Locals, we meet again. It’s about that time to talk about everything that is wonderful about the New Jersey music scene. First and foremost, I want to congratulate all of the winners and nominees of this year’s Asbury Music Awards. It was a great night filled with performance, awards, art, and much more. I hope you all start off the New Year with high hopes and determination.
This week, I am going to switch things up a little bit with the Local Radar, dedicating my column to a band that has decided to hang it up. Don’t worry, there is no bad blood, no artistic differences, and no solo careers on the rise. Their name may sound familiar to you, for if you are an avid reader of TheAquarian, you may have seen them in here a time or two. They are alumni of this column, and have created quite a name for themselves over the past two years. Having played all over the local area, releasing great quality tunes, and making music just for the love of it, this three-piece is moving on with their musical lives. The band I am referring to goes by the name of Those Modern Cavemen, straight out of Wall Township, New Jersey. Dan, Josh, and Nick have said it once, and they’ll say it again: They play for pleasure, and it was fun while it lasted. One common fantasy for musicians is forming a killer rock group and touring the world. However, this is the opposite dream for these guys. They’ve always made it clear that they weren’t trying to make a career out of this, or attempt to do this for a living, plain and simple.
Two years ago, Those Modern Cavemen unleashed on the local music scene with a show at The Saint in Asbury Park, playing some originals and covers. I remember their first show like it was yesterday since the nerves were somewhat prevalent, but after a few songs, it was like they had been doing this for years. Bringing a heavy, grunge rock style to the scene that was original in its own right, it was very fun to watch their talent grow over the past two years. It was always awesome to hear people in the crowd tell me “how much better their sound has gotten” and “how tight they sound live,” and I couldn’t agree more. Having shared the stage with bands such as Toothgrinder, Gods, Wreaths, and many more, their live set always became creative, switching up the tracklist, adding new covers, and throwing in some comedic commentary.
However, one thing that always remained consistent was their lightheartedness and desire to simply have fun. Whether it was cracking a few cold ones on stage, or updating their show flyers with some of the most outrageous art this scene has laid eyes on, it was refreshing to find a band that didn’t take themselves too seriously. Every time they played live, they tended to “get their mojo back.” You never would find Those Modern Cavemen competing, or trying to become the world’s top band, as all they wanted was a group of friends to come out, share some laughs, and have a good time.
Those Modern Cavemen released two EPs along the way, both self-titled, and sometimes they say, the best things in life are free. If you ever attended a live set, you will know they never charged for their product, yet it always ended up in my CD player by the end of the night. Some covers they have implemented throughout their sets over the years have included everything from Weezer to Smashing Pumpkins. Don’t get it twisted, however, since they have some kick-butt originals as well. A personal favorite tune of mine is “Fresh Toast Combo,” which always got the energy and momentum going. They decided to have their farewell show at Paul’s Tavern in Lake Como, a great place to kick back, have some drinks, and listen to some good jams. On a side note, if you enjoy live music, this is a great place to hang (just throwing that out there). With a lot of familiar friends and family in house, it couldn’t have been a better night.
While it’s somewhat upsetting to see these guys hang up their cleats, I will always admire Those Modern Cavemen and their rock and roll “career,” as they knew their role in the scene: show up, rock hard, and have a good time. I think they can teach a lot bands some wisdom in this scene, since it’s not always about selling tickets and begging people to come out to your shows. Sometimes, it’s simply about going out on a Friday night and seeing three of your closets friends jam, because that’s what they love to do. If you will be crying yourself to sleep at night because of this news, don’t fret. You can still find their tunes and stay in touch with them over at their Facebook page at facebook.com/ThoseModernCavemen. Maybe head over there and wish them farewell, for it was a solid run. I wish the best of luck to these talented musicians, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for their individual musical endeavors. I am sad to see them go, but hopefully they will cherish this column and understand the respect that we music lovers hold for The Cavemen. Cheers to Dan, Josh, and Nick for a great run.
I will be back next week paying tribute to some local talent! Keep sending me your submissions and tunes to email@example.com.