This coming Friday, April 21, Hear Me Roar Women Artists (HMRWA) will present their April Showcase at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ. HMRWA is a feminist, activist performance series founded by Jennifer Santa Maria and April Centrone in summer of 2016, featuring female musicians and spoken word artists, with vision to create a community of female artists across the country uniting in performances nationwide. This is a group I have been a big fan of since catching their November showcase last year. The event was incredibly passionate and full of such a positive energy, and I’m sure we can expect more of the same to keep coming our way.
In the past few weeks, I was fortunate enough to be able to drop in with Jennifer Santa Maria, HMRWA co-founder and Bone & Marrow bassist, Daimon Santa Maria, Bone & Marrow guitarist, and Jenna Murphy of PRIM, who will also be performing at the April Showcase. They were generous enough to take some time to speak on why they feel these showcases are so important both personally and for the community as a whole and also deliver a message to women artists everywhere.
Last year, the punk duo of Ryan O’Leary and Bob Osowski came together to create Sally Draper, described in their own words as Against Me! if they had gotten into Weezer. A few weeks ago, the band released DOES TOO, their first full length album fresh on the heels of two EP releases last fall.
DOES TOO shows off the full range of the duo. The first track, “The Air I Breathe,” begins with soft, acoustic finger-picking juxtaposed by raw, guttural vocals before unleashing the breakdown thirty seconds before the end of the song. “New York City is a Fucking Headache” is more of a traditional punk anthem that will have running in circles and swinging your arms right from the first cord, with only short pauses to shout along with the chorus, “New York City is a fucking headache!” The album also manages to pack in a tremendous amount of heart beneath all the head banging and screaming. “Too Young To Be Too Old” features personal, yet universally relatable lyrical themes (at least to those around Ryan, Bob, and my age range), “For once all my dreams are within reach/ Just close enough to watch them all slip away.”
This past week, I got to talk with Sally Draper guitarist and vocalist Ryan O’Leary about their new release, their old releases, their “Bigly Benefit” show series, the local scene, and how all of this manages to fit into their already ridiculously hectic lives.
On March 18, at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, New Jersey, Will Wood will be performing for a live concert film and live album release entitled “The Real Will Wood.” This event is guaranteed to be a true spectacle, as Wood has established himself as one of the most theatrical and thrilling artists on the scene. You can (should) PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE SHOW HERE. It is already approaching a sell out, so act fast.
Adam Bird was previously the frontman for the band Those Mockingbirds, however his last release was the single How the Story Goes in 2015. Recently, Bird has began work on a new project under the moniker of “a BIRD” and is looking to begin releasing new music in the coming months for the first time in years. N.J. Racket had the chance to catch up with Bird over the past few weeks and we discussed the new a BIRD project as well as where he’s been since we last heard from him with Those Mockingbirds. Check out what he had to say below.