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.
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.
When you go to a show, it’s more than likely you’ll see a bunch of guys singing songs about girls breaking their sensitive artsy hearts. It can be very daunting for anyone who doesn’t connect to what these people are saying, but wants to support local art and music. Luckily there are organizations like Not Just A Boys Club (NJABC) taking steps to change this. NJABC is an organization who’s purpose is to celebrate feminine-identifying people. On November 4th, they will be hosting their third annual event at Debonair Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey. John Cozz of N.J. Racket got the pleasure of sitting down with them to talk about their roots, beliefs, and the future of NJABC.
The rock n roll duo of Mike Nestor and Jamaal Turner, known as Underlined Passages, released a new album, Tandi My Dicafi, on Mint 400 Records last month and have been gigging across the north east to promote it. Luckily for me (and by association for you), I was able to catch up with Mike on during their shows in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn and talk to them about the album and everything that’s lead them to this point in their careers. See what he has to say, give Tandi My Dicafi a spin, and make a point to catch them on November 17 at The Grape Room in Philly.
I decided to start N.J. Racket the Thursday night before the inaugural North Jersey Indie Rock Festival. It was an impulsive decision, and I had no idea the depths of what I was getting myself into. If I had, given my attitude at the time, I probably would’ve been too intimidated to even try. At the time, I was completely unaware of the story of what went into putting the festival together or even who was behind it. The festival, even in its first year, was an impressive undertaking with twenty bands from Sniffling Indie Kids (SIK) and Mint 400 Records (M400). A year later, I would find myself at the Tick Tock Diner interviewing the owners of those two labels, Frank DeFranco and Neil, having already worked closely with them for several months as a sponsor for the second annual event.
One of the most high-profile artists set to perform at Saturday’s North Jersey Indie Rock Festival is Asbury Park’s Dentist, representing Little Dickman Records. The surf rock outfit currently has two full length albums in their catalog, a self-titled release in 2014 and Ceilings which was released in the summer of 2016. It will certainly be a treat to have the Jersey Shore band make a special trip up to Hudson county to grace the stage with so many other talented artists. So much so that I made a point to reach out and get their thoughts on the event, the scene, and any plans they have for upcoming material. Check out the interview with Justin Bornemann below.