Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

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

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Rocker Tycoon Day: Meet Pause pics from BCSR

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Written by rockertycoon

May 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Recapping 2011: A Year of Singles

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Every year I do some kinda recap about how I spent my year musically. This year I entrenched myself quite deeply into the local music scene. I think its funny now when people ask me what I do the first thing that comes out of my mouth is that I’m a music blogger. Saying that used to inspire a great deal of poserism in me. I was a pretender, just trying to figure out if I could hold a readers attention. Almost three years later and hear I am watching Flash Gordon, and figuring out which tracks were the best I’d heard this year. People actually value my opinion and as laughable as that still seems to me, I’m humbled by your unwavering fealthy to local music and to you tolerance for my coverage. So here they are 10 songs I rocked out to this year, in no particular order.

Sun Tea in the House of Atreus by Hushmoney

Hailing from Detroit, Hushmoney isn’t exactly local. No matter they rock out(and it’s my blog so nah)! Sort of a mix of Epic Metal and Dance Rock. Think Everytime I Die meets Cobra Starship.. Catchy though, The Breakdown is fucking rad as shit! Listen to that lead guitar! And its free so how about you get on that!

Arizona – Black Water

Yea yea I know this Track has been out for a while. But 2011 was the year I really, started listening to Black Water. After a meeting with Adam Copeland that went sorta strange (My Bad) at the end of 2010. I booked BW with Ben Franklin at Lucky 7. Although I had apparently seen them in 2009 at Automata Chino.  Anyhow, I really got into these guys in 2011 and this song “Arizona” is one of my favs.  Back in April, I asked Copeland about the inspiration for the song… about what incident it referred to. “A fictional one. Its a reverse terrorism fantasy tale of an American whose homeland (AZ) is invaded and fights back” He told me.  It’s an intense concept and the song is just as wild.

Eat People by Deep Pockets

I saw these guys at a show in the middle of the year.  And I can’t get this song out of my head.  That guitar riff is stuck in there. Seeing them live I gotta say their mid song banter rivals that of The Press’s Mike Henry.

Teamwork by Ben Franklin

In 2009 this song was my first impression of Billy Gray as well as Ben Franklin.  In early 2011 it was released through Killing Horse Records as a B-side on the Urgency EP.  What a timely song, though it’s loosely rooted in a true story, the Newburgh Four, I think the chorus really should be the new recruiting jingle for the US military.  “Serve your country.  Do us some good, it’ll get you off the street.  Keep the fear alive keep the threat alive keep the population undercontrol.”  Just listen to the thing, otherwise I’ll have to write out the whole damn thing out.

What Would Lou Reed Do – I Am The Heat

2011 was the year I moved to Brooklyn.  I moved for several reasons some good (To embed myself into the Brooklyn Indie Scene a bit more) some not so good (I’d worked at every bar in Jersey City).  One of the Bands that really took me under their wing was I Am The Heat.  No song embodies these guys better than What Would Lou Reed Do.  This song reminds me of the end of Wayne’s World when Crucial Taunt is playing to get Mr. Big to give them a record contract.  It’s chaotic raucous and fun.  That’s how I think of I Am The Heat.

Actual/Ideal – No Pasaran!

Truthfully I can’t pick one song off Porter In The Making that I like better than the others.  It’s a faceblast furnace of rock!  The whole album should be listened to over and over again while sharpening knifes.  One thing I can say with impunity about this band in that their recordings hold up just as well as their live shows.  Be sure to catch them at the Killing Horse Records 2nd Anniversary show at Maxwells this Friday Jan 6th at Maxwells.  It’ll be the last time to catch them before they go on hiatus from Live shows (hopefully for just a bit).

Retrograding the Masses – Holy City Zoo

What the fuck can I say about Holy City Zoo that I haven’t already.  I’ll keep it simple, they belt it out and they wail!  I know this is a curveball for the band (they think that Mark your Path is my favorite).  Part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective HCZ is crazy supportive of the local scene as well.  Traveling far and wide to help spread the good word of underground music.  I haven’t seen this much positivity in a scene since I started doing this blog.


This song has heart.  It’s a little dark and little depressing but damn I just can’t get enough of it.  It’s like a catharsis to the rest of the Imposter EP.  Perfectly placed.  I hear tell KIlling Horse is looking to release this on Vinyl!

Lady Abortion – Cinema Cinema

Talk about a wall of noise!  First off the video is great!  EV and Paul are animals!  This song is like combining Motorhead and the Rocketeer!  And Live?  Fuck, I’ve seen these guys play their hearts out for like 3 hours.  Thats fortitude!  The whole Shoot the Freak EP is like a night in county jail, that is to say you should experience it with your eyes and ears at the ready.  You’ll be surprised, but at least you’ll be ready.

International – Lost Gloves

I have slept of these guys for WAAAAY too long.  The album has been on my ipod since just a little before Brick City Sound Riot and this song jumped out at me the other day.  The intro is great the melodic backing vocals contrast the main vocals perfectly.  Importantly you can dance to this!  The chorus just makes me feel like this song should be used in a commercial or as the intro to a sitcom.


The First Time I Killed Someone – Wyldlife

My favorite song off the much celebrated LP.  These cats are in store for big things mark my words.  The story behind this song is kind of great as well.  Back in 2009 Dave Feldman, was looking for a lil extra money.  He tried his hand working as a cook at Lucky 7 with me… it didn’t take.  (Dave Feldman doesn’t cook burgers he sings rock n roll.)  Well, the guy that got his job also got his room in his apartment.  I’m not sure of the exact details, but this song is a lil murder fantasy about his old roommate.  You’re a dark dude Dave, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I had a terrible time narrowing this list down, but I firmly believe that ten is a good cut off and I couldn’t even stick to that.  That said, here are some other excellent songs I loves this year.  I listened to them on the train or while I was writing, friends passed them around, and they are all on my playlist at home.

Unprofessional – Nico Blues

Maps – Front Bottoms

Co-Workers – Meet Pause

Big Boss Little Boss – The Press

PBR Song – The Porchistas

Carter (Daniel, You See?) – They Had Faces Then

Club Sedition – Meltdowns

Location – Nikki Sue & the Bad News

Disc Deconstruction: Meet/Pause Cluster Cascade EP

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I always have my fears when I’m checking out new material.  Especially when I become really invested in a band.  There’s a fear that the new music just won’t resonate with me the way the old stuff did.  There’s a bit of a “getting to know you” period (I like to call this the game of who the fuck are you) that most bands’ new stuff evokes.  These feelings and fear where no different with Meet/Pause’s new Cluster Cascade EP.  So go to and download it for free (I’ll wait) and Let’s Break it down…

1. Cell Blocks & River Docks

The album starts out in classic emotive rock fashion.  A few notes some silence then we get into the meat and potatoes.  The album’s longest song by just over two minutes summons up a a pretty epic guitar love/hate ballad.  By the third line it’s getting pretty dark and rocking out, Scott’s vocals are accusing and assertive.  Graeme’s work on the skins is beyond excellent and really drives this song.  You can’t beat the chorus either! The song switches from manic to depressive and back again.  It feels nostalgic, maybe i’m just projecting my slap dash love life.

2. (Don’t) Get the F*ck Out of Jersey 

Oh I like this one!  This mad as hell and it’s not gonna take it anymore.  “If you can’t stand to be around (Then get the fuck out!)”  I can’t wait to see them live cuz I wanna yell that out in a crowded room.  I might just go to a restaurant and do it anyway.  Start with the drums and that fucking catchy guitar riff.  This song has it!  Whatever it is, more more more of this.  It’s the same feeling I get when I Hear Long Way down by the Goo Goo Dolls (when I listened to the Goo Goo Dolls).  and wait for the break down with the keys and bass!  Put that shit on a mixtape and send it off to your ex girl friend.  When she texts you that she doesn’t have a tape deck text her a picture of you flipping her the bird!

3. Cluster Cascade

The Title Track… the albums slows down for a little sing long.  Artifacts of Get-up Kids, Brand New, and Funeral for Friend come through.  This song has a great potential for live shows.  I’m not totally sold though, I think of this track as a sort of intermission to the album.

4. Lakes, Ladders, Laboratories

Back to the rock!  Guitar comes in hard followed by keys and lead guitar.  This is a bit more hopeful than the rest of their catalog.  Of all their songs this is the most danceable.  This feels like I’m in the fight/race scene from a sci fi movie set in the future where the vehicles are made of psychic projection and whatever it was in Ghost that made Patrick Swayze be about to move shit.

5. Coworkers

Someone has dipped his pen in the company ink!  And it went very very wrong.  Thats what I get from this song.  Or it’s about to get very wrong.  I’m not totally sure.  This is a perfect end to the album.  Get breakdown on keys, nice and simple with a little power guitar.  It’s the end of the movie song when the hero decides he has to choose between responsibility to humanity or banging Mary Jane and he (surprising) walks off into the sunset.

In summation, I was not disappointed.  On the contrary I was quite thrilled.  Meet/Pause still has it!  This is surely a herald of things to come.  One of the last unabashedly local “emo” bands does an excellent job of staying true to their sound and evolving as well.  I’ve labeled them as emergency rock.  Listen to the album, and you’ll see, it’s urgent it’s pleading and it’s tempo rises and falls at the right points.  It’s free too so if you can’t afford it/ your just being lazy.

Written by rockertycoon

October 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Posted in E.P., Meet/Pause, Tiny Giant

Groove on Grove: Ben Franklin, Meet/Pause, Bad Parts

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“So yea watch the cussin’, fellas.” I tell Scott, Sean, Keith and Graeme of Meet/Pause. It’s their first Groove on Grove, I figure I might as well get that out of the way.

“So, Zac, I’m gonna pull you on stage and you can talk about what you have going on and introduce the bands and stuff.” Dancing Tony Susco, who runs the Groove on Grove events, tells me. A small amount of fear washes over me, because I really hadn’t prepared for this moment. He let me book the bands and help promote the event so naturally he’d want me to come up and be the center of attention for a part of the evening. I just hadn’t prepared.

Eddie Garza of Ben Franklin appears, “We’ll probably steer clear of ‘Teamwork.'” He refers to a B-side off the band’s latest release, The Urgency EP, which has glaring use of the F-bomb. It’s a family oriented event so they geared their set toward not pissing off potential new fans and tainting young ears.

My head is still spinning with thoughts of my impending speech as The Bad Parts are rocking out. Ska infused rock, trombones and all, the Bad Parts are James Burns (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Garcia (Drums/backup vocals), Charles Potenza (Bass) John Sequiera (Trombone/backup vocals) Rob Miranda (Trumpet/backup vocals) and Daniel Palmer (Alto Sax). The kids on the grass mat were tearing it up. There was a little guy in the crowd wearing a “Nevermind the Bullocks” Sex Pistols shirt that was putting the groove in Groove on Grove.

The Bad Parts finish and Tony intros me to the crowd I say a few words about the Brick City Sound Riot and talk up Meet/Pause then they begin playing. Like a doctor after a shot, Tony could tell I was a little nervous, but my first appearance went well, “That wasn’t so bad.” He smiles and moves to the front to get the crowd stirred up.

Meet/Pause is from New Brunswick. I met them a few months back and thought they had something unique going on. It was apparent that I was spot on, because after their first song there was a crowd of toddlers with balloon swords having a massive Jedi battle as they played. Watching from Backstage with the other members of Ben Franklin, you could tell Meet/Pause was digging the scene as well. The played through their EP “Cluster Cascade“. and threw in a few older tunes as well. After their set they were all smiles, GonG has this really positive effect on how bands see Jersey City.

Tony motioned me back onstage, I was feeling a lot more confident now. We talked about the burgeoning music scene here, and about Uncle Joe’s and the void it left in said scene. Then he asked me about Ben Franklin. If we weren’t pressed for time I could have told the crowd about Ben Franklin for hours. I know almost as much about the band as I do the historical figure, perhaps more.

Billy Gray (guitar,vocals) Sarah Tomek (Drums), Eddie Garza (bass, vocals) and Adam Copeland (guitar) are damn near family. Heavily involved in the music scene incredibly supportive, not to mention talented (and hey let’s throw in good looking while we’re at it) Ben Franklin is almost more of a force majeure than a rock band. That said, the crowd went bonkers for them.

I confess I haven’t been to Groove on Grove since they changed the location of the stage. I have to say I really like it. More room for the food trucks and vendors, and this set up, I believe, sort of forces folks to see the bands. I turned to the crowd at one point and realized the crowd was one of the largest I’d seen for these events. A line of folks from the PATH station just standing there watching the band. They finished out the set with “Tell Us How You Really Feel”, a personal favorite of mine off their LP Optimist, which is free at bandcamp . Tony called for the all too obvious encore and they busted out with Fren Banklin, the band’s signature battle cry. It’s about the fictional, and sometimes science fictional, exploits of their namesake. Everyone got into it.

After the show, I hunkered down over a few beers with Billy. We talked about the show, about movies and comics. He confessed, “I forgot my entire verse in Fren Banklin was not even close to kid friendly. I had to make it up on the fly as the event horizon of my part came up. It looked like I didn’t know the words.” We laughed I thought he did a fine job, though I did laugh at the times they had to switch words. I’m pretty sure only I noticed anything out of the ordinary, and I was too busy cackling to care.

Written by rockertycoon

September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

Brick City Bios: Meet/Pause

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Scott Thompson, Graeme Gardner, Keith Laviola, Sean Favre are New Brunswick’s emergency rock get-up Meet/Pause.  They have a mercurial sound that ranges from temperate tracks of a nostalgic nature to tyrannical tirades about love loss.  Comparisions to Get-up Kids and Osker come to mind, but Scott and Keith’s guitar keys trade off combined with Graeme’s drum work and Sean’s bass bring something unique that’s impossible to categorize.  Their new EP is slated to become an underground classic, get free at bandcamp!

Written by rockertycoon

August 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm