Friday, July 31, 2009

Anyday Parade and Roadside Graves invade the Trash Bar in Brooklyn

Note: I’m not the Lorax, I don’t speak for the trees, but I like to think of myself as the voice of the common man here in Jersey City. A sort of Greek Chorus, if you will, cluing folks into the the comedy and tragedy of the local rock scene. I try to bridge the gap between the bands and the people in search of rock. And sure pride is my hubris, but I don’t let that stop me from doing the greater good: bringing the rock to you so you know who to see when they come around again. Here is one such story.

Saturday July 25th 8:37pm.
Rushing from work directly to the PATH after work isn’t much of a problem. But making sure you get to Brooklyn in time for a show at 10pm could be a bit of a time trial. I wasn’t worried though. Why, you ask? Well I consider Anyday Parade to be personal friends of mine. I doubt highly they’d start a show without me there, to get those ever important photos and video. Well that and the fact that I was taking the train with one of their lead singers and guitarist, Tree. I mean in all fairness they have two other lead singers/ guitarist. They probably could wing it if they tried, though I’m sure Larry Brinkman and Joe Daly would have had a bit of a discussion as to who would sing the female parts. Joking aside, Tree and I made it to the Trash Bar in time to assure that we’d be able to get a few beers before ADP began marching.

We entered the Brooklyn rock club and were greeted by the band’s new drummer Pat Byrne, who is never seen at the same place and time as Lucha DJ. Pat joined ADP a little over a month back. He appeared relaxed despite this being his first live show with the band. After a few beverages it was time for APD parade to take the stage. I spied in the crowd former drummer Chuck Richards out to support his former band mates. Joe, Larry, Tree, Chuck and Pat rocked out for the duration of their set. They have a seven inch that is due out Sept 5th. They played a few of the new track off of it. And We even got to hear a rare Waylon Jennings cover! After the set I congratulated the gang with Chuck Richards. Pat’s first show was a success. Afterwards he told me had he known Chuck was there he would have been way more nervous. That’s the kind of humility that breeds a solid drummer!

I hit the bar for a sweet tea vodka and water. Which is pretty much the most delicious drink known to man that doesn’t make you look like a tool drinking cranberry juice in a bar. After ogling the uber hot bartender for a little too long, I turned back to the stage. Roadside Graves were just starting up. Last time I caught these fellas out, I pretty much found a new favorite local band. Their country blues/ rock and roll style has something that you just don’t hear in music these days. If country rock had as many genres as heavy metal did I call these cats an epic country band. All the classic country themes are touched upon: Jail, Trains, Rain, God and DRINKING. Damn! I must be slipping! I can’t believe I almost forgot drinking. After their set RG bounded into the crowd for a song! I mean I’m right up next to the band a lot of times but I was right there with the band, I might as well of been singing too! Rich Zilg(acoustic guitar, vocals) Dave Jones (bass) John Gleason(vocals) Mike DeBlasio (piano, organ) Colin Ryan (drums, percussion) Jeremy Benson (electric guitar, vocals, percussion) are doing it, and by all accounts doing it well!

I congratulated Roadside Graves on another great performance and Tree informed me there was room in the Anyday Mobile for one more! So I took a ride back to JC with Anyday Parade.

Tree and I have been friends since before my time at Lucky 7 Tavern when I was a bartender at Pop Merrigans. Chuck Daly is my tattoo artist, Joe Daly is his brother. Larry Brinkman and I constantly recant our Midwestern upbringing and mutual love of music. Pat Byrne and I were neighbors for about a year before we realized we were neighbors, and we hang out at my bar all the time. I say all that to say this, my family is spread out all over the place, my dad is the closest about 140 miles away. Anyday Parade isn’t just a bunch of folks I know, they’re kind of like four brothers and a sister in town. Folks I’m constantly in contact with. That’s the kind of thing you just won’t be able to get out of some big city rock outfit. They’re out for me as much as I’m for them. Chuck Daly said it best, “You came out to Brooklyn, you’re out at all our shows! It’s fucking rad!” As we drove back with the Isley Brothers playing in the background, I though to myself, “All in a day’s work for a Rocker Tycoon, yea buddy!”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday Night at the Rockwood w/ The McMickle Bros and friends

Monday July 20 2009. I woke up at around 5pm from a lovely mid-afternoon nap. Go ahead and take this moment to judge me. Ok know that you’re finished just remember I get more done between the hours of 10pm and 2am that most people do all day, and in some cases all week. So the nature of my waking was a bit to be desired. There is a new sidewalk being put into my new neighborhood. So My waking to jack hammers and bulldozer type machinations was a bit more abrupt that I normally rise and shine. I was having nightmares about earthquakes that I think subsequently had origins mysteriously linked to my ex girlfriend and a former High School Physics teacher. I’m frankly not quite sure that the real things origins however less sinister where not in league with that same culprits. Well either way I was up, and the McMickle Brothers were playing at the Rockwood café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Hoping I could snag a ride and avoid the Path I shot Deivis Garcia (Deivito) a text to find out if he might be driving in. Turns out he was but he’d be late…… Curses! Foiled again! So I took the path to Christopher Street hopped a Cab and got curbside service to Rockwood Café.

The Rockwood is a pleasant little place if not a bit small. I like to think of it as cozy. Of course the McMickle Brothers’ entourage of Montclair bands quickly packed the place. Bern & the Brights, Tip Canary, Porchistas, Copasetic just to name a few of the bands that showed up to support their friends. And call it kismet, but I had no idea that Jamie Rae worked here. I took a minute to find a good spot to set up. While I was doing that, my anonymity was betrayed by my dancing skills and smile as some apparent fans of my rug cutting recognized me from the Boro Six Fest. I guess I even leave my mark from time to time. I greeted the McMickle dad (who I think looks a little like George Lucas). Things swiftly got under way. They swaggered through their set, of which I got much of on video. Katherine and Nicole of Bern and the Brights joined in for a couple of songs. It was a sort of reunion as well withprevious bandmates John Clinton on piano and Dan Mcnevin on bass. Their added help really filled out the McMickles already solid sound. Deivis and I lended our clapping and stomping rhythm. There was a minute were I saw Deivis loose track of the beat though. Many times, at previous shows, while clapping it out with him I found myself loosing the rhythm and just blaming myself. Is it possible that he was the one in the wrong all along? We may never know! In classic McMickle Bros fashion they ended their set with a classic cover song. The crowd erupted into a cacophony of applause and cheering.

After the show Matt, Sam (Vox/guitar and Vox Drums respectively) joined by Deivis Garcia, Alan from the Porchistas, Wes and Robbie of Tip Canary and several other hangers on took to a little Mexican restaurant across the street called Mole’. We had some food and drink. Laughed and sang and when it was all over, Deivis Alan and Robbie gave me a ride back to Jersey City. During the drive we played some of the most ridiculous music the mid to late Nineties had to offer. And I don’t mean like rock music. I’m talking the kind of music you would have heard in a club at a shitty Philadelphia club circa 1996. It was awful! But like train wreck awful. We couldn’t help it. Alan and I even sang a few tunes. It was a low point for us musically and a high point in good times. We stopped off at Lucky 7 Tavern and had a couple of drinks then I retired to bed for the night. I think I might sleep too much.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Awful Truth about Mice, Men, Hounds, and Cryptkeepers

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I believe Robert Burns said that once. Or more likely, after he came up with such a genius thing to say he probably repeated it as often as possible, (pissing off his friends due to the fact that the man kept repeating himself) until someone else decided it was genius as well. Thusly history will remember him as the guy who said that thing we all say when we fuck up and shrug our shoulders. But egoism aside, it’s a pretty reliable quote. My plan Saturday was to go to Siren fest, see some bands get good and drunk then follow up the show by heading to Brooklyn to see The Cryptkeeper Five at the Trash Bar.

In reality that sounds, much like Communism. That is to say it works well on paper.
Instead I spent a few extra hours waiting for friends to arrive (Wayward Winos, I’m pointing fingers here), then we grabbed a little food and had a few drinks then caught up on life and that sort of thing. So by the time we got to Coney Island it was 5:45pm. The place itself was packed without much room to move around or even get anywhere near the bands for pics. We decided, or I did at least to just treat the event as a day at the state fair. Grab some food and have a few drinks, afterwards we’d catch the main act: Built to Spill. I’ll make this easy, BTS seemed like they were phoning it in. In all honesty, I was 600 feet from the stage and I’ve never been that much of a fan to begin with so, their fans and people who were closer to the stage most likely got a much more inspired show.

About halfway through the set we made for the train, but not before I snagged some coffee. Melanie of the Wayward Winos, used to work at Café Cito, located over on the Lower East Side. We decided to go have a little food before we headed into Brooklyn for CK5. That was the best Idea of the day. The Salmon was out of sight as well as the plantains that accompanied the dish. We indulged in margaritas, and good old fashioned conversation, which is a commodity lately. I rarely get to see Paul and Melanie as they traverse the world like Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock. It was about 10:45pm as we made our way toward Brooklyn. We decided to take a cab. Now had the cabbie known were the hell he was headed we would have been in luck. Sadly, he had not idea, good thing Paul’s Iphone was handy. After a quick tour of Williamsburg, we arrived at the Trash bar.

As soon as I entered the Trash Bar, I knew I was home. Beautiful people doing the rock thing, gorgeous bartenders, and cheap beer. Whats not to love? As I walked into the door I was greeted by the cats from Honah Lee! I had just missed their set. They were hangin out waiting to see CK5 play their set. We headed to the back where the live music happened. $8 cover was fair for the number of bands that were set to play and there was a free comp cd being given away. Beantown Boozehounds were just setting up.

Before I go on I want to make an observation. When in Rome drink wine or Sambuca or what ever the hell the Roman’s drank, goat’s blood for all I care. I say that to say this; PBR is $4 at the Trash Bar, When in Brooklyn Drink PBR. Do it to be ironic, or do it because it’s cheap, or do it because $4 this side of the NJ turnpike is more rare than an honest woman.

Beantown Boozehounds are Boston’s drunkest celtic punk quartet. This is Street Punk Boston style. Songs about hanging w/friends and drinkin’ songs about going out and drinking, songs about driving and…you guessed it drinkin’. Hopefully for everyone’s sake, it’s all in jest. I suspect not. Ha! Beantown Chad (Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals), Gallows (Guitar,Vocals), Rob B. Ridiculous (Bass,Vocals), and Ricky Magic (Drums, Vocals) make up this foursome of roustabouts. It seems like everyone had a song they sang lead on. This band has four frontmen! There was a lot of energy during their set. And then in Trash bar fashion, someone just walked up to the stage and spit beer all over Rob B. Ridiculous! Like a lot of beer, so much I actually thought to myself, “Wow that’s a lot of beer to waste!” They didn’t even flinch! The song continued as if nothing happened! And this happened several times! It was like some wacky sign of respect like that scene in Dune where they spit on the floor, to seal a deal! This was my kinda scene indeed!

A little while after Cryptkeeper Five was introduced. Paul And Melanie (the Wayward Winos) and I traded off duties with the video camera. The guys from Honah Lee and I got things going in the pit. D.T. Graves kicked it off with a march on the drums. Johnny growled over the mic, “Hey Motherfucker let’s rock this joint!” And the rest of the guys followed in suit. CK5 were in rare form! Trenton’s rock-a-billy quintet was mixing up a sinister stew. Each member an essential ingredient: Jimmy Ray keeping it classy with guitar, Jay West bringin it down on bass, Ceilidh "Blue" Madigan, wailing the Sax. DT Grave’s drums for seasoning and Johnny on vox and Guitar for taste. The crowd seemed a little intimidated though, no one was dancing….. That’s when Johnny spoke up, “We have two songs left so if you’re thinking about dancing then nows the time.” That was all the push I needed. Myself, Tim, Jim, Anthony, and Justin (the boys of Honah Lee) got to work. And when those two songs were over they played and encore! Check that out below.

After the show Paul, Mel and I said our goodbyes. And made for the door. We spent about forty minutes wandering about in the wrong direction in brroklyn looking for the train. Our plan was to meet Mel’s friend Meg on Christie Street for a little more drinking and dancing. Exhaustion once again foiled our plans and we made for the Path. Once on the PATH, Paul nodded of and I started getting a little tired. THEN without any warning this happened. Go ahead take it. Let it simmer, try it again. Then scream WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Siren Festival - Only a Hipster Brings Flipflops to a Rock Fest.

Listen, it's just simple logic. Wear comfortable clothes and come prepared to dance. You'll be out in the sun all day long. Drink lots of water, and charge your shit (ie: Cameras Cell, Phones, Ipods etc). That said, the most important advice I can give you is don't fall in!

Here's a list of the Stuff I'm taking with me.


Video Camera


Light jacket

Plastic Bags

Body odor repellent


Something to write into

Cell phone


Extra Socks

One Extra t-shirt



Head phones



It seems like a lot but, I assure you you can make your best friend's girlfriend carry it when you get into the pit!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I catch up with Plowing Mud Forever & Divison of Planes at the Delancey

Kirk Howle, lead singer and bassist for Plowing Mud Forever, sent me an email informing me that they would be playing the Delancey in NYC with a couple other Jersey City acts: Torrential Downpour, and Division of Planes. PMF was the first band I reviewed for Rocker Tycoon all the way back in January. There's been a whole lot of evolution for the site since my first night out on the snow. I was excited to see what Kirk, Ryan and Rollie had been upto for the last six months. So I hoped on the PATH and then took a cab across town to the Delancey. Cover was $7. Beers started at $5, this is Manhattan, so I roll with the price increase, but I don't have to like it.

Plowing Mud Forever was already busting out songs as I rambled in. It's been 6 months since I last saw these guys. I have to say, there's an immediate realization that they have tightened things up. It could be the sound quality of the last place was much to be desired, but I think they really improved musically as well. I guess that's a good thing, these fellas were just forming up at the end of last year. Kirk Howle (bass/vox), Rollie Middlenamethisweek Hatch (guitar/vox) and Ryan Stevens (drums) make up this growl rock trio. Inbetween songs they actually call out for a little heckling. Kirk says it livens things up. They have a vested grounding with bands like Faith No More and the sensibilities of Bill Hicks, with the volume of Spinal Tap. These cats will be playing a show with No Pasaran come Wednesday July 8th, so be sure to look out for that.

Next up Torrential Downpour, constructed themselves onto the stage. If I where to tell you that TD is a little loud that would be like telling you the sun is kinda hot. If I were to say that they were sort of intense that would be akin to saying Sam Kinison is a little intense. Torrential Downpour is Costa (Drums), Cece (Bass) Volpe (Guitar) Prkr (Vocals/Samples). Holy Crap! These dudes melt faces and serve them on toasted awesome with a side of IDONTEVENKNOWWHATTOSAY. Prkr uses his voice as a sample during the songs as well as vocalizing at the same time. This ain't no cut copy paste style of rock and roll. It involves railroad spikes and ......guns that shoot railroad spikes. You don't believe me? Well then see for yourself! It's Armageddom without the Erhnam Djinn, this is destruction after construction!

After TD I took a minute to collect the little peices of myself off the floor and i wandered outside. After I shook off the after effects of the face melting. I snagged a bottle of Bud and prepared for Division of Planes. It's great to catch up with these guys again. I checked up with them in April opening for WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice at the IMAC. DoP is a conspiracy oriented Political Punk style band. Simple Clash style set up, and solid music coupled with smart lyrics makes this act one of my Top Ten Bands to see in Jersey City. They invoke an early 2000's style of New Brunswick basement era rock. You can definitely hear the post punk influences of that era and revolution rock style lyrics hearken back to the late 70's and early 80's but DoP really has their own style of panache. Bassist Tom Unish and Guitarist J. Johnson man the vocals while Jonathan Johansen grounds and pounds the drums. These cats make full use of the stage as well. They even played a new song right near the end of the set that I caught on tape. (Look at that folks a Rocker Tycoon exclusive!) I need to get a Rcoker Tycoon signature interview with these fellas really soon.

After the show I hitched a ride with Plowing Mud Forever back to Jersey City. Conversation got stuck on the Ren and Stimpy album that came out back in 04. Up until this point, I thought for sure I was the only human in the world that ever owned that album. In my humble opinion it was a work of pure progressive jazz novelty genius. I think PMF agrees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My debut for Steaming Pipe

Below is my post for the Boro 6 Indie Music Fest. Which I wrote as my first assignment for the Steaming Pipe. Give this Indie News Source a look! They have a lot of talented writers. I think its a good idea to get your news from a variety of locations, for a number of reasons. You'll also find my post below. Enjoy!
Indie Blog Directory