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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...2/1/18

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 02/02/2018

"We're 100 percent mediocre," says Doc Rotten guitarist/vocalist Wes Dzurkoc with a loud laugh; "I'd say we are punk rock but more melodic." 

Born from the remnants of past projects, these Hamilton, NJ rockers are a great combination of humble talented personalities and attitude. "We were in a band called Too Far Gone," explains drummer AJ Martinez"When that ceased to exist, me, Wes and Mike (Bassist/Vocalist Romanowsky) started this band just about a year ago." 

Influenced by a variety of musical genres, styles and players, this four piece unit has caught the attention of their fans, their families and people all across the country including Joel Spielman of BlankTV in Oregon who stumbled upon a video of theirs and instantly took a liking to the band. "Joel and Smitty," said a smiling Martinez;"Joel saw our video for, "Brass Tacks" and we exchanged some messages and then somehow I wound up calling him, I'm really not sure why (laughs) but we had this great personal conversation and we took a liking to him. The best part was that he believed in us and offered us help and wasn't asking for money for what he was doing. One of our main influences are The Bouncing Souls and two days before one of their shows, Joel somehow managed to get us press passes and so we got to hang out with those guys and it was great! The thing was though; we were supposed to do an interview and get some footage and I totally botched it.Then we saw Jennifer Osborn and I asked if we could film a segment with her for them guys and Wes had no idea how to work the camera or even take a picture with it so he pretended but we got close; however none of them saved to the camera. Joel was really cool about it and that solidified our faith in him so we hired him to be our PR guy (laughs)."

Bassist Romanowsky, Dzurkoc and Martinez all site The Bouncing Souls as a major influence on the group; however they also count, Green Day, Nirvana, Steppenwolf, Social Distortion, the Dropkick Murphys and even Elvis Costello as a lyricist as well. Newest member, guitarist Andrew Kerris lends a totally different feel to the line up as he brings a more traditional path to the unit. "First off," said a laughing Kerris, "I would like to say that we are actually wildly mediocre and not just mediocre; let's get that out there right away. I listened and still listen to Tom Morello, Freddie King, Segovia and even classical music but then I also really like Bruce Springsteen too. "We have a great mix of influences and Mike and Wes are great songwriters so it all comes together really well." 

As stated, Kerris is the newest member of the band but was very familiar with the group and had no trouble sliding right into the material. The group as a whole never seems to take themselves too seriously and rehearsals are kept light by their unique personas and outlooks. "Andrew is new to the band but he was very familiar with our material so he picked it up really quickly," elaborated Romanowsky. "Rehearsals overall though can be pretty hard, especially when two fourths of us aren't drunk (laughs)!" Kerris echoed those sentiments adding, "There's more jokes than music and a lot of laughter which obviously reflects in our performance and contributes to our wild mediocrity but seriously; come stage time, we buckle down and get it done." 

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They have just completed a five song EP, "Fallout," which is available now but they have a planned release party scheduled for March 30 at the Millhill Basement in Trenton with supporting acts Lamplighters and Cryptkeeper 5. "We had a six song EP and this one is going to be five," stated Martinez. "We worked with Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls before and he was really good to us. We just recorded a music video for our song, "Better Days" which was a lot of fun and insane in my house but we are happy with it." 

Perhaps one may understand these four fellas a bit better if one takes a look at them individually. They are funny, quick witted and support one another but like their influences have diverse fond memories of their time spent together. Let's take AJ for example who says that his favorite memory of the band was a certain Christmas show they did with Cryptkeeper 5 and  the local musician and owner of SRG Recording Studio Sean Glonek was, "Very complimentary" of the band. Perhaps it's Mike who says, "Well, being mediocre, I love the fact that people all over the world hear us." Both favorable in their own way but it is Andrew and Wes whom share a combined recollection that may sum up this foursome well. "Wes got drunk," he started with a laugh. "He got drunk after a show with a bunch of Russian guys who didn't speak any English but it didn't matter because they all seemed to be having a good time until Wes decided to slap one on the ass; that didn't go over well." 

With that, as Wes nodded with agreement and approval, laughter filled the rehearsal space and the topic turned to touring. The band has recently purchased a van and will be hitting the road for a few dates in Delaware, Detroit and Indianapolis before heading home to concentrate on the EP release and finalizing a tour which kicks off April 5 in Virginia. There are also possible stops in Texas, Missouri and Colorado as well. 

Doc Rotten is a driving, hard rockin', fun combination of punk, metal, classic rock, comedy and more with a twinge of grunge. They are interactive with their fans as well as approachable and likable; all ingredients when combined go a long way to creating a successful rock band. 

To discover more about Doc Rotten, please visit .

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!

This week's event listings

Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5555
Thurs. "Pasta and Sinatra Night"
Wed. 10 p.m. (TBA)
Arts Council of Princeton
102 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-8777
Sat. 1 p.m. "Gallery Talk" w/ Patrick McDonnell of MUTTS. (Free admission)
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-0192
Thurs. 9 p.m. Trivia
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke Contest (Cash prizes)
Ages 21+
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia  Jam
Wed. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Shaun Ruymen
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Greg Farnese Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 7 p.m. David Dales Trio
Sun. (12 p.m.) Brunch w/ Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Fermenters Trio
Wed. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room
19 E. Union Street Burlington
(609) 733-356
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Shorty Rock
Sat. 9 p.m. Behn Gillece
Bung's Tavern
2031 Route 130 South Burlington
(609) 499-1355
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Karaoke
Candlelight Lounge
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
Thurs. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton, Kim Robinson, Bob Smith, Rich Gerster. $5 (Includes buffet)
Sat. 3 p.m. (TBA) $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet)
Tues. 6 p.m. "Tuesday Jazz Jam" Open Session feat. James Stewart / Tom Littwin Trios. $5 (Lite appetizers)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia
City Streets
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Sat. 9:30 p.m. ArHouse
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie & Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval
125 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. "The Super Bowl of Indie Rock 'N' Roll" 

Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 9 p.m. DJ Jason Byrd / "Beer Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Gypsy Mother
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Dubbs
Sun. 6:30 p.m. "Super Bowl Tailgate Party" $15 (Includes Buffet)
Tues. 5 p.m. "Twilight Tuesdays-Sounds of the Oldies" w/ J-Dubbs Music
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Christine Smith
Diamond's of Hamilton
661 Route 33 Hamilton
(609) 981-7900
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Grace Field
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Dane Rosenfeld
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Funky Friday Happy Hour" (9 p.m.) Monaco and Robinson
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Gypsy Mother
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Jazz Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton
Wed. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
(609) 716-8771
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
(215) 862-9897
Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Beat The Clock Night"
Fri. (8:30 p.m.) Protocol 4. Doors at 6:30 p.m., $75 (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (8 p.m.) "The Sibling Rivalry Tour 2018" Hannah Wicklund & the Stepping Stones." Ages 21+, Doors at 6 p.m., $15 (Advance/$20 door) (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. 1 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Showcase" Hosted by Pat Foran feat. Corey Ross-Jenkinson, Chelsea Carlson
Hopewell Theater
5 South Greenwood Avenue Hopewell
(609) 466-1964
Fri./Sat. 7 p.m. "The Final Year"

Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
(609) 466-9889
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. Catmoondaddy
Fri. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Hopewell Valley Vineyards Jazz Ensemble
Sat. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Victor Tarrasov
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Darla and Rich

Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(267) 914-4517
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Sat. 9:30 p.m. All Lit Up
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Audio Pilot
Sat. 2 p.m. Ed Wilson & Carol Brooks 
Sun. 2 p.m. The Williamsboy

Ivy Tavern
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. The Ernie White Band
Sat. 9 p.m. Soul Custody
All shows 21+
Jake's Eatery
869 Bustleton Pike Richboro, PA
(215) 322-6787
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. "Ladies Night" w/ Julian Roso
Sat. 9 p.m. Ash & Snow
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Night
John & Peter's
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Dominy
Sun. 6 p.m. "Superbowl Party" Ages 21+, food/drink specials. 
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic.
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
(609) 586-1166
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Winter's a Beach Party" w/ Jimmy & The Parrots 
Sun. 6 p.m. "Superbowl Party" (Dink/food specials) 
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out"
Sat. (10:30 a.m.) "Vinovinyasa w/ Mettamade" (1 p.m.) The Half Brothers (7 p.m.) "Awesome 80's Dance Party" 
Sun.1 p.m. Roundabout 360
Logan Inn
10 West Ferry Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2300
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Cancer Fundraiser" w/ Colleen Ryan
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Ed Wall
Sat. 7:30 p.m. Stephanie Chin
Sun. 11 am "Jazz Brunch" feat. David Dales Trio
Mamma Rosa's
572 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider
McGuinn's Place
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence
(609) 392-0599
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Ages 21+
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 10:30 p.m."Beer Pong" w/ DJ RV & MC Slim
Fri. 9 p.m. Fish Out Of Water
Sun. 6:30 p.m. "Superbowl Party" $50 
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Kirchner Entertainment
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Fri. 9 p.m. Bryan McPherson, Matthew W Charles, T.Gunn, Real Rude Dude Girl. $8
Sat. 8 p.m. Erotic Novels, Alpha Rabbit, Brian Erickson, Wax Wav, Caruso. 
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase
Mojito Cuba Caribe
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA
(267) 740-2900
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Chris
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
(215) 794-2331
Fri. 8 p.m. "Eric Clapton Tribute" w/ Bell Bottom Blues. Ages 8+, Doors at 7 p.m., $30
Nook's PourHouse
2043 Route 130 South Florence
(609) 447-0927
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
Nottingham Tavern
9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square
(609) 587-6623
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Super Dave
Fri. 9 p.m. Jerry Monk & Joe Kramer w/ Diane Chiorello
Sat. 9 p.m. Fast Ant Duo
Wed. 5 p.m. "Weekend Warm-up" w/ DJ Chris Barlow
Ages 21+
O'Connor's American Bar & Grille
1383 Monmouth Road Mt. Holly
(609) 261-1555
Fri. 6 p.m. "Blue Moon Glass Painting" 
Sun. 6 p.m. "Superbowl Party" w/ giveaways, buffet at the half. Free admission
Old Town Pub
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 291-9232
Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 8 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
Patriots Crossing
1339 River Road Titusville
(609) 737-2780
Fri. 8 p.m. DT & the Burnerz
Sat. 8 p.m. The Bellevue Band
Parx Casino (360 Bar)
2999 Street Road Bensalem, PA
(888) 588-7299
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Latin Night" w/ DJ George Dennis
Fri.(9:30 p.m.) Amish Outlaws (10 p.m.) DJ Paul Desisto
Sat. (5 p.m.) Plush (9:30 p.m.) LeCompt (10 p.m.) DJ Eric Vanderslice
Sun. 8 p.m. Bob Nelson

Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Suspects
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Gyrl Band
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Check web site for upcoming events

Rossi's Bar & Grill
2110 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
(609) 890-2004
Thurs. 7 p.m. Ernie White
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
(609) 419-4200
Fri. 8 p.m. (TBA)
Sat. 8 p.m. (TBA)
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-4377 x2
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Rainbow Fresh
1867 Sanctuary
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. "Sound of Silence-A Journey Into the Landscape of Your Being" A guided Meditation w/ Beth Long. 
Fri. 8 p.m. Magnolia Street String Band. $20 
Sat. 8 p.m. Stanley Alexandrowicz. $20

Tara's Tavern
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. karaoke w/ Big Daddy G

Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
Temperance House
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8050
Thurs. 7 p.m. Blues Open Mic Hosted by Steve Guyger
Fri. 7 p.m. Steve Guyger
Sat. 7 p.m. Sister Blue
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo w/ Righteous Jolly
The Cellar Lounge
30 Route 156 Hamilton
(609) 581-6782
Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Between Sleep and Awake

The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
(609) 291-7020
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Tues 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. (TBA)
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius the First
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Pines Tavern
6217 North Radcliffe Street Bristol, PA
(215) 788-1659
Sat. 9 p.m. Slim & the Perkolators
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
The Raven
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2081
Thurs. (5 p.m.) Russell Eiffert (10 p.m.) All Male Revue
Fri. (9 p.m.) Michael Ferreri (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (5 p.m.) Russell Eiffert  (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Mon. 9:30 p.m. "Lipstick Monday" Drag Show
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Please check web page for upcoming events.
The Roost
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050
Check web site for upcoming schedule

The Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday" w/ DJ Chillio
Fri. 9 p.m. Deep Release
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Cure Insurance Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
The Sycamore Grill
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA
(215) 908-6326
Thurs. 8 p.m. Jonathan Ashe
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Bob Rotondo Band
Sat. 8 p.m. Monique and Bob Rotondo
Third State Brewing
352 High Street Burlington
(609) 387-1620
Sat. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by John Johnson

Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Sat. 9 p.m. The Williamsboy
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine Street Trenton
(609) 392-6000
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic.
Sat. 10 p.m. "Buzzed Saturdays" w/ Bockman
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Happy Hour" w/ Jay Kountree (Live DJ all night)
Fri. 7 p.m. "First Friday" feat. "Love Themed" Artwork by Leon Rainbow w/ music by DJ It's Just Ahmad
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny P
Wed. 6 p.m. "Jazz & Sushi Night" w/ Dick Gratton
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. Some Assembly Required. $5 (cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Panic Moon. $5 (cover charge)
Sun. 6 p.m. "Superbowl Party"
All shows 21+
Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 10 p.m. (TBA)
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock Night
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Tues. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson  

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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