One of the youngest and yet most accomplished bands in the New Jersey DIY scene for the past several years has been Teenage Halloween, originally from Asbury Park. On October 20, the band released the highly anticipated Eternal Roast on Get Better Records and Fistolo Records. It was the band’s first formal release since 2015’s It Was Weird, But It Worked. Teenage Halloween celebrated the EP release with a show at New Brunswick’s Mt. Moon with good friends Fire is Motion, Ghost Camp, and Spowder.
On September 23, Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400 Records hosted the Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City, featuring twenty-four bands across five different local record labels. N.J. Racket was fortunate enough to sponsor the event alongside the world-renowned Jonathan LeVine Projects.
As I had been looking forward to this event for months, it is hard for me to really explain what that day was like and how the experience was to me on a personal level. I got to work closely with Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400 while they planned the event, and while my personal involvement was minimal, witnessing the level of effort and dedication they put into lifting this event to its full potential and to create a space and atmosphere that was positive, safe, inclusive, and (most of all) fun was truly inspiring. Before we o any further, I want to take a moment here at the beginning to say thank you to everyone that participated in the event, from the festival planners, performers, promoters, vendors, and audience members. These types of things cannot exist without everyone’s passion and participation.
Alright everyone, here’s the deal. I don’t want any of you, not a single person, to have any excuse for missing their favorite band next Saturday at the (takes a deep breath) Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall on Montgomery Street in Jersey City (advance tickets available here), and as such we’ve decided to post the complete rundown of ALL 24 BANDS.
As you already know, the festival will have two stages. The stage downstairs will be the JONATHAN LeVINE PROJECTS STAGE and the upstairs stage will be the N.J. RACKET STAGE. Pretty god damn baller right? Also, be sure to give the festival playlist a listen, posted below the lineup and order your festival t-shirt HERE!
This Friday night, Ed and Alice Magdziak of You Don’t Know Jersey (YDKJ) are teaming with two of my favorite collaborators Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400 Records to bring a totally stacked lineup to Stosh’s consisting of NGHTCRWLRS, Lowlight, The Brixton Riot, Rob Jennings, The Vaughns, and Fairmont. To preface my interview with them, I reached out to Sniffling Indie Kids owner Frank DeFranco for a quote on the YDKJ couple, and what he had to say should just about sum it up for anyone unfamiliar with Ed and Alice.
State Champion Records celebrated their label’s launch with a show at WFMU’s Monty Hall on July 9, and goddamn do they know how to throw a party! The show featured a stacked lineup of local favorites Spowder, Snakeskin, and Decoration. State Champion Records has only been in existence since April of this year, and they’ve wasted absolutely no time making a major impact on the local scene.
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.