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Exclusive Interview with Derek Zanetti of The Homeless Gospel Choir

Last Sunday, The Homeless Gospel Choir played their first of two New Jersey shows with Early Riser and ManDancing at Backroom Studios in Rockaway and the second show will be on Thursday at The Saint in Asbury Park. 

N.J. Racket will be the Official Media Sponsor of the 2017 North Jersey Indie Rock Festival

N.J. Racket has been selected by Mint 400 Records founder Neil Sabatino and Sniffling Indie Kids co-founder Frank DeFranco to be the official media sponsor of the 2017 North Jersey Indie Rock Festival to be held on September 23 at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City. 

Jean Pool Saves the Elephants and DIY

I’m writing this review of Jean Pool’s new album, Save the Elephants, and the subsequent album release extravaganza about an hour after leaving the show.  I regret that it’s taken me even this long to do it, but I felt that it was urgent to get in the shower as soon as possible to wash away any chance of ringworm.  It was hot, humid night in a building with no AC, fans, or open windows, filled with sweaty, moshing punks.  It’s that kind of show filth that you don’t notice until after the encore, the lights come on, and you make the transition from Teen Wolf back into a somewhat functional member of society.  But, now that I’ve done all I can to mitigate the risk of fungal infections – Jean Pool.

Exclusive Single Premiere: “Overthinking” by Rocky and the Chapter

It is an honor to bring you all this single and B-side fresh from Rocky and the Chapter, released courtesy of Sniffling Indie Kids.  “Overthinking,” the A-side of the single, was originally written and recorded during the Aye sessions, while the B-side, “Contractor,” is a Lamb of God cover that frontman Rocky Catanese wrote while he was working as a roadie on tour with the band.

I Followed Will Wood Down a Rabbit Hole…

Will Wood is a figure in the local music scene unlike any other.  The larger-than-life, near celestial-like being has become notorious for his theatrical antics, the absurdity of his storytelling, and the shear anomaly of his existence.  You’re familiar with it all by now if you’ve been following N.J. Racket.  Born in 1992 despite the use of three forms of contraception, his grandfather worked in the circus, he is the leader of a cult, he once murdered a man in Punta Cana over a bottle of Tequilla.

Back on March 18, at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, New Jersey, Wood put on part one of a series of major concerts; a performance entitled “The Real Will Wood,” which was filmed and recorded for a live album and a concert film.  He described the show as “a multi-cam film production in high-def, high-fidelity, high-on-mescaline glory,” and he sure as shit wasn’t joking.  The show was an absolute mind-fucking spectacle that had me twisted up for days after.  Wrestling with this for longer than I could bear, I decided to reach out to Will and ask for an exclusive, all access interview.  He said no.  Very plainly, just like that.  I asked again, very nicely.  He said no, again, but this time explaining that he wants he’d like to keep his privacy. He has a daughter, and while he speaks of her briefly on stage, he is not comfortable sharing more details because he does not wish for her to be hurt or in any way affected by his notoriety.  I assured him as best I could that his privacy, his family, would be given the utmost respect, but that this is a story worth telling and one that I’m sure all of his fans have been clamoring for.  He said fine.

A Cinco DeFranco to Remember…If You Can…

A few weeks ago, Frank DeFranco approached me with the opportunity to co-promote a show with his label, Sniffling Indie Kids (SIK), and I couldn’t jump on it fast enough.  Not only because the idea of hosting a show sounded cool as shit and was an idea that had been kicked around N.J. Racket HQ for some time, but because I was ecstatic to have the chance to collaborate with a group like SIK, who have made such a big splash in the local community.  Max Rauch summed it up pretty well in our interview: “Honest tunes delivered by a label that passionately cares about what it brings to NJ.”  Together, we put together a pretty stacked lineup (no point in being modest), featuring LKFFCT, Rosey Bengal, NGHTCRWLRS, and ManDancing; and with the help of another one of our favorites, Mint 400 Records, we locked down Stosh’s as the venue.