April 22, 2010

On the Beat: April 22-28

Oregon pop-punk rockers Broadway Calls headlines The Mill Hill Basement (300 S. Broad St., Trenton) Monday night.

The Tampa terror-metalers’ tornado-ing guitar and drum work are ear-tormenting-ly terrific. “Till It Bleeds,” the band’s new CD was produced by Fear Factory’s Christian Olde Wolberg, and comes complete with a fury-fan-tabulous sound in the style of Soulfly. They play Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) tonight. Show starts at 7. Dystrophy, Audacity, Diminished and Endemic play, too. Tickets cost $8. 18-plus.
The former Styx player - the “Ob-La-Di” to Marshall Crenshaw’s “Ob-La-Da” in the Broadway Production of “Beatlemania” – just can’t get enough of Paul, John, George and Ringo so he tours Beatle fests around the nation with his cover band Liverpool. And when he’s not doing that, he’s headlining Central Jersey Christmas shows and touring with the Electric Light Orchestra 2. The North Jersey musician, who’s written hits for Patty Smyth and Don Henley, has a 75-minute set ready for the Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown) tonight. Show starts at 7:30. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door. All-ages.
Complete inebriation and all-out-rocking-and-socking is on tap for the Hamilton band’s appropriately named “Party! Party! Party! Tour,” which kicks off at Asbury Lanes (209 4th Ave., Asbury Park) tonight. It’ll be the first place to purchase the former Philos, Frantic and Rape Baby two-song Dropcard – a popular custom download gift card thingy that allows fans to digitally download the band’s tracks on line. The guys also crash Don Hill’s – NYC (511 Greenwhich St., New York) tomorrow with Killed By The Bull and The F-Bombers, with the tour rolling through The Mill Hill Basement (300 S. Broad St., Trenton) on Saturday. Tonight’s show starts at 8. California’s The Mystic Knights of The Cobra headline. Communication Redlight and Eyes On Me play, too. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.
New Brunswick’s The Gaslight Anthem is a huge band. But they still seem to find comfort playing in front of a hometown crowd. So when there’s new music to be heard – it’s usually witnessed first at The Court Tavern (124 Church St., New Brunswick). Alex Rosamilia heads SADD and I have no clue what it sounds like. With that said, it’s nice to be there up front when it debuts, right? Yeah, that happens tomorrow night at home plate on Church Street. Enjoy. Show starts at 8. Michigan hardcorers Black Birds play, too. Tickets cost $10. 21-plus.

You got to love this Highland Park rock outfit’s tambourine action, guy-girl harmonies and vintage sound, especially if you’re into American psychedelic rocking and ’60s freedom folk. Better yet, the trio will host the record-release party for “Strange Change Machine” at The Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown) tomorrow night. For fans of The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane. Show starts at 7:30. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. All-ages.
A scene is often defined by its best instrumental band. For Trenton is was Sketch, who are playing its first show in more than three years in The Mill Hill Basement (300 S. Broad St., Trenton) Saturday night, where we first witnessed their space-jazz meltdowns at 2005’s “What the Hell Fest” – an impromptu two-day local band showcase that filled the void for the ill-fated Hellfest mega-concert shut down at the last minute due to disputed regulation infractions. Technically sound from guitar stroke to bass slap and drum snap, Sketch music is a head-trippin’ slippery mix of surf and post-punk rumbling that gets your mind wandering. Bass player Chris Frascella wouldn’t go as far as calling Saturday’s gig a reunion show since Sketch “never officially broke up.” And as far as the set list? “We’re going to do this awesome thing called trying to remember our songs,” he laughed, then noting most of the songs fans remember from those basement performances of the past are ready to go. Show starts at 9. Spearing JoCosta, Honah Lee and Mystic Knights of Cobra round out the bill. Tickets cost $5. 21-plus.
Hailing from Hostile City, Pa. - that’s fake, people – these metal madmen thrive on triumphantly old school vocal theatrics and Pantera-style thrash complete with hair-flinging breakdowns and stinging guitar solos. Also for fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and manly-men in studded bracelets. They headline Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) Saturday night. Show starts at 9. Porn-metal playboys Romantic Violence plays, too, along with classic metal-headers Power Theory and Exit. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.
The Hopewell band dodges genre-based labeling by intersecting the jam-band culture of the suburbs with the urban poetry of the city. They also know how to pack a dance floor, which isn’t an easy task at McGuinn’s Place (1781 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence) – their celebration spot on Saturday night – as those regulars tend to fear the pulsations coming from beyond the pool tables. Show starts at 9. Sel-Koh (is that how it’s spelled now?) plays, too. Tickets cost $5. 21-plus.

The Brooklyn-based swing sister and her rat-packers set the time machine on the 1930s big band era – fusing ragtime, jump-up jazz, modern folk, Delta blues and smoky, Ella Fitzgerald-inspired R&B. Tess - whose vocal harmonies have been compared to Jolie Holland and Regina Spektor – will be armed with a vintage 1920 archtop guitar when headlining The Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown) Saturday night. For fans of The Squirrel Nut Zippers, She & Him and hotties that smoke cigars. Show starts at 7:30. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. All-ages.
Now known for the quick-sanding nu-metal churning in (Damn) This Desert Air (“Distance Waits” is killer), these New Brunswick post-core peddlers kept the Hub City basement scene buzzing after Lifetime’s breakup with a harmonious punk-pounce-style made popular at the time by Texas Is The Reason and Gameface. Been a while since they’ve done a show. That’s what makes Saturday night’s reunion at The Court Tavern (124 Church St., New Brunswick) so special. Show starts at 9. Let Me Run, Communication Redlight and Tim Nosebleed open. Tickets cost $10. 21-plus.
Here’s a story for you. A record executive named John Kivel was looking to put together a hard-rock band for his label in 2006 when he hit up FarCry’s Pete Fry on a message board. Guitarist Fry, of Trenton, was starring on the strip in “Bite” at the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas, and after a few sessions, FarCry was born. The original singer, however, was let go shortly there after – leaving Kivel on a search for a new member. Ironically, he ran into Mark Giovi – another Trentonian – while the singer was on vacation in Sin City, and later found out Giovi (yes, Giovi of Giovi’s Restaurant fame) and Fry were part of the same ’80s hair metal scene here in the capitol. Chance meeting, but it’s seemed to work out, as the hair-metal revivalists released “High Gear” last April – landing opening gigs with Firehouse, Skid Row and Dokken. Weekend warriors, they’ll release their second record, “Optimism,” this spring. And in the meantime, while Giovi’s home visiting relatives, FarCry will make their New Jersey debut Sunday night at KatManDu (Route 29 50 Riverview Executive Park, Trenton). Show starts at 7:30. Harmzway – a Hightstown/Trenton glam outfit from the ’80s – are also on the bill and playing their first show together in 15 years. Goodbye Thrill opens. Tickets cost $10. 21-plus.

The Oregon power-punk trio slides off their nation-wide tour with Cobra Skulls and The Flatliners to headline the Mill Hill Basement (300 S. Broad St., Trenton) Monday night. Super catchy, melodic, but not wimpy, the guys play a rock ’n’ roll style comparable to Jimmy Eat World and early All American Rejects - which is a good thing, seriously. AbsolutePunk ranked the band’s 2009 record “Good Views, Bad News” (Sideone Dummy) – produced by Bill Stevenson (Descendents/Black Flag/Lemonheads) the best pop-punk record of the year. For fans of Set Your Goals, Simple Plan, Blink 182 and fun times at a rock show with zero drama. Shows starts at 7. The Great Explainer (ex-Roskoes) and Downbound City (ex-Frantic, Break Away) play, too. Tickets cost $7. All-ages.

The “All Music Guide” described Black Flag’s instrumental side-track record “The Process of Weeding Out” (SST, 1985) “atonal and uncomfortable” to the “naked ear.” Sort of weird, right? It was Black Flag’s in-your-face brashness and all-out ear slugging that defined the punk rock genre and influenced millions of others since the early ’80s and Ginn was the center of that movement – an “ingredient” singer Henry Rollins would call a musical visionary who found the ferocity in avant-garde jazz. Ginn - headlining The Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown) Wednesday night - was one of the few to, according to “All Music Guide,” “embrace 12-tone experimental music” in that era. And while “The Process of Weeding Out” seemed unorthodox compared to the sheer punishing punk Black Flag infamously infected the nation with for years to come, that style was what Ginn loved the most, as he was known to be a bigger fan of saxophone and piano artistry than guitar work. More than 20 years later, the 55-year-old is back on the road playing free-form instrumental guitar based on his solo records of which the legend plays all the instruments except drums. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. All-ages. Scott Frost’s On the Beat concert listing appears in The Trentonian every Thursday. If your band is playing around town, email the On the Beat web line at djscott111@aol.com.

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