Skaters Boardslide Into The Asbury Lanes – Oct. 17
The recently signed Warner band Skaters are quite frank when it comes to their actual skill of skateboarding. They simply don’t have any. Just as there is no tribe called Quest, no one named Tabitha in Tabitha’s Secret and with the exception of Dennis Wilson, no surfing Beach Boy, Skaters are a thematically-driven idea when it comes to their moniker. Like a skater, they opt for taking risk, inhabiting areas off of the mainstream and honing skill instead of hanging with the Lemming brigades. What they lack in skateboard etiquette is redeemed and forgiven due to their highly inventive gift of musical talent.
Skaters are already deep into their fall national tour, heralding the nation with their distinct brand of punkish, rock and roll gold. Utilizing 1960s backbeats, walls of guitar and addictive, dark vocals, the band weave likeable tapestries of brash, poppy punk in the vein of The Pixies. Skaters are no inexperienced flash in the pan, with members hailing from popular groups such as The Dead Trees, The Paddingtons and Dirty Pretty Things.
Out in support of their latest disc, Manhattan, Skaters are a refreshing force within the alternative music community both here and abroad. They cleverly brand their bombastic style as “Humblecore,” a descriptive aiming at the group’s wallflower approach to making intelligent music while leaving the ridiculous “star” trappings at the proverbial door. All unpretentious shuffling aside, this is a band that proves their principles through the compositional oomph of their music.
Manhattan features songs such as “Miss Teen Massachusetts” (radio will eat this one up), a song that demonstrates a band well along the road to grasping the tools of longevity and success. Utilizing layers of gritty, transformer-fueled guitars, the band ramps up from the intro, rolling into a discerning bridge filled with ring modulation lifts that stagger to the top before dropping into its succinct and effective verse. Little time is wasted as the band downshifts into an addictive chorus that will leave you humming it for days on end.
Other standout songs from the disc include “To Be Young In New York City,” a sparkling gem that crunches into the spectrum like old Replacements before staccato, thick drums double punch the band into the verse. Simple and effective compositional glimmers such as a minor chord insertion right before the chorus had me hitting the rewind button more than once. I was especially impressed with Josh Hubbard’s gnarly string bends and open-chorded resonance that blitzkriegs the chorus while vocalist Michael Cummings twists miles of outlandish lyrical engagement in the sing-song vein of Paul Westerberg and Morrissey. Hubbard’s middle-eight work brings back no-frills clarity of guys like Cheetah Chrome and Bobby Stinson while the rhythms of Noah Rubin act as the linchpin that centers this radio endearing composition perfectly.
Another song that quickly caught my attentive ear was “This Much I Care.” Layered in fathoms of deep reverb, vocalist Cummings plays spooky, Ian Curtis darkness over the top of synth-stratified, 1980s pop punk trance. Guitars act as a major hook here, spider walking in on bridges of creepy sustain syrup while drums thunder and echo lyrical chatter that Cummings uses to shimmer in and out of the piece. Cummings pulls no lyrical punches as he tells you, “I just wanna go after your money.” If you’re into the retrospective pull of bands such as The Cars, Mission Of Burma or New Order, then you’ll love the direction of “This Much I Care.”
Manhattan is a diverse and compositionally smart record that spends all of its collective attention on original creativity, and puts Skaters miles above hipster bands that care more about looking like one of the Smith Brothers Cough Drop guys than playing honest music.
Joining Skaters will be Elmhurst, Illinois, natives The Orwells. The Orwells recently released Disgraceland. That record includes singles such as “Who Needs You?” and “Dirty Sheets.” I have no idea if they were named after the English novelist’s family or not.
Skaters will be nosegrinding into Asbury Park on Oct. 17 with their only area appearance at the Asbury Lanes. The Asbury Lanes is at 209 4th Ave in Asbury Park, NJ. 1-732-776-6160
For more information on Skaters and their superlative new record, Manhattan, check them out at skatersnyc.com.
BlowUpRadio Unleashes Banding Together 8 – Over 70 NJ Artists In The Fight Against Spondylitis – Live, Online Event – Oct. 17-20
BlowUpRadio.com marks their eighth anniversary in the fight against spondylitis. Each year, Lazlo has called upon the local music community to help raise monies and bring awareness through the magic of music. I’ve had the pleasure of attending some of his past live radio shows and it’s always a unique gathering of artists eager to step up and lend a hand in the fight against this debilitating disease.
But for Lazlo, it’s not just a general interest in searching for a cure; it’s a disease that affects his immediate family. “This is a very personal benefit for me as my wife, Naomi, suffers from ankylosing spondylitis (AS). I have seen the debilitating effects of this disease and the chronic pain and discomfort it causes. This benefit is the least I can do to help my wife and over a million others who suffer from AS.”
Spondylitis is a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine. To date, BlowUpRadio.com has raised thousands of dollars for the cause, and raised awareness of the genetic disease which the Centers For Disease Control says over 2.7 million adults suffer from.
Lazlo’s approach has always been simple and effective: bring musicians into the studio and have them play some of their best-known songs live. The live situation is always unpredictable, and I like the “high wire without a net” feel. This year, Lazlo teams up with 40footholestudio.com to bring the listening public two virtual stages to spread the word on.
40 Foot Hole Studio brings a distinct new flavor to Lazlo’s laid-back, North Jersey parlor of casual grace. Manned by Forked River, NJ entrepreneur Dave McMahon, 40 Foot Hole is the hard-earned labor of love culled from McMahon’s visionary goals. A professional DJ and music fan grown weary of traditional platforms and newer, online restrictions, McMahon brings years of expertise to this eclectic party. Together with BlowUpRadio, McMahon and his 40 Foot Hole Studio will host over 70 original Jersey acts during this nonstop virtual festival.
Of course, the main goal is raising money to fight spondylitis, and listeners are encouraged to donate via a secure online section of the Spondylitis Association of America’s website. Everyone who donates during the webathon will receive a special edition digital download featuring music from the performing bands and/or artists.
Some of the artists scheduled to perform during Banding Together include Accidental Seabirds, Blisstique, Bruce Tunkel, Chris Brown (AP), Christian Beach, The Clydes, Colie Brice, Mario from Dark Matters, David Fagan, Deirdre Forrest & Michael Brett (The May Darlings), The Devyl Nellys, Diego Allessandro & Lot 25, Dina Hall, Ed Tang & The Chops, Eric Goldberg (All Sensory Void), Fairmont, Foggy Otis, Goodbye Berlin, Grey Goes Black, Happy Joe Canzano, The Howlin’ Brothers, Jeff Yerger, Jersey Drive, Jim Mill, Jim Testa, Joe Beninati, Jon & Deena (The Cucumbers), Jon Caspi & The First Gun, Joshua Bicknell, Little Big Toe, Moon Motel, Morningside Lane, Pat Veil, Pete Jager, The Porchistas, Raftree, Scruff, September’s Ghost, Somewhat Relative, Son Of Dov, The Sunday Blues, The Sean Faust/Robert Fulton Duo, The Slappys, Thomas Johnston, Tim Aanensen, Tommy Strazza, Urban Underclass, The Wag with Don Lee, Williamsboy, Zak Smith, Zigman Bird…the entire list is available at the website.
For more information on Banding Together, go to BlowUpRadio.com. For more information on the Spondylitis Association of America, go to spondylitis.org.