Hey everyone, welcome back for another episode of N.J. Racket’s Racket Radio Podcast. Joining us for Episode #2 are two are very popular artists and personalities in the New Jersey DIY scene. Max Rauch of LKFFCT and NGHTCRWLRS is not only a great artist and performer in his own right, but is a well respected engineer who has worked with some of the best artists New Jersey has to offer, and John Cozz of John Cozz and the Squirts is everybody’s favorite anti-folk turned pop-punk, amateur filmmaker, crab leg enthusiast. In our episode, Max and Cozz talk about some of their other favorite artists in the scene, irony and sincerity in their songwriting, what their grandmothers think of their music, and how none of us have read Infinite Jest.
Avant garde punk band Shithead’s Rainbow (SHRB) has released a new music video for “Bad,” the first single off their upcoming album Ludlows, scheduled to be released on February 16 on Mint 400 Records. I’m unable to describe this band as well as they describe themselves, so allow me to use their own words, “Bayonne trash, with Jersey City style, and Ridgewood cheese, and Newark Bay broth, served by our toxic sunset.” I don’t know about you, but now I’m fucking hungry. Grab a snack and enjoy the video below.
There’s really absolutely nothing from my high school years that I want to share with you people. I was dumb and lame and everything was way more dramatic leading such a shortsighted life. Not I’m doing particularly great in adulthood – my father would be glad to fill you in on everything I’m fucking up – but the teenage years were a special kind of unmitigated embarrassment. While I’m sure that this is relatable to many of you, the fact is that some brave souls have the strength to handle this differently, which deserves a a great deal of respect and admiration.
Snakeskin’s upcoming LP, Hangnail, will be released on February 16 on State Champion Records and will consist of six songs Snake had wrote back in her high school years that will finally be getting an official studio treatment courtesy of James Meder. Snakeskin has made several bedroom recordings in the past, but the move to the studio with Hangnail has helped propel the band forward with what will be their second release on State Champion Records, following I Love My Room, released in April of last year.
So in case you haven’t noticed, I really can’t say enough about Spowder. Apparently, I’ve got a fever, and the only cure, is more Spowder. They’re a lot like cowbells that way. But if you haven’t been keeping up, the bands last album Health Palm was released last spring and has been the talk of the New Jersey scene. Last fall, Spowder released the first music video from the album for “Miracle Grow,” and similar to that release, the video for “Pulp” is is just as wacked out and irreverent.
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.
We have some very special guests joining us for the first ever installment of N.J. Racket‘s Racket Radio podcast series. Sniffling Indie Kids is one of the most influential labels in the New Jersey independent music landscape and the three owners, Frank DeFranco, Eric Goldberg, and Joe Lanza are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people that I’ve had the privilege to know.
In this episode, Frank, Eric, and Joe talk us through the inception of the label, going back to the creation of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, through meeting Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, starting the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and their plans for the future.