Mutual Interest Single Release: Sunset on a Perfect Day


On of my biggest pet peeves is when band’s are defined in terms of other bands instead of given the credit for their own individuality and creativity.  When you read things like “They sound like Green Day,” it’s usually bull shit because even Green Day doesn’t sound like Green Day anymore, but that’s a conversation for another time.  Point being, I was a little ashamed of myself when I listened to Mutual Interest‘s upcoming album Better Than I Expected and immediately thought to myself “holy shit! they sound like The Smiths….sans Morrissey’s pretentiousness.”  But so much that made so many people fall in love with The Smiths is present in Mutual Interest, from the jangling post-punk riffs to the melodramatic new wave tones, and if you doubt me, listen for yourself.  The premiere of their single “Sunset on a Perfect Day” is streaming below.

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Meet the Mint 400 Records Freshman Class of Fall 2017


Our friend Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records has been busy as of late (and honestly well beyond that).  The label has some exciting announcements of recent signings, not only confined to New Jersey, but throughout these United States.  Check out who’s new below and start getting excited for some upcoming releases!

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Underlined Passages Talk About Tandi My Dicafi


The rock n roll duo of Mike Nestor and Jamaal Turner, known as Underlined Passages, released a new album, Tandi My Dicafi, on Mint 400 Records last month and have been gigging across the north east to promote it.  Luckily for me (and by association for you), I was able to catch up with Mike on during their shows in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn and talk to them about the album and everything that’s lead them to this point in their careers.  See what he has to say, give Tandi My Dicafi a spin, and make a point to catch them on November 17 at The Grape Room in Philly.

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The Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival Recap


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.

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A Bird Breaks the Mold with “The Sun and the Moon”


Every time Adam Bird’s new project, A Bird, is mentioned, it is prefaced by the fact that he is formerly the frontman of Those Mockingbirds. (Of course, I’m now guilty of it too.) When A Bird released their first single, “Polluto,” back in June, I thought perhaps Bird would be rid of that preface.  With the release of “The Sun and the Moon,” A Bird is making a statement that this is a fresh and original project, not only in respect to Those Mockingbirds, but in respect to the musical landscape as a whole.

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Interview with North Jersey Indie Rock Fest Organizers Frank DeFranco and Neil Sabatino


I decided to start N.J. Racket the Thursday night before the inaugural North Jersey Indie Rock Festival.  It was an impulsive decision, and I had no idea the depths of what I was getting myself into. If I had, given my attitude at the time, I probably would’ve been too intimidated to even try.  At the time, I was completely unaware of the story of what went into putting the festival together or even who was behind it.  The festival, even in its first year, was an impressive undertaking with twenty bands from Sniffling Indie Kids (SIK) and Mint 400 Records (M400).  A year later, I would find myself at the Tick Tock Diner interviewing the owners of those two labels, Frank DeFranco and Neil, having already worked closely with them for several months as a sponsor for the second annual event.

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