• Site Search
  • Search Local Business Listings
New Jersey Independent Music

New Jersey Independent Music Tris McCall on the local music scene

We've moved!

By NJ.com Staff

December 31, 2008, 9:19AM
The New Jersey Independent Music blog has retired. Visit our New Jersey Music section for the latest news on New Jersey bands and musicians. Full story »

Ben Krieger -- "Class Dismissed"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 28, 2008, 6:39PM
Plunk Class Dismissed into your computer drive, and your iTunes will file it with the children's music. This is another one of Ben Krieger's many chain-yanking jokes; he's enough of a mischief-maker to try to confuse the issue before he's sung a single note. But it's also an acknowledgment that many of the songs on his latest set are sung... Full story »

The Giraffes -- *Prime Motivator"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 25, 2008, 12:54PM
I devoted a few recent run-on sentences to Andrew McMahon's public battle with leukemia. McMahon doesn't mention the disease by name on The Glass Passenger, but he does sing about "marrows colliding", and that's grisly enough for me. Still, you rubberneckers out there might have been hoping for something a little more gruesome. Emo-pop is made mostly by young people... Full story »

Val Emmich -- "Little Daggers"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 21, 2008, 8:28PM
A few weeks ago I guessed that The Secret Wars might telegraph Ace Enders's intention to move in on the MOR market. By the deafening standards of his chosen style, Ace has never been much of a shouter; these days, he's actually started crooning. I'm not complaining, especially since I can't get any of The Secret Wars songs dislodged from... Full story »
Advertisement:

Bald Guy Black Suit -- "Demoo"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 13, 2008, 1:04PM
Jonathan Andrew of the Mike Ferraro Band wrote to ask what I was getting at with that crack about Rutgers musicians. I assured him I didn't mean it as an insult: I just know that a Hub City common denominator exists. That said, I had to admit I couldn't put my finger on what it is. It might have something... Full story »

Huss -- "The Uncanny EP"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 11, 2008, 1:54PM
You missed it if you blinked, but a few years ago there was a revival of hipster interest in theater-rock. Drama-club kids with Telecasters stashed under their beds would get onstage at rock clubs in costumes you'd associate at first glance with summer stock productions, and perform mini-epics that were as indebted to Sondheim as they were to Led Zep.... Full story »

Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers @ Pianos

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 09, 2008, 1:01PM
Testimonial on the Stompbox. Pretty photo (by George Pasles) on the splash page.  Full story »

Mike Ferraro -- "Awful Killers"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 08, 2008, 11:07AM
Talk about getting behind on the writing schedule: I have had the latest disc by Mike Ferraro for more than a year, and I haven't reviewed it. Lazy me, I know; then again, but Ferraro and company don't make the kind of music that screams and hollers and demands an immediate response. No bells and whistles on Awful Killers -... Full story »

Professor Pez -- "Hordaland"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 07, 2008, 1:49PM
Argument #4080 against the iPod: far greater conceptual results are attainable on a full-length record than on a single-song recording. Taken one at a time, the tracks on Hordaland are decent college rock numbers, worthy of inclusion on a scrawny-voiced indiepop playlist with Baxendale and Hefner and Los Campesinos and My Favorite. Heard together, in the sequence determined by Petter... Full story »

Hospitality -- "EP"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 05, 2008, 12:22PM
Amber Papini might be a bit of a musical genius, too; it's sometimes hard to tell these things for sure. Mystic, accidental point in her favor: replace two letters in her surname, and you've got "Parisi", a handle well-known to real fans of Jersey independent music. The Swimmies' singer-synthesist and the frontwoman of Hospitality have plenty in common - both... Full story »

Higgins -- "Zs"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 04, 2008, 12:46AM
Trouble is, even though all genres aspire to classic status, making "classic rock" isn't really a viable commercial enterprise. Band-pigeonholers, marketers, and riyl-ers don't know how to work with it, and rock critics will resent you for making their jobs harder and duller. The head honcho at Serious Business Records tried to sidestep the issue by describing Higgins as the... Full story »

Ford & Fitzroy -- "Canyons"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 03, 2008, 12:26AM
It has been said, and not without good reason, that the band sounds like Modest Mouse. Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. But sonic resemblances are superficial, and so often they obscure the distinctions that genuinely matter. Mr. Whats-his-face from Modest Mouse is an expansive singer, but if you ask me, much of his hysterical theatricality feels forced. Jay... Full story »

Elika -- "Trying Got Us Nowhere"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 02, 2008, 11:54AM
I appreciate their intermittent willingness to rock. These fetching boy-girl electropop duos so rarely do, and when they do, it's typically in the style of a Bond theme you didn't particularly want to hear revived. Much credit ought to go Brian Wenckebach, who seems more comfortable squalling away at his electric six-string than he does behind his synthesizers. His pedal... Full story »

Efrain Calderon -- "EP"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

November 01, 2008, 6:01PM
David Singer's enthusiasm for Elliott Smith is so apparent that it compelled me to go back to XO and give it another shot. I still say that Smith's lyrics are often downright dopey, but he certainly knew how to turn a melody. Also, I don't think he gets enough credit for his arrangement innovations: back when Either/Or was released, it... Full story »

David Singer -- "East Of The Fault Line"

By Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger

October 31, 2008, 10:28AM
Sometimes aging gracefully is the uglier alternative. Raging against the dying of the light may make you the butt of jokes at dinner parties, but at least your name comes up in conversation. David Singer's characters, by contrast, are fading away - hypnotized by nostalgia, exhausted from traveling in circles, and going nowhere. That he sings it all as sweetly... Full story »
1 | 2
Inside



Most Active Users

What's this?
Users with the most NJ.com comments in the last 7 days
uj uj
MRS0PRAN0 MRS0PRAN0
DJ_Jaws DJ Jaws
Mtown_Quaker Mtown Quaker
BrassBand5 BrassBand5

Users We Love