There’s not enough good music on the radio. That’s probably more fact than opinion at this point. Remember how excited everyone got for like twenty minutes when they heard 92.3 was coming back? And then 92.3 actually came back and everyone wished their car radio got stolen like a 21 Pilots song. Anyway, there is still some good music on local radio and it’s usually brought to you by Al C. on WFDU’s Signal to Noise Sunday nights between 11pm and 2am. In the coming weeks, Al will be hosting a series of shows as fundraisers for Signal to Noise. Because the show is on college radio, Al is not able to charge for advertising spots on the air, and because nothing in this world is free, must instead look to other means to raise the funding necessary to keep the show on the air.
I’ve been honored to be a guest on Signal to Noise a few times and I have seen first hand how passionate Al is about promoting local indie music. I appreciate everything he’s been doing for the community and everything he’s done for us at N.J. Racket in helping promote what do here as a shared passion, and as such I got in touch with him in the last week to speak about his history in the indie scene, what he’s got planned for Signal to Noise, and how the internet is ruining music.
Years ago, back around the time I was first just starting to scratch the surface of the local scene, I caught a random Friday night show at New Brunswick’s Court Tavern that included a young band called Monterey. Later that night I got caught up talking with the band’s drummer, Matt DeBenedetti and he invited my buddy and I to what would be the first real New Brunswick basement show I ever went to, at a place called the Bomb Shelter, where they were playing with other locals American Lions and The Blithedale Romance.
I’ve covered Will Wood several times on this page in the last year or so. With each performance, each release, and each interview I leave more confused and more awestruck by this artist and his band. To quote Will Wood, quoting me on his website, “His creativity is boundless, his charisma unmatched, his intensity intimidating, his philosophies confounding. A Will Wood performance is more stimulating than an 8-ball straight to the dome… when faced with the question “Who is the real Will Wood?” the answer is still elusive. …powerful well beyond anything else I had seen or experienced on a stage.” I can’t remember when I said that. Everything’s a blur when it comes to Wood, but the sentiment still rings true.
Now, coming up on February 3rd, Wood will (Will Wood will?) celebrate the release of The Real, a massive live album recorded during two sold-out 2017 shows. The show will also feature performances by Super Snake, Electric Sensei, and Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son. Of course, I have no capacity to understand, let alone explain anything that Will Wood does, so (to attempt) to give you the best idea, here’s Will Wood in his own words.
I’ve been told not to post shit at 1am on Sunday morning and that it’s better to have a consistent schedule, post regularly either at the beginning of the day or at lunch time on a week day. Those are great tips if you’re measuring your success in terms of Facebook likes and follows. Honestly, I don’t really give a shit and I’m assuming that everyone else that saw Spowder tonight at In The West is also probably still up.
The saying goes, “I can’t define melody, per se, but I know it when I hear it.” Okay, so that isn’t at all a thing that people actually say, but it is exactly how I felt when I first heard “View From the Bleachers,” the first single from Subtitles’ fourth EP (fifth counting a 2015 split release with Cranes Are Flying) titled Modicum, out Friday, January 12 on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Subtitles is a three-piece indie alt-rock band out of Newark, NJ consisting of Russell Payan, Brian Roy, and Ben Petty (also of ManDancing), formed back in 2014. Over the past few years, the band has refined their songwriting to further evolve the storytelling that is so prevalent in their music. This is accompanied by light guitar riffs that create a soft and sweet vibe to songs that are thematically, at times, much darker than they initially seem.
Mint 400 Records set out to accomplish one thing when it formed in 2007, and that was bringing quality music to the masses. This year finishes up with a re-release of Mint 400’s Christmas Compilation that is sure to satisfy even the Grinchiest of us all. The compilation is a collection of 12 previously released epics that features label veterans such as The One and Nines, Fairmont, The Ashes and label newcomers Les Trois Chaud and The Duke of Norfolk.