sleepy Hollow/Single Bullet Theory/Famous Monsters—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/21—Scarlet Carson/Blue Oyster Cult—Bergen County Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ

4/21—Subzero/Homicidal/Brick By Brick/Undivided/Troublesome—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/21—Steve Brown and Dennis Zimmer—Sand Bar, Brielle, NJ

4/22—Spread Eagle—Bowery Electric, NYC

4/22—I Set My Friends On Fire/Greeley Estates/A Bullet For Pretty Boy/A Lot Like Birds—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/22—State—Just Jake’s, Montclair, NJ

4/26—Symphony Of Malice/Mindswitch/Ashes Of Your Enemy—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/26—Steve Brown and Dennis Zimmer—Shannon Rose, Ramsey, NJ

4/27—InDisguise/Friends of Bill Wilson/Exit 117—The Lucky Seven, Keyport, NJ

4/27—Steve Brown—Trovatos Due, Oakland, NJ

4/28—Prophet/Lords of Mercy/Raftree/Circle of Insanity—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

4/28—FLATUS/The Wait/Mental Decay/Lakesie Drive—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/29—Delusions/Spies Like Us/Drowning In Your Sleep/Beyond Dishonor/Sever The King/Portraits/Shake That Bear—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/2—Steve Brown and Terry Farley—Valley Stables, Oakland, NJ

5/4—End of an Era—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

5/5—Panzie*–Kenny’s Castaways, NYC

5/5—ZO2—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

5/5—The Dirty Pearls (CD Release Party)—The Gramercy Theater, NYC

5/5—BoundAlive/InDisguise/Endall/Fever Vein—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/5—Steve Brown and the Fallout—Blackthorn, Parsippany, NJ

5/5—Cloak Dagger (CD Release Party)—Toro Lounge, NYC