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The Pure Joy of Terror Pigeon at the Meatlocker

A persistent buzz existed long before the feedback began. Swarms of people populated the red brick sidewalk outside the Meatlocker or sat slouched in chairs outside the Meat-A-Tarian next door. Swells of raucous belly laughter from Just Jake’s, the bar down the block, graced the occasional lull in conversation. I pulled the brim of my hat up and smiled, approaching the Locker as if greeting an old friend.

Crossing the threshold, I passed down the graffiti-lined stairs and arrived at a closed door.  It swung open effortlessly, and I breezed in, knowingly entering an alternate universe.

“I Hate a Concert but I Love a Show” – Exclusive Interview with Will Wood

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.

Exclusive Interview with aBIRD

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.

Salt Pepper Ketchup Release at the Underground Skate Shop

Last Saturday, John Cozz hosted a release show for his new album, Salt, Pepper, Ketchup, in the basement of the Underground Skate Shop in Newark.  The show featured an impressive lineup, paintings on display from local artists, homemade Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches, and well over a hundred people packed into the basement.  I’ve previously written a review for Salt, Pepper, Ketchup in which I praised John for his D.I.Y. attitude and all of the hard work he put into creating this album.  It was really great to see him get the payoff he deserved with this show, so first and foremost, congratulations, John.

The Vaughns Brought Their Tomfoolery to The Yacht Club

The calm before a storm, the lights are dim, beers in hand, and the sound-check is over. The Vaughns are set to open the Experiment 34 album release show at The Asbury Park Yacht Club. There’s usually not a crowd so large for the opening band, but The Vaughns, consisting of Anna Lies, David Cacciatore, Ryan Kenter, and Tom Losito from Springfield, are not a typical opening band. I have been looking forward to this show since I first heard their album Tomfoolery and can I just say, if you haven’t been listening, you are seriously missing out.

This Much Talent Could Only Fit in a New Jersey Basement


There was a pretty special show hosted at The Edge Mansion in New Brunswick on January 19.  I’ve been meaning to write about it for over a week now, but since January 20 I keep feeling overcome by fear, hopelessness, and impending doom, but so is life following the inauguration of the small-handed Tangerine Tyrant.  I didn’t intend to ever get political on this site, but it’s been vaguely unavoidable in the past ten or so days.  Still, few things can inspire such feelings of freedom and strength as good, honest music.  Just like Woody Guthrie taught us, “This Machine Kills Fascists.”

The Edge Mansion has the perfect setup for a basement venue.  The main stage area is pretty large and wide open, dimly lit with rows of Christmas lights.  There’s the long hallway when you first go down the stairs which gives the artists a great space to set up their merch.  You can pack in right up front and dance around face to face with your favorite bands, or hang back if you’re trying to have a more chill night.  Sure, occasionally a monitor might cut out during a set, but that’s part of the D.I.Y. charm that you grow to love when you start indulging in this scene.