Those Mockingbirds Release 'Penny The Dreadful' LP

penny-large mockingbirdsIt’s July the 1st, and for us, that means summer is in full swing. We’ve been so busy that the season has snuck up on us, and here we are without an album of the summer to call our own yet. Well, contender number one has just dropped. It’s called Penny the Dreadful and it’s by our old friends Those Mockingbirds. New Jersey’s finest have been building a formidable set of songs for this, their debut LP, and it is worth the wait. It’s rock and roll that revels in the guitars, drawing inspiration as much from current modern rock as from the great melodic guitar slashers from the ’90s, including Stone Temple Pilots (with better lyrics) and the often overlooked Hum. Get it on iTunes now – it could be your go-to summer rocker. thosemockingbirds.com

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Skate And Surf Lineup; Ticket Information

Skate And Surf Festival is under a month away, and those hoping to catch the Summer kickoff event of the year need to act fast if they want to secure tickets.

Taking place on May 18 and 19, Skate And Surf 2013 will welcome over two dozen performers and over ten thousand screaming music fans to Freehold, NJ. Check out ticket information here and view the full lineup below. (more…)

Bayside Selling Benefit T-Shirt For Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

Earlier this week, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Northeast coast, wreaking havoc on New Jersey, New York City, and all of the surrounding states. Artists and bands have been quick to respond to this disaster, planning various benefit shows, merch specials, and fundraisers. Punk rock band Bayside are among those lending a helping hand.

The Long Island, Queens, and Manhattan natives are selling a limited edition benefit shirt to help their families, friends, and communities who were affected by the hurricane. As stated on their website, “all proceeds will be donated to the Greater New York American Red Cross.” This disaster has been tragic for many, including the members of Bayside, who have lost friends and family members to the storm. So if you’re feeling generous click here to contribute to a good cause.

If you like Bayside, then you might also like OurStage’s own August Ruins.

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Bruce Springsteen To Headline NBC Benefit Concert For Hurricane Sandy Victims

While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.

If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!

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Bamboozle 2012: Back to the Beach

For the past six years, fans of all musical genres have flocked to the Bamboozle Festival at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They endured the rain, the blistering heat, the outrageous food prices and the  pain of standing for hours on end, but”at the end of the third day”they left the stadium parking lot with ears ringing and faces grinning.

Before East Rutherford, however, Bamboozle was located in Asbury Park, New Jersey and was known as the Skate & Surf Festival. Similar to the Vans Warped Tour, Skate & Surf was a twelve-hour event featuring over forty bands. The indoor festival featured such prominent “scene” bands as Allister, The Movielife and From Autumn to Ashes. In the years that followed, the newly-named Bamboozle Festival grew larger and larger, featuring performances from some of the biggest acts in pop, rock and rap.

This year, Bamboozle creator John D’Esposito is on a mission to bring back the intimate feel of Skate & Surf, while also booking high-profile performers from all genres. Headliners like Bon Jovi, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus and Mac Miller appeal to a wide audience, while smaller “niche” bands like the recently-reunited The Receiving End of Sirens, The Wonder Years and Like Moths to Flames will certainly draw their own crowds. In celebration of the festival’s tenth anniversary, D’Esposito even moved Bamboozle back to Asbury Park, where concert-goers can enjoy scenic ocean views instead of a crowded parking lot. And what would a party on the Jersey Shore be without a performance from DJ Pauly D?

What else is different for 2012? Here are a few of Bamboozle’s biggest changes:

  • Get your rice ready: The Rocky Horror Picture Show…starring Bamboozle performers? Needless to say, it will be hilarious.
  • No more tickets: The Bamboozle will use electronic wristbands instead of paper tickets. The wristbands will help staff to keep track of the crowds and eliminates the need for attendees to bring cash.
  • Higher admission prices: Moving the festival to Asbury Park was not cheap. Neither was bringing on some of the biggest names in popular music today. Accordingly, admission prices are significantly higher this year (three-day passes are $81 more than last year), but the increase will still probably be worth every penny.
  • Linc’s Very Special Guest: “Linc’s Special Guest” is a performer that shows up for a surprise set during Bamboozle. Past performers have included everyone from Jack’s Mannequin to Journey. But this year, Linc’s guest is “Very Special,” and is a Sunday night headliner. Rumors have been swirling for weeks, with the most popular guesses being Bruce Springsteen and Nicki Minaj.

Bamboozle 2012 will be held May 18-20 in Asbury Park’s North Beach area. More wristband purchases and more information, check out their official Web site.

Never been to Bamboozle? This trailer from the 2011 Bamboozle Documentary gives you a taste of what this epic weekend is like. You can watch the full documentary here.

Q&A With The Bouncing Souls

There are plenty of ways to commemorate a successful career: compilation albums, tribute concerts, limited-edition merch…and if you aren’t a musician, probably an office party with ice cream cake. But the Bouncing Souls are one-upping everyone this summer, playing through their entire collection of studio albums in a slew of four-night punk extravaganzas in cities around the world. We sat down with Souls frontman Greg Attonito to talk about why the time was right for this eight-city tour, the ability to stay relevant for more than twenty years and how even in the digital age, the Jersey-based four piece is still repping the DIY lifestyle.

OS: While a lot of bands who have been together as long as the Souls would choose to commemorate their career with a retrospective album, you guys decided to do a tour where you played through all of your albums. What was the inspiration behind that?

GA: We have been talking about playing all our records live for years so it was just a matter of time. This year at our Home for the Holidays shows in Asbury Park, we decided it was time. It was a lot of memory work re-learning a lot of songs we haven’t played in years, but it really paid off. It ended up going over really well for us and for the audience I think. So…Why not take it on the road! So that’s what we decided to do.

OS: You’re playing in just eight cities, but the tour is taking you all over the world. What determined the lucky eight tour destinations” were they places that held some significance to the band?

GA: We chose cities that we have had consistently good shows in over the years. We also wanted to work with promoters that were enthusiastic about the idea. So¦ those are the Lucky eight cities!

OS: The Souls and Chunksaah have always had a very DIY attitude”you had to be resourceful and creative about touring in the pre-Internet age. What does that DIY attitude translate to in 2011?

GA: In more difficult economic times I think we are forced to become more DIY in all parts of our lives from the food we eat to the music we make. Most of us are working more and earning less so we really have to be more practical than ever…but I think its good for all of us because most of us have been living pretty wasteful lifestyles. So I’m glad we as the BS family have learned how to be as DIY as we can. We need that knowledge and attitude now more than ever.

OS: How do you feel about the industry now? Did you prefer the days when you got the word out about shows through flyers in record store windows, or are you a fan of doing that online through social networking?

GA: It feels like industry is in labor right now about to give birth to a new way of doing things, so it’s a trying time. I don’t want to repeat the past but I do sometimes miss how simple things were when we first started. The challenge is to carry that spirit on! I’m not a fan of social networking but I do have a Facebook page and I appreciate how convenient it is to inform people about new music/live shows etc. I’m not into it enough to Twitter and I’m also not interested in posting my every life movement. Overall though the Internet is a great thing for all of us to communicate quickly and for free!

OS: What about your fan base? It seems like you’ve stayed relevant to fans who span several generations. Why do you think your music is as popular with forty-somethings as it is with pre-teens?

GA: It’s a cliche, but we “strike a chord” that goes beyond age I think. Our music is for the heart, and it helps us all remember we are not alone and we are here in life to enjoy ourselves and live for each other. Why wouldn’t people come back for that? That’s why all of us band members keep coming back.

OS: You guys don’t reinvent yourselves as often as some musicians do, but there have been some significant changes in The Souls’ music over your career. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve gone through over the last two decades?

GA: We have intentionally tinkered with our writing styles over the years by including producers in the process. It has been great in some ways and not so great in some ways but we have learned a lot throughout. All that we have learned we are putting into the new songs we have been writing. The main focus is to enjoy ourselves every step of the way.

Since you mentioned re-inventing ourselves it might be a good time to let you know about my new solo record! Its called Natural Disaster and will be coming out on Chunksaah records this summer. It was fun for me to get completely out of the Bouncing Souls writing dynamic, get a fresh perspective and see what happens. The record sounds great and I have a renewed attitude toward creating new BS music. It will be fun to see how people respond to it because its not like BS music.

OS: Now that you’ve been together more than twenty years, do you have any advice you wish you could give your teenage selves? Anything you wish you did differently?

GA: No. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I would probably tell me teenage self not to be so stressed out, be honest with yourself and take the time to learn how to be comfortable with just being myself…Thats probably it. But my teenage self probably wouldn’t have listened to my forty-year-old self! [Laughs]

Interested in catching the Souls as they play through all their albums this summer? Check out the band’s Web site for a list of the upcoming tour dates.