Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Lost in Society & Face to Face – 5/13/17 May 16, 2017

Review by Joey Affatato

I had the opportunity to see both Lost In Society and Face To Face at House of Independents in Asbury Park and was more than happy I went. To start off the night, Lost In Society dove into their set with a burst of energy and were literally ‘bouncing off the walls’ as they played. Already being a fan of the band, I was jamming out to their newest record Modern Illusions (produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls) in the car driving to the show and have to say that the punk trio did not fail to impress. The combination of punchy drums, raspy vocals, and catchy melodies was enough to get the whole room dancing – even people who may have just came for the headlining act. Just watching Lost in Society perform, they were so intense and I could feel every bit of what they were expressing through their music. Some of my favorite songs from them have to be “Generation Why” and “I Want To Know”, which are both off Modern Illusions. As a surprise, Jared Hart from The Scandals made an appearance on stage to play guitar for the last few songs of their set. Needless to say, Lost In Society was the upbeat powerhouse necessary to start off a show like this one and I would highly recommend checking them out.

As for Face To Face, it’s amazing how I never really listened to them before, but they instantly blew me away with an electrifying performance. For their entire set, I was on the balls off my feet – their music was a vicious stampede of sound and you didn’t really have time to take a break. It was just one hit after another. Definitely reminded me a lot of early Bouncing Souls, but if you also mixed in some Descendents from all the power driven bass licks and complex drumming at times. The punk band from Southern California has been in existence for over 25 years and has released 10 full-length records, including their latest Protection via Fat Wreck Chords. Being the veterans they are, it was pretty rad to see so many people singing along and rushing the stage to crowd surf. Being that there were no barricades either, it was an instant go ahead for any fans that dreamed of singing some songs with their punk heroes. Overall, both Lost In Society and Face To Face killed it and if you have never heard of either, you have some serious homework to do.

Thanks to Anthony for these great shots!

 

Tenth Annual Record Store Day April 22, 2017

Filed under: music news,Music Swap — NVMP @ 8:04 AM
Tags: , ,

By Nicole Seitz

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Record stores are not as popular and hoppin’ as they used to be with the introduction of music streaming and less of a need for physical copies of music. However, Record Store Day is keeping the music alive. This year is going to be the 10th Record Store Day across the nation. Every April, record shops get special releases of some your favorite artists and they get their staff ready for the biggest day of the year.

This year, Record Store Day is Saturday, April 22. Some special releases for this year include newer artists such as All Time Low, Dave Matthews Band, and The Lumineers. There will also be special releases of live performances, unreleased music, and remastered music from legends like David Bowie, Prince, and The Beatles.

“Record store day reminds us that music is an art form – it can be listened as a single song or as I prefer, in an entire album of material from an artist.” said Communication Department Chair and Associate Professor Aaron Furgason at Monmouth University.  “What makes this day special is that a trip to a record store means that you leave with tangible evidence of the artist, instead of simple download or stream of the music. A record allows you to admire the album cover art, read the lyrics, credits and thank you’s by the artist – elements you don’t necessarily have access to through streaming or downloading a song.”

“In the past, I’ve been excited to get exclusive content that was only available on Record Store Day,” said senior music industry student, Joey Affatato. “In 2015, I bought a special 10th anniversary release of Brand New’s Deja Entendu, and last year I got a special acoustic version of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.”

To pick up some cool tunes, you can either stop at your favorite local record store or make a whole day trip out of it. Senior music industry student Dave DePaola mapped out a whole days’ worth of NJ record stores to visit a few years ago and has been doing that with his friends since 2015.

DePaola said, “I love Record Store Day because I love being able to just explore with my friends. Not only is it exciting every time I find an album I’ve been looking for or discover a new album while searching through all the stores, I love being able to explore all the different towns we stop in and see all different areas in New Jersey.”

If you start your day around 10 a.m., it should be easy to get through all the stores and stop wherever you want for lunch and dinner along the way in one of the various towns.

The route starts locally at Hold Fast in Asbury Park, right on Cookman Ave. This a cool little store with a pretty good collection of new releases and old ones alike. They also have some cool music memorabilia for collectors.

The next stop is everyone’s favorite, Jack’s Music Shoppe, in Red Bank. Red Bank is always a good time and Jack’s has not only CD’s, vinyl, and tapes, but also an extensive collection of posters, sheet music and even movies (if you’re not into music).

The next stop on the list is Vintage Vinyl about 40 minutes north in Fords. Vintage Vinyl is probably the largest record store on the list and has a huge selection of music on various mediums. The store is even a venue for local and bigger acts from time to time with their stage in the back of the place.

Next stop is New Brunswick. There are two pretty cool record stores here and obviously lots of other cool places to check out around town. Spina Records is a tiny little hipster record store in the basement of a building. They have $1 records outside and you can walk down the stairs to a solid collection of CD’s and records for a fairly small space.

The next one in New Brunswick is Revilla Grooves and Gear, which is just outside of the main town area in New Brunswick. It was here that we found some rare finds like Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and The Wall by Pink Floyd both on vinyl for a great price.

Next up, Princeton Record Exchange (PREX). If you’ve ever been to Princeton to just walk around and get dinner, you’ve probably wandered into PREX. This is probably the most organized, considering it’s not that big of a place. There is always something new to find and you can always find at least one album that you’ve been looking for for a while there.

The last stop on our list is Randy Now’s Man Cave in the heart of Historic Bordentown. The Man Cave is a tiny shop with music knick-knacks and various mediums of music. There is also a whole room of movie/TV show memorabilia for those interested in that.

Overall, Record Store Day is a great day to explore and find new music. It’s also a good chance for up and coming musicians to give their music to various record stores. Affatato has copies of his album The Ramparts Rebel available at Randy Now’s.

DePaola said, “I have always loved collecting CDs and records. Record Store Day allows me to dedicate a whole day to collecting and listening to music and it’s the coolest thing ever.”

EDITORS NOTE: If you venture to North NJ, you must check out Merchant Music in Westwood!

Click here to view the list of all releases for Record Store Day.

 

The Ramparts Rebel Album Review February 22, 2017

Review by Nicole Seitz

Joey Affatato, senior music industry student and vice president of Blue Hawk Records, has been a part of the Monmouth University music scene since the beginning of his freshman year in the Fall of 2013. Now he has some amazing music to share with us on his album. Affatato’s first band in college was The Ramparts Rebel, which included himself and his uncle’s band, Crypt Keeper Five.

This album is self-titled The Ramparts Rebel, and if you have ever had a chance to see Joey Affatato play live, you will really be blown away about how some of your favorite hits are re-created on this album. As a frequent goer of Affatato’s shows and a friend, I was honestly surprised and super pumped by the artistic magic that I heard in the songs that I often hear live at his shows.

Affatato explains how he composes his music, “When writing an album, I usually start off by writing songs stripped down on my acoustic then eventually, I’ll come up with a cool hook or catchy melody and I’ll go off that,” Affatato states. “Then, I’ll demo the songs out until they sound good enough to bring to the studio to record.” This album definitely sounds like it was carefully put together and well-practiced.

The opening track begins with a Green Day-esque bass riff that just brings you back to 2005 and makes you feel so angsty in the best way possible. This whole track is just angry and honest which is very refreshing compared to the many happy-go-lucky love songs that some people may be used to now a days.

The second track on the album, “Faults,” is a go to song for Affatato when he plays out. The perfect example of a hooky, fun, but still angsty song. Sometimes you can’t help but scream the chorus at the top of your lungs and pronounce it ” MY FAAA-AA-WALT!”

The next few tracks have a much more serious vibe. You can tell from the feel of the songs and the lyrics that these are real stories and real life lessons put together into 3 minute ballads. When I first listened to the lyrics of “By My Side,” the third track on the album, I began to tear up because I felt like I could feel every emotion that was put into the song and it was just so relatable.

By track five, “Emily,” we get back into the classic Punk Rock feel with gang vocals screaming “Hey Emily!” and the imperfect guitar tone with upbeat drums and overall punk vibes.

Track six is the only acoustic song on the album. “Brings Me Down” was actually a song that Joey Affatato had recorded with Blue Hawk Records as a part of their fourth compilation album. On Blue Hawk Records he recorded this song full band with The Crypt Keeper Five. However, on this album, the acoustic rendition allows Affatato to really showcase some of his amazing vocal skills. During one of the last choruses, he decides to sing acapella and the tone of his voice is really beautiful and adds a great dynamic to the whole song.

The intro to track seven, “Honey, What Was Your Name?” is very reminiscent of a Blink-182 song later in their career. The vocals and over all vibes of the song remind me a little bit of John O’Callaghan, the lead singer of The Maine, and something off their album Pioneer.

Track eight, “Breakdown,” is one of the most powerful songs on the album, in sound and lyrics. This is a track I had never heard before from going to Joey Affatato’s shows, so it was a shock to hear something that just made me feel so much emotion and tension, in a good way. The song is mostly this blurred-sounding guitar and very clear vocals. This style really allows the listener to hear every word and really hear the story.

The last track is titled “Irene,” cleverly named after the hurricane back in August of 2011. The intro bass riff sounds just like you’re in a movie where a big storm is about to come, like the eerie calm before the storm. “Irene” is another crowd favorite at Affatato’s shows and the recreation of it on the record certainly does not disappoint.

Over all the album is AMAZING! Although Joey Affatato is primarily labeled as a “Punk Rock” artists, this album still finds a way to give you all types of sounds and feelings. From really edgy and angsty, to deep and meaningful.

The lyrics really tell a story. Affatato states “I’ll write lyrics and keep changing them until they’re the exact words I want people to hear when they listen to my music.” The words really do speak to you when you listen to the album. Every line has meaning and every song is another lesson learned. The greatest part about music is that it is a way to express ourselves creatively and Joey Affatato certainly does that.

The Ramparts Rebel is not Affatato’s only project. His new band The Carousers, who are signed to Blue Hawk Records, have been in the studio and are looking forward to dropping their new EP for us soon.

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Says Good-Bye, 2017 Says Hello December 31, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — NVMP @ 6:17 PM
What a year 2016 has been.  Van’s Warped Tour was one of the best years since the early 2000’s (New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish, Sum41, Yellowcard, Pepper, Ballyhoo!, and Less Than Jake certainly made Warped Tour great again), Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct was released (now just anxiously awaiting US tour dates), and The Living End released Shift AND toured in the US (where I reunited with the trio at Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ and somehow signed up to be a platelet donor).
That being said, I must point out that we’ve lost a lot of amazing music venues/bars/restaurants in the tri-state area.
  • Cake Shop on Ludlow Street will be closing after their New Year’s Eve bash.  This one is hard to stomach as I’ve seen a lot of incredible sets downstairs at this crowded, heat-trapped stage since 2005.  When their neighbors The Living Room closed their doors to re-open up in Brooklyn on Metropolitan Avenue, I was saddened to see three music venues in a row on Ludlow knocked down to two.  But now just one?  If anything happens to Pianos there’s going to be hell to pay!
  • Oi vey…now to talk about the closing of (many) music venues due to hosting NYC Oi Fest.
    • Black Bear Bar (which was right next to Music Hall of Williamsburg and formally Public Assembly and Galapagos Art Space) closed their doors in early September.  They hosted the first night of the controversial Oi Fest! over Memorial Day weekend and cancelled the event in progress due to pressure by promoters.  Black Bear Bar posted this statement on Facebook: “This past Saturday night it came to our attention that our venue room was booked for a two-day festival which featured reprehensible displays of hate and intolerance. We immediately took action that night to cancel the remainder of the event as soon as we confirmed what had taken place. The booking was made by a third-party booking agent and not by Black Bear. That booker also used our social media accounts to make posts that neither I nor any owner of Black Bear condoned or approved. We have fired the booking agent. The owners of Black Bear apologize to our fellow New Yorkers for this disgusting event. Hate and intolerance are not welcome at our bar and have no place in our great city.”  Not long after hosting this mistake of an event the skate bowl/motorcycle bar was forced to closed.
    • Santo’s Party House in Chinatown closed immediately after hosting the second night of NYC’s Oi Fest on May 29th.  I’ve had so many great nights at this place and for years wanted to host my own party here. This place will be deeply missed and I have no beef against Andrew W.K. who was part owner of the venue.  People make mistakes, and clearly deciding to have anything to do with Oi Fest is one of them.
    • That being said, The Acheron also closed their doors in July “As a result of numerous factors that are completely out of our control, the space can no longer be used for shows,” said in a statement from the owners.  The adjacent bar, The Anchored Inn, will remain open.  The Ancheron hosted NYC’s Oi Fest back in 2013 and apologized to their regulars who felt the need to leave.
  • The Grand Victory, another grungy dive bar gem on Grand Street in Brooklyn, closed their doors on July 31st.  The Trash Bar used to be across the street, and closed back in 2015.  Long live the grungy dive bars, lost but never forgotten.
  • It’s with a very heavy heart I say that Rebel Rebel Records on Bleeker Street closed this past June.  Sure, there’s Rough Trade in Brooklyn, but it will never hold as much history as Rebel Rebel did.  Due to rising rent prices, they were forced to close their doors forever after being in business for 28 years.
  • Peanut Butter & Co. on Sullivan Street closed at the end of February. Luckily you can still buy their delicious peanut butter, but you’ll be responsible for your own sandwich creations.  They were in business at this location for 17 years and one of the first single-ingredient sandwich shops in the area.
  • Carnegie Deli on 7th closed their doors yesterday, 12/30.  You can still get tasty pastrami sandwiches at their other locations, although I’ve always preferred Katz.

Okay, that’s enough sad reminiscing.  Let’s get positive and review what has opened up this year, and what will open up in 2017:

  • Brooklyn Steel (a The Bowery Presents venue) is set to open in the spring of 2017 at 319 Frost Street.  They are already booking shows, opening with 3 days of The Decemberists.
  • The Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk officially opened June 25th and has already hosted many great acts.
  • Brooklyn Bazaar closed in 2015 but has now reopened as of September 9th at 150 Greenpoint Avenue.  So many great things to do here; if you’re bored, this is where you should be.  Live music, market place with the most unique vendors, karaoke/arcade/ping pong/mini-golf, and The Brooklyn Star food and bar (serving brunch on Sundays)
  • The Lucky Bee – 252 Broome Street – opened towards the end of January this year.  They serve seasonal Thai curries, Southeast Asian street snacks and cocktails in a colorful space. The cocktail menu features drinks made with honey, and a dollar of every drink sold is donated to the New York City Beekeepers Association. The owners hope to raise bees on the roof in the future. 
  • Pet Shop opened up in Jersey City this past August.  They host occasional live music and have a wine bar in the basement, not to mention a menu of original vegetarian plates.
  • Park and Orchard in Rutherford, NJ closed in July 2015 and re-opened under new ownership on April 1st 2016.  This restaurant has always been about healthy, organic vegetarian options and the new menu still seems to carry that torch. They also say they’ve kept a few classics on the menu, but I do not see the famous Crawfish Enchiladas so I have been hesitant to try it out.  Hopefully they still make the best French martini known to man.

 

Hope everyone has a happy new year!

 

Matt Alonso Breaks Down Walls in the Music Industry December 4, 2016

by Nicole Seitz

Last December I interviewed senior music industry student Matt Alonso about his Kickstarter for Cortex which successfully raised $5,500. It may sound cheesy, but what once was an idea has now become a reality for Alonso after nine months of dealing with the ups and downs of the industry and working four jobs to make sure his dream would come true.

The platform of Cortex is a way for musicians to connect with their fans, according to Alonso. Currently the website thecortexmusic.com can be used for fans to download their favorite artists’ music for free. Artists that are registered with Cortex currently include current Blue Hawk Records artists Littlebear and The Ramparts Rebel and some Monmouth alumni bands like The Bunks, Flammable Animals, and Grin & Bear. Some local bands, such as Bounders and The Black Sox Scandal, are featured on the website as well.

The website had its first soft launch in mid-September 2016. Artists pay a single payment of $50 to start connecting with their fans and making money off their music. Although this is only the beginning, Alonso has a lot in store for Cortex. Within the next year Alonso wants to “go towards streaming music for these artists’ and get them paid more than Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music combined.”

We have seen artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift take a stand against the music streaming sites that only seek to take money from artists. Alonso’s goal is to “put the music industry back in the hands of the artists.”

He explained that current CEO’s of these streaming sites have a formula they use to calculate how much money goes to the artist and how much goes to them and Alonso blatantly stated “I made up my own formula and it’s better.”

His whole platform revolves around making sure the artist get paid fairly and can connect with their fans. Alonso recently celebrated his first two cents of revenue, and although that may not be much to most of us, it meant the world to him and the future of Cortex.

His focus is on the artist themselves. “If [Cortex] helps at least one other person, I’ll be grateful,” Alonso stated. He is a huge music lover himself and sees the dwindling appreciation for the art of music. “Music is a beautiful thing that is taken for granted,” Alonso believes.

Alonso’s goal is to raise awareness of this lost art by starting locally. Many of the artists that represent Cortex right now are Monmouth County bands, and Alonso hopes that by being a part of Cortex they can grow. Alonso said, “Every band that anyone has ever loved was once a local band.” He urged people to support their local artists by listening to your local music scene.

Joe Rapolla, Chair and specialist professor of the Music and Theatre Arts department, has had Alonso as a student and says “This is exactly the kind of creative initiative we love to see our students take. I applaud Matt’s entrepreneurial efforts with Cortex. I’ve told him, like we tell all of our students, that we are here to support them if they have an idea that they’d like to pursue…whether while here at Monmouth, or beyond.”

Rapolla continued “I am constantly making the point that the business world isn’t just looking for workers to come in to be told what to do, but rather innovators that ask how they can add value, and contribute to a solution.”

Dave DePaola, a senior music industry student, commented, “Matt is such a great dude and has such a love and passion for music. He’s doing something that the industry should have been doing for years and he’s doing it all to help promote the art of music and get artists’ the appreciation they deserve. I wish him all the luck through out this whole journey.”

The future of Cortex will provide artists an option to pay a little more and register to be Premium Artists. This premium feature will allow artists to see the demographics of who is listening to their music and where these fans are.

This feature will allow the musicians to get to the fans that are listening and make more connections with them. Alonso described how there is a huge disconnect between artists and fans and this feature can hopefully break down those walls.

The passion and enthusiasm Alonso has for this project and for music in general is evident. He has big plans for the future and hopes to change the world of the music industry. If you’re interested in checking out the website go to thecortexmusic.com and sign up to be a fan and become a part of a music revolution.

 

Election Day 2016 November 8, 2016

Election Day…smell that?  Yep, that’s the smell of your freedom.  We could care less about who you vote for, the important thing is that you vote. You have a voice, so speak up!

HeadCount followed Van’s Warped Tour this summer to sign up as many young voters as possible.  They’ve registered close to 30,000 new voters this year (including 2,000+ on Warped Tour) and over 350,000 voters since started in 2004. Here’s a short video of the opinions  of young voters at Vans Warped Tour (the opinions may be surprising). It features members of Sleeping with Sirens, Reel Big Fish and Every Time I Die, plus Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, and many young fans.

Fact of the matter is that this election is between 2 major candidates. But what do you do when you despise both of them, and cannot envision our country run by a Fascist or a Warmonger?  You still vote.  Consider the Green Party and candidate Jill Stein:

Remember that vote for ANYONE still counts.  Maybe you just want to party hard and think Andrew W.K. and the Party Party is a good option:

Or, maybe you’ve always wanted a pony and think Vermin Supreme is the way to go:

Look, it doesn’t matter who you vote for…all politicians are liars, will do anything for your ballot, and it’s usually between a giant douche or a turd sandwich anyway.  But someone has to lead our country so get out there and vote…because, reasons.

 

41 Tips For Women Starting Out In The Music Business (Repost from PIAS) September 28, 2016

Filed under: Interviews,Too Cool for a Category — NVMP @ 11:36 PM
Tags: ,

“It’s a male-dominated industry, but that means your perspective is even more value. Speak your mind, speak truth to power – never be afraid to be “that girl.”” – Michelle Lhooq

This is an amazing post and I’m honored to share these tips!  Thank you to PIAS for this post!

41 tips for women starting out in the music business