Makin Waves: Scene Report

  This week’s Scene Report includes The Burns, the Asbury Park jam scene, Sink Tapes, The Clydes, a new film series at the Brighton Bar, the continuation of 95.9 the Rat’s “Jersey Rock” Showcase, WFDU 98.1’s “Signal to Noise,” coLAB Arts, Second Arrows, Feeny, and Miz.

  Wow, what a difference a year makes! For The Burns, that is.

  The rootsy Asbury Park-based combo will celebrate their first anniversary on Mar. 2 at The Saint: The Vaughns, J.K. Lago, and Like a River, their friends from Virginia. The show will coincide with the release of a single in anticipation of a sophomore LP to drop in June, a little less than a year since their Splenderson debut rocketed them near the top of the Asbury scene.

  The Burns have a bunch of other stuff coming up too, such as a slammin’ round robin show with two other of Asbury’s best roots bands, Mercury Brothers and Cranston Dean Band, on Feb. 16 at The Chubby Pickle in Highlands. The Burns also will play Feb. 23 at a house show in Philly and Mar. 10 at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City, while The Mercury Brothers also will perform Feb. 23 at Clancy’s in Neptune, yet another venue in the Asbury Park area, and Cranston Dean Band gig Feb. 24 at Asbury Park Yacht Club.

  Recognized by Relix magazine as one of the nation’s premiere jam band scenes, the winter jams will continue in Asbury Park at the Stone Pony on Feb. 8 with Papadosio; Feb. 16, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Juice, and Mar. 1, Melvin Seals & JGB and John Kadlecik. Meanwhile, the Wonder Bar will serve up on Feb. 14 Cris Jacobs; Feb. 16, Brass Against the Machine, and Mar. 2, Scott Sharrard and Mike Montrey Band.

You also can enjoy Mack Sunday Jams from 4 to 7 p.m. through Feb. 25 at The Asbury Hotel and the Wonder Jam from 9 to close at the Wonder Bar. Both are led by that venerable Deadhead Sandy Mack.

            The highly anticipated return of New Brunswick indie rockers Sink Tapes edges closer with the Feb. 20 release of their experimental 16-song Secret Club on Mint 400 Records, featuring the single and video “Wizard Shit.” Upcoming shows for the slimmed-down three-piece include Feb. 24 at Piano’s, New York; Mar. 20, Pet Shop, Jersey City; Marc. 29, Meatlocker, Montclair, and April 20 at The Saint, Asbury Park. Meanwhile, Sink Tapes will ready two more albums of material produced during their yearlong hiatus: a compilation of B-sides and a delicious collection of exceptional new songs that is being shopped to a variety of labels.

  In other Mint 400 news, New Brunswick alt-rockers The Clydes are on tour in Colorado right now and have just released a new video for “Broken Boy,” the second single off their most recent Mint 400 album, So the Story Goes. The black-and-white narrative stars the band’s brothers, Brent and Brian Johnson, and Brent’s fiancé, Lindsay Keifer.


  The Brighton Bar in Long Branch has added to its long-standing tradition as a haven for punk, metal, indie and alternative rock with a free weekly film series that will continue Feb. 14 with the classic Billy Wilder comedy, Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis; Feb. 21, the 1978 remake of the sci-fi fave, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Feb. 28, Don’t You Wish You Were Dead, a documentary about The Damned. The series will continue weekly for the foreseeable future in conjunction with the Coastal Cinema Consortium, a nonprofit dedicated to the education about and appreciation of historical film. Weekly themes are film noir, classic comedies, horror flicks and rockumentaries. Highlights also include free popcorn and drink specials.

  Also happening at the Brighton will be the continuation of 95.9 the Rat’s free 2018 Jersey Rock Showcase on Feb. 8 with Dinosaur Eyelids, Ruby Bones and Corevalay. Sponsored by Shore Point Distributing, the series features $3 Yuenlings also with The Carousers, Roulette, The Ones You Forgot, Lance Larson and Matt O’Ree, Feb. 22, Wonder Bar, Asbury Park; Above the Moon, The Skullers, and Wicked Hollow, Mar. 1, The Saint; and Taylor Tote Band, Wynward, and Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, Mar. 8, River Rock, Brick Township. Tune in to “Jersey Rock” on the Rat at 95.9-FM at 11:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays to hear chats with and music by participating showcase artists.

  Another haven for local rock of the indie and punk variety is WFDU 89.1’s “Signal to Noise,” which is in the midst of a pledge drive 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays through Feb. 25 on the air. For a donation of $100 or more, you can program one of the three remaining themed shows of the pledge drive. Themes are new waves on Feb. 11, local indie rock on Feb. 18, and indie and punk cover songs on Feb. 25. Funds also are being raised through a GoFundMe account for WFDU and benefit concerts on Feb. 10 at Rose Gold in New York City with King Missile, Flower, and Charles Bissell; Feb. 17, Pino’s, Highland Park, with Stuyvesant, Lyons, and Joy Cleaner, and Feb. 24, Piano’s, also New York City, with Scupper, WV White and Kerbivore.

  “Our Common Thread” is an annual performance presented by coLAB Arts and the First Reformed Church to support New Brunswick’s Interfaith Men’s Rotating Shelter and the efforts of participating houses of worship. The event features theater, choral performance, and a panel discussion. Audrey Rose of The Wichts will perform “Empathize Me,” an original one-act work that reflects her own experiences with homelessness. The First Reformed Church Choir also will perform with the Yue Yue Ensemble. And a performance piece based on interview with men from the Rotating Shelter will be followed by a discussion lead by the shelter’s religious leaders.

  So far, the best new band of the year are Second Arrows, a hard-core super group featuring Deadguy vocalist Crispy, Every Time I Die guitarist Chris Byrnes, Ensign guitarist Dan Brennan, The Banner bassist Pete August, and drummer Chris Ross, the architect of the New Brunswick basement scene who played with Stretch Armstrong, Ensign and Nora. While working on songs for their debut EP to be record in the spring and expected to be released by early autumn, Second Arrows will play Feb. 17 at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick with The Sickies, Atom Driver, and The Nowhere, and Mar. 9 at Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck opening for Cro-Mags along with Threat 2 Society and Wastelands.

  New Brunswick-based pop-punk band Feeny also are writing a new record that will follow the recent single, “Puzo,” as well as two EPs since 2012. The band said the seminal NJ punk band, The Bouncing Souls, partially influences the latest songs. See Feeny Feb. 16 at Flemington DIY with Sparrows, Tempus Fugit, Salt Creek, and Paper Mache, and Feb. 24, Court Tavern, with Brianna Musco, The Rareflowers, and My Rising Fall.

  Eastern Pennsylvania-based singer-songwriter-guitarist MiZ will celebrate the release of his latest outing, the 12-song A Year Ago Today on his own BAMF Records, Feb. 9 at The Asbury hotel. The collection includes the bluesy love song “North Jersey Queen” and the Gregg Allman-inspired Heroes.”


Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at