Have you ever watched the Flintstones or eaten Fruity Pebbles? Well then, I’m sure you must’ve heard that SHRED FLINTSTONE has come out with their first EP, Cartoon Physics, released on the Sniffling Indie Kids label. For those who aren’t in the know, Shred Flintstone is the spawn of Jean Pool guitarist Dan Barrechia with Bridget Bakie on bass and Joey Giambra on drums. Cartoon physics is the perfect album for the summer. These five songs will get you dancing before the opening, “Happy Song,” even comes to an end. This first track has such a nostalgic feel to it, I can almost convince myself that when I was twelve my friends and I used to dance in my bedroom to it while Jason Biggs made sloppy love to a pie.
Last week, Terrapin Productions, a project of Sunflower drummer Tyler Curtis, hosted a banger of an event in Montclair featuring five acts, including Banana on tour from, our neighbor to the north, Massachusetts. The show was held at The Groov Café, which, the show aside, is a great place to go for some fresh juice and has an unbeatable brunch, for all of you avocado-toast loving millennials out there.
In many ways, the concept of D.I.Y. is what binds this scene together more than anything else. And I know the obvious response to that is, “Hey jackass, what about music?” But what this scene really means and is about isn’t necessarily the music as an art form in and of itself. The Philharmonic is music; Top 40 is music. The true defining characteristic of this scene is the do it yourself mentality, the pure creative drive to make what isn’t there and to do so under your own authority. D.I.Y. has given us more than just the music. It has given us record labels, publications, festivals, merchandise, venues – and no place in the world feels more like home than a good D.I.Y. venue. Last weekend marked the end of a good one
So, the warm summer weather we’ve all been waiting for finally arrived last week, and we were blessed with a few 90 degree days. But, with the good comes the bad, and that can only mean Garden State Parkway summer, rush hour traffic. Sitting in that clusterfuck from Montclair all the way down to Long Branch doesn’t sound like the ideal way to spend a Thursday evening, but when at one end is a show at the Brighton Bar featuring Toy Cars, Rocky and the Chapter, and – are you shitting me? – Hot Rod Circuit, you can bet I’ll be hauling ass at a blazing 7mph for the entire 60 miles. Don’t worry; I made it with plenty of time to spare.
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.
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.