May 6, 2010

On the Beat: May 6-12

Trenton-area rapper Rocky rocks the spot - well, McGuinn's Place in Lawrence, NJ - Friday night.

The Hamilton honky-tonk man - who several years ago took a weird root to stardom by fleeing to of all places Hollywood in search of a recording career in country music – headlines The Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown) tonight. Davis - whose vintage cowboy gospel borders western swing and country traditions found in classic Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard – released a couple well-received records out in Cali with Grammy-winning producer Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam), but never landed the film deal he was shooting for. He did, however, tour Asia with The Charlie Daniels Band and saw his songs appear in feature films “Crash,” “The Hills Have Eyes” and “The Dukes of Hazzard II.” His music isn’t all vintage, however, as there’s enough modern twang in his vocal tones to gets fans of Jake Owen boot-scootin-boogie-ing tonight. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Jet Weston & the Groville 5 play, too. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. All-ages.
Raw demo’s of this city emcee’s new bangers reveal a commercial rap appeal that flows beyond street-level mix-tape culture, as the slippery hip-hopper dips between bars and Timbaland-style beats at Ludacris speeds. No party anthem yet, but there’ll probably be a couple joints for the shorties to grind to when headlining McGuinn’s Place (1781 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence) tomorrow night, as it seems Rocky’s flashy, lyrical showmanship stay fly on all angles. Show starts at 9. Jay Lee, Scoop, K.E.O. and 2 Live & Die in NJ play, too. Tickets cost $5. 21-plus.
Bio-hazardous metal-core with neck-snapping breakdowns and vocal barks show off the Maryland band’s devil-driven Sepultura devotion. The pit-packing pillagers headline Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) tomorrow night. Show starts 9. Angels Wake, DogHouse Swine and Bob On Blonde round out the bill. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.

Just as Bad Brains influenced punk-rock kids in the ’80s to embrace Rastafarian ideals, it was this legend who in the documentary “American Hardcore” admitted he pushed Ian MacKaye to vocalize the beliefs of straight-edge culture in Minor Threat’s music in an attempt lead their fans in the same positive direction. The always enigmatic singer tends to sway between dub, ska and reggae when flying solo – a stark contrast to Bad Brain’s spastic crash-collisions – but who knows what he has in mind for tomorrow’s live set at The Record Collector (358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown). Recent interviews with the 54-year-old punk icon have been free-form and scattered, while his live shows have been described as mellow and retrained and almost entirely reggae based. Not the kind of person you can ever predict, there’s still a wild child hiding behind that infamous grin, so expect the unexpected. Show starts at 7:30. Skate-punk legend Chuck Trees - who played for a time in Bad Brains - and McRad open up. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door. All-ages.

The Gaslight Anthem front man strums whisky-wise acoustic folk-punk at The Court Tavern (124 Church St., New Brunswick) tomorrow night. Lets hope he kicks in an advance of Gaslight’s “American Slang” for fans, and plays a couple new tracks from the June 13 release. Show starts at 9. The Loved Ones’ Dave Hause plays an acoustic set, too. So will Communication Redlight. Tickets cost $10. 21-plus.

Here’s a first. A band from England modeling their candied pop sound on commercial county radio made famous over here with groups like Sugarland. There’s also folksy side to the group’s song writing in the spirit of Sixpence None The Richer and female-fronted ’90s alt-rock feel (Tanya Donelly, Mary Lou Lord), but for the most part this stateside invasion – landing at The Saint (601 Main St., Asbury Park) tomorrow night – has the intentions of swallowing-up fans of LeAnne Rimes, Little Big Town and Carrie Underwood. Show starts at 7:30. The Fave and Devil’s Holiday play open. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. 18-plus.

The Trenton-based screeching weasels’ brand of pop punk pays homage to “Cheshire Cat”-era Blink 182 and Less Than Jake (just without the horns). They dress up like clowns sometimes, too, which is a gimmick fit for all types of family entertainment, especially throwback punk rock fans of The Bouncing Souls and the first two Green Day records. The guys play Championships Sports Bar and Grill’s (931 Chambers St., Trenton) Saturday afternoon showcase. Starts at noon. County Drop, The DIYs, Ripping X-Ray, Radio Radio and My Name Is Drew play, too. Tickets cost $10. All-ages.
The Woodbridge-based starry-eyed pop rockers’ merry melodies – think newer All American Rejects mixed with Mayday Parade and Boys Like Girls – get their sing-along-song-on when opening for Driver Side Impact (Victory Records) at The Court Tavern (124 Church St., New Brunswick) on Saturday night. Show starts at 8. Tall Days and CJ Grogan. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.
The diabolical dark stalkers had only one goal in mind when unleashing their sinister metallic mayhem on the world - “to perform blackened rituals in the grand tradition of old school evil black metal.” Scary stuff, indeed. Makes for the perfect soundtrack for a church burning. Also for those sick individuals worshiping Gaahl, Dimmu Borgir and sickos who get their rocks off from sacrificing virgin maidens to the tree Gods. All this wickedness lands at Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) on Saturday night. Show starts at 9. Sapremia, Haethen and Blasphemous open. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.
If jamming out with Matisyahu at a beach bon fire with Jack Johnson, .moe, 311 and Metallica sounds like a blast, then you can totally groove to these Santa Cruz dub-head’s rock-reggae vibe. The Cali cool kids headline The Stone Pony (913 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park) Saturday night. Show starts at 7. Tomorrows Bed Seeds, Dirty Penny and Flight’s Kool round out the bill. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $18 at the door. All-ages.
Hellion-istic kill-core, complete with elbow-engaging break downs for pit pulverizing, and asphyxiating vocal barbarity allows this Long Branch metal band to shatter speakers through a maelstrom of orchestrated chaos. Appropriately signed to Choke ’Em Records, and with a sound comparable to Lamb of God driving a truck through a brick wall, the guys are the highlight of Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) Sunday afternoon ear assault. Show starts at 2. The Binary Code headline. Gloominous Doom, The Ghost in Black and White, The Doomsday Prophecy, Heartbeatstill, One Brick Down, In Wake of the Plague and Another Vendetta play, too. Tickets cost $10. All-ages.

You got to love a jam-band icon with distaste for jam-band music. Ween – the recovering Whiskey addict, not the angler – one time told Now magazine that he liked Trey Anastasio (Phish) “as a person, but as far as the music goes, all that jam band (shite) makes me want to puke.” The New Hope resident headlines a solo performance at Havana NewHope (105 S. Main St., New Hope, Pa.) on Sunday. Show starts at 6. Tickets cost $22 in advance.
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