North Jersey Notes: Sami Eldebs

A couple of weeks ago, I met a talented singer-songwriter from West Orange, NJ, while I was at work at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. His name is Sami Eldebs, and he was supposed to perform in the lounge at our seafood restaurants, but his performance was cancelled due to the NCAA tournament. I did manage to get Sami on the radio to promote some of his upcoming shows, only to learn that Sami is managed by an old friend, Rob Monte, who many will remember from the local cover band, Dog Voices. Rob is a local legend and is living in my old hometown of Saddle Brook. The world just got smaller! Anyway, back to Sami, this kid has quite a story and quite a voice. That’s why he’s this week’s featured artist.

Born in Iowa, raised in both the Philippines and Milwaukee, but now calling West Orange, NJ home, Sami Eldebs found himself surrounded by music early in life. He claims to be influenced by everything from Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future, the sounds of his parents’ old records, and jam sessions with childhood friends. Sami picked up a pair of drum sticks for the first time on his 10th birthday when his parents surprised him with a brand new drum set, but his desire for songwriting truly became fulfilled after Sami picked up a guitar at the age of 14. Fueled by his early success in talent shows, small gigs, and battle of the bands contests, Sami chose his own path by pursuing music out on the east coast while most of his friends headed to college. Overcoming obstacles like depression, homelessness, and heartbreak upon his arrival to the Garden State, Sami never lost sight of his dream to become a musician. After playing numerous venues in the tri-state area and recording independent demos, it wasn’t until his collaboration with producer/songwriter Alex Houton of Wu-Shu Entertainment—whose credits include work with Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, and Gym Class Heroes—that his dreams became attainable.

Sami Eldebs released his debut EP, The Come Hear, in December 2007. After being offered a handful of record deals and management opportunities, he would ultimately turn them down due to his strong vision. Instead, he started his own record label and in October 2011, Sami released his debut album, Blackouts and Knockouts, featuring the songs “Go Do What You Like,” “Better Without You,” “Breathe” and a song called “Leave,” which Sami has a music video for. Sami Eldebs is a must-see performer that is bound to take your breath away. To learn more about Sami Eldebs or to find out where he’s performing next, visit


My buds from Dinosaur Eyelids recently released a new music video for their song “More Than Nothing” off of the band’s latest album Left Turn On Red. The video is basically a photo slideshow of live performance footage. You can actually catch Dinosaur Eyelids live at Championship Bar and Music Club in Trenton, NJ on May 10, where the band threatens to debut some new music mixed in with “unforgettable fuzz rock classics” from the band. For more info on Dinosaur Eyelids, visit…. My brother, Tattoo Tony and his band, Broken Past are putting the finishing touches on their debut EP, Time for Change. Engineered and produced by Tattoo Tony and Dark Sky Choir manager, Rick Santaniello, and mixed and mastered by Juan Urteaga for Trident Studios in Pacheco, CA, Time For Change features 6 brand new songs including “Dead to Me,” “Broken Past,” “Dominoes,” “Fast Lane,” the title track, and a cover of the Quiet Riot classic “Metal Health.” Broken Past recently inked a deal with the Maryland-based indie label, HighVolMusic. A video for the title track is being shot in April and will coincide with the release of the EP. For more info on Broken Past, visit…. And finally, one show you won’t want to miss is happening on April 5 at the Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, NJ. It’s the return of Dog Eat Dog! Yes, my bro, Dave Neabore has put Dog Eat Dog back together! For those of you scratching your heads, Dog Eat Dog was considered one of the first bands to fuse hardcore with rap music. These guys are awesome back in the ’90s and it even featured members from local favorites, Mucky Pup! Also performing this Friday night with Dog Eat Dog are my brothers Robots and Monsters, Ogre, Rest Assured, and Chaotic Realm. For more info on this Dog Eat Dog reunion, 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:

4/5—Dog Eat Dog/Robots and Monsters/Ogre/Rest Assured?/Chaotic Realm—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/6—SCAM/Honor Among Thieves/Thornes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/9—L.A. Guns starring Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns/Ripped/Lunatic Fringe—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/13—Angel/Starz—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ (SOLD OUT)

4/13—Flaw/The Mendenhall Experiment/Black Water Rising/One Day Waiting— Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/14—Flaw/The Mendenhall Experiment/Black Water Rising—Championship Bar, Trenton, NJ

4/20—Tokyo Motor Fist/Starz(Performing a special extended set)/Tempt—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/20—The Cringe/Voices of Extreme/Tesla—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

4/23—Combichrist/Silver Snakes—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/24—Steve Bello/Uli Jon Roth—The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ

4/25—Enuff Z’Nuff—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/26—Jersey Campfires Production Presents Newborn KINGS/Barren One/Lunatic Fringe—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

4/27—Blaze Bayley—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

5/3—Borgo Pass/Killcode/Inner Strength/Last In Line—Mulcahy’s, Wantagh, NY

5/4—Rahway/Another Days Armor/Black Dawn/Skid Row—Starland Ballroom, Syareville, NJ

5/4—Jersey Campfires Productions Presents 12 Stones/Arc’d Angel/Answer Infinity/NASH/GAA—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

5/10—Dinosaur Eyelids—Championship Bar and Music Club, Trenton, NJ