Makin Waves Scene Report with Sonic Blume, ManDancing, Avery Mandeville, & More!

Also featured this week are “OneMore with Brian Erickson,” Lex Rex and The Dragons and Best Ex on the Warped Tour’s Shiragirl Stage, Black Potatoe Fest, Queen City Film Festival, The Skullers and We May Be Right.

    Sonic Blume, 2018 Asbury Music Award Winners for Top Young Band, will celebrate the release of their sophomore album, Beach Karma, on July 14 at Asbury Lanes. It will be Sonic Blume’s first performance at the newly refurbished venue, which celebrated its own reopening with a performance by Bruce Springsteen on June 18. Also on the bill of the all-ages show will be Jersey Shore indie band, Shoobies, and Asbury Park’s own Ragged Lines. 

  Sonic Blume’s self-titled debut album was released in November 2017 to rave reviews. It also was nominated at the 2018 Asbury Music Awards for Top Local Album Release, and its most popular song, “First Nite,” for Song of the Year. 

  Beach Karma will be released on all major music media platforms on July 13. It was recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios and produced by Erik Kase Romero (Front Bottoms, Haunt Club). 

  A video for a track entitled “Shotgun” is in production with director Anthony Yebra, who has made acclaimed clips for Deal Casino, the late, great dollys, and his own band, Haunt Club.

Sonic Blume’s sound best can be described as dream pop or shoegaze with jangly, upbeat guitar melodies. Influences range from ‘80s favorites The Smiths, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine to current day acts Tame Impala, Alvvays and The Strokes. The band are comprised of songwriter Max Connery on vocals, guitars and synths; Danny Murray on drums; Andrew Phelan on bass; and Chase Landgrebe on guitar.

  The band recently opened for Deal Casino at The House of Independents and Tor Miller at The Outpost. In February, they played to an audience of 2,500 when they opened for Netflix’s Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo’s South Jersey-based band, Work in Progress, at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville. Their music is in regular rotation on several college radio stations, including Brookdale’s WBJB (90.5 FM), Rutgers’ WRSU (88.7 FM) and Stockton University’s WLFR (91.7 FM).

  On July 14, ManDancing will celebrate the release of Hands on 3, their first new record on Massachusetts-based Take This To Heart Records, which re-released their Everyone Else LP earlier this year. The show at FM in Jersey City also will feature Jersey label mates Hodera and Future Teens, a Mass. band with whom ManDancing have been touring. Other dates with them are July 12, Our Wicked Lady, Brooklyn, and July 13, Lizard Lounge, Philadelphia. Pre-order Hands on 3 at, and receive a free instant download of the “Passing Out” single.


  Adored Asbury songstress Avery Mandeville and her crackerjack backing band, the Man Devils, will celebrate the release of Happy Birthday, Avery Jane, their full-length debut follow-up to last year’s five-song EP, Salty. And what a stacked lineup of headliners they have filled for their celebration on July 13 at The Saint with Dentist, Lowlight and Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel. As reported last week, Dentist will be playing Night Swimming, their soon-to-be-released third album and label debut for L.A.-based Cleopatra Records in their last local gig before their first national tour.

    “OneMore with Brian Erickson,” the weekly YouTube talk show that features interviews with and performances by two local music acts, has moved to a hot new spot at The Outpost between Lake and Cookman avenues in Asbury Park. A great hang no matter what is going on with its chill hammocks, tropical decor and artsy vibe, The Outpost should make for a great live venue for “OneMore” and the local music scene. Guests are welcome to the free Monday shows, which will continue with Chris Brown and Cranston Dean on July 16; Jessie McCormick and Deirdre Forrest, July 23, and Angie Sugrim and Above the Moon, July 30. Kudos to Monmouth Music in Red Bank for hosting “OneMore” for two years.

  And kudos to Erickson for his busy schedule this month as a performer. He’s playing shows with his band The Extensions, July 13, Stosh’s, Fair Lawn, and July 27, The Asbury hotel, and solo, July 14, Dragonfly, Somerville, and July 17, The Downtown, Red Bank. And with his band The Paper Jets, Erickson is playing the Second Annual Makin Waves Roots Fest on Aug. 11 at Asbury Park Brewery with Cranston Dean Band, Levy & the Oaks, The Burns, and Tara Dente. He’s also presenting shows July 21, John And Peter’s, New Hope, Pa., with Lowlight, Tara Dente, Rhonette & the Smiths, and Jamie Coppa, and July 25, The Asbury, with Dave Vargo, The Successful Failures, and Brian Molnar.

  Congrats to Jersey acts Lex Rex and The Dragons and Best Ex, who’ll share the Shiragirl Stage of fellow Jersey girl Shiragirl on July 14 at the last-ever Vans Warped Tour at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. The Oradell-raised punk-rock artist-activist strives to empower women by providing a platform for creative expression. Other Jersey acts playing the Warped Tour this weekend include Molly Rhythm, Inventure, latewaves, and The Stolen on the Full Sail University Stage.

    Black Potatoe Music Festival returns July 12 to 15 to The Red Mill Museum, Clinton, with Texas singer-songwriter and opening night headliner Radney Foster, local favorites Nalani & Sarina, and an Indiegogo campaign for and plenty of music from Black Potatoe’s forthcoming feature film debut, The Decade. Expected to be released by the 2019 Potatoe fest, the film follows the life of Jake, an Army veteran, during the tumultuous events in recent America history from 2000 through 2010, using the lyrics of indie singer-songwriters of the era to tell the entire story. Potatoe founder Matt Angus, who directs, wrote the story and provides 10 of the 20 songs, will be performing in his usual festival spot closing out Saturday night. Willy Porter will close out Friday night, and his song “How to Rob a Bank” is featured in the film, as are songs by Ellis Paul, who is closing out Sunday. Hannah Bingman’s “Finished Fine Done” also is featured. She will perform on Saturday at the festival, as will John Ginty that evening with The Matt Angus Thing. Ginty is featured in the film with his band High Fidelity. Also acting in the movie are The Sharer Sisters, who perform on Saturday, and Black Potatoe recording artists Christian Bauman and Gregg Cagno, who performs on Sunday. 

  New to the 22nd annual Black Potatoe Festival will be James Hearne of Catskill, N.Y.; Nashville band Mariela; Jersey-bred Boston transplant native Susan Catteneo; fellow Beantown songwriter Grace Morrison, and D.C. songstress Marielle Kraft. They’ll be joined by new locals, such as Pryenesia of Lambertville, Ally Mac of Freehold, and Clinton Township’s own Andy Dunn, a finalist of the New Folk competition at the prestigious Kerrville Folk festival in Texas.

  The inaugural Queen City Film Festival will be July 13 at First Unitarian Society, Plainfield. The event is produced and will be screening films by city-based Nonstop Show Group and its partners: TryBoro Productions and Afrolombian Films. Committed to presenting the best projects from local filmmakers, festival organizers have curated short films produced in Plainfield. Scheduled screenings of projects crafted in and around the city include “The Shhfilm,” “Moves We Make,” “White Pickett Fence,” and “Heroin(e).” A panel hosted by BKS 1 radio personality Latoya Dawson will feature Plainfield native cinematographer Kalani Mackson, production manager Allison McWilliams, and film and television production veteran Lamar David Mackson. Other panelists include actress-writer Okema T. Moore, writer Adam Wiesen and directors Patrick Coker and Jamal Hodge.

    The Skullers jaunty new summer single is a cover of Richard Hell’s “I’m Your Man” available on all digital platforms (and streaming above). With the track, the North Jersey band are donating proceeds to and raising awareness about a nonprofit called Career Gear that helps men in need enter or re-renter the workforce. The band met the Career Gear team at their offices in New York City and donated a few suits.

  The Skullers will perform at Johnny Thunders Birthday Bash on July 15 at Bowery Electric in New York City with Walter Lure & the Waldos, Lenny Kaye, The Skelekasters, The Threads, Steve Fallon of Coyote Records and Maxwells as DJ and much more. Sandwiched by Lenny Kaye and The Threads, The Skullers’ 20-minute set will feature “So Alone,” “Alone in the Crowd,” and “Downtown.” Namesake frontman Jack Skuller also will perform a monthly residency with special guests July 14, Aug. 9 and Sept. 29 at Fox & Crow in Jersey City.

    We May Be Right bring their energetic Billy Joel tribute show to the famous Rocks Off Concert Cruise Series! Featuring a set of “We only play 80s Joel!” and a set of time-honored classics, the Central Jersey band will have you singing along all afternoon on a musical cruise of New York Harbor around the Statue of Liberty. Visit their Facebook event page  for more details. 

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