Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

The Rogue Rock Writer, Half in the Bag, Submersed in the Scene

Archive for the ‘Live’ Category

Road Trip: Ben Franklin, Nico Blues, Meet/Pause and

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Remember that song Holiday Road from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies?  Well everytime I get into a car to go to a show that song plays in my head.  It makes for an interesting car ride.  Sadly, I don’t even have that song on my ipod and most folks still don’t have hookups for iPods in their cars.

That’s all sort of besides the point though.  I noticed that Ben Franklin was playing a show in my old home of New Brunswick at McCormick’s Pub.  I had never actually been to McCormick’s and I’d heard it was shutting down so I thought to myself this is a perfect time to hitch a ride and check it out.  (I normally move to a town just after the local scene spot closes down, New Brunswick was the Melody Bar, Uncle Joe’s in Jersey City and even Head Biter’s closed on rt 45 just before I turned 18.  There’s nothing worse than that look of disappointment you get when people find out you never went to a scene spot, so I figure I’d circumvent that hideous mouth agape look forever and head down to NB.)  After a quick inquiry on Facebook Eric Moeller of SpillPeak Media offered a ride.  I met him in Hoboken and we hit the Bruns for rock, college pay priced drinks and grease truck sandwiches.

We entered McCormick’s Pub, which looks like any house I threw shows in town during the earlier part of the decade.  Upon entrance, it pretty much looked like it.  Basically, McCormicks is what would have happened to you house had your dad and mom never met.  Bar in the front 15ft or so, then juke box and pool in the back.  (The pool table moved to the side for the bands).  Random paraphernalia of times past scattered about the place.  Including but not upto a picture of Elvis left handed that Adam of Ben Franklin pointed out.  After internet inquiry we surmised that it had to have been printed backwards.  The only instance of Left and Elvis on the internet was that “Elvis LEFT the building.”  We ordered our drinks and folks began to shuffle in as Civil Suits started up.

Pat Sigmund (Lead Guitar),Karthik Rao (Vocals / Keys / Guitar), Karan Nair (Bass / Vocals) and Ben Rose (Percussion) are native to New Brunswick.  Like a Roadhouse Grunge band they had a good crowd of youngsters jamming out.  I got a video and some pics.  They were the first to play and thusly the first to take on the wrath of the owner.  Who I think was just being an asshole for show.  Something about clearing a way for the fire lane, hey I know what it’s like running a show in this town illegally, I can only imagine that legally the fuzz is that much harder on you.  So I get his anal-retentiveness about everything.  Billy Gray of Ben Franklin just laughed, “I think this is his thing.”  I wasn’t sure but fuckit, I wasn’t playing what did I care?
Meet/Pause played second they had learned from the previous bands hazing and went directly into their set, noting the short time for each set.  There was little banter and only a few stops for letting everyone know who they were.  Scott Thompson (guitar, vox, keys) Graeme Gardner (drums, backing vox) Keith Laviola (guitar, keys) Sean Favre (bass, backing vox) make up this New Brunswick indie rock gang.  They’ve been making their way around VFW’s and even up to NYC a few times kinda sounds like Devon Williams fronting for Mars Volta.  Check out the video!
Ben Franklin got up after a fair share of free liquor.  If you’ve been reading the blog as of late, I’ve been borderline stalking these guys.  That said, they can’t fucking get enough of me.  or wait switch that reverse it!  Self described gonzo rock, that’s a great visual.  Billy “Dr. Teeth” Gray (vox, guitar), Sarah “Animal” Tomek (drums) Eddie “Sgt. Floyd Pepper” Garza & Adam “Janice” Copeland (I hope Sarah and Adam can take a joke)  are Ben Franklin.  Fresh from the release of their new E.P.: Urgency Killing Horse Records is putting these four to work!  If you check out Had it Coming you can totally see that electric mayhem ensued!
Both Mike Sylvia of KHR and Eric Moeller talked up Nico Blues.  I was introduced to Reed Adler (guitar) as I entered the Pub.  These dudes have some balls!  And a hell of a stage presence!  The Owner got back on the mic for what I thought was another “hassle the band rant”, but nope instead he informed us that the ladies were looking to dance and that we oughta oblige them.  This monologue took on a life of it’s very own as Nico Blues’ Nodded to each other and went into a birthday classic that I think was called “GET OFF THE MIC!”  They went into Unprofessional a song that the chorus kinda mocked the owner on, “This is not for you.”  Well played!  I picked up some video of  Weighed Options!  Look to hear much more about The Nico Blues as I find out more.
After the show, Eric looked like he was gonna pass out from starvation.  I suggested he hit PJ’s Grill!  I haven’t had a Fat Knight in years.  Suffice it to say.  They are still just as tasty as ever.  Cheesesteak, Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Fingers and fries on a hero roll… that’s a meal any five year old can get behind.  Sated, we made our way back to North Jersey.  It was a good night for the rock scene, it appears it’s still alive in The Dirty Bruns!
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March 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Tip Canary and The Micks at Lucky 7 Tavern

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Some things just go well together.  Peanut butter and Jelly, bacon and eggs, SPAM AND SPAM.  3/8/11 Tip Canary and The Micks played a set at Lucky 7 Tavern.  It was a total power combo!  Wesley Kirk & Robbie Hartnett of Tip Canary teamed up with Matt & Sam McMickle and Henry Prol of The Micks for a couple of songs.  I have the Video and Pics to back up that statement.

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Lucky 7 Tavern March 8th (Tip Canary, The Micks), posted with vodpod

Written by rockertycoon

March 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Stephie Coplan & Deivito at Lucky 7 Tavern

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Again, for the first time ever, Stephie Coplan and Deivito came together for a Marvel Team-Up of epic proportions at Lucky 7 Tavern.  They were slated to play another show I booked recently but got snowed out.  As fate would have it, they rallied and played at Lucky 7 on Tuesday the 22nd. 

There’s a lot to be said for old friends.  Deivis Garcia, alias Deivito is about the oldest friend Rocker Tycoon has.  A huge local music supporter both on and off the stage, no one hustles like Deivito.  He played his Black Spaniard set.  His brand of Indie-spanglish Country rock is singular.  Imagine the Dead Milkmen’s sense of humor combined with the storytelling of the Decemberists but in Spanish and Willis Nelson sings lead.  And he’s just one dude!

Jersey City newbie Stephie Coplan jumped in for Deivis’ final song.  This was sort of a great moment for me.  They both only corresponded online.  Deivis or Stephie (I can’t recall which one) mentioned they should play a song together.  this whole thing was orchestrated via FaceBook messages.  I can’t say I was nervous… hell it wasn’t my ass on the line, and lord knows I’ve smiled through plenty of my own crashing and burning with the comedy stuff I did.  I was excited to see it go down though… ok Fuck it, I was nervous.  i don’t know why, because it sounded pretty great.  You could actually see and hear them get more comfortable playing as the song progressed.   That was pretty special.

Stephie then took over.  She started with Right All Along which I scoped out on Youtube months prior.  When she announced the title of the song another person in the bar recognized it too!  She commented that she was thrilled people actually knew her stuff.  That’s kind of great, word is getting around, hell that is why I do this.  Stephie rocks the piano, not sure I mentioned that.  Her sarcasm and wit come through every song and even inbetween songs as well.  Charlie Sheen would say she’s an F-18, even during breaks.  Sadly he was not available for comment.  Anyhow, I could spend a minute comparing her to piano rockers of various genres but I think I’ll hold my tongue (fingers) on that.  Why?  Well let’s just say her final song (which I have a version of below that was not shot at Lucky 7) has a not so hidden message about all the comparisons she gotten in the past.  It fully explains everything.

So it was a pretty excellent night.  Old friends meeting new friends, drinks and laughs were shared.  Deivis fixed a keyboard stand, I drowned myslf in cheap bourbon and Stephie made it home to go to work in the morning.  All said I think it was a pretty solid night.

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(Lucky 7) Stephie Coplan & Deivito, posted with vodpod

Written by rockertycoon

March 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Lucky 7 Valentine’s Prom w/ I am the Heat and Wyldlife

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DJ Leonard Smalls and I have the exact same problem.  It’s the same reason we listen to the radio when the TV is on.  Well, we like to party.  And that means we party a lot, so if we are gonna throw a party then it better be a humdinger!  He called me up and said, “Rocker Tycoon,  I need another band for my Valentine’s day party, got any ideas?”

I said, “Well who the hell is the headliner?  I’m not a damned psychic, you know!”

Smalls came back at me, “Wyldlife!”

I said, “Fucking Dave Feldman’s group of rioter’s?  Do you plan on razing the whole block or what?  I guess if you’re dead set on those knuckleheads I’ll step up to the plate and figure something out.  It’s gonna be a Lucky 7 shitshow kinda night, I suppose.”

Smalls commented, “So what your saying is: what we (Lucky7Tavern) lack in substance, we make up for in intensity?”

I agreed.

After conferring with Ghost Train PR’s Jen Schwartz, we decided I am the HEAT would be a perfect match.  Oh how utterly right we were!

Saturday Night 7:30 or so.  I rolled out to Lucky 7.  There were something like 6 people in the bar.  It’s a Saturday afternoon in Jersey City, that’s sort of normal.  I find a spot, check my equipment and saddle up to the bar.  I am The Heat rolls in a starts to set up.  Jen looks nervous.  “There’s no one here.”

I chuckle.  I’m not worried in the least.  Lucky’s is like the Jersey City Field of Dreams.  If you rock it, they will come.  When their set began I am the Heat started to play for maybe ten people.  But like roaches from the woodwork, everyone began to shuffle in once they heard music.

(There’s a want, I dare say NEED, for local music in this town.  No official venues and dozens of great bands.  I was talking a few days ago with someone about the Jersey City rock scene, she goes, “Oh, the rock scene here sucks.”

I freaked out! “You shut your blaspheming mouth right now!”  I explained that the scene is burgeoning, it’s ready to bust, there are a few places to play but no real venues.  Local government stifles local music with red tape, but much like the Spice, the rock must flow.  Many bars have become a haven for this scene, in the wake of Automata Chino, Lucky 7’s, Lampost and even O’Hara’s and Beer Garden have made a spot in their spaces for Live Music.  I’m not sure I got that point across to the girl, I was on a rant afterall and can’t be bothered to slowdown once I start pontificating, but hey, YOU get me at least.)

Soooo…. Ah People started packing in for I am The Heat.  Jameson Edwards (Guitar/Vox), Julius Myren (Guitar/Keys/Vox), Kevin Fey(Bass/Vox), Mike Horaz (Drums) are not strangers to the blog.  I caught them on Halloween two years ago, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly catchy their brand of Indie Powerpop was.  Insanely danceable and totally lighthearted…just fun rock music!  It’s been about a year and a half knowing these fellas in passing.  In the last month I’ve spent a good amount of time hanging out with these guys.  They’ve made a mistake… THE MISTAKE.  You ever see Almost Famous?  NEVER make friends with the rock journalist!  I’ve committed the same reverse sin (Made friends with a rock band), so fuck it!  They plowed through their set list and ended to a very high energy packed house.  I actually had trouble getting through the crowd to get pictures of the band.

Wyldlife took over after.  And what I thought was a pretty packed dive bar doubled in capacity.  It was like when the Grinch’s heart grew!  Except there was a dude with crazy hair screaming and the whole bar was a tempest of sweat and limbs!  Dave Feldman (Vocals)  Sam Allen  (Guitar) Spencer Alexander (Bass) Rusty Russ Barrnett (Drums) are Jersey City’s very own GlamPunk quartet!  Enthusiastic is an understatement… watching these guys perform is like Christmas when you’re five.  You think you’re gonna get that Fakor or maybe TrapJaw figure, then you see a CASTLE GREYSKULL sized box and it’s little-kid-bug-out-panic-happy-time!  That comes close.  There was moshing, dancing and even a little crowd surfing.  I’ve been to a lot of shows at Lucky 7 Tavern, but this was over 9000!  I Am The Heat was in the crowd mixing it up, Hell, most of Jersey City was there.  You were likely there, thats how good this show was… YOU ACTUALLY SHOWED UP!

After we cleaned Wyldlife up off the floor, DJ LEONARDSMALLS and Dangerous Dave (Feldman) kept it rocking all night.  The memories start to shift from vivid to vague at this point in the night.  Needless to say, the commotion continued til 3am.  I didn’t even have a date to the prom or a valentine… But after that show I couldn’t be bothered to care.

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LUCKY 7 Valentines Day Prom, posted with vodpod

Written by rockertycoon

March 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

Nikki Sue & The Bad News w/ Black Out Stereo @ Lucky 7s

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February 8th Lucky 7 Tavern (@Lucky7Tavern on twitter) welcomed two previously unseen bands into her doors.  Nikki Sue & the Bad News played Tuesday nights Local Rock Show with Black Out Stereo.  Rock did ensue, forthwith!

Nikki Sue & the Bad News is Nikki Ilchert (Guitar, Vox) , Ben Hutcheon (Bass), Mark Pugliese (Drums), Mike Petzinger (Guitar).  Think a punkier Patsy Cline.  There’s a ton of potential for these newcomers… Alt Country rock is on a huge resurgence and my question is could Nikki Sue step up to filling the crater that was left in the wake of losing Anyday Parade?  Only time will tell, but be on the look out they are currently recording and are due to debut material soon!

Jesse Wolf (vocals/guitar) Chris Manning (guitar) Matt Brewster (bass) Mark Pugliese (drums) are Black Out Stereo.  Combine elements of Springsteen with Rancid and Social Distortion and you have a very East Coast Rock-a-Billy band.  Songs you hear once and can’t help but sing along to,  Lead guitar that begs you to follow along with your personal air system and a Rhythm section that keeps you stumping!  All the pieces fit together seamlessly.  Where the hell have these guys been hiding out at?  Why is this the first time I’ve seen them live?  Well, either way, it won’t be the last.

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Nikki Sue and Blackout Selects, posted with vodpod

Jersey City Independent: Live in JC: Second Annual 4th Street Ball at City Hall

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December 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

JCI: Live in JC: Any Day Parade, The Embracers and Black Wine at IM Automata Chino

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April 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Aint Nothin but a good time

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Last night, after the picking up of some much needed laundry (Thank you Laundry City and co) and having what I believe to be jersey city’s, and perhaps the universes, best general Tsao’s Chicken (Sen Hai). I ventured out into the breach for a night of wanderlust and rock and roll.
I started out at Lamp Post on 2nd Street. Fellow Bartender and Rock Doctor Ryan Stevens’ band was playing under the moniker PLOWING MUD FOREVER. Enclosed are some shots from the crowd. I got in a few songs and shot a video of one from my phone from these Jersey City Rockers before I realized the time and had to dash for the next bar. I scheduled an interview with PMF and moved on to Lucky 7 Tavern for Glen Coleman. I got a few shots of Glen and talked to some folks about meeting up later. Basically, I laid the ground work for a few future posts went out had a good time, drank a few closed down the bar and went home. Between the drinking the nights music and the snow, it was kind of surreal.

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January 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm