Movin and Shakin’ with Division of Planes And WJ & The Sweet Sacrifice
“Motion creates Emotion!” I can’t claim that as my line. I got it from Ben Affleck, who got it from whoever wrote the movie Boiler Room….But the origins of that phrase are simply not important. Its a truth of the universe, if you move you’ll feel better. And There is a direct correlation between feeling good and rock music. I think it’s .87 (if you took Psych 101, you should chuckle, if you don’t chuckle, then you probably didn’t pay much attention). Right, I just went off on kind of a tangent…..sooo, OH YES! Saturday Night, I scuttled across town to see WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice. I was extremely worried that I would miss the show as I was getting out of work at 11, and WJSS was set to start up at 11. But, on my luck (which seems to be taking a turn for the positive as of late), they hadn’t started yet…..AND there was one more band left before they were to start!
I had spoken with Billy Alpha a few weeks prior about coming out for the show, he’s been really helping me out by telling people what I’m about, and that’s been opening up some doors for me. I was really looking forward to see them again since the last time was back in July of last year. Jersey City over the past few weeks has come to embrace me as their rock writer! It’s an exciting time to be a Rocker Tycoon! In fact, on that note, earlier this week Eric of Borosix (the cats behind the booking of shows for IMAC) reached out to me in appreciation for the pics and write-ups. That was mighty cool of him to do. Knowing that people give a damn about what I’m doing is half the reason I get out of bed in the morning!
Division of Planes was setting up I took a shot grabbed a beer checked my equipment and let the calm of not being at work rush over me like a warm shower. Saturday’s are long for me they start around 10am and don’t finish up til 11pm. It feels good to shake off the day with a little live music! I unclench my ass, relax for a second and then I realize I only have nine pics left on my memory card! Whats worse is because the other pics weren’t shot on my camera I can’t erase them. Remember what I was saying about good luck? Yep well that shite’s right out of the window. That’s not a whole lot of pics…But I’ve worked with less. Quality not quantity I just have to be in a little more controled. As I’m scrambling for some kind of answer, DOV gett into it.
From their very first song, Division of Planes were making use of their area! They sound like a chase scene and their body language was no different. The bassist (J. Johnson) is a one man mosh pit! The Drummer (Jonathan Johansen) is a methodical madman. Lead singer Guitarist (Tom Unish) has a rippingly catchy guitar and haunting voice! and the….wait thats it? There are only three guys in this band? It sure sounds like there’s a four or fifth member. Talk about going to 11! They played at 110% for all of their set then they were finished…. The ghosts of Sunny Day Real Estate, Boy Sets Fire and Mission of Burma look on in approval. I have seen the future, friends, and post punk is alive and well in Jersey City! After the show I picked up both of their albums and chatted it up with J. Johnson for a few minutes. Very approachable guy, more than friendly, and totally amped after his set! I haven’t seen any other shows listed on their page or myspace, hopefully they’ll update soon. I’m making a point to get out to see them again!
WJSS hit the stage like a jack rabbit on a date! WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice is William “Billy Alpha” Ferrera (guitar/vox) , Erin “Colossus of Rhodes” Conners(organ/guitar/vox), Mike Moebius (Bass) and tonight Thomas Barret of No Pasaran! was filling in as drummer for Ray James Hill. First Impression: I’m thinking I need a Cadillac, white ’89, a Deville. This is classic driving music! Not chase scene style driving music. No, the “get the fuck outta Dodge cuz your wanted by the law and your woman left you” driving music. The kind of music you play the drums on the dashboard and the bass on the steering wheel to. Route 80 twenty mph above the speed limit music! Billys pleas and groans cut right a river right into his guitar, Erin multitasks between songs going from guitars to the Rhodes, to tambourine and supplying backing vocals, the poor thing rocked out so hard you’d think she suffered a rock concussion. Mike Moebius pounded the bass in accent to Billy’s guitar, and even took a sidetrip or two for something a little more scenic! Thomas on the drums was a great substitute, you’d think he’d been playing with the Sweet Sacrifice for years. He put his nose to the grindstone, knuckled up and navigated right through the set into the encore! You can tell form the pictures there was both motion and emotion running wild during the set!
Billy and I talked for a few after the set. I asked him for an interview with the Band and Tom. They complied. I think we got something pretty special here…..my camera got turned on me for a second. Ignore the Hawaiian shirt, I was at a beach party. But before you go into that. I just wanted to say something about the local scene.
Things being as they are with a government in chaos and jobs going flat it’s nice to know that rock is flourishing here. I think we take it for granted up here that the local scene is as rich and significant as it is. Don’t get me wrong I love my country dearly, but it seems each time we turn a corner there’s more conniving and backhanded shady dealings going on. I say all that to say this: PROTECT YOUR SCENE! Politically speaking vote in your local elections. Jersey City’s in coming on May 12. Register for your town/ it’s not enough to just be registered in your state, if you live here, vote here! Few political concerns matter to me more than freedom of speech and the right to assemble. We need to hold those rights, the most sacred ones, on a pedestal! I think that’s something we can all agree on! I’ll step off my podium now. Please enjoy the videos and the interview!