Makin Waves Scene Report with ROCK New Brunswick, Oysterfest, Brighton Bar & More

Also featured this week are Pepperwine, Colossal Street Jam, “A Celebration of the Jersey Sound,” Revolutionary Rewind and Nonstop Show Group.

  Hub City Sounds: ROCK New Brunswick returns to New Brunswick’s Boyd Park on September 8 with an array of local talent. The fifth annual fest dedicated to the local New Brunswick and New Jersey original music scenes will feature Hub City Stompers, Doc Hopper, Pleased Youth, Sharief Hobley, Silent Knight, Nalani & Sarina, Experiment 34, Professor Caveman, SusBus, Hong Kong Graffiti, Nanja Young and Priyya on two continuous side-by-side stages. Throughout the fun-filled, family-friendly event The Circus Place will perform acrobatics and other circus feats. Plenty of food will be available for all to enjoy.

  After the festival, DJs DRKBXT and Kojak will spin phat soul-funk vinyl nuggets at Fatto Americano. The jammin’ after party also will feature the new restaurants’ fabulous thin-crust pizza.

  Also this weekend, Hub City Sounds, the seventh annual summer concert series of New Brunswick Cultural Center and its many partners, will feature the third annual Indo-American Festival on September 9 also in Boyd Park. Also very much a yoga festival, event highlights also will include mouthwatering treats, live music, and theatrical performances inspired by the rich culture and traditions from India.

  Another tasty festival happening this weekend is Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual Oysterfest, featuring some of the Jersey Shore’s best seafood and live music. In Bradley Park behind Convention Hall, three days of food will feature more than 25 vendors, including Local 130 Seafood, The Tiger’s Tail, Tasty Trolley, Ike’s Famous Crabcakes, Bistro Red Bank, Empanada Guy, Torta Truck, Louie Linguine, King of Rock-n-Roll Treats, Tony’s Clam Bar, Sweet Concessions, Simply Southern, Kona Ice, Bluepoint Brewing Co., Asbury Park Brewery, Tavernello wine and more. The music menu will serve up Lakehouse Music Academy, original E Street Band drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, and The Cold Seas on September 7; Renee Maskin, Run for Cover, Kate and the Melonheads, Pride, Tiki Torture, and Waiting on Mongo, September 8, and Karen Lee Jazz Duo, The Unknowns, Jimmy Shoez and the Magooz, Chris Brown, and Des and the Swagmatics on September 9.

  Some really hot shows coming up at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch. The Queers will be back there on September 6 with Jack & the Me Offs opening. Solace, featuring Tommy Southard of Godspeed, one of the greatest Brighton bands ever, will rock on September 8. The all-star Split Squad, featuring members of Blondie, Fleshtones, Plimsouls, and Baseball Project will come through on September 9. Jigs & the Pigs, The Cynz and Animals Masks also are on that bill. Other great Brighton shows include The Vibrators, September 21; Harley Flanagan of The Cro-Mags, September 28, and Backyard Superheroes’ East Coast Skamic-Con featuring No Such Noise, King Django, Joker’s Republic, P-Funk North, The Upfux, Behind Deadlines, The Schwam, Molly Rhythm, Nerd Surge, The Penniless Loafers, Disposable, The Nameless and Ill Rendition. With the exception of Hub City Stompers and Bigger Thomas, that’s a who’s who of Jersey ska, all to celebrate Backyard Superheroes’ latest album.

    Pepperwine have a new record out, their first full-length effort, Bright Ideas, and a hot show to go with it on October 6 at Asbury Lanes with Taylor Tote Band and Nalani & Sarina entitled “Power of Females.” Now that’s what I call a bright idea. In the meantime, they’ll perform in support of the follow-up to the 2016 EP, Future Habits, on September 8, Doylestown (Pa.) Arts Festival; September 22, The Ladybug Festival, Milford, Del., and September 29, Soupstock Music Festival, Veterans Memorial Park, Shelton, Conn. Look for a Makin Waves Interview with Pepperwine to preview “Power of Females” soon.

  After months of releasing singles, the mighty Colossal Street Jam have released their next record, a five-song EP entitled Just Take Hold. In addition to the three singles, the title track, “Mama” (streaming above) and a cover of Sugarloaf’s classic “Green Eyed Lady,” the record includes the psychedelic stomp of “Luck’s Gonna Turn” and the swampy slide of “Tomorrow, I’ll Hang.” The EP follows the band’s internationally successful 2016 comeback LP, Living Free, their first after a 20-year hiatus. Colossal will celebrate the release of Just Take Hold with a two-set show on September 7 at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park.

  Happening next door to the Colossal show at Asbury Park Yacht Club will be Makin Waves’ “Celebration of the Jersey Sound,” a cross between that trinity of troubadours, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, and some of the punk bands they’ve influenced, such as The Clash, Social Distortion and The Bouncing Souls. Performing will be The Vansaders, The Cryptkeeper Five, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, and Chris Brown. I’m looking forward to bopping back and forth between the shows and hanging out with many of my music friends all night. You should come hang.

    Revolution Rewind, featuring the great Russell Arcara of Prophet and Edgar Cayce, are back after a brief hiatus due to illness. I’m glad they’re ready to rock the fabled Stone Pony on September 8 opening for the Stevie Nicks tribute band Gypsy. Also featuring members of Acme Boogie Co. and Instant Karma, Revolution Rewind play a great mix of epic classic rock covers from Mott the Hoople to Yes to The Allman Brothers. Spring Wood also will share that Pony bill. Keep a lookout right here in Makin Waves for a makeup date of the Aug. 18 show at Middletown Arts Center that was canceled.

  The Newark International Film Festival selection committee has chosen four short films as official selections to be screened at this year’s event that were made by members of the same Plainfield family: The Macksons. Led by film and television producer Lamar Mackson, his sons, cinematographer Kalani Jimenez-Mackson and director-writer Isaiah Mackson are poised to release their first collaboration together entitled “Heroin(e)” under their production company Nonstop Show Group. “Heroin(e)” is a gritty short feature that follows the story of Silvia, portrayed by Teniece Divya Johnson (“Orange is the New Black”), a heroin addict who has reached her lowest point. After a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger, Silvia gets an opportunity to redeem herself in the eyes of a society that has discarded her as worthless. The film was shot using various locations in Plainfield. The Westfield International Film Festival most recently recognized the film with awards for Best Editing, Actress and Short Film. “Heroin(e)” will screen at the Westfield International Film Festival on September 23.

  Other film projects circulated and co-produced by the Mackson family trio include “Shh,” written by Okema T. Moore, “White Pickett Fence,” written by Jacqueline King Howell, and “Rule #1,” directed by Patrick Coker. All four will screen at Newark International Film Festival from September 6 to 9. “Heroin(e)” also will screen on October 5 at Ocktober Film Festival at the new Stuart Cinemas in Brooklyn and the Baltimore International Black Film Festival, which takes place October 2 to 8.

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