Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

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

Lamp Post w/ Black Water, Holy City Zoo, Ben Franklin, Cicada Radio

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These shows with Black Water and Ben Franklin are starting to really take off.  I suppose its a small level of convenience for “Black Franklin’s” guitarist/singer Adam Copeland.  Doing double duty in both bands has to be a ton of fun, but as a guy that sometimes has 3 or 4 jobs, Im sure multi-tasking one show helps take the load off.

Black Water started the set.  Gary (lead guitar/vox) Lloyd (drums) And Gerry (bass/backing vox) make up the other 3/4 of the band.  If I told you that Black Water has a pseudo psychedelic edge but maintains more than enough linear rock attitude to literally (and figuratively) kick out the jams that would run close to the truth.  The fact is though, you really need to see these cats live.  Top notch song writing, musically speaking, with wonderfully descriptive lyrical imagery, these Jersey City hometown heroes have picked up some real steam over the last couple of months.  You can catch them at Lucky 7 tavern with U Say USA this Tuesday June 7th 2011.

Holy City Zoo, with founding members of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, played second.  These gents have a sound reminiscent of the New Brunswick post hardcore scene.  Frank DeFranco (guitar/vox) Joe Lanza (guitar/vox) AJ Russo (vox/bass)  and Brian DePhillis (drums) have something really great here!  I was able to catch Mark Your Path from their EP on video.  Later on during the show I thought the band was playing a cover song, it just turns out that, since I’ve downloaded Retrograding the Masses from their EP it’s come up so often I thought it was a song from another band.  Slightly embarassing, but proof of great music is that it sticks with you, you should totally check out the album on Bandcamp, it’s worth a listen.

Cicada Radio revealed during their final song that they are putting out an EP soon (Apparently Sting has given them his blessing on endeavor).   Seeing CR for the first time I have to say I really dig the way a lot of their songs start of gentle, then get manic really quick!  Pat Keefe (guitar/lead vocals) Mike Keefe (guitar/background vocals) Chris D’Ambrosio (bass) Michael Kundrath (drums)… remember these names I think they’ll soon be rising stars in the Jersey City scene.

Last up, Ben Franklin’s adopted an angrier set.  With a lot of new unrecorded music.  This means two things.  OK it means three things:

1. It’s a risky move, (a gambit if you prefer) they have a strong base of fans familiar with their work on both Optimist and Urgency.  And While they played two songs from the EP, I think the remainder of the set was unrecorded music.  (Aside from one gem.)

2.  It means a new recording can’t be that far in the future.  Hell, I know most of the words to these new songs.  If that was the plan, to have everyone already know the songs upon release, then it’s working. Ben Franklin is like George Pepard and loves it when a plan comes together

3.  Ben Franklin is angry! Like a 9 year old with a flat tire on his Huffy on a summer day.  Only thing is, musically, there’s an outlet her.  Billy, Eddie, Sarah and Adam, are pissed.  It’s clear from the set list, there’s an air of rage they are trying to supply. What’s it about?  Who’s the target for the this rage? Why is Billy wearing a dress? (Not that it’s not a very nice dress, I’m just sayin’ is all.)

That said members of Black Water, Cicada Radio, and Holy City Zoo as well as fans of each of the bands packed in for a gonzo rock dance party.  The energy in the room was somewhere over 9000!  I took a rare liberty knowing the band enough to get a little more personal and I slid behind the “frontline” and snapped some shots from the Band’s POV.  Also it gave me a chance to get up close and get a few shots of Sarah abusing her drumset.  Which brings me to a moment of pure elation.  She hunkers in and starts the tell tale bashing that can only be the start of “Tell Us How You Really Feel”,  the first track off of Optimist, I surged to the front and couldn’t help but sing along.

Afterwards, I was talking to her and mentioned that I hoped I wasn’t being a nuisance jumping into the band’s space.  Her response, “Nah, it’s your town, man.” That’s Sarah for you, cooler than a Castle Greyskull playset on your 5th birthday.   I guess that’s true, though, this is my town.  It’s homebase if it’s not home.

Looks like Lamp Post is doing a really solid job of bringing back the rock scene here.  Four hard hitting bands on a thursday night.  Cheers to Candice Leger for engineering a sick show!

Written by rockertycoon

June 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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