I had heard C.R. & The Degenerates’ album, Salt of the Earth, prior to the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and I was really engaged by its raw energy and grit. There’s a definitive authenticity to their music and sound. It has an edge. Listening to that album, I got the impression that C.R. Gennone and his band of degenerates really don’t give a rat’s ass if I like them or not, but I really do. I really do, and I want them to think I’m cool.
Shane-Michael Vidaurri is an incredibly talented, multifaceted artist. Not only is he an accomplished graphic artist and a member of a couple bands, most notably The Ashes, but I was incredibly impressed with his solo performance at the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival. On the surface, Vidaurri’s act was pretty simple. He doesn’t go for attention grabbing moments, nor is his music overly energetic. The true beauty of his art is how well it stands on its own. It has a very plain and innate beauty to it that is easy to appreciate.
Ken de Poto was the first artist I saw at the North Jersey Indie Rock Fest at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City, and god damn was it a great way to get things kicked off! de Poto took the stage, and the heavily blues-inspired riffs came wailing out of his guitar. His music is dark and heavy and kinda crawls in a way that allows you to digest and contemplate the lyrics, which are delivered in such a deliberate way that many songwriters fail to truly achieve.
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