Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

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

Archive for the ‘McMickle Bros.’ Category

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.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Lucky 7 Tavern March 8th (Tip Canary, The Micks), posted with vodpod

Written by rockertycoon

March 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm

McMickle Bros. EP Release party a Lucky 7 Tavern

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Some people are blessed with powers far beyond that of mortal men. Take me for instance. I have the uncanny ability to be able to cook, bartend, video, photograph, and write a blog all at the same time. No joke! I really did that Saturday August 22nd at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City. I think Teddy Roosevelt said, “Some men are born great and some men have greatness thrust upon them.” Like I said though, I think he said that. What I mean to say is I know Robin Williams said it when he played him in that museum movie with Ben Stiller. Anyhow I’d say greatness was thrust upon me that very night. The funny thing is I can tell you the exact time and place of my baptism by fire. At about 7:00 The Porchistas entered the bar and kicked off the McMickle Brothers EP Release party. I know it’s not the most glamorous way to realize that you’re a super hero. No lives were saved, no enemies defeated and certainly no radiation was involved. I don’t wear a cape and cowl, opting for a porkpie hat and a vest instead. There are better origin stories. But I’ll say this: My genesis had the coolest soundtrack, by far!

The Porchistas are Deivis “Deivito” Garcia, Alan “Sucia” Smith and Adam “Devil-Hands” Falzer. This merry band of troubadours calls Montclair home. They specialize in a funk fusion of folk and spanish rock. Their original work is fun and easy to dance to. They have a way of making cover songs totally their own. Porchistas’ vocal stylings coupled with their instrumental finesse really makes these cats stand apart from the crowd in the local Scene. I doubt you’ve seen anything quite like this before.

After The Porchistas warmed up the crowd the kitchen took a hit that was like throwing a pack of rabid wolverines into a shark tank. For the next 40 mins my life was chaos. Hamburgers, Pizzas, Chicken Sandwiches, and Hot Wings flew from the kitchen as I rushed between bar and grill. My only saving grace was Kiwi the Child. Vera’s soothing voice and Alex’s guitar stopped me from going positively postal. Sadly during the rush I hadn’t the time to get over and take some pics and vids, but as luck would have it they played last Wednesday at the Groove on Grove. And I still have some exclusive and previously unreleased pics and video. Kiwi the Child is a reggae rock duo. Like The Wailers meets Batman and Robin. Scratch that! More like Dave Hillyard meets the Wonder Twins! The set itself sounded great. I only wish I was able to get a visual as the bar was packed with people enjoying the music.

After I sweated out my time in the kitchen Tip Canary sprung into action! Robbie and Wes are another dou of local rockers. They specialize in storytelling and spoken word with guitar backing. Songs like Doobie Blues pt 1 and Apple City are some of my favourites. Material ranging from getting hassled by John Law or dealing with a girl’s lame excuse to not give you her phone number are just part of the daily grind for these fellas. It’s familiar ground for me as well, in fact we’ve all been there before. Robbie leads the rants with a cynical but optimistic tone, and Wes backs him up with a greek chorus type inquistion. This normally goes off to a tangent from time to time, but it’s all in the sake of comedy and rock. Few can combine these element so well! “Normally you can find Wes and I on a Friday or Saturday night grabbing a slice of Pizza or a Sharma around 3-4am on the Lower East Side.” Robbie tells the crowd, in case anyone’s phone mysteriously stops working and they don’t have a pen and paper, but maybe they still wanna get in touch for something potentially meaningful down the road.

I had just finished working as Kagero took the crowd by storm. Kaz, JW, Rob Simpson, Mr Wynn, and Kate are a Brooklyn Japanese Gypsy Rock Band. Now that’s a music genre! This group is heading the way in the JGR wave that will soon take over the world the way the Beatles headed the British Invasion of the 60’s. Each member has their own unique style. Kaz plays the part of the lead man so well you’d think he took lessons from Chuck Norris’ School of Charisma and Raw Awesomeness. JW makes the violin dance sing and cry like some kind of steampunk puppetmaster. Rob’s bass is solid rock and roll, like his collection of 80’s metal t-shirts. Mr Wynn plays the Chindon drum like a man on fire. Whats a chindon drum? You’ll just have to see for yourself. Newcomer or at least I should say this is the first time I’ve seen her with the band Kate fills out the band on orchardian. Just when I thought this band had achieved perfection they go and add a piece to the puzzle that goes with their sound like Peanut Butter and bananas (If you haven’t tried it, take my advice it’s unconventionally amazing, like this band)! The bar became a dance hall! JW’s solo for Grappa featured Deivis “Deivito” Garcia hanging on JW’s back and crying while he played. It’s impossible to deny this band’s star power. You see them once and you know the words to the songs you can’t help but sing along and dance with the crowd!

So we were here enjoying all this rock for one reason. The McMickle Brothers geared up and began rocking our faces off. Matt and Sam are actual brothers. Matt “the Red Knight” does most of the singing and plays the guitar, Sam lends his voice every so often and beats it out on the drums. They are the White Stripes of the local scene. They keep it simple and head straight for the highway with songs like Finish Me and Dancing for the Smokers have become anthems that their fans know well enough to scream out all the words to. I took a quik break to clean up the kitchen while they began. At the climax of their sixth song I sprung into the door from the front and joined the already excited crowd with some dancing. Deivito and the Porchistas members of Kagero Tip Canary and Kiwi the Child all joined in. We couldn’t help it, there was a steady wave of hooting, hollering and stomping. They played two encores! The crowd couldn’t get enough. James Dower who runs the Live Music Events at Lucky 7 Tavern nearly had a mob on his hands! They couldn’t be sated by just one more song!

After the Live music was over DJ Leonard Smalls (Lucky 7 Tavern’s resident Jockey of Discs) took over. The party continued on through the night and this was about the time I had my first drink. I checked the clock. It was only 11:30 pm. I ordered up a few shots of Jameson, a Vodka Redbull to re-charge myself. I thought if there’s a time and a place to start drinking, spatially and temporally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As the swelling is going done from the hangover that ensued shortly after I woke up this morning, I promise myself to only use my powers for good.

Written by rockertycoon

August 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Monday Night at the Rockwood w/ The McMickle Bros and friends

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Monday July 20 2009. I woke up at around 5pm from a lovely mid-afternoon nap. Go ahead and take this moment to judge me. Ok know that you’re finished just remember I get more done between the hours of 10pm and 2am that most people do all day, and in some cases all week. So the nature of my waking was a bit to be desired. There is a new sidewalk being put into my new neighborhood. So My waking to jack hammers and bulldozer type machinations was a bit more abrupt that I normally rise and shine. I was having nightmares about earthquakes that I think subsequently had origins mysteriously linked to my ex girlfriend and a former High School Physics teacher. I’m frankly not quite sure that the real things origins however less sinister where not in league with that same culprits. Well either way I was up, and the McMickle Brothers were playing at the Rockwood café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Hoping I could snag a ride and avoid the Path I shot Deivis Garcia (Deivito) a text to find out if he might be driving in. Turns out he was but he’d be late…… Curses! Foiled again! So I took the path to Christopher Street hopped a Cab and got curbside service to Rockwood Café.

The Rockwood is a pleasant little place if not a bit small. I like to think of it as cozy. Of course the McMickle Brothers’ entourage of Montclair bands quickly packed the place. Bern & the Brights, Tip Canary, Porchistas, Copasetic just to name a few of the bands that showed up to support their friends. And call it kismet, but I had no idea that Jamie Rae worked here. I took a minute to find a good spot to set up. While I was doing that, my anonymity was betrayed by my dancing skills and smile as some apparent fans of my rug cutting recognized me from the Boro Six Fest. I guess I even leave my mark from time to time. I greeted the McMickle dad (who I think looks a little like George Lucas). Things swiftly got under way. They swaggered through their set, of which I got much of on video. Katherine and Nicole of Bern and the Brights joined in for a couple of songs. It was a sort of reunion as well withprevious bandmates John Clinton on piano and Dan Mcnevin on bass. Their added help really filled out the McMickles already solid sound. Deivis and I lended our clapping and stomping rhythm. There was a minute were I saw Deivis loose track of the beat though. Many times, at previous shows, while clapping it out with him I found myself loosing the rhythm and just blaming myself. Is it possible that he was the one in the wrong all along? We may never know! In classic McMickle Bros fashion they ended their set with a classic cover song. The crowd erupted into a cacophony of applause and cheering.

After the show Matt, Sam (Vox/guitar and Vox Drums respectively) joined by Deivis Garcia, Alan from the Porchistas, Wes and Robbie of Tip Canary and several other hangers on took to a little Mexican restaurant across the street called Mole’. We had some food and drink. Laughed and sang and when it was all over, Deivis Alan and Robbie gave me a ride back to Jersey City. During the drive we played some of the most ridiculous music the mid to late Nineties had to offer. And I don’t mean like rock music. I’m talking the kind of music you would have heard in a club at a shitty Philadelphia club circa 1996. It was awful! But like train wreck awful. We couldn’t help it. Alan and I even sang a few tunes. It was a low point for us musically and a high point in good times. We stopped off at Lucky 7 Tavern and had a couple of drinks then I retired to bed for the night. I think I might sleep too much.

Written by rockertycoon

July 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Redheaded Strangeness or On the Road Again

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This article is a continuation of my last post. When we last left our hero (me), he was dreaming about peaches, dune buggys, and the Mach 5. Ok, enough with the second person stuff, it’s mildly weird. I woke after 4 hours of sleep knowing I’d need to get up early to get back up to work at 1pm. I rose from my 10 year old futon, which was not a comfortable place to sleep. Years of tossing and turning and several moves with that contraption had turned it into more of a pit trap than bed. But I was at my dad’s place in south Jersey, you can’t really put a price on a free night’s rest. Well you can, hotels charge around $130 for four hours….and the kind of hotels that charge hourly aren’t exactly the sort of place a man gets any rest.

The commute from South Jersey to Jersey City is a long one, filled with it’s own sort of adventure. Public Transit south of Trenton isn’t the same as north. Managing the bus system is like surveying the Amazon to someone who’s not quite familiar with the area. Thankfully, almost every bus hits Walter Rand Transit Center in Camden on it’s way to Philadelphia. Yup, Camden, THAT CAMDEN! The one Chris Rock warned you about! Now, as an avid traveler and a man knowledgeable to the various situations of danger on the public transportation system, I follow a few well manufactured rules.

Rule 1. Keep your mouth shut and your head down!
You are the mark! Talking to people for prolonged amounts of time serves only to distract you attention from the pair Raptor in the bushes adjacent to you!

Rule 2. If asked for change, shrug, if they give you shit tell them you need what you got to get home.

Rule 3. Don’t be an asshole! This is Eagle’s Country.
If asked your team affiliation respond in kind, (they call him the Philly Fanatic for a reason)I’d rather be sick to my stomach later on, than punched in it right now.

Rule 4. When in doubt, pretend your kind of insane! Note this doesn’t work on other people with mental deficiency. Use this on the wrong person and you’ll be talking like furbies on acid.

Ok, those bases are covered. I just missed the 410 at 9:54. So I had to wait for the 410 at 11:00. Once the bus came I took my spot in the middle and put on my MP3 player. Not long into the trip a woman turned around and demanded my cell phone. “I’m gonna use your cell phone, I gotta call my work.” It was something along those lines, most importantly this was not a request! I almost laughed audibly. I had to applaud the fact that the woman was a crafty social engineer at the very least, but her simple Jedi mind tricks were no match for one trained by Dave Minick. I feigned poverty, “I got no phone, I’m late for work too, missed the bus before.” She wasn’t interested in my story. Oddly enough she didn’t ask anyone else.

From Walter Rand to Trenton, from Trenton to Newark, from Newark to Jersey City. It only took 5 hours! I got to work and waited out the day for A Saturday Night event at Kilkenny Alehouse. A tribute night to Willie Nelson in honour of his recent birthday. Time ticked by pretty quickly and before I knew it I was at home getting changed and ready to make the scene in Brick City.

I got in just at the end of Bern and the Bright’s set. I was highly disappointed because they are long over due for a once over! Another of the Montclair Crew. These girls are really making waves on the local scene and even getting a little radio time here and there. No worries though, they’ll be playing At Lucky 7 Tavern on my Birthday with Honah Lee, Deivito, and Kagero. If you happen to be in the mood to rock out come May 16, I invite you to stop on by! Tonight B&tBs were playing with the McMickle Bros. as well. I told you, those boys get around!

Deivito hopped up on stage with, Wes of Tip Canary and Sam of McMickle Bros. They played the entire Red-headed Stranger Album. These fellas were wailing away on their guitars, I was swilling beer and stomping shoe! The Highwayman would have been proud…. Of All three of us I’d wager!

The Crosstown Country All-Stars got on stage with two members that were previously unsung on the last post about them. Ace Case and Ken Trotta still round out the Guitar and Vocals, but tonight Bill Henry(key) and Rodney Azagra(drums) took the stage is this ragtag group too! Rastabouts as always Ace and Ken tried to start up a rivalry with Anyday Parade. I think they said something to the effect of Anyday Payday. You gotta understand Ace’s sense of humour. I saw him play a week for Election night. And he was pretending to support McCain’s Country First Slogan, as a joke. I think I was the only person in the crowd laughing, for a town full of Liberals you’d think they’d laugh a little less conservatively. Anyhow the set was crafted with comedy and good old fashioned joshing around, plenty of country favourites and some originals as well.

Tree, The Chucks, Larry, and JD took the stage as the Voltron that is Anyday Parade.
They joked back about All-stars’ comment. They quickly turned the nob, from Defrost to Simmer as they worked into their songs. Tree’s classic voice melded in a stew with Larry and JD trading off leads and answering her musings. Chuck D. worked the bass in a mesmeric fashion, but this time he looked like he was immune to his own magic, moving around the stage like a snake tail inbetween the vox/guitar Cerberus of the band. If the rest of the band was a mythological three-headed hellhound, then I guess Chuck R. was Zues himself, bringing down the thunder!

I sat out in the crowd singing along to every song and dancing with the rest of the crowd at the alehouse. You better make sure you come to the next show they have! You’re missing out on one hell of a good time in Newark.

Tuesday Night with Kagero at Lucky 7 Tavern

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It’s been a long time coming. I’ve seen Brooklyn’s Premier Japanese Gypsy rock band something like 6 times. My first bad shoot in a bout four years was of these fellas back in late Dec. I was trying to figure out a project for myself. That was a few weeks before my first post. But in the last few months I haven’t been able to get out to their shows. So a staple part of the Jersey City band social scene has been missing. Well no longer! It was a beautiful Tuesday night, if not a little muggy as I left home for Lucky 7 Tavern.

The McMickle Bros. started off the show. This was a last minute gug for these boys. This performance included a special treat. John Clifton (keys) was playing with them. One of many great things about the Mcmickle Bros. is they are part of a tightly knit crew that hails from Montclair. Virtually everytime one of these bands plays (Mcmickle Bros., Tip Canary, Bern and the Brights, Deivito! even The Crosstown County All-stars) there’s a great showing of the other bands. It’s refreshing to see that kind of support locally. Robbie from Tip Canary and Deivis of Deivito fame where on hand for the set as well as plenty of fresh faces from the Montclair area!

The McMickle Bros. have appeared in my work several times, if you don’t know about them check out my post on them and on the One and Nines. I’m gonna tell you about how John’s slick work on the keys really added a synergy to songs I now know by heart. Filling in areas that I never would have thought needed any help with some piano sounded interminably entertaining and well thought out. There was some dancing and foot stomping and plenty of singing along for everyone!

Kagero is one of the wildest and most innovative bands I’ve seen and heard locally or otherwise. They blend crafty violin solos with rocking harmonica driven bridges solid backing bass, and break out guitar verses. The bands Front man Kaz, certainly pulls the gypsy look off well. From the scarves, and fedoras right down to the small details, like his steampunk goggles! JW the bands Violinist also pulls out that anachronistic feel generally wearing a suit and keeping it classy. Rob (who was out for the night) is a touch more lax in his garb. Jeans and a rock T shirt will always do the trick no matter what kind of music you play. Last time I saw them Rob was rocking a Heart tee.

All of this is well and good but it doesn’t tell you whats inherently important about this band. What do they sound like? Well it’s like a slow motion riot that builds up over time. Sometimes they start out slow other times they jump right into the rock! They go from folky and shift gears right into dance rock, and then jump train for a little rock ballad. Few songs implement this as well as “Red and Black” it starts off with a little harmonica and Kaz let’s you know about his colour fetish. Then the chorus demands a tango beat the brigde duels the harmonica and Violin, and slows back down for the 2nd verse. It’s fun and it’s something you don’t hear everyday. The crowd was in a full on dance mode by the time they got finished. And we weren’t letting them go anywhere without an encore!

Just as Kagero finished their set. It started to rain. They had apparently pleased Old Kuraokami. They had pleased me at the very least. After the show I sat down and had a few drinks with the gang. Matt Sam Robbie Deivis and several hangers on took a walk after the rain died down and we crawled around to a few other bars. Like the busted tilt-o-whirl we represented, eventually all this fun had to shut-down. There’s no denying that for a Tuesday night it was one crazy time!

Written by rockertycoon

April 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Jen’s Birthday Bash @ Kilkenny Alehouse …. I WON A DANCE CONTEST!

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“It’s the craziest phenomenon”, he said to me, “The first time I played it live every guy in the room turned around and started howling along with me! Something about the song reaches a primal part of guys.” Of course, we were talking after his set, and I was asking Deivito about the Werewolf song. Which is down at the bottom of the blog with a few other videos. I gotta admit, I was right there howling along with the rest of the guys! Rewind about two days prior: I saw he had posted a bulletin for a show in Newark at Kilkenny Ale house on Saturday the 21st. Plans were formulated to remove me from my job early that night, so I’d be able to make his set.

“Just wait til you hear the Frozen Gentlemen” He wrote back after I told him I’d be there. From Thursday morning fast forward to Saturday Night 8pm. The Vernal Equinox! All the world was in balance and I was running from my bar to my home. Looked like it was gonna be a rock-a-billy scene and as I hadn’t done laundry in a week I had one choice, the white western shirt! How was this shirt even still clean? I always wear this the day after I do wash. A sign from the rock gods, no doubt! I scarfed down half a pizza and darted for the train. I hadn’t slept much, (you’d know that if you read my last post) but I was looking forward to seeing another show with a fervor that blasted me into clarity and consciousness. Who needs rest when thanks to modern science sleep is now optional? So, I made it to Newark without any trouble on the train, which is kind of odd for me. Like I said though, vernal equinox everything’s going right! Time Check: 9:15pm Dammit I might miss his set. Hop the cab and three mins later I’m at the Kilkenny Ale House. I head up stairs and there’s Deivito. I wasn’t even late for the set! It was gonna start a little late! Perfect!

I was promptly introduced to Jen, who does the bookings for the bands at the KAH. It was her birthday tonight, so it was expected to be a really fun night. Everyone was dressed to the nines. I was really jonesin’ for a beer, so I headed to the back and snagged one as the Mcmickle Bros. walked in! Awesome this was going to be an all-star cast sort of shindig!

So, the second floor of the Kilkenny Alehouse is set up like a VFW dance hall. It reminded me of my days of being a boy scout in troop 9 back in South Jersey. Wonder if I can remember any of that stuff still? A scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Honest, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. Wow that was crazy I think I got it spot on! I’m at least ten of those still. That’s not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Sorry…… So the KAH has a lot of room, This leads me to believe that there’s a good chance that dancing will happen.

Deivito takes the stage tunes up and starts with a few traditional songs. As he comes to a simmer, (I should say his guitar comes to a simmer. You’d expect steam to be rolling off his fingers the way they spider up and down the neck.) the crowd warms up as well. There’s still a bit of a distance from the stage and the crowd. He invites them to move in closer. The crowd complies, cordially. So he prefaces the next song by saying, “This is called the Werewolf song. It’s a song that turns into a werewolf about halfway through. You probably know this song if you’re a werewolf.” I mean you kind of can’t help but listen even if you’re not a werewolf. And you must listen if you’re not sure whether or not you are one! Curiosity got the better of me and it turns out that I am indeed a lycanthrope! At the end of the set a little bit of dancing happened but I could tell the crowd was just warming up.

If you’ve met me then you know I’m a skeptic, but I value the concept of my peers. So, I always get a little scared when a friend, especially one with a decent taste in music, tells me about a new band. I’m overly neurotic, so I worry about things like the “Too Much Coffee-man syndrome”: Basically if someone tells me that something is good I’m apt to not believe them, because I’d rather be surprised and love it than surprised and disappointed. It’s a classic defense mechanism. Yea Well WELCOME TO MY CRAZY BACKWARDS LITTLE MIND. It’s cold and dark in here isn’t it?

As it is, I’m still full of energy and ready to rock out as the Frozen Gentlemen addressed the crowd. Frozen Gentlemen are Mido Santantos – (vox/keys) Quan James (vox/guitar) Jackie Meyer (vox/bass) Hollywood Charter (drums). Keyboard isn’t something you see everyday in a band! I’m anxious to see how this is gonna play out! They start up with a panic! If I had to explain this band, I’d tell you to listen to non hits the Bee Gees wrote (cause they were the better songs) and combine that with the Mega Man II OST (cause that was the best Mega Man game), They were OUTTSANE! Something so unconventional and so danceable……so we danced!

Deivito started it off. And soon it was 1976 and American Bandstand was having the Frozen Gentlemen on as special guests! I love to get out onto the dance floor/moshpit/skanking circle what have you. For some reason I can just never start it off. But once it gets going it’s really hard to stop. And songs I would think when not dancing “How do I even dance to this?” Becomes “How could I NOT dance to this?” Maybe it was the girls maybe it was the camaraderie of the guys, I’m sure the five or six beers helped….. But the FGs really got the party kicking. And then it was over just as I was getting loose!

No need to worry as the Coppertones were next on the roster. I’ve been rocking shows since I was nineteen and I’ve come to expect a few things in my day. One of those things is that if a band has the word “tones” in their name they are most likely on the level! It turns out that again I was blown away! These cats were so boss you can find them chillin out at the end of world 8-4! Classic surf rock, I would have thought I was in a beach boys movie, hangin out with Presley and Brando! “All the twisters please come out to the dance floor.” Came the call of Scott Fairgrieve (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar). Pete Quilla (lead Guitar) moved around Paul Ulinsky. Bass in way way that a surf board moves around a wave. Andrew Scala (drums) got my feet stomping and kickin’. I’d have recorded my favorite song (Jack the Ripper) but I was way too busy shakin’ it down Chubby Checker style! In fact I was soo busy rockin out I didn’t even realize I’d been entered into a dance competition. Which I won! I even have a tee-shirt to prove it. The night just keeps getting better!

At some point during the night we stalled out for cake, sang Happy Birthday to Jen. And the McMickle Bros. set up. I don’t have to tell you how great they were. Jen, Deivito, Carly, Lu, myself and several other hangers-on danced the night away right up until last call. Lu gave me a ride to the train, just as it pulled in, what great timing! Like I said before the planets and stars were aligned. Things just seem to always find a way of working out for the Rocker Tycoon!

Written by rockertycoon

March 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm

One and the Nines’ and McMickle Bros.’ worlds collide at IMAC

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This Friday I once again ventured out to I.M.A.C. to see the One and the Nines and McMickle Bros. play. The day started as most Fridays do for me…….around noon with the remains of what would have been a hangover washed away with some pepto and a lil bit of Knob Creek, my mouth tasting like something the cat dragged in and a vague recollection of deeds of the prior night. Damn! I was working last night how did this happen? As my memory slowly decompressed in the worst way it can from a black out. I noticed two things. Less importantly, the first being a sandwich that had been half eaten (man, I have to clean my room today), much more importantly I have a notice on my calendar that the McMickle Bros. were going to be playing in town tonight! I have to tell you I get a lot more excited when a band is playing in Jersey City, while my traveling exploits make great stories to write about, taking the train is a pain in the ass way to travel.

Eight hours later, I’m slightly more sober (by the way as I’m writing this I’m knee deep into the start of what looks to become a very drunk Sunday afternoon) definitely a lot cleaner and my room is starting to shape up a bit. I called up my friend Missy (and by called, yes I mean text messaged. For some unknown reason my cell phone wasn’t using the voice or sound options) after a bit of back and forth and persuasion she agreed to meet me out.

I want to make an imperative point: I believe that bringing a friend to a show is not just vital for local music but essential to the very fiber of local music and the future of the music industry! It is especially important if we ever hope to be freed of monster corporate labels and the soulless music they produce. That said its a nice thing to do too!

I piddled around the house for a few more hours doing pretty much nothing in particular checked out the other bands playing and realized that the One and Nines were set to be there too! Awesome! Two bands I dig are playing! Suit up….Hmm it’s cold out again. Will spring ever come to Jersey City? I mean it’s cool to get all dressed up and wear all this wacky stuff, I have a lot of neat jackets, shoes and t-shirts. But all most folks get to see is the jackets because its SOOO FUCKING COLD OUT! So tonight its back to the classic T-shirt, Jeans, Track Jacket, Leather Jacket, Doc Martens and out the door I go. I took the walk over to I.M.A.C.

It’s 8:15 and the doors open at 8, so I assumed the bands would be warming up or something like that. It was much more like it’s something like that. Ghost Town: population Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon! I sat down for a bit, grabbed a Budweiser and chilled out. Paracusia was setting up….(they were the first band). They started up, played a few songs the place started to fill in. By the end of their set there was a sizable crowd in the place and I wasn’t feeling like such a loner anymore. They finished up their final song. And this is the first time I’ve EVER seen this from a Non-Headlining band….THE CROWD WANTED MORE. “One More Song!” came a shout from the back! Soon the entire crowd was yelling it. What were they to do? Well, Of course they played another song! It really makes my heart warm up when the crowd has that much love for a band! After the show I got a chance to talk with a few of the guys from Paracusia. I asked them about the encore. They were just as surprised as I was, it was their first encore! Mark my words it won’t be their last! I shot a few of them and snagged some video for you to check out!

Took another Bud and Missy showed up. Next up was Kiwi the Child a side Project of the One and Nines’ Bassist (Alex Tyshkov) and Vocalist (Vera Sousa). My only question I’d asked myself upon first hearing about K.t.C. would have been, “With such a distinctive sounding band, why did you feel the need for a side project?” In my experience with bands the side project band is almost always a watered down version of the original band or some kind of in-joke or cover band. It’s obvious that sideshow buffoonery was about the last thing I could use to describe K.t.C.. TOTALLY DIFFERENT SOUND! If One and the Nines are Wilson Pickett meets Roy Orbison with the vocal style of Patty Labelle then Kiwi the Child is Bradley Nowell and Gwen Stefani (pre-solo career, of course) with the Wailers backing it all up. Actually HOLD IT! That’s not fair! Both of these bands have their own distinct sound, comparing them to other widely known acts is only one of two ways I know to give you a clue of what they sound like. The other much more complete way is for you to see their videos. That tells the real story. I can chatter all day and night about what I think a band sounds like or what their influences are but the real proof is in the pudding…… pudding brought to you via Youtube!

So after K.t.C.’s set The rest of the One and Nines stepped up to the plate. I had been so busy taking pictures and chatting with various bands that I had totally neglected my beer. Missy let me know, with a disapproving shake of the head as she ordered another. I was not to be out drank during a show, or out classed as it were. I took down my now hose water warm 12oz and promptly ordered another.

So as I was saying, The One and Nines were on! I’ve seen them play about 4-5 times now. Its a funny thing becoming a “music writer” does to you. You start to really listen to the bands and you really analyze what they sound like, the nuances of each song, what the bands trying to convey. I guess what I’m trying to say is the last few times I’ve hear them play I must not have been paying enough attention or maybe I was too shit-faced to realize. Fuck, these guys really bring it to the table. Vera channels this sort of Motown Diva Vibe that’s so genuine you wouldn’t think that sound could come out of a white girl. Will Hansen (Keys) busts out a sound that is some where between blues and western switching from piano to organ, and back again. Jeff Marino (guitar) strums and plays tangentially to Alex’s bass while they both support Vera vocally. Did I mention there was a sax player? Barami Waspe might as well been born with that brass in his mouth the way he made it whine! Ken Walz (drums) pounds out beats that work like a glue to hold it all together. The whole thing is rather genius to me. I have to admit I can barely play the guitar and my bass skills are rudimentary at the very best. So, when I see a band that really puts together the big picture so seamlessly, it gives me goosebumps! They finished up their set. Of Course the crowd wasn’t just gonna let them get away that easy! “ENCORE! PLAY ONE MORE!” With a veritable riot on their hands otherwise they really had no choice but to Rock out a little longer! Who was I to complain? NOBODY! (that’s right haters I beat you to it!)

So I guzzled down another beer, had a shot of Jameson and I settled in for The Headliners: The McMickle Brothers! Change gear really quick, reader! The One and the Nines as I said pulled together a styled polished sound with Six members all working together to create something that, while is complex, comes off unpretentious and very planned, sort of like a musical equivalent to 2001: A space Odyssey. Things like this can be achieved with a Six Shooter Band or with the Double Barrel variety, of which the McMickle Bros. are. Matt’s (vox, guitar) distinctive red mop top serves as a sort of trademark of the band. Sam (vox,Drums) although reserved and generally content to let Matt do the talking bursts with noise and charisma once the music starts up. I was almost too busy tapping my feet and bobbing my head to take pics and video of these cats. I certainly didn’t let that stop me though! As they finished up their last song Missy and I realized it was 1:15am! CRAZY! As the Romans say, “Tempus Fugit!” Of course The McMickles were called to play a final song! Matt announces to the crowd, “This isn’t our song, but it belongs to us now!” I’ll leave you in suspense to see that one! Whats Even Better Is they Are Playing Again this Tuesday at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City! Its a Free show! You’re Losing money by not showing up!

After the show was over, we spoke with the owner of the venue, Steve. We discussed the local music scene in town and how great New Brunswick had been for it in the mid-nineties. Touched on topics like the Melody Bar and Matt Pinfield, and before I knew it was time to get going. What a kick-ass night! I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did collecting for you.

There’s a lot in store this coming week. I’m revamping my blog schedule, and maybe even bringing on a guest writer or two! The Rocker Tycoon is franchising!

Written by rockertycoon

March 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm