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Makin Waves Scene Report with Rachel Ana Dobken, Asbury Park Hip-Hop Fest, This Year’s Comeback and more

originally published: 08/02/2018

Makin Waves Scene Report with Rachel Ana Dobken, Asbury Park Hip-Hop Fest, This Year’s Comeback and moreMulti-hyphenated Asbury Park-based talent Rachel Ana Dobken, the music curator at Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to finance the release of her next record, “When It Happens to You,” to be released Sept. 8 at Asbury Lanes. Also featured this week are Asbury Park’s Universal African Festival, Pyrrhic Victory Recordings, Green Knuckle Material and Drive, Kid, and more. PHOTO BY JUSTIN FVLLER

Rachel Ana Dobken, the singer, songwriter, drummer, guitarist, pianist and Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery music curator, will release her latest record, “When It Happens to You,” on Sept. 8 at Asbury Lanes. In the meantime, she needs funds for tracking, mixing, mastering, musician pay, distribution, video, photography, marketing and publicity, so she’s started an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign.

Produced by Dobken, recorded by Joey Henderson of The Burns and Tim Pannella at Cedar Sounds in Oceanport, and being mixed by Kyle Joseph, who’s worked with Bob Weir, “When It Happens to You” is a full-length follow-up to her 2016 EP, “Detach.” The multi-hyphenated talent says her record stretches across a multitude of genres, including indie rock, jazz and soul. Imagine Amy Winehouse meets My Morning Jacket, Lake Street Dive meets White Denim. In addition to writing, producing arranging and singing the songs, Dobken also played drums, guitar and piano on the album …

Asbury Park Hip Hop Fest Vol. One will feature presenter Solo for Dolo, Pacewon, Ren Thomas, Joe College, Nujericans, DBM, Age of Extincton, Drea, Shoreshot, Redline, Dro Pesci, The Good People, DJ C Reality, Ghetto M.C. and Sun Lo on Aug. 6 at the Wonder Bar. The 7 p.m. 21+ show is free thanks to sponsors, who include Lite House Music, Parkview Projects, 7th Boro, Flip the Script Radio, Kanek, and The Credit Pros …

Neptune-based rapper Joe College also will be among the performers at Zamirahssad A. Dunbar Foundation’s Universal African Festival on Aug. 4 at Springwood Park in Asbury Park. Other performers will include rappers ImaniAray, Most Dop and HD Picasso, hip-hop band King Ramses, Universal African Dance Ensemble, Nikki Robinson and the Nick Nack Dance Attack, Asbury Park Technical Dance Academy, Sigma’s Control Step Team, inspirational singer Michelle White, spoken word artists Paige Ryans, Made Pierre, Felicia Simmons, Sunlite the Poet, and participants in and organizers of the KYDS conscious youth development program, R&B singers Nadirah Dawson and Eric Smith, soul/hip-hop band Whodat, The Reactivation Series Band, and comic Al-nisa Lawson. Highlights also will include vegan and soul food, art exhibits, kids’ activities, yoga and other mindfulness and wellness programs, and scholarship and community awards …

After a year of singles, up-and-coming energetic Jersey Shore pop-punk band This Year’s Comeback will celebrate the release of their debut LP, “Far from Fine, a Garden State Tragedy,” Aug. 4 at Asbury Park Music Foundation with Callout,  That's Not Pop Punk Of You, Painted Young and Drive, Kid. If you like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, and A Day To Remember, you’ll dig these guys …

Speaking of Drive, Kid, the similar-sounding Long Branch act recently dropped their full-length debut for which This Year’s Comeback participated in the celebration. The 11-song “Enjoy Being” follows two EPs, 2016’s self-titled debut and “Picturesque,” which was released in March. The busy boys will open on Sept. 8 at Asbury Park Brewery for Shane Henderson of Valencia and Promise of Redemption, along with local bands June Divided and My Lonely Heart ...

North Jersey indie Pyrrhic Victory are keeping busy producing bands and their shows. The label has three new releases out. Scary Hours, the one-man project name of singer-songwriter Ryan Struck, recently released a PVR single, “Live to Serve/Serve to Live.” Scary Hours will play with label mates The 65’s on Aug. 18 at Harp N Bard, Clifton. The Components and Summer Husbands will share the bill. 

In support of their self-titled debut LP, Philly synthwave band Retroglyphs will play Aug. 3 at Mill Hill Basement, Trenton, with Bar/None recording act Overlake and goodnight/goodluck. PVR recently reissued the 1987 single, “Faith Is Torn,” of Voice of Doom, featuring members of Samhain and Dag Nasty. Voice of Doom will reunite to play a show PVR is presenting with fellow North Jersey indie labels Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids on Sept. 18 at Pet Shop Bar, Jersey City, also with The Components and John Cozz. 

The aforementioned 65’s have a tasty show coming up Aug. 30 at John and Peters, New Hope, Pa., with Mr. Payday and Secretary Legs. Due in the fall from PVR will be the latest record by the rootsy two-piece Hidden Cabins …

Green Knuckle Material will kick off the Renaissance tour in support of their same-named 2017 EP on Aug. 9 at Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, with Jean Pool, Olive & the Pits, and Joyride sharing the bill. The tour then will take the New Brunswick-by-way-of-North-Jersey rap-rock act to Baltimore, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina before heading Aug. 18 to The Skate Foundry in Philadelphia. Then it’s Albany, Vermont and Massachusetts followed by Aug. 23 at Caffeine Underground in Brooklyn; Aug. 24, St. Babs, Cape May Courthouse, and concluding Aug. 25 at Evelyn’s, New Brunswick.

Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at

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Alabama Brings 50th Anniversary Tour To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Country music Hall of Famers, Alabama, are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a tour stopping at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on Saturday, January 19 at 8:00pm.  
Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer
(NEWARK, NJ) -- On Wednesday, October 10th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Rutgers-Newark hosts a Jazz Research Roundtable Presentation: Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer - A View into his 50 year Career in Jazz.  The presentation will take place in the Dana Room of the John Cotton Dana Library 4th Floor.  Admission is free.
State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

An Experience to Remember: Choir! Choir! Choir! LIVE! at Ocean County College
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Canadian musical duo that travels the world conducting live concert events where audience members learn original arrangements of pop music hits, practice them, and perform them live on the internet for the world to enjoy!
From the Ballpark to the Concert Stage: Bernie Williams LIVE! at The Grunin Center
Fans of sports and music are lining up outside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Saturday, September 8, 2018 for a concert by four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist/composer Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band!
“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018


Cafe Tacvba with special guest Ruen Brothers – Niu Gueis Tour 2018 @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Gonzo Conference" @ Donald G. Drapkin Studio at Lewis Arts complex, Princeton - 8:00pm

Joan Baez @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Record Club: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


West End Festival of the Arts- Children's Storytelling @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 4:00pm

View all events


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