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.
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.
One of the most high-profile artists set to perform at Saturday’s North Jersey Indie Rock Festival is Asbury Park’s Dentist, representing Little Dickman Records. The surf rock outfit currently has two full length albums in their catalog, a self-titled release in 2014 and Ceilings which was released in the summer of 2016. It will certainly be a treat to have the Jersey Shore band make a special trip up to Hudson county to grace the stage with so many other talented artists. So much so that I made a point to reach out and get their thoughts on the event, the scene, and any plans they have for upcoming material. Check out the interview with Justin Bornemann below.
For anyone that hasn’t been paying attention, LKFFCT is one of the state’s premier indie bands. For years now, the band has been captivating audiences with some of the most impassioned and energetic performances the underground stage has ever seen. The experimental stoner punk band is preparing to followup their 2016 release, The Flower Investment Pawn, with a new LP, Dawn Chorus, and have just released the first single, “Hatchling.” As expected, people have already been losing their shit over it.
For this interview, I chatted with LKFFCT’s bringer of bass, Brian Legentil about the upcoming release, future tour dates, the upcoming North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and what he thinks of people who like Aerosmith.
Alright everyone, here’s the deal. I don’t want any of you, not a single person, to have any excuse for missing their favorite band next Saturday at the (takes a deep breath) Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall on Montgomery Street in Jersey City (advance tickets available here), and as such we’ve decided to post the complete rundown of ALL 24 BANDS.
As you already know, the festival will have two stages. The stage downstairs will be the JONATHAN LeVINE PROJECTS STAGE and the upstairs stage will be the N.J. RACKET STAGE. Pretty god damn baller right? Also, be sure to give the festival playlist a listen, posted below the lineup and order your festival t-shirt HERE!
Well, the Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival is rapidly approaching so I wanted to be sure to take the time to actually speak with a few of the artists that are lined up to be performing and since there has been so much focus on the festival’s organizers, Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400, why not take the opportunity to spotlight one of the festival newcomers, Désir Decir, a Jersey City band on Killing Horse Records.