Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

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

Archive for the ‘Kilkenny Alehouse’ Category

Killkenny Alehouse w/No Pasaran and The Invisible Lines

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Saturday June 13th, 8pm. I bust out the door of my job and hightail it directly to the PATH. I went from the PATH to a cab outside of Newark Penn Station, to 27 Central Ave. Kilkenny Alehouse. Jennifer Schwartz had put together another show, which by all indications promised to be killer.

I walked in as Sons where making their moves on the stage. This outrageous growl punk band played about five songs after I walked in. They were unchecked aggression. John (vocals) was prone to manic episodes as well as one depressive moment when he sobbed on stage. I overheard that during their first show (this being their second) he was dressed in a Santa outfit so that made the sobbing a little more disturbing. I heard influences of Minor Threat from Matt,Brian (guitar) and Butch (drums). If I could describe Sons without having your hear them, imagine One Handed Scissor by At the Drive In, during the chorus, but the entire time! It was harsh, brutal and more raw that than a maki combo. The band is still working on its name however and they may change it in the near future.

Invisible Lines
made their mark next. They are Alan (Guitar, Bass)
Greg (Guitar, Bass, Drum Machine) Michael (Drums)William (Guitar, Bass, Vocals). A sort of Conspiracy Surf Rock group. IL brought some sick energy! Songs like Do Not Be Phased that started with a prelude on the drums and guitars are the harbingers of a serious driving song. That’s if you drive in the Demolition Derby! It’s a great thing coming out for a show and seeing a band you’ve never even heard of before that just rocks your mind away. After the show I caught up with Will. It seems IL will be recording a new album soon I personally can’t wait to get my grimy paws on it.

Andy Borsz and Sara Cavic are Slasher Risk. It’s extremely hard to put into words what happened in the next 20 mins. Suffice it to say that if music was sex, this is the craziest exhibition I’ve ever seen. Andy played the Guitar while writhing on the ground then dropped it and jumped on to the drums while Sara manipulated sounds on the guitar. They traded off from playing guitar to drums messing with the speakers. It was about as close to performance art as a rock show can get.

Reeling from what I had just witnessed on stage I took a moment of refuge in a bottle of Budweiser. Chatted it up with some folks. These show have become a serious social event for rockers in Brick City and areas surrounding. Each time there are brand new faces and some old reliables as well.

Jennifer Schwartz of Una Pong and Ryan Havers of the Vontons took my attention away from my elixir. There was to be a guitar Toss-off. Jen vs Ryan in an all out no holds barred battle royal of guitar/wits/ and shit-talking. The guitar finesse was on par the tossing was well received, I have to say the shit talking was much to be desired. I heard ZERO your momma jokes and a very low amount of cursing.

Here’s a quick lesson in History. No Pasaran: propaganda slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. It was most famously used during the Battle of Verdun in World War I by French General Robert Nivelle. “¡No pasarán!” became an international anti-fascist slogan.(wikipedia) Ok lessons concluded. Now since you have a little background, Its easy to conclude that with a name at that level of concept the band itself must breathe lightning and smoke thunder. Well if that was your assumption True Believer , then you ain’t just whistling Dixie! No Pasaran is Eric Mason (Bass, Vox) Tom Barret (Drums) and Romel Espinel (Guitar, Vox). This Clash style set up is a full force post punk band. Think Husker-Du meets Mission of Burma, with a dash of Boy Sets Fire. It’s heavy and its thrashing. They beat you over the head with guitar and bass and rip the carpet right out from underneath you with the drums. I highly suggest you make sure you see these guys the next time they get out for a show, which I believe is going to be The Groove on Grove on July 8th. In fact, say hi if you make it out. I’ll be there. I ALMOST FORGOT TO MENTION, Eric decided to chug a good 3/4 of a bottle of Heine’s Famous Malt Vinegar. There are pictures, it was not the most intense event of the night but it definitely punctuated the evening.

Drunken Sufis
complete the line-up with some resolute Political Psycho Punk. Billy Delerioso takes the low end. Slinky keeps the beat. Renzo rounds out the band on Guitar. Billy and Renzo the share responsibility of vocals. DS Started off at 90 mph, and remained reckless for their whole set. It was part message part farce and all fun. They took full advantage of the ample room in the hall and came out into the crowd screaming! When they finished up I was pretty positive I couldn’t handle anymore rock for the night.

Jen offered me a ride back to the PATH. I’m never one to make my life more difficult so of course I accepted. We bullshitted about music, and what we were trying to achieve in the last five years, and how those paths always lead back to music someway or another. Relationships and what not, y’know the stuff you bullshit with a good friend at 2am on your way to the PATH. I got to the station and wouldn’t you know it the train showed up right as I got to the platform. Everything seems like it’s falling into place for the Rocker Tycoon these days.

Written by rockertycoon

June 17, 2009 at 6:35 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.

Back in time with the Coffin Daggers and the Black Hollies

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No no no, settle down! Put away your flux capacitors and your Dr. Who bootlegs. By back in time, I mean these bands evoke a different era of rock. Let’s begin at the start of the night. 8pm Saturday 4/4/09: I had just gotten out of work. My friend Kevin had spent the day at my bar deciding what he was going to do for the night. After a few pints of liquid persuasion, I convinced him it was in his best interest to come with me to the Kilkenny Alehouse in Newark for a rock show! He agreed and off we went! From the Path to the cab to the KAH, in a pretty quick succession. The weather was just about perfect for a night out!

I like to get to a show early, it gives me a chance to set up, feel out the crowd and have a few drinks. That said I was 30 mins late! No worries though, the show was going to start a little late tonight anyhow. Jen, who sets up the shows, greeted me and Kevin and we talked about the last show I was at (see I won a dance contest). She asked me about what I’ve been upto as far as the local scene was concerned, right as Eric of No Pasaran! fame emerged! I introduced them as she had just told me she was looking to get some more punk and metal stuff together for upcoming shows.

As all this was going on I ordered my second beer, and the Coffin Daggers took the stage. I moved to the front and got to action. Coffin Daggers is Viktor Venom (guitar/theremin) Eudocia Rodzinak (keys) Peter Klarnet (bass) Pete Martinez (drums). WHAT! No Vocals!? How strange! What do they do for a front man? Who intros the songs? How does the band not just descend into chaos? CALM THE HECK DOWN, READER! Breathe deeply into your brown paper bag! All this jibber jabber ain’t good for your blood pressure.

To answer your questions, In unconventional style bands many times an unlikely hero will rise….. with the cream and bastards. Pete Martinez acts as the bands lead, though I’m sure he’d most likely deny that fact, jumping from his stool and drums to intro the next song. And the band does descend into Chaos…. but the really awesome kind of chaos, instrumental surf rock dance mayhem type chaos! Though, no one shifts any egos into the forefront. Peter Klarnet’s bass and Eudocia Rodzinak’s keys compliment and some times clash Viktor’s guitar. Viktor had more guitars at his disposal than the Swiss Army has options in a pocket knife. And just when I thought he got to the last one……THE MAN WHIPS OUT A THEREMIN! Pete Martinez’s Drums often gave me that two tone style beat that just gets my feet moving!

I went for a third beer during their set and Jen pulled me aside. It seems she wanted a rematch from the events of her birthday. She challenged me to help her get the crowd moving. You gotta love Jen. She puts all the effort to get this show set up, supports the scene, promotes the hell outta the show, and she still has the nerve to challenge me to a dance-off! (Plus she wears these cute outfits, that’s gotta do something for you!) Anyhow, I’m never one to shy away from a dare. Call it the Michael J. Fox in me, but I won’t be called chicken! (There’s your “Back to the Future” reference fan-boys!) I’m not much for starting this kinda thing out though, so it was definitely a joint effort. We got a few people to move up and dance! But just as the momentum got rolling the set was over. I was just feeling like I was at the hop in a fifties beach movie!

The Black Hollies blasted us right over to London during the same era. These cats were so mod I was waiting to give Joe Friday “Just the Facts”! Really though the Black Hollies have this really authentic sound that melds that part of history in rock with a more current one. They were truly out there doing their own thing. The Black Hollies are
JUSTIN ANGELO MOREY(Lead vocals, electric bass) HERBERT JOSEPH WILEY V(Lead guitar, Vocals) JON GONNELLI(organ, rhythm guitar) and NICHOLAS ALBERT FERRANTE(Drums). And you can say it was the booze, but I was so into the music that I couldn’t just sit back and be content taking pictures. In fact after about three songs it looked like the whole place was dancing. Kevin, normally a wallflower when it comes to these things, even got in a few moves!

After the show, Kev and I left the bar in hopes of finding a cab….. but we found a Subway instead. Kev waltzed in and proclaimed his want, NAY his need for a $5 foot long! After we were sated, we promptly found a cab. And made it to the Path. It was a half hour wait for the train. And just like my time in Trenton the train at 3am in Newark on a Saturday night is no joke. But rather than tell you about the scary things I saw and the stuff they did, I’d like to just show you a picture of Kevin asleep at the end of the night on the Path, sleeping like a little baby! Sorry Kev!

Written by rockertycoon

April 8, 2009 at 7:30 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