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Columns By Bob Makin

The Cryptkeeper Five premiere their new single, a cover of The Sonics’ “Strychnine".... READ ON

Hackensack-raised teenage jazz keyboard phenom Matthew Whitaker comes into his own on his sophomore LP, “Now Hear This.” ... READ ON

Picking up where Brian Erickson’s previous power-pop band, The Paper Jets, left off, The Extensions – also bassist Kevin Newcomb (Fun While You Wait), drummer Pete Stern (Rose Boulevard) and keyboardist-vocalist Lisa LoVell (Dave Mooney & Viewers Like You) – bring their all-star skills to a debut EP, “Bellicose.” With a title that refers to the force with which members embrace their new project, the record will drop Sept. 20 on North Jersey-based Mint 400 Records with a release party at Asbury Lanes. Sharing that bill will be fellow 3143 Artist Management acts The Mercury Brothers, Arlan Feiles & the Brokenhearted, Deirdre Forrest & the Backseams, and Mooney’s aforementioned band. Arlan, Deirdre and Mooney are featured on the comp, but for some reason, The Extensions and The Mercury Brothers aren’t (at least not on the tracks that I received). ... READ ON

From the first seconds of the Phil Spector-meets-Brian Wilson-like symphonic surf-rock of the opening “Give it a Minute,” Lowlight had my full attention with their new LP, “Endless Bummer.” Complete with a sweet slack key-like steel guitar that follows a great childlike choir at the end of the track, “Give It a Minute” is the Makin Waves Song of the Week at, its “Radio Jersey” show, as well as Makin Waves’ Spotify and YouTube playlists. ... READ ON

​​​​​​​Levy & the Oaks are a relatively new band featuring four well-established veterans of the New Jersey music scene. Front man Levy Okun and bassist Lou Panico were in Drive-Thru recording act Socratic, and guitarists Chris Colon and Nick Ryan also are known respectively for their involvement in international Beatles tribute acts and Asbury faves Taylor Tote Band.... READ ON

I’ve always thought of The Parlor Mob as a hard rock band, not exactly Monster Magnet but continuing on that Pride of Red Bank tip. If I am correct in that assessment, their new album “Dark Hour,” their first full-length since the 2011 Roadrunner outing, “Dogs,” is quite a departure, half of which flirts with EDM.... READ ON

Bob Makin takes a look at the latest releases by Shut Up, The Anderson Council and From Good Homes in this month's Makin Waves Record Roundup.... READ ON

The Extensions will celebrate the release of their Mint 400 Records debut EP, ‘Bellicose,’ on Sept. 20 at Asbury Lanes.... READ ON

For more than a dozen years on half a dozen full-length albums, The Successful Failures have been a great, ragged, edgy mix of indie power pop and American-inspired roots rock. The 11-song “Saratoga,” their seventh collection on singer-songwriter-guitarist-keyboardist Mick Chorba’s own FDR Label, starts right off with that signature sound on the opening “Because We’re Ghosts.” The rollicking rumble ‘n’ ramble is a prime example of the band’s patented mix of The Beatles, The Replacements, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and The Rolling Stones.... READ ON

This week features the Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indie Binge, The Stone Pony, Stone Temple Pilots, The New Bardots, The Parlor Mob, Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Tribute, Asbury Park Music Foundation, Hip Hop Institute, Promise, Remember Jones, Dinosaur Stampede, Dw Dunphy. BlowUp Radio’s Banding Together Spondylitis Benefit, Asbury Park Porchfest, Amanda Rose Riley, Minor Setback, NJ Weedman’s Joint, Karyn Kuhl Band, Rick Barry, Glen Burtnik’s Summer of Love, Joe Nevolo and The Afraid Brigade.... READ ON

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