Punk band Against Me! are going out on tour the next few months with Dropkick Murphys and have added New Jersey's own Jay Weinberg (son of Max) as their drummer. Jay had previously played in local band Chaosis and had the opportunity to fill in for his father with the E Street Band as well as the Max Weinberg Seven on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. While the Florida based band will not be stopping at Starland this time, nor New Jersey at all, you can check them out in NY or Philly.
Against Me! 2010/2011 Tour Dates: 12/03 – Jacksonville, FL @ WXXJ 102.9’s “The Big Ticket” 12/04 – West Palm Beach, FL @ WPBZ 103.1’s “Buzz Bake Sale” 12/05 – Tampa, FL @ WSUN 97X’s “Next Big Thing” 12/11 – La Jolla, CA @ KBZT 94.9’s “Holiday Hootenanny” 02/23 – Niagara Falls, NY @ The Rapids Theatre * 02/24 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore * 02/25 – Milwaukee, WI @ Bradley Center 02/27 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater * 03/01 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore * 03/02 – Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont Club * 03/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue * 03/04 – Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom * 03/05 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant * 03/06 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues * 03/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory * 03/10 – New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom * 03/12 – Washington, DC @ Shamrock Fest 03/16 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues * 03/17 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues (sold out) * 03/18 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues (sold out) * 03/19 – Lowell, MA @ Tsongas Arena *
Available at the following shows: Crossroads- Garwood, NJ: December 5th Marlboro Rec Center- Marlboro, NJ: December 10th Court Tavern- New Brunswick, NJ: December 12th Freehold VFW- Freehold, NJ: December 17th
When looking for the perfect concert (i.e. one that will get your heart pumping, and leave you with unruly hair that makes you smile), look no further than Statelman, a New Jersey based band notorious for giving one heck of a live performance.
Recently, Statelman have uploaded two new singles on their Myspace, which will be available in late December.
“The writing process for our songs was just putting ideas on the table, and we sat down and turned them into songs,” says Tim James (bass). “I like songs that you can understand exactly what the person was thinking the moment they wrote the lyrics,” says Meg Diguilio (vocals). “That’s really what I try to do when I write.”
Statelman have also recently welcomed two new additions:Jon Stolpe (guitar) and Donny Saraceno (drums). “Having new members has brought us to a new level as a band overall. We are all on the same page, and the songs that we write and play together mean a lot to us and have a lot of emotion which only makes our stage presence even bigger,” says Tim.
With a reputation for giving a great, energetic show, Statelman describe their stage-presence as “in-your-face.” “We try to start off strong and give every second of the show our all, and we also do our best to get some crowd participation happening, without coming off as forced,” says Dan O’Connor (guitar/vox).
Throughout their extensive east-coast touring, Statelman have encountered many a fan, and they’re not keeping quiet about it! “One time, I caught a girl taking a picture of Dan. Not with Dan, but of him…and he was facing the opposite direction,” Donny laughs.
Despite being in a mostly-male scene, Meg, who started off playing guitar in the band, has transitioned wonderfully into the role of being the band’s front-lady. “Honestly, I just give every performance my all because that’s when I feel like people see past the whole girl-fronted band thing,” she states. “I just try to remind myself not to compare myself to anyone else out there either, because I want people to see me, not say I’m trying to be someone else.
“If you ask any of the guys, they’ll say I’m a dude just like them,” she laughs.
Keep an eye out for their new singles, “Hit The Road Quick,” and “Back Against The Wall,” available December 28th. Listen to the singles on myspace.com/statelman
By Jenine Clancy Count Your Blessings is at the “Top of the Naughty List...,” and no, not THAT naughty list that Santa Claus puts young boys and girls on, but rather the name of the pop-punk band’s new Christmas Album. Labeled a “transitional album” from the band, “Naughty List” was a fun record to make in between touring for their debut album “Like Gum in Your Hair” and recording their second full-length. Hailing from Good Charlotte’s hometown of Waldorff Maryland, this five-piece group of guys who shared a passion for music (and like most bands origins,) decided to start a band. The band that describes themselves as “an abrasive, honest and muscular approach to the rock/pop genre,” have a pop-punk sound that is catchy enough to make any young kid mosh and dance at the same time. CYB’S fans are constantly rewarded with the bands tenacity and amazing work ethic. Their goal is to constantly prove they are not like every other band, and to give their fans something different. That altruistic philosophy gave way to “Top of the Naughty List. Lead singer Michael Miller explained the band’s motivation: “We didn't think anyone understood how much we love music by listening to the first CYB CD. It was pretty much... just an unbelievable lie. We thought a good holiday album would be a nice way to let people know we're playing music because it's fun, not because it's what everyone else does. Not many play Christmas songs right?” Miller screams on classic Christmas songs like “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”and “Two Front Teeth.” In “Two Front Teeth,” the lyrics are changed a bit, modernizing the tune: “back in ’95 we didn’t have Facebook, 9-years-old didn’t have friends old enough to cook.” Guitarist Antonio Ricci even said that “Teeth” was their favorite song to record because they got a chance to reminisce about their childhoods. After the holiday season wears down, CYB plans to promote their second full-length on Stand-by Records, which currently doesn’t have a title. They plan to give it a name once the album is complete and gave an analogy about the thought process: “When you are writing an album it's like creating your offspring. Which makes us about 8 months pregnant and we haven't got a name picked out yet. We're waiting ‘til birth to know the sex.” Once the name is given, everything will come full circle to a band who wrote on their Facebook status: “ Kenny and Miller here! Jammin our first bands cd (10 years ago!) and we're glad we've been lucky enough to still be here creating music! We will not let you down on this album. NO WAY NO HOW!” It’s nice to know that some bands count their blessings. Count Your Blessings are playing at Freehold VFW in Freehold, NJ on December 17th and at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA on December 18th.
By Jenine Clancy Stolen instruments and equipment, car accidents, canceled shows, and the loss of members would break down any band, but Time and Distance surely have lived up to their name. Lead singer Greg McGowan has had a tenacious outlook on it all, saying his band just keeps on “rockin and rollin.” That “rockin and rollin” philosophy has been with McGowan since the beginning. Hailing from West Virginia, in high school he created what he called a “solo acoustic thing,” and in later years turned it into a full-fledged band. While the band’s sound is heavier, McGowan’s adds a melodic tone, resembling a feel from his earlier work. In 2009 Time and Distances put out their first full-length album, “Gravity,” on “Not Alone Records.” Produced by former “Hidden in Plainview” guitarist Rob Freeman, the album brought the band to a different level. McGowan says Freeman would push them to “outdo themselves” and “to do things they thought they couldn’t do.” Lyrically, everything on the album is introspective. In the song “Away We Go,” McGowan quizzically tries to figure out a girl singing “says she misses me, but never wants to kiss when her friends are around.” Psychology still plays a part in “For Real,” in which McGowan defiantly sings “Because all we are is all we’re told,” ironically telling the world he's more than just a lead singer in a band. To promote the album the boys hit the road playing with bands like Mayday Parade and The Material. Also, they teamed up with forty-five independent record stores with in-store listening stations. Like streaming online, the listening stations allow people to hear the album before even buying it… when asked if this was a good thing or a bad thing McGowan replied “ I don’t know if it makes people want an entire record or not. I personally prefer records as a whole and we try to present our records as a whole picture, instead of a bunch of songs, but if kids just like a couple that's cool too… (just as) long as they're listening.” Time and Distance’s fans are sure to keep listening with more tour dates, a recorded Alkaline Trio cover and some acoustic songs on the way, you can say luck is bound to be on their side. Time and Distance are playing at the Marlboro Recreation Center in Marlboro, New Jersey on December 10th.
By Jenine Clancy The year 2010 has blessed music fans with a "nostalgia trend." With Weezer touring and playing "The Blue Album" and "Pinkerton" in their entireties, to Dashboard Confessional playing all of "Swiss Army Romance" at The Stone Pony in December, it seems like everyone is yearing for the past. Thursday, grateful for their past accomplishments, is set to play their 2001 hit album "Full Collapse" in it entirety at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on December 30th. Expected to play their other hits alongside "Full Collapse," the band wanted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the album that sky-rocketed them to mainstream success. In an interview with AP, lead singer Geoff Rickly said: "Full Collapse was a record that changed the course and shape of my life. We began touring for it in basements and VFW halls, continued, opening for bands like the Murder City Devils and Rivals Schools and ended up a full-time touring band meeting hundreds of thousands of people with whom we formed deep and lasting connections. Time passes and we embrace new music and different goals, but 10 years later, Full Collapse continues to move people and for that we are very grateful. This tour is a celebration of those times and the end of a chapter in the life of Thursday."
Critically, "Full Collapse" was deemed a success, with many critics declaring them pioneers for the early 2000's wave of screamo bands. One critic's review held true to this belief saying "Thursday splits the difference between the puffy sounds of pop emo and the ear-shattering fare that holds the hardcore ethos in higher regard with a style that’s fairly unique in post-hardcore circles." Pre-Myspace and Facebook, the success of "Full Collaspe" was due to word-of-mouth and extensive touring. However, without Thursday's knowledge, Victory Records had put out a video for the song "Understanding in a Car Crash," using live footage from the band and forcing it to be band's first single. This incident would mark the continuous internal struggle with Victory Records, leading them to part ways with the label. When talking about some of the bands on the nostalgia bandwagon like Thursday, Weezer, Dashboard, NFG, The Starting Line and Something Corporate, it could be debated that these anniversary albums and reunions represented a time that we remembered fondly, or that the current music and scene just isn't as great as it used to be. One thing is for sure though, that this only might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...otherwise, we might have to wait for them to change their minds and say "happy 20th anniversary!"
Typically while going to a show, you'll have to pre-game eating before the show or wait until after the show is over to hit up your local 24 hour diner (isn't Jersey great?!). At some shows you have the option of something like candy or if you're lucky pizza to hold you over. At Crossroads in Garwood, NJ you can not only see great shows, but also have a really good meal. The kitchen offers a variety of Cajun and American options which is limited to a smaller menu during shows, but still pretty decent none-the-less. My personal favorite that'd I'd recommend are the Thai Spring rolls, something that they normally have only during restaurant hours rather than during shows but will still make for you! Being that this is a restaurant, this is one of the few places that hosts all ages shows that still has the bar open for those over 21. This helps bridge the gap for older bands to perform for younger audiences and vice versa. The decor of Crossroads is like stepping into what I'd imagine a New Orleans pub to look like, completley decked out with saxaphones, alligators, and a sign that states the rule "No Spitting". The sound system at Crossroads is better than average and the stage while small compared to some other places has still managed to fit bands such as Outnumbered's 8 person ska lineup or Calamity Menagerie's 6 people and a xylophone (that sounds like a sequel to "Three Men and a Baby"). Crossroads is located at 78 North Ave. in Garwood, NJ. For a listing of all ages shows go to: www.jerseyshows.com For a listing of a variety of 21+ shows which includes cover bands, jazz, blues, open mics, DJs, karaoke, and comedy go to: www.xxroads.com