North Jersey Notes: Awjita, Steve Bello Band, Orbynot and More!

I recently received a private message on Facebook from Awjita guitarist and singer Alan Rigoletto asking me to check out his band. Now, sending me a private message on Facebook wasn’t the funny part, since bands I am not friends with do that all the time and it really might be the best way to contact me if you are in a local North Jersey band, but Alan’s intro in the private message was pretty funny. It read: “Hey Tim, I was perusing your North Jersey Notes looking for contact info so I decided to go straight to the source of all life, Facebook. May its might know no bounds.” First of all, this is funny because my contact info is at the bottom of every column. Secondly, he is absolutely right about Facebook! So, Alan, thank you for reaching out to me on Facebook, and after listening to Awjita’s new EP, Threesum, online, I will say I love your EP’s title and you guys are very interesting! I found Awjita’s sound very similar to that of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Mother’s Milk era sound, and that’s a very cool thing to sound like!

Awjita, who like to call their sound Grungy ArtGroove, began their music journey together playing goofy garage rock in Rockaway, New Jersey, since 2002. As boys growing up in Rockaway, guitarist Alan Rigoletto, guitarist Steve Craig and bassist Anthony Ambrosio played their first shows together, created their first extended free-form improvisations together and even developed a singular musical personality together. As the boys became men, Awjita started to transform into the refined beast of eclecticism it is today. In 2010, Awjita debuted with their EP, The Ingestion Session, featuring drummer Chris Flynn. The EP helped define the sound of Awjita. After making their mark, the band took a much-needed hiatus, where longtime friend Sean Meyers joined the band on drums in 2013, while guitarist Steve Craig pursued his career in film in Los Angeles, and Awjita continued forward as a trio while maintaining Steve’s creative presence.

Awjita recently released the EP, Threesum, which is a five-track concept record that tells the story about a fictional character named Peggy and her forays of infection. As I stated earlier, the band’s sound on Threesum was reminiscent of early Chili Peppers, which is pretty awesome since modern day Chili Peppers doesn’t sound like early Chili Peppers anymore. What I’m trying to say is that Awjita is totally worth the listen. Check them out at



My brother Steve Bello and his Steve Bello Band have finally released a brand new tune! The track is called “Quicker Than The Devil,” and you have to love it when a guitar player can make his guitar sing in the place of an actual singer. Steve Bello Band released “Quicker Than The Devil” a couple of weeks ago and is offering the song as a free download on their ReverbNation page, Big things are coming up for the Steve Bello Band including an opening slot for Lynch Mob at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ on June 17. For more on the Steve Bello Band, visit

In some more new music news, I received a copy of my bud Tony Gabriele’s new Orbynot CD, Without A Trace, featuring Metal Rose on vocals. Songs like the lead single “Icon,” “Corporate Noose,” “Enslaved” and my favorite track, the instrumental “Maiden’s Wrath,” are all well-crafted songs and you can hear Tony’s maturity as a songwriter on Without A Trace, and just like his last record, Try To Stop Me, there are a slew of guest musicians on this record as well. For more on Tony Gabriele’s Orbynot, visit

And finally, my old Smoke Star brother Ivo and his band Mercury Morning have just released their latest EP, Temple Grey, and it is awesome! The one thing I always felt that Ivo had a talent in, besides singing, was his vision to color parts of songs in with music. The songs “Cryptopgraphy,” “Wish List,” “Fading Skies” and “Vermilion” are so colorful and emotional to the point where you really find yourself gravitating toward these songs. Check it out for yourself by logging onto

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:

4/9—Black Satellite—Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, Wantagh, NY

4/10—The Maension/Half-Witted Dogs/Who Killed Marilyn/The Stuff/The Royal Dumonts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/11—The Dirty Pearls/The Autumn Fire/New Day Dawn/Long Gone Day/Raftree Rock—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

4/11—Lower The Veil/Commonwealth/Xero Gravity/End of an Era—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

4/11—Bubba Grouch—The Salem Roadhouse Café, Union, NJ

4/12—Low Roads Ghost/Th13teen/Captain Weej/Sea Stripes/The Company Kept/Flowers To Flames—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

4/14—Ten Ton Mojo/The Compulsions (CD Release Party)/The Nuclears—Mercury Lounge, NYC

4/15—Metalfier/Atom Strange/Michael Schenker—Gramercy Theatre, NYC

4/17—Syka/Butcher Babies—The Loft at The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY

4/17—Strait Up/Pralaya/Union Oil Company/Ben Clark and the Long Shadows—Best Bar, NYC

4/18—Steve Bello Band—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

4/18—Ryan Chiarella and The New Breed/Pat Travers Band—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

4/18—Fear Report/From Below/Cause of Affliction/Purple Pam/Sweet Magma—Gussy’s Bar, Astoria, NY

4/18—Asphalt Green/Gravity Calls/Robots and Monsters/Views Into Vastness—Maxwell’s Tavern, Hoboken, NJ

4/18—Killcode/Adrenaline Mob—Revolution Bar and Music Hall, Amityville, NY

4/19—Killcode/Adrenaline Mob—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

4/22—The Venetia Fair/Icarus The Owl/Que Sera/Misdirect/Damien The Cat/Frogg Party—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/23—Rhino Bucket/Natural Born Losers—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/24—Steve Bello Band—Shortway’s Barn, Hawthorne, NJ

4/25—Fractured Fairytales/Knuckles And Guns/The Succubus Sorority/Abbey Death/Sarcophagic—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/25—Ashes of Your Enemy/Shadows of Dawn/Caustic Audio/Me With Creeps—Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

4/25—Nights Of Malice/Horseman 5/Negative Traction/Spiral Scar/Division 1.1/Suburban Murder/COMMON WEALTH/They Call Us Death/Kept in the Dark/JNMF/1 Echo 1/Ketosis/Midnight Mob/Flowers To Flames/Kosmic Daydream/Roulette/SKIVER/Pool Of Thorns/angelface/headcase/Breakfast Kids—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

4/26—Beyond Dishonor/Along Came A Spider/Julius Seizure/From The Depths/That Of A Lion/Searching For Solace/Ashes Of My Regrets—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ