Makin Waves Scene Report with Jeff Linden and the Black Spot Society, Brian Fallon and more

Jeff Linden



The latest Scene Report features Jeff Linden and the Black Spot Society, The Saint, Garden State Beard & Mustache Society, Mikey Erg, Brian Fallon, Lump ’N’ Loaf, Elk City, Bar/None, The Weeklings, Nalani & Sarina, Rutgers Battle of the Bands, Mike Daly & the Planets, The Carousers and Brookfield.

Wanna get back at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and probably Trump? Well then, download Jeff Linden and the Black Spot Society’s fantastic, powerful folk-punk tune “Burn the Witch,” which since January has been raising funds for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The nonprofit provides counseling and support for victims of sexual assault, as well as resources for educating the public and fighting to improve public policy regarding sexual violence. Recent headlines made it seem like a good time to remind folks that the nearly year-old track is well worth your time and money, as is RAINN. Download “Burn the Witch,” along with Linden’s more recent EP, Sad Bastard Songs, at And find out more about RAINN at

The charitable Linden will perform Nov. 18 at the Makin Waves Roots Fest to benefit Food for Thought, the nonprofit organization of Langosta Lounge/Asbury Park Yacht Club owner Marilyn Schlossbach. Every year, Schlossbach serves free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the homeless and hungry. This year, the Roots Fest is going to help out a little bit, also, with the talents of Lowlight, Accidental Seabirds, Jackson Pines, Coach N’ Commando and The Porchistas, all of whom will donate one third of their pay to Food for Thought. The nonprofit also will benefit from a tricky tray for sponsor prizes, such as a beer stein filled with T-shirts and gift certificates from Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, free admissions to Silverball Museum Arcade, a print of the event poster donated by artist Marcia Furman, a gift basket from The Brew TEA Spot, and concert tickets.

On both stages at Langosta and APYC, the evening continuously will feature some of the Garden State’s best local roots music, but on only one stage at a time.

Has it really been 23 years since The Saint opened its doors as a haven for local bands? Well, that’s what will be celebrated on Nov. 18, also, when the mighty Colossal Street Jam take the beloved venue’s stage. More bands will be named soon, so keep an eye out here.

Apparently, Nov. 18 is a big night in Asbury Park because the Garden State Beard & Mustache Society in conjunction with CoolDad Music and Little Dickman Records will present “Freaksgiving: A Friendsgiving Fuzz Fest.” The benefit for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day will feature performances by Dentist, RocknRoll HiFives and Yawn Mower. The bittersweet fun also will feature flights of beer, food trucks, raffle prizes, and a facial hair contest hosted by Weird NJ and judged by Juicy Jenn & the Asbury Lanes AllStars. Suggested donation is $5, but $20 will get you a CoolDad Music T-shirt and button. For more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, visit

How much does Mikey Erg rock?! The first weekend in December will be a special one for the New Brunswick punk legend because he will be playing House of Independents in Asbury Park twice, as well as Starland Ballroom in Sayreville. On Dec. 1, Mikey will be behind the skins for Worriers when they and The Flatliners open The Menzingers’ sold-out show. Then Mikey will return to his Sayreville stomping grounds to open for The Descendents with a reunion of his great band The Ergs on Dec. 2 in another sold-out show that also will feature the Jersey band Ruth Ruth. If you didn’t get tickets for The Menzingers or The Descendents, I highly recommend you don’t miss The Ergs headlining House of Independents on Dec. 3. That slammin’ bill also will feature Nervous Triggers, Weird Fantasy Band, and Exmaid, featuring Miranda Taylor of longtime Ergs’ buddies, Hunchback.

Gaslight Anthem front man Brian Fallon has dropped a new single, the ’60s pop-inspired “Forget Me Not,” from his second solo album, SLEEPWALKERS, due Feb. 9 from Island Records. Fallon’s North American tour kicks off March 27 and nears the end with an April 29 date at Starland Ballroom. But first, he and his backing band, The Howling Weather (man, he comes up with some nifty names for his accompaniment), will jump the pond for a European trek from Feb. 20 to March 31.

SLEEPWALKERS recasts British Invasion rock, first generation U.K. punk, and American pop and soul into a sound Fallon has dubbed “Heavy R&B” in honor of The Who. Recorded earlier this year at New Orleans’ Parlor Recording Studio with producer Ted Hutt (the man behind the board for The Gaslight Anthem’s 2008 breakthrough, The ’59 Sound, the album predominantly features a Vox Continental, the distinctive organ used by The Animals, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Specials and Elvis Costello. Other North American dates include April 27 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, and May 2 at Brooklyn Steel.

Welly, welly, welly, well! Hillsborough-based Lump ’N’ Loaf Records sure is bzzzzy as we approach the Season of Good Will. The indie is sponsoring a benefit for Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico with NJ Cares Benefit for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief on Nov. 12 with Zigman Bird and more. Then Lump ’N’ Loaf will turn its care to the hungry and homeless with a benefit for the Elijah’s Promise food justice and empowerment program with the multimedia extravaganza of the Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show on Nov. 25. The three-ring rock ’n’ roll circus will feature A Halo Called Fred, Trio of Madness, Bonk Percussion Group, World Steampunk Fair founder Jeff Mach, and John S. Hall (of King Missile), all of whom will be accompanied by belly dancing, sideshows, films, mermaids and cosplayers. Both shows are at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen, as is a Nov. 24 bill featuring Lump ’N Loaf recording act Little Dipper, plus The 39 Black Friday Show. Trio of Madness also can be seen Dec. 8 at The Rathskeller in Frenchtown.

With a cover of The Motels’ ’80s classic, “Suddenly Last Summer,” out now, Montclair-based Elk City have signed with the great Hoboken indie Bar/None Records. An LP will follow early next year, marking the band’s fifth release since 2000. Producer-drummer Ray Ketchem and vocalist-songwriter Renée LoBue have been making music together since the early 1990s. Elk City’s lineup also includes Sean Eden of Luna. Ketchum has produced several albums for Bar/None, including a series by The Mendoza Line. After years of working in home studios, the producer now owns Magic Door in the heart of Montclair’s downtown art and theater district. There he’s done sessions with Guided by Voices, Versus, Brother JT and Luna.

In other Bar/None news, the label recently released Washington, D.C.-based The Paranoid Style’s six song EP, Underworld USA, a follow-up to 2016’s heralded Rolling Disclosure. The Morristown-based punk trio The Moms continue to work hard in support of their Doing Asbestos We Can LP. They’ll play Nov. 15 at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn; Nov 17 at Millhill Basement in Trenton, and Dec 2 at The Sidebar in Baltimore. And Jersey City shoe-gazers Overlake are making their way home from the West Coast touring in support of their label debut, Fall, with a hometown show on Dec. 9 at Monty Hall with Fruit & Flowers and Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help, led by Bar/None’s influential founder.

The Beatles-inspired super group The Weeklings will release their first holiday single on Nov. 3. “Revolution Wonderland” is a mash-up of The Beatles’ “Revolution” and the Christmas classic “Winter Wonderland.” Upcoming shows include Nov. 17 at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park; Nov. 18 at the Landis Theater in Vineland (with Max Weinberg’s Jukebox); Nov. 25 at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem, Pa.; Dec. 3 at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, N.Y. (with Max Weinberg’s Jukebox); Dec. 9 at Glen Burtnik’s Xmas Extravaganza at the State Theatre in New Brunswick; Dec. 20 at The Weeklings’ Christmas Party at The Dome Lounge in West Orange; and Dec. 23 at Glen Burtnik’s Xmas Extravaganza at New Hope Winery.

Having played a fundraiser for veterans services in September in their hometown of Flemington, the fantastic soul-pop twin duo Nalani & Sarina will keep the charity flowing on Nov. 17 with Toys for Tots Benefit at Flemington Elks Lodge. Also performing at the all-female lineup will be Deena Cahill and SØF. Proceeds will go to the Marine Corps Reserve’s Central New Jersey Toys for Tots Region, which covers Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union Counties. Last year, the local chapter gave out toys to more than 44,000 children. More than 97 percent of funds raised go directly to purchasing toys. The rest goes to fundraising and overhead, but no one within the organization receives a salary.

Rutgers University Musician’s Guild Battle of the Bands will be Nov. 11 at Busch Campus Center MultiPurpose Room in Piscataway. Catering will be provided by King Pita Palace Mediterranean Restaurant. First-place winner gets $300 in Sam Ash gift cards, two free hours and a 25-percent discount at DLM Recording Studio in New Brunswick, and a feature in Makin Waves. Second place gets $200 from Sam Ash and a $40 gift certificate to Chamber 43 record store. Third place gets $100 from Sam Ash.

On Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day and weekend of International Pop Overthrow Festival NYC, Mike Daly & the Planets will release an 11-song self-titled LP featuring previously released tunes, as well as new ones. The fresh material includes the closing “Letters from the Front,” a salute to veterans in thanks for their service and sacrifice. The festival will take place at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn with Mike Daly & the Planets’ set at 11 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Inspired by Green Day, Weezer, Against Me! and The Menzingers, Long Branch-based The Carousers released a five-song self-titled debut EP just in time for Halloween with the fun closing track “Halloween Night.” Check them out Dec. 22 at Roxy & Dukes and Jan. 25 at The Saint.

Brookfield are an emerging rock band formed in 2015 by vocalist-guitarist Joe Mayerski and drummer Jordan Davis. The lineup also consists of bassist Jason Finberg. They recently followed last year’s well-received Writing for the Future debut with another EP, Crossroads, featuring the single/video “Every Now and Then.” See the band perform both records live on Nov. 17 at Dingbatz in Clifton.

Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor and still a contributor to The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at Like Makin Waves at


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