North Jersey Notes: Butcher Knives, Brand Of Julez, Angel Vivaldi and More!

Lately, I find myself featuring bands here in North Jersey Notes that aren’t as hard rock as I’m used to listening to, and that’s a good thing. It broadens my horizons as a music fan and listener and in turn, it broadens your horizons as music fans and listeners, as well. This week, I fell in love with this “GypsyBilly-Punk” band out of Brooklyn called Butcher Knives. Their music is unique in the spirit of punk with as much energy. I only got to hear the songs “Tell Me Why” and “American Dream,” which the band just released a music video for, off of their latest CD, Misery. “American Dream” is basically a commentary on the dissonance between the ideals that are sold to us by the media, the reality of living in America as an immigrant and America’s cultural perception and systematic treatment of its immigrants. If you haven’t guessed yet; yes, Butcher Knives are a multi-cultural band with its members coming from all walks of life.

According to their bio, Butcher Knives are a “multilingual whirlwind of international musical and cultural movements,” which has been pulled together by their high-octane punk rock vision. The members of Butcher Knives collectively come from four different countries and speak five different languages rooting from Morocco, Israel, Colombia, New York, and New Orleans. Together, their multicultural background has really helped to create a unique sound with a twinge of punk rock. After 10 years of touring and sharing the stage with bands like Manu Chao, Gogol Bordello, Green Day and Leningrad, singer and percussionist Nacho Segura from Colombia joined forces with his Colombian brother,  singer and guitarist Nikko Matiz, and created the Butcher Knives. Within the past few years of auditions and lineup changes, the band has evolved into its current lineup of accordion player, Melissa Elledge from New Orleans, keyboardist Tal Galfsky from Israel, banjo and guitarist Ethan Cohen from NYC, bassist Yoni Benshlomo from Israel, and drummer Mohamed Amine Smires from Morocco. The Butcher Knives have categorized themselves as “GyspyBilly” as they sing in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Hebrew, celebrating their diversity and delivery in every aspect of their music.

Butcher Knives are currently still promoting their Misery CD and if their music is any indication of their live show, it might be something you won’t want to miss. Musically, Butcher Knives are something different, which is refreshing in a world of music when everything sounds the same. If you love all types of music, you will love the Butcher Knives. Check them out now at, where you can also find out where they’re performing next.



My brothers from Brand Of Julez have finally revealed who they will be heading out on tour with next month into September. They’ve been teasing it for a few weeks now and they finally revealed that they will be hitting the road with the band Wayland as part of their Under The Radar Tour. So, a huge congrats to Julez, Brandon and the boys! Catch Brand Of Julez live this Friday night (7/22) at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ before they hit the road with Wayland. For more on Brand Of Julez, visit, or for more on the band Wayland, visit

My bud and guitar wiz, Angel Vivaldi, will be teaming up with Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, Gus G., for a tour they are calling the Operation Domination tour, which kicks off here in NYC at The Studio At Webster Hall on August 31 and then hits The Voltage Lounge in Philly on September 1. This is just more great news from an artist whose career I got to see from the ground up. Congrats, Angel! Both guitarists will be performing their own sets with their respective bands and then a set where they will jam together. This is definitely something you will want to see if you love guitar work. For more on Angel Vivaldi, visit

And finally, I know that I mentioned this Diablo Royale reunion show two weeks in a row because as of last week, my band Rahway was on the bill. Well, this week, due to a scheduling conflict with the Drom in NYC, Rahway will not be performing this show, but we’ll be there anyway to support the one-night-only reunion of our brothers, Diablo Royale, with special guests Mother on August 11. For more info on this show, visit

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:

7/20—The Ivory/In Angles/Use Big Words/The Funeral Portrait—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/21—Famous Last Words/Outline In Color/It Lives It Breathes/Open Your Eyes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/22—Brand of Julez—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/23—Morningside Lane/The Clocktown Giants—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

7/23—Anticosm/Xenophile/Psilocybe/The Donner Party/Paralysis—Championship Bar, Trenton, NJ

7/23—Brand of Julez—Whiskey Tango, Fords, NJ

7/27—Kore Rozzik/Burn Halo—89 North, Patchogue, NY

7/29—6 Prong Paw/Framework/Unkempt Herald/Mikell’s Plot/Paulus Hook/Bullet Train—Al Cibelli’s Restaurant and Bar, Perth Amboy, NJ

7/29—Another Distraction/Trapt—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

7/29—6 Prong Paw/Framework/Unkempt Herald/Mikell’s Plot/Paulus Hook/Bullet Train—Al Cibelli’s Restaurant and Bar, Perth Amboy, NJ

8/2—Brand of Julez/Gemini Syndrome/Stitched Up Heart/9Electric—Revolution Bar and Music Hall, Amityville, NY

8/5—Common Wealth/Ropetree/Bush/Chevelle—Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

8/5—Brand of Julez—NIHIL Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

8/5—Seas of Wake/Fear Factory—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/6—“Jersey Campfires Productions Presents” Stillphase/Spiral Scar/Phntms—The Boneyard, Atlantic City, NJ

8/6—Brand of Julez—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

8/11—Mother/Diablo Royale reunion—Drom, NYC

8/11—Abandoned By Bears/Save The Lost Boys/Southview—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/11—New Day Dawn/Baelfire/Steve Bello/Lita Ford—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/13—Nalani and Sarina—Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA

8/13—Arc’d Angel/Damn Glad/The Primadonnaz/The Dead—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/17—Nalani and Sarina—The Bitter End, NYC