Singles & Bands to Watch: Dead Waves, Street Eaters, Weird Womb and Hive Bent

Singles & Bands to Watch: Dead Waves, Street Eaters, Weird Womb and Hive Bent

Lots of heavy as shit singles and bands to watch for you today on review stalker. Keep things coming and know that we do listen and share things first on our soundcloud.

Dead Waves Singles review
To start check out the A-side off this new 7″ from this noisy band from Queens called Dead Waves. Recorded in one take with Mr. Albini – just how he likes it. This tune has got enough stomach churning distortion to make your seizures and morning shakes feel like a good thing. PRF crew alert here this is right up your melvins encrusted alley.

EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOAD:Oracles of the Grave” MP3 by Dead Waves

Next up is Weird Womb from NY and the A-side “Pale Piss” from their 7″ ep Ruined by the 90’s recorded at Vanancy nyc. Tighter than mudhoney with Henry Rollins style singing. Maybe a little more on the Guy Picciotto style in the vocal department when i think about all the tracks. This is more punk than 90’s grunge in southern California Wasted Youth kind of way. You can order the 7″ WEIRDWOMB.COM.

Street Eaters blood musles bones
Check out the grinding grunge off of the Bay Area’s post-punks Street Eaters. Here’s a track from their upcoming release Blood::Muscles::Bones on Nervous Intent Records. The 1st track reverse tracks from this coming record starts off like Hüsker Dü’s Dreams Reoccurring off of Zen Arcade then it goes strongly forward. Female fronted vocals which reminds us of Amanda Black Wine(Don Giovani).

On tour now doing all of North America so be brave and indulge yourself and check them out live they will be on the East Coast in July! Full date listing on streeteaters.com

MP3 Bonus:Dreams Reoccurring by Hüsker Dü

These next guys called Hive Bent – reminds me of a version of Battles meets No Age. Really all there is to say. Check them out pretty big sounds for what sounds like drums and super sonically heavily distored bass. Sure to break a bass string near you or at least your punk hymen. Whatever comes first.

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What was the New Brunswick Music Scene like in the 90’s?

What was the New Brunswick Music Scene like in the 90’s?

New Brunswick Music Scene

Photo: 223 Livingstone Ave – home to BGT, Aviso’Hara & a few basement shows


PART 1: Before todays bustling New Brunswick, NJ basement scene, Screaming Females and Don Giovanni Records there were 6 clubs to play a gig at that were not sequestered or are hard to find in the 1990’s. The times o’ plenty. We had The Melody, The Roxy, Plum St. Pub, Budapest, Bowl-o-drome and the still standing Court Tavern. This might seem like ancient history. For every club there were about a 100 bands that frequented the clubs in rotation. Some of them made broader strokes playing gigs down the shore, Hoboken, Philly, NYC and beyond. If you told somebody you were playing Brooklyn they looked at you strangely because there were really no places to play there. Although a gig at a old mustard factory comes to mind but still blurry. Bands that played basements like Louis St stayed there for the most part unless they were a hardcore outfit of which case we know of the success stories there ranging from lifetime to deadguy then those pesky and annoying emo bands. Now the scene has changed to an extreme 180 degrees in 2014. The balance of “official” live venues that served alcohol slowly have long been eaten up by Johnson and Johnson and UMDNJ to a eradication of mass proportions. New Brunswick is down to one place that we know of. Yea you probably know a guy who blathered this to you. In turn underground places started to have a insulated affect on the scene. It’s totally foreign to us suburban outsider now but we know it exists. we hope it does. Maybe not as publicly as it once did but we feel the force. What is amazing to see is that the caliber of bands has not changed. There’s kooky bands, to downright terrible ones too. They just happen to do things differently with a tremendous output from just one label (that we know of). Plus that whole internet placebo effect. (We will get into this later.)

The point of this pointed post series is to shed some light on the swath of bands we enjoyed watching, much thanks to a couple long threads on the FB’s led by queen-scene bee Amy Saville from Prosolar Mechanics and Jim Testa from the ever present Jersey Beat. Gigs were happening all the time. Actually, when we started doing the zine thing back then; we always wanted to have a local point of view and bring to our readers new bands they have not heard of yet from inside or outside of the scene. All in an effort to make things less insular –you know hippie-dippy punk. Not just for our knowledge but for all. Not much has changed as far as our special purpose in life. You can read our about section if you want. Hopefully we can go as deep with a lot of bands and include friends (jim/amy, etc) doing the writing to give you a different perspective. I’m sure we seem like aliens because in the era where anybody can have their first debut “EP” release in a matter of one weekend is deeply confounding and troubling. There were a lot more hoops to cross to get people to check out your music, record it, etc. Again, we can dive into this trouble in a later post but for let us drag you to the water.

Steve Albini's old studio basement

BGT recording in Steve Albini’s old studio basement, Chicago. Turning knobs.


So lets kick this off with BubbleGum Thunder. Here’s a video of a song that was recorded by Steve Albini at his home studio in Chicago. Plus a bunch of tracks that were never released “officially” on any LP or CD. Here is a posthumous video premier. The band had released three 7″ singles before it’s demise. The best official release was Coward b/w Cheater 7″ on Model Rocket Records. Trust me the irony of posting mp3s of the tunes Steve recorded is not lost on me. He mixed the tracks identified below. They were never mastered properly but herein are the best of tracks from my point of view that the band did. What was great about this band is the chord progressions were bit complex but the playing was ballsy. Joseph the guitar player/singer used lots of open chord tunings to make his life simple and stupid. The results were a very unique sound you rarely hear in my humble opinion in bands today. There was songwriting at work.

RIYL: Cows, Hum, Unsane, Helmet

BubbleGum Thunder New Brunswick Music Scene bands
DOWNLOAD:
01. Bedwetter MP3(basement recording)
02. Cheater MP3(Albini)
03. Coward MP3 (Albini)
04. Ghost Town MP3 (Albini)
05. Sad Man MP3 (Albini)
06. Safe from Me MP3 (Albini)
07. Acid Gravy MP3 (Albini)
08. Swallowed MP3 – Basement recording. Probably one of meanest sounding bass parts I’ve ever played. This is nasty and will rip you up like the little music whore you are. Wait for it at the :46 second mark to feel what I am talking about. You might want to amp up this up in iTunes a little for playback.

mark-court-tavern-door-Halloween
If you never had to pay Mark your entry fee to see a band at The Court Tavern. You really are part of the new generation of bands.
“If you ain’t playing. You are paying.”

Interview: Are you ready for The Doug Gillard Electric?

Interview: Are you ready for The Doug Gillard Electric?

Doug Gillard Photo by Ana Luisa Morales

Photo by Ana Luisa Morales

INTERVIEW: He might not mention Johnny Marr or Ed from Ohio as his guitar heroes but Mr. Doug Gillard is one of those guys who you should just know as such. For Christ’s sake just one glance at his wiki page none the less re-affirms that the guitar has infinite possibilities in the right hands. A few years ago he put his 2nd solo album called Call from Restricted and is now working on a follow-up in-between touring and playing with Nada Surf and producing like the Eternal Summers and playing with a bunch of different bands. His pedigree is as rich as it gets. You know that killer epic 90’s song “I Am a Tree” on Mag Earwhig(Matador). He wrote that tune with some bro named Gem then recorded it with Pollard where he did a stint in GBV between 1996-97 with his band mates Cobra Verde. In addition to Death of Samantha; plus a shit load of other appearances. He has a single out too which you should just own. He took the time out of crazy schedule to put pen to paper to a few caffeine inspired questions. So here you go.

CATCH: The Doug Gillard Electric: This Friday May 31st at Asbury Lanes, in Asbury Park, NJ w/ Eastern Anchors, Risk/Reward and Lowlark. 8pm doors. 18+

RS: Who and where are you recording your new album>
DG: I’m recording it here in NYC with Travis Harrison at Serious Business, and in Austin with Louie Lino at his Resonate studio, with George Duron on drums there.

Doug Gillard Eternal Summers
I’m also in the process of producing the newest LP by Eternal Summers. Louie Lino & I recorded them in Austin, and I played a little on the songs, helped them co-write a section here & there.

RS: A we never heard of the Eternal Summers until we saw a photo posted of them with you; too many bands not enough time really. Very cool you’re working and producing with them. We did notice the big pro-tools monitor display on your FB page. Do you miss recording to analog or has digital made life easier?
DG: I miss analog a bunch, but it is easier to record digitally, and I’ve come to expect the visual of the files as well – helps you see sections of the song to punch in at, etc…
Analog vs. digital isn’t the debate anymore for most. Rather, its “How does this get distributed and heard?”
RS: Lots of words of wisdom. We wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes we think the concept of demoing tunes for a album has gone out the window for new bands. Do you think it’s too easy for up and coming bands to record their music?
DG: Yes. Though I do demo most of my songs, and get too lazy to want to play them again in the studio, so I fly them in from my garageband demos a lot. Its not just laziness- its also knowing I wouldn’t capture the same spark if I replayed it.
RS: Do you think they skip right to album and lack a song writer process? Of  starting with an idea and then proofing on 4track?
DG: Not sure what you mean by this question, but everyone has a different process. I do think that not enough people try to avoid typical chord progressions, melodies or add interesting basslines to their songs. They should live with the song idea for a bit, and then see if it needs something else. Most times it does.

RS: Right who the hell knows what a 4track is. We personally make music when we’re all alone. What is your song writing process been like?
DG: I always have riffs or parts that I record or voice memo. Sometimes I will marry some of those together, or sometimes a complete song will come to me wholly. It varies, and I’m glad it does. The best are ones that happen by imagining or singing, & I haven’t arrived at it by having a guitar on. I like figuring the chords out later, knowing what they should be beforehand, as opposed to knowing what the moves on the fretboard are as I make it up. Those times are rare, though.


RS: What was your first guitar? Mine was a taped up tennis racket that I played air guitar along to van halen II.
DG: I had some small toy guitars when i was really little, then at 5, I got an almost full size plastic guitar with steel strings from Sears that had the brand name “Emenee”. We had a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the family for trading audio letters with my sister who was living in Germany, so I would use it to record and write songs, until i was about 9.

RS: Does you new record have a title and planned release date?
DG: No title yet, and no release date, as of yet. I’d like to see if a label would like to put my LP out as well.

RS: Any special guests planned?
DG: Aside from Travis Harrison and George Duron both on drums & maybe Sally Crewe on a couple backing vocals, none that I know of just yet. My pal Kendall Meade may be tapped for some bv’s. If my last single “Breaking In Two” makes the record, there’s a very special guest in NJ native Erik Paparozzi on that song.

RS: Do you plan on playing some new tunes in may?
DG: Yes- hoping to have at least 2 ready.

RS: Cool we are very psyched for the show! Any covers you would like to play?
DG: Sometimes i do a slow, glammy “Boney Maronie”. Used to do “Some Might Say” by Oasis and “Stop Me” by the Smiths, and in 2009 we did Buzzcocks’ “Autonomy”. Probably one or none at the Asbury show, though.

RS: Nice my band rarely gets our act together to do cover songs. We’d love to do a nada surf song but they are so perfect. We figure so why mess it up. But what has it been like recently touring and recording with Matthew Caws & the guys?
DG: I love playing in Nada Surf. They’re the best guys to hang around & be on tour with, every one of ‘em. And they choose crew people that are really nice & good folks, always. And that’s important. I love the songs, and Matthew & I are around the same age, and have a lot of musical tastes in common, Oh, and we’re both WASPS. Wait, we never even talk about that! The tours went great, and that band has sown the seeds of great friends & fans all over, so its always a positive atmosphere wherever we go. Looking forward to recording our next LP within the next couple years. Ira Elliot is an amazing drummer, and also my bandmate in Bambi Kino, the Hamburg-era Beatles band we have. (We play only the covers they played in clubs from ’60-’62).

RS: Seems as a working musician and the number of groups you have been in over the years it surpasses what any one person would strive for in their musical career. What keeps you inspired?
DG: I always have more music to get out. Always more songs I’ve written that need to be heard. That’s the main driving force with me , always has been, but I also love co-writing with people (Mascott/Kendall Meade, Sally Crewe, and Eternal Summers recently) and seeing what I can add to someone’s song idea. I’m a pretty good bridge writer when someone needs one. The other part of course is that I always enjoy adding guitar textures or solos to others’ work.

RS: We should have been more careful to ask you this but here it goes. Who are your guitar heroes
DG: Oh man, too too many. James Honeyman-Scott(The Pretenders) has always been up there at the top for me. Mick Ronson (David Bowie -The Spiders from Mars), Robert Quine (Richard Hell & The Voidoids), John McGeoch (Siouxsie and the Banshees, PIL), Billy Bremner/Dave Edmunds, Pete Townshend, Glenn Tilbrook, Marshall Crenshaw, Geordie, Phil Manzanera, Chet Atkins, Robin Guthrie, Tom Jobim & Joao Gilberto, Bill Nelson, Jerry Reed, Marco Pirroni, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Adrian Belew, Les Paul, Pat Place, John Lennon, Andy Gill, Chris Spedding, Will Sargent, Verlaine/Lloyd, Rew/Hitchcock. I’m sure there’re a ton more. Dave Gregory (XTC)

RS: Damn this is a list. I’ll admit though I know half of these guys but once I looked them up I was all smart and stuff. Last nerdy question. Do you think social media has made things easier to be a full time musician/ artist?
DG: No. Its made it easier to tell people about a show & “invite” them, advertise product, but that goes hand in hand with there now being 10 million artists all doing that, all fragmented into whichever genre someone’s individual tastes zoom in on. So it seems tougher to reach people, especially beyond the several that pay attention to your particular page or feed.
RS: It’s a bender for sure. I was talking to friend of mine who is a used to play in bands for forever and who has been Highschool teacher even longer than . He said something interesting that kids these days don’t consume music in so many ways we did by genera or label. They actually don’t distinguish between genres and on one play list might be listening to Snoop one minute and then Eternal Summers the next.

RS: Last Question, what’s your goal for 2013 into 2014?
To record as much of my own music as I can, while I can, and, to paraphrase a King, to live a little, love a little.

RS: We can live with this. Thank you Doug!

Rock Vidoes by Speedy Ortiz and Sex Jams

I like days when we get a bunch of great songs that somehow magically all gel together. That or the RS fans are getting smarter of what they send us. Anyway, here’s are two videos by bands we dig: Speedy Ortiz and Sex Jams filtered for your auditory and listening sonic loving pleasure.

First up is a 90’s guitarist wet dream in the very capable hands of the indie band Speedy Ortiz with their video debut of “tiger tank” via Wreckroom. This is from a coming record of their’s I would assume. Real solid playing and straightforward rock video.

“I got a boy who likes to fuck to CAN” Probably one of the greatest lines ever. Here’s a live version of them doing a song formally known as “Taylor Swift” at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn or at least I thought they had to change the name of the song. Anyway. Good stuff.

Speedy Ortiz Livage:
Jan 27 T.T. the Bear’s Place Cambridge, MA
Feb 23 Cameo Gallery Brooklyn, NY

Next up is our new favorite Austrian band Sex Jams that is every bit punk-noir as EVOL era Sonic Youth. Their full album titled Trouble, Honey comes out March 1st on Siluh Records. This one ditty “Shark Vs Apple” is every bit psychedelic as it is a pagan punk sing along. A big beer can and concert party scene ensues in this one; with guitars as clangy as Polvo or something off of Day Dream Nation era SY. I think pretty close to what The Pony’s were going for when they were around. Yeah, we know you will love this.

This is a great a sex jam by Sex Jams:

If you love these songs you’ll love these bands or vice/versa:
Touch Me I’m Sick MP3 by Sonic Youth MP3 from 1989. (Mudhoney Cover)
Reverberation(Doubt) by The 13th Floor Elevators from The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Poser Psychotic MP3 by The Ponys from Turn the Lights Out

Related Articles:
ALBUM REVIEW: Sex Jams from Trouble Honey [ MP3’s after jump ]
Top Albums from the year of the dragon 2012
SINGLE REVIEW: Speedy Ortiz is Hipsterer than you

The Story of Mule

The Story of Mule

The Story of Mule - Art by Steve Canaday

Art by Steve Canaday


We’re long time fans of the Quarterstick Records band from Michigan known as MULE. We got to see them a bunch and even played a show with them on their first tour at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ when all they had was a casette. Those were the days. Now it would be cool I guess to just release a cassette that no one would be able to listen too. Here’s a couple tunes from their first EP with illustrations by Steve Canaday. Nobody plays like these guys did.


Download:
Mississippi Breaks MP3
I’m Hell MP3

Here’s a few more screens of the comic book that came with this release. For the rest like us on facebook and check it out there.

art steve canaday

Illustrations by Steve Canaday

Check out the full 24 page booklet on our bookface space.

rusty by Rodan

rusty by Rodan

Rodan rusty
In 1994 1/4 Stick records put out Rodan‘s rusty album. Which you would think the singer is a dead ringer for Albini on vocals but in reality it was just the attitude for this musical indie prog nighmare. They’re proverbial jam band in comparison to the finely knit indie of today. This single record you could safely say set the bar for noise and the insult of melody. Beautiful dissonance at it’s best.

Download: Gauge MP3

About Ween’s awesome brown sound

About Ween’s awesome brown sound

Ween Court Tavern circa 1993 God Ween Satan Era

Ween Court Tavern, New Brunswick circa 1993 God Ween Satan Era


Ween is the kind of band that you either love or you hate. They originated from the 4-track cassette culture I grew up on so once you get over that hump you are half way there. They created this reality that was inhabited by the entity known as The Boognish. In this head space they played with tape speeds, drums machines and the occasional puff of pot and called each other dude and Jimmy Wilson a lot. I’m not sure they realized when they were in their teens and late 20’s that suddenly this whole hippie culture of college kids would cling on to them. You know burkenstock culture who also like the Grateful Dead, Phish and James Taylor but it happened and kept them alive and working band for over 25 years. Who knows Aaron Freeman (Gener) and Mickey Melchiondo (Deaner) may come to terms once the glory of Aaron’s solo career won’t be able to put asses in seats. We do hope Marvelous Clouds is successful but to not notice the giant conceptual similarities would be deaf, dumb and blind my dear kiddies.

MoistBoyz City Gardens

MoistBoyz City Gardens 2nd show 1995 Photo by The Review Stalker


Mickey has had his solo projects and jam sessions with Chris Harford and the Band of Changes, The Jimmy Wilson Group, and recently local New Hope “old farts” Blueballs and of course the notorious Moistboyz. They even did a set with False Front doing Meddle by Pink Floyd end to end.(which was fucking awesome and I was there.) Anyway, the whole musical ‘click’ down in New Hope is fairly close but what’s really humble about Mickey is he runs a fishing charter service, plays in the local softball team and in general is a very un-rockstar in his off time. I guess the point is he found about his band how everybody else did saying “it was news to him” on their ween facebook page. Which is the sort of crap somebody has to deal with when there is substance abuse and recovery involved. He’s been there the whole time while creating moments of brilliance with his buddy and the occasional turd.

So we think this is a low in the bands history and time will tell what will end up happening. Their 30 year anniversary is just around the corner. All fans of the brown can only hope that slight reprieve will be a short blip for some more songs like Dr. Rock, Puerto Rican Power, Coke on my dick, Spirit of 76 and so on. Lets hope; as there is nothing like what they created but for now enjoy the set from their 1993 tour below. Which was ween at their fucking best. When they became a band it opened up things for them which we love just as much. Starting with Kramer (from The Pod) on bass, Claude Coleman Jr(Drums), Andrew Weiss(bass) and Dave Dreiwitz (bass), Glenn McClelland (keyboards) etc. Seeing these guys was like at one point like going to see Led Zeppelin or at least what we envisioned the long jams were like – truly epic. We also can’t forget their long standing sound guy Kirk Miller who always gave them awesome sound. He was the guy fucking with the delays for their in-between rants. Anyway for some other old photos check out ReviewStalker bookface space.

Songs by Ween:
Piss Up A Rope MP3 from 12 Golden Country Hits (1996)
What Deaner Was Talkin’ About MP3 from Chocolate & Cheese (Elektra)
Awesome Sound MP3 from The Pod (Shimmy Disc)
Pumpin’ 4 The Man MP3 from Pure Guava (Elektra)
El Camino from God Ween Satan The Oneness (Twin/Tone)
Doesn’t Anybody Know My Name MP3 by Aaron Freeman from Marvelous Clouds (2012)
Voodoo Lady MP3 Rumsey Playfield @ Central Park -09.17.2010

ween Court Tavern New Brunswick

Ween 1993 Court Tavern Photo by Yours Truly

Classic Ween duo set from Metro Chicago May 7th 1993:
El Camino MP3
Stallion Pt.3 MP3
Vallejo MP3
Puerto Rican Power MP3
Don’t Get 2 Close 2 my Fantasy MP3
Marble Tulip Juicy Tree MP3
You Fucked Up MP3
Shalom Ab Salom MP3
Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese MP3
Captain Fantasy MP3
Poopship Destroyer MP3
Common Bitch MP3
Fat Lenny MP3
Ode To Rene’ MP3
Reggaejunkiejew
Boing MP3
NAN MP3
Papa Zit MP3
Tick MP3
Freedom MP3
Sweet Texas Fire MP3
L.M.L.Y.P. MP3

Related Articles about Ween:
Fishing with Dean Ween
The Court Tavern Closes my 20s & 30ths
Casey Kasem Vs Dick Clark (RIP)
Nothing but sexy Prince Covers
2010: Birthday Boy by Ween
Moistboyz 1.0 and SuperSoaker

Speedy Ortiz is Hipsterer than you

Speedy Ortiz is Hipsterer than you

Speedy Ortiz
SINGLES: Every month we look in our inbox and wonder what sort of banal crap are we going to have to weed through now. Every once in awhile we go down the nostalgia road and try and relate with the things that are burned like ancient meaningless wall graffiti into our ears. On first listen of Sadie Dupuis’s band Speedy Ortiz we knew something was up when we heard the guitar tones. This short road led to a mecca of influences and opened right up. Not all the music we get seems to be inspired or takes a bow to something pre-dating their birth in fact we think technology makes it a bad thing and some sort of passion for listening before you create is required. Anyway, a couple things we confirmed is; yes sure she worked in a record store and loves collecting 90’s records. The two songs on this latest single have got plenty of distortion and big melodies in a Dino Jr kind of way with lyrics that are as rich as the music itself. She paints with lines like“I have a boyfriend who likes to fuck to Can” ok we like her. She’s on the sleeve. On the vocal timbre side she sounds like Tanya Donelly from Throwing Muses a little bit with her own melodic grit. I will dare to say here; this band is as close to a female fronted heavier version of Nada Surf as it gets with lots of guitar schronks that are going to make a lot of mustache-nerds wish they were hipsterer than her. Check out “side 2″ here and get side one “Taylor Swift” from them which I think there may be a trademark issue with but who cares the tune is good – my vote is to change the name of the song to “Taylor Swift Jr”. They were just recently headed into the studio to record a 10″! so if these latest track are any indication of music to come we’re very excited and big fans already. The previous full length release is more hum spun but still pretty great in it’s own right in a Lou Barlow kind of way. Anyway, you get the point. Check them out.

Swim Fan MP3 by Speedy Ortiz

Mar 22 Sierra Grille Northampton, MA
Mar 28 Flying Object Hadley, MA
Mar 29 Shea Stadium Brooklyn, NY
Mar 30 Wesleyan Middletown, CT
Apr 09 Great Scott Allston, MA

Other music like this:
Yr Light MP3 by Black Wine from Dark Energy EP
Mexican Women MP3 by Throwing Muses from House Tornado
A Weirding Away MP3 by Helms Alee from Night Terror
Boyfriend MP3 by Janitor Joe from Big Metal Birds (am/rep)
I’m So Green MP3 by CAN from Ege Bamyasi (1972)

The Court Tavern Closes my 20s & 30ths

The Court Tavern Closes my 20s & 30ths

Bobby Albert Court Tavern, New Brunswick NJ

Bobby Albert - Serving Hub City Rock from 1981-2012

Nobody knows the answer Why Bobby Albert Jr would one day wake-up on a cold January and decide The Court Tavern(124 Church St) would close it’s doors forever. Maybe he got an offer he could not refuse — but I doubt it. Maybe the burden of a looming $60 thousand dollar bar license was just too huge an amount of hard swet and pride he was not willing to cough up one more time. The hole was just to big so he folded his hand.
Once, after a infamous patron argument Bobby once put up a sign behind the stage and painted over a mural by E-Gun(RIP) that said “Cruel but Fair” that would yet stamp the attitude of his bar. Years later the mural was uncovered again to reveal all the past “floating chromosomes” on the wall. Even though the sign was ugly it was a statement that had been a part of the folklore and lure of the Court Tavern crowd – always in chaos but always intriqueing. This was one of many incidents you’d hear about from the dixie cup chain of hooligans and curmudgeons who congregated here to celebrate rock-n-roll and get the occasional cocktail. For the most part the bands were understood and respected as Artists, well at least most of the time. The point is that this was punk rock bar that embraced most of us –no matter how weird or misunderstood.
Plugspark Sanjay Court Tavern

Plugspark Sanjay

The Final Fuck You MP3 by Boss Jim Getty’s from Tigrebeat
Hit It Now MP3 by Plug Spark Sanjay from the IMF Compilation (1999)
Damned MP3 by Nudeswirl (1993)
Mr. Sad MP3 by True Love from i was accident (2003)
Kicked My Dad MP3 by Buzzkill

His father Bobby Albert Senior first ok’d live music in the bar then in came the local rock bands like The Smithereens, Crossfire Choir and Opium Vala. There was also bands like A.O.D., The Blisters, PEDs and Bad Karma. Ok so you maybe you never heard of any except for one of these bands but the point is local bands used to draw just as much as any indie touring band. Matter fact the local bands these days are all pretty well known so sort of perplexing with so many high profile punk shows that the situation got to be too much. This was a place where turning up the volume was par for the course and sometimes the band just played for flies and that was part of the risk of bringing in outside bands or having locals who just forgot to tell their friends. Sure the club/bar has had it’s fair share of early performance by the likes of Flaming Lips, Buthole Surfers and Superchunk. The list of who’s who goes on and on so here we’ll post some of these lesser known bands. (so second post is coming) The truth is this past week I’ve been bumming pretty hard as are a few of my other friends. Literally stayed away from facebook to take a step back after I heard the news. Just in December the Mayor of New Brunswick celebrated the clubs 30th Anniversary in the local press. In my humble opinion culture has pretty much been erased out of New Brunswick in the past 20 years since it began rebuilding the city so its always been a sideways battle. Homogenized from the day J&J decided to move-in and every bit of cheap real-estate bought up by UMDNJ under eminent domain in some cases we lost other amazing clubs there like The Roxy and The Melody Bar where Matt Pinfield used to spin (even when he was famous). Like roaches the music will survive somehow but it won’t have a place to hang it’s hat or hoodie like the Court. Well at least until somebody sees an opportunity as the court is now officially for sale.

My friend and rat bastard Cliff mentioned on one of the Facebook threads that we were done with this culture. Which is true maybe it’s time for the next generation to make their own fucking thing but for me it’s like loosing a bridge to my youth. Which was maybe ill spent at times but damn was it fun burning through those brain cells and hearing for that matter. This we can all agree on. Maybe even selfishly at times booking my bands with bands I wanted to see and hear; trying to help build up a scene and knowing full well the mystique was a commodity that paid-off in spades or could fail miserably. But at the end of night we’d always hear these words last works.

“You Don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”

Well at least until the next time. Lets hope somebody else picks up the torch for next generation of Sonic Youths and pulpit pues.

Now on to the music.

Download: The Diamond Church Street Choir MP3 by The Gaslight Anthem from American Slang. This is super poetic tribute song that Brian Fallon wrote which is about my comrade Andy Diamond who I guess up until a few days ago booked bands there. He had some serious shoes to fill with the likes of Tom Crowe, Eric Gundry (the Artist behind the murals RIP), Adam and Sluggo who’s tastes were broad giving a lot of bands a place to practice and show-off their craft.

Corey Parks Nashville Pussy with Eric Fiorito

15 minutes Prior to this photo Corey Parks from Nashville Pussy lit Eric on fire. Photo by me


Highway To Hell (AC/DC Cover) MP3 By Nashville Pussy from High as Hell
Pins And Needles MP3 by Deadguy from Fixation On A Coworker
Ice Fishing MP3 by Duochrome from All Day I Dream About Sex
Chili Dog MP3 by Bionic Rhoda
She’s A Cokehead MP3 by Doc Hopper from Zigs, Yaws And Zags (2005)

About those fuckin’ bands
There were so many to mention that I’ve either seen there, played with or wish I’d seen. Here’s my List of memorable shows: Nudeswirl(2x), Buzzkill(12x), Monster Magnet, BarkMarket, Transilvia, Boss Jim gettys'(10x), Mule, Don Caballero, Nashville Pussy, 9lb Hammer, Bionic Rhoada(6x), Mad Daddies(3x), The Raging Lamos, Whirling Dervishes, Tiny Lights, Chris Harford and the band of Changes, Deadguy, Duochrome, Ween(5x), MoistBoyz(2x), False Fron(3x).. jesus this list will never end but it was a lot of rock and I’ll never forget mostly thanks to the intertubes. I will say the songs I’m post barely make a dent so we’ll have to do a follow-up post.


Adios Amigo MP3 by MoistBoyz from II
Longhair MP3 by Monster Magnet from 25 – Tab
El Camino MP3 by Ween from God Ween Satan The Oneness (1990)
Gimme What I Need MP3 by Mars Needs Women from Sparking Ray Gun (1995)

Wish I’d seen these shows:
Pussy Galore, Flamming Lips, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Supersuckers, Butthole Surfers, Urge Overkill… there’s more.

Part II coming soon.

Related articles:
2009: Save the Court Tavern from their ungodly taxes
2010: Court Tavern Benefit w/ Patti Smith & The Smithereens
2011: ‘Legendary’ Court Tavern in New Brunswick marks 30 years of music
2012 Brookyln Vegan: Mixed comments from a bunch of heartless assholes
The Court Tavern is for sale 1.25M

The Men of Chavez on Fallon

The Men of Chavez on Fallon


So this week one of New York’s premier guitar bands Chavez did yet another performance except this time on Jimmy Fallon. This is about a week after playing All Tomorrow’s Parties. Now that their songs are at least 16 years old can we help pass the good vibes to hear some new material sometime soon from these gentlemen? I know it’s in their back pocket somewhere. I know I’m not the only one who cares from everybody who showed up to see them play a 6:30 set! They sounded great and Matt Sweeney looks like he rolled right out of CB’s circa 1989 from his Skunk days except with no dread locks but probably the same jeans. Clay was in post-hardcore sound band called Bullet LaVolta before forming the band with Sweeney who were releasing records at the same time and part of the same scene which included Smashing Pumpkins in their circuit. And if you listen carefully you’ll notice Billy Corrigan pretty much ripped off both band’s sounds and mashed them together. In my opinion anyway; if you take that Allmam brother 70’s guitar noodling of Skunk and add some Tarver power chords with the volume formula breakdowns. You can easily look at both of these bands as being influential with one of the three making all the spoils.

Clay Tarver Chavez at All tomorrow's parties Asbury Park NJ

The Fist of Tarver & the Men of Chavez - All Tomorrow's Parties 2011

Nailed To The Blank Spot MP3 by Chavez from Gone Glimmering (1995)
(There’ll Be Other Girls) Hoss MP3 by Skunk from Last American Virgin(1989)
Knobb Off MP3 by Skunk from the album Laid (1991) Twin/Tone
X-Fire MP3 by Bullet LaVolta from The Gift (1989)
My Protector MP3 by Bullet LaVolta from Swandive (1991)
Siva MP3 by Smashing Pumpkins from Gish (1991)

Related stuff:
Photos of Chavez & Shellac + more here.
LIVE REVIEW Dec 2006: The slight return of Chavez and the fist of Tarver
Will the Men of Chavez ride the fader again?
All Tomorrow’s Parties Photos I’ll Be Your Mirror