Episode 83 features a chat with New Jersey-based musician, Otis Ball! Otis has an extensive and fascinating history in the music industry that started when he sent a demo tape of his music to John Linell and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants in the late 1980s! His tunes caught their attention, and Otis eventually moved from his hometown of Dekalb, IL to Hoboken, NJ. Once he arrived in Hoboken, Otis spent time touring with They Might Be Giants as a musician and a personal handler/driver/merch guy and also worked at the legendary Hoboken record store, Pier Platters. Tune in to hear a whole host of great stories, Maxwell’s memories, touring experiences with They Might Be Giants, and much more! This episode features some songs from Otis’ unreleased album, plus a cool live version of “Enough Is Never Enough” by Rage To Life with Otis on drums, and live tracks from Superchunk and Bob Mould at Maxwell’s.
Episode 82 features New Jersey singer-songwriter, Mark Bucci of Brewster! Brewster just released their debut album, Forever Better Kissers, on the Austin, Texas based label Good Relation Records. Tune in to hear all about the inspirations behind the album and the writing process behind it. You’ll hear four infectious tracks from Forever Better Kissers, including two of Tom’s favorites, “Being Clever” and “T-Shirt From A Tour.” Plus, lots of music talk and records from Bruce Springsteen, Julia Jacklin, Sharon Van Etten, Teenage Fanclub, and more!
Like and follow Brewster on Facebook, as they’ll be announcing some June gigs in the near future.
On Episode 81, Tom welcomed Andy Waldron of Jersey City dance-punk group Sailor Boyfriend to the Look At My Records! studio! The duo of Andy Waldron and Alex Mecuri recently released a brand new, incredible record entitled “Shapes and Colors.” Tune in to hear all about “Shapes and Colors,” including the making of the record and its themes. You'll also hear several great tracks from the album, including "Tracy," and "The Battle Of Sugar Hill." Andy even performed two tracks LIVE!!! Plus, wax from De La Soul, Savages, Ought, and more!
You can purchase “Shapes and Colors” on limited edition cassette via Bandcamp. There’s also a “Shapes and Colors” zine with illustrations of each song by Kat Schneider (www.katschneider.com) and Laura Marciniak (lauramarciniak.com).
You can catch Sailor Boyfriend live at following gigs:
April 20th, 2019: WPIR Spring Fling at Pratt
June 4th, 2019: Pale Moon Tuesday at Muchmore’s
Episode 80 features New Jersey’s Whiner! You’ve waited almost three years for new tunes from this band, but don’t worry, you won’t have to wait any longer. Tune in to hear all four songs from their upcoming EP, You Never Have To Feel This Way Ever Again.
To celebrate, the band is throwing two release shows. The first is on April 20th at The Meatlocker in Montclair with EU1LOGY, Tiers, and Johnny Dynamite. Then, the band is performing at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn on April 27th with Dead Leaf Echo, Weeknight, and Tiers. Whiner is also heading to Baltimore this weekend to perform at Future Fest. IT DOESN’T STOP THERE, as they’ll be performing alongside the legendary Martin Rev on June 7th at Sunnyvale! Oh, we played some great records, had a mini-goth rave, and discussed the band’s plans for the rest of 2019.
Big thanks to Whiner for stopping by! You Never Have To Feel This Way Ever Again is dropping on April 20th!
My travels out West brought me to Austin, Texas, where I caught up with the wonderful Jackie Venson! The two of us were supposed to chat back in March during the inaugural New Colossus Festival, but illness got the best of me. Luckily, we reschedule our chat while I was in Texas.
Jackie currently has a whole lot going on. She’s about to drop a brand new record, Joy, and announced a massive tour in support of it. Tune in to hear all about it, plus four spankin’ new fantastic tracks from Joy!
Jackie is hosting a Joy listening party on Thursday, April 4th at Native Hostel. She’ll be raffling off a prize pack that includes tickets to her album release show at the Paramount Theatre on April 12th and a signed guitar! All proceeds go to benefit Kids In A New Groove!
You can preorder Joy via Bandcamp. It’s available via digital download and limited multi-colored vinyl! The record drops on Friday, April 5th!
You can find a full list of tour dates here.
Is this meme still relevant? Episode 78 of Look At My Records! features nine of Tom’s favorite songs from a decade ago and nine of my favorite songs from the first three months of 2019. Take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some classic tunes by Real Estate, Times New Viking, Yo La Tengo, Girls, Vivian Girls, and more. Plus, Tom shares some brand new tunes from Tallies, THICK, The Stoppies, Julia Jacklin, and more!
Johnny Leitera of Tuff Sunshine joined Tom for the 77th episode of Look At My Records! The Brooklyn based Tuff Sunshine are set to release the follow up to their excellent 2015 record, Fire In The Hero Building later this year, and Look At My Records! is pumped to prior the first track from the record, “We Seal Every Deal With A Kiss.” Tune in to hear this awesome brand new track, plus two tracks from Johnny’s “Untreated” project, which is a collection of stripped down, powerful acoustic songs. We wrapped up the show with a slew of great records from XTC, Billy Bragg, and The Pretenders!
You can purchase Fire In the Hero Building on vinyl via Brooklyn Arts Press. A cassette version is also available via the recently relaunched Shorewave Records. Johnny’s “Untreated” project, as well as all other Tuff Sunshine releases, are available for download via Bandcamp.
Johnny is headed to the United Kingdom at the end of March, so if you’re gonna be on the other side of the pond, catch him performing solo on the following dates:
March 21st: London, Biddle Brothers
March 26th: Birmingham, Rock & Roll Brewhouse
March 28th: Manchester, White Lion
April 1st: Leeds, Oporto
April 6th: Edinburgh, Wee Red Bar
April 8th: Bristol, Mr. Wolf’s
April 10th: Bristol, Golden Lion
Episode 76 features an in depth conversation with New York City music producer and engineer, Charles Newman. Tune in to hear all about Charles’ long history in music, which includes working with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, playing in various bands, and starting The Deli Magazine, which remains an important music publication in New York City. Charles also discussed his role as music supervisor on the independent film, All These Small Moments, which involved working with the composer of the film’s score, Dan Lipton and the film’s creator/director, Melissa Miller Costanzo. Charles hand-selected the tracks on the soundtrack, which is an indie pop rock retro-americana mashup, with a dash of 80’s and shoegaze thrown in for good measure. The episode features some of the standout tracks from the soundtrack, including songs by Kris Gruen, Slowrunner, Echo Courts, Aloud, and Tom Shaner.
Episode 75 of Look At My Records! features a chat with fellow XTC fanatic, Mark Fisher! Mark is the founder of the original XTC fanzine “Limelight” and has authored two books on the band, “The XTC Bumper Book Of Fun,” and the forthcoming “What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book.” Tune in to hear all about Mark’s background covering the band, his foray into publishing two books, and details about “What Do You Can That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book,” which is scheduled for release on March 5th! We even swapped some of our favorite songs, and threw in Fassine’s wonderful cover of “That Wave” for good measure! Tune in to hear which songs we picked and much more!
You can purchase “What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discover Book” via Mark’s website, Limelight! While you’re there, you can also purchase Mark’s first book, “The XTC Bumper Book Of Fun,” which is an anthology of the Limelight zine and also features interviews with Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding, Terry Chambers, and Dave Gregory!
Episode 74 features the awesome Tula Vera! The Montclair-based four-piece is about a year removed from their debut self-titled record, which features some real rippers! Tune in to hear some of those rippers, including “Sunspot,” “Signs,” and “With God On Her Side.” Plus, here all about their recent tour and their plans for 2019! As always, the band made some great record picks.
You can purchase Tula Vera’s self-titled debut album via Bandcamp.
Catch Tula Vera at their next gig on February 8th at BoonTunes with Skylar Pocket, Junkanoo, and Shred Flintstone.
On Episode 73 of Look At My Records!, Tom chatted with Montclair, New Jersey math-rockers The Planet You! This work horse group has been consistently releasing music over the last three years, including two remarkable full-length albums, I Too (Me Also) in 2017 and their self-titled 2018 sophomore release. Tune in to hear all about the band’s complex math rock inclinations, their progressive rock influences, and their plans for 2019.
You can purchase The Planet You’s self-titled second record via Bandcamp.
Catch them live at the following gigs:
Saturday, January 18th in Highstown, NJ with Splundr, Deeply Woven, Ishmael, and Winter Ring
Friday, January 25th in New Brunswick, NJ for The Winter Wonder Jawn at The Evil Lair
Episode 72 of Look At My Records! features the incomparable Jon Cozz! This guy wears his New Jersey pride on his sleeve and isn’t shy about his love for our state’s treasured meat, TAYLOR HAM (not pork roll). Tune in to hear all about Jon’s tunes, his art, the process behind filming his epic music video for “Braincation” and his great record picks!
Oh, and this episode features a brand new song by Jon called “Catskills!”
You can check out Jon’s tunes via bandcamp.
His next gig is at The Meatlocker on January 17th with Dizzy Bats, Pheller, and Wyndup Kid.
2018 is coming to close! To commemorate a great year in music, I invited my BFF Zach Romano back to the program to count town our 10 favorite records of the year. Unlike last year, we had some overlap in 2018! Which records made both of our lists?? Tune in to find out!!
Connor Frost of Dizzy Bats is Tom's guest for Episode 70 of Look At My Records! Based in Northern New Jersey, Dizzy Bats is heading heading out on tour to start off 2019. Tune in to hear all about the band’s tour plans for January, their most recent EP I Don’t Live Here Anymore, and their plans for 2019. Plus, Connor picks, which include some classics! Check out the dates in the above flyer and catch Dizzy Bats in your city this January!
You can get more information about the tour via Facebook.
You can also purchase all of Dizzy Bats’ music via Bandcamp.
In Episode 69, Tom welcomed the Brooklyn band New Myths to the program! The trio hung out and chatted at length about their origins, their awesome debut album "Give Me Noise,” and their plans for 2019. Plus, listen in to hear tons of New Myths specific facts, like how one member is a Beatles’ expert!
Keep your eye on New Myths, as the group is planning to release their second album next year!
Oh, and don’t ring in the New Year without seeing them perform live. Catch them at one of their final gigs of the year:
You can purchase the band’s debut album Give Me Noise on vinyl via Bandcamp.
In Episode 68, Tom chatted with New Jersey musician Derek Kroemmelbein. Listen in to hear all about Derek’s latest releases, including the great singles “Give It Up,” “Mark My Words,” “All The Kids Say,” and “You Can Learn.” The two also chatted about Derek’s philosophy behind writing and recording music, and of course, combed through Tom’s collection for some wax gems!
You can purchase all of Derek’s music via Bandcamp.
In Episode 67, Tom chatted with Jersey City artist Evan Moore! Evan is the creative brains behind SSWWANN STUDIOS, which has produced some incredibly clever designs for pins, t-shirts, and patches. Some of Evan’s noteworthy designs include the beloved Fraiserhead mashup (pictured to the right), the John Lennon inspired “Jersey City” ringer shirt (pictured above), and the Sid Vicious and Nancy comic mashup (pictured below). In addition to his work as a graphic artist, Evan has played bass guitar in a variety of bands over the years, including a Sade cover band! Tune in to hear all about the history of SSWWANN STUDIOS and Evan's musical endeavors. Plus, Tom and Evan chatted at length about some of their favorite records by Jonathan Richman, Guided By Voices, and Prefab Sprout.
You can purchase all of Evan’s awesome designs through SWWANN STUDIOS!
New Jersey indie folk duo Seamstress stopped by for Episode 66 of Look At My Records! Boy, what a treat it was to have Seamstress on the program! Tom chatted at length with Gabi and Charlie about the origins of the project, their ever-rotating live lineup, and their plans for 2019. Seamstress plans to release three new songs in early 2019 and they were kind enough to play those three tracks, “Everything,” “Wrong Of Me” and “Untitled” live in the Look At My Records studio. That’s right, listen to this episode to hear three new Seamstress songs! Plus, their awesome record picks!
Their next gig is at Rockwood Music Hall on Monday November 12th.
In Episode 65, Tom had the pleasure of chatting with New Jersey bedroom pop artist, PYNKIE! After picking up a guitar in her late teens, PYNKIE immediately began writing and self-producing her own songs by using Audacity and other free recording software. In recent years, she's gained notoriety for her heartfelt, personal home style recordings on platforms such as Soundcloud. Earlier this year, PYNKIE released her debut album, Neoteny, which you can download via Bandcamp, or purchase on cassette via Gnar Tapes or Plastic Response Records! Tune in to hear PYNKIE perform three songs from Neoteny, “Looney Tune,” “Warm,” and “Dew,” live in the Look At My Records! studio! Plus, hear all about her origins, her first time recording in a studio, and her great album picks!
PYNKIE’s next gig is on December 11th at Elsewhere with Toast and Silver!
Thank you so much to Lindsay for stopping by the LAMR studio! We had a blast!!
Episode 64 of Look At My Records! is the fourth in a series of episodes previewing the upcoming North Jersey Indie Rock Festival. The annual festival is now in its third year and is happening at White Eagle Hall on Saturday October 6th.
For the fourth and final installment, I chatted with the wonderful Glenn Morrow. I can't think of a more fitting way to wrap up this series of preview episodes, as who knows where music in Hudson County would be without Glenn? Would we even be having this festival on Saturday?!
Glenn got his start in the late 70s, when he moved to Hoboken and formed The A Band with Rob Norris, Richard Barone, and Frank Giannini. They would be the very first group to ever play at Maxwell’s, paving the way for countless other bands and musicians to grace its stage. From there, Glenn fronted other bands including The Individuals and a solo project, Rage To Live, in addition to his work as President of Bar None Records.
Glenn currently fronts Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, who released their debut self-titled album in 2017 on Rhyme or Reason Records. They just released a brand new song, “Yellowed Pages,” and have a slew of other new songs up their sleeves!
Lots of awesome stories in this episode, so tune in to hear all about how Glenn turned Michael Stipe on to the Replacements, his discovery of They Might Be Giants, some Alex Chilton stories, and much more!
Don’t miss Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help tomorrow at the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival!
You can purchase the band’s debut album via Rhyme & Reason Records.