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Toy Cars EP Release in the State’s Best Venue and in Good Company

Toy Cars organized the show in a New Brunswick basement to celebrate the release of their new EP, Sleeping Patterns, which I reviewed last week.  They assembled a lineup of three other incredibly talented and diverse bands to play the show with them: ManDancing, dollys, and Hodera.  I had been looking forward to this show since I saw Toy Cars and dollys perform at the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, so I decided to roll deep and brought two photographers with me (how many friends do you have?) to best capture every second of the action. 

Screaming Females Continue to Thrill in the Garden State

I’ve seen shows in more basements and attics than I can remember.  I’ve seen countless bands whose names I’ve never bothered to note.  I’ve pulled band stickers out from under my couch and had no idea at all where they came from.  I normally know what to expect when I go to a show.  I just hope it’s good.  Sometimes I get lucky and it’s really good, so then I write about it here.  Tonight I left a show and thought to myself, “Holy shit, that might be the greatest show I’ve ever seen.”  That’s what happens when a band the caliber of Screaming Females plays a venue like The Kilkenny Alehouse in Newark. 

Sleeping Patterns by Toy Cars is a Jersey Songwriting Instant Classic

SleepingPatternsCoverFinal copy

New Brunswick’s Toy Cars released their latest five track EP, Sleeping Patterns, under the Sniffling Indie Kids label this past Friday, September 16, 2016. It has been made available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud for your listening enjoyment.  I’ve played this EP top to bottom a few times already, really just digging the vibe and tone of the whole thing.  The album exhibits soulful and vivid storytelling, which is characteristic of so many great New Jersey songwriters before them.

NGHTCRWLRS: The Hardest Working Band On and Off the Stage

The first-ever North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall in Jersey was a major accomplishment for NGHTCRWLRS and Sniffling Indie Kids’ Frank DeFranco, who, in conjunction with Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, planned and organized the festival i decided that the time had come to organize an event showcasing the remarkable talent hidden in North Jersey.  That’s the kind of ass kicking D.I.Y. attitude that N.J. Racket is proud to support.

A Band That Will Make Your Liver Quiver and Your Kidneys Shiver: The Randy Haze Trio

I saw Randy, Mark, Boris, and Tim play for the first time over five years ago when they were playing together as part of another band, Killing the Messenger.  I had no idea there was a show that night, but I was talking to the guys at the bar. They told me to check them out and promised they’d be good. Of course, all bands say they’re good, but for $5 I figured, whatever, they seem like cool guys.

They weren’t good.  They were fucking unbelievable.

That was the first time I ever left a local show with my mind completely blown, my ears bleeding, and chasing the band out the door asking when their next show was.  I’ve been following them consistently for the past five years.

Young Legs is Beyond Definition

Sometimes, I’ll go see a band and someone will ask, “What did they sound like?” and I’ll respond, “Well, they’re a folk band.  They sound like other folk bands.  They’re nearly indistinguishable from other folk bands.” That could not be further from the case with Young Legs, and that is why they were one of my favorites from The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall.