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Columns By Bob Makin

Evolving from a two-piece to a full-fledged band, New Narratives drop the in-between with “To Build a Universe,” their six-song debut EP. The collection opens with the rousing “Uphill,” which lives up to its name by starting out as jangly acoustic pop ala Suzanne Vega or Natalie Merchant and about halfway through, kicks into a more energetic indie rocker along the lines of fellow Asbury Park act Dentist.... READ ON

Brittney Dixon is the youngest person ever to win the Makin Waves Tsunami Award, this 31-year-old column’s annual nonperformer recognition of the behind-the-scenes scenester who moved and shook the scene the most that year. That was in 2016 for single-handedly saving the Court Tavern from one of many near extinctions as its general manager and main promoter with her Brittney on Fire concert promotion.... READ ON

Wow! Young Ella Ross has released her third EP in as many years. “Is Anyone Listening?” continues with the danceable alt-pop, but shows a great maturity lyrically commenting on struggles in life and art, hence the title in an age when it’s difficult to get peers to put down their lattes and give a good listen to live music above a conversational level.... READ ON

Daughter Vision are a fun and fascinating mix of the theatrical glam of David Bowie, the art rock of Laurie Anderson, and the synth pop of Kraftwerk and Vince Clarke of Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure. If Robert Smith from The Cure and Siouxsie Sioux were married by Paul Jourgensen of Ministry, Daughter Vision would make the perfect wedding band.... READ ON








Bob Makin takes a look at the latest releases from Arlan Feiles, Chill Smith, and Matthew Whitaker in the Makin Waves Record Roundup.... READ ON

This week also features The Brighton Bar, Vendetta Rose, Solace, Pino’s, Banding Together Telegraph Hill Records, Dentist, The Skullers, Jackie June, Kathleen Elle, and Slee.... READ ON

Like 1960s into the early ’70s, the early ’90s were one of the most artistic time periods for rock music with bands, such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, Tool and Jane’s Addiction. Were it 1993, Baron Praxis might represent New Jersey within that circle of modern-rock royalty with their edgy hysterics, progressive pummeling and Sabbathy sludge. Since it’s crappy 2019 -- and what’s left of the music industry wouldn’t know good music if it bit it on its collective ass -- the Toms River-based band must bang it out in the local scene. ... READ ON

The energetic jangle of New Brunswick indie-rock veterans The Clydes returns with second full-length album on North Jersey-based Mint 400 Records and their third since 2015’s self-released “Hiding from the Summer.” Like its predecessor, 2017’s “So the Story Goes,” “Old-Time Monarchy” was produced by label head Neil Sabatino, who helps the band unlock a more vibrant sound fueled by the Johnson Brothers’ passionate vocals and lead guitar playing, respectively by Brent and Brian. The songwriting also is better this time out, perhaps because of a variety of keyboards to bounce off Brian’s ringing guitars, but also because the lyrics reflect on inner chaos as it relates to that of the world amidst the strange times in which we are living.... READ ON

With the progressive passion of Woody Guthrie, flashes of the poetry of Bob Dylan, the Americana grit of Bruce Springsteen, the singer-songwriter-instrumentalist sensibility of Jackson Browne, and the Ray Charles-inspired blue-eyed soul of Van Morrison, Jersey Shore-based, Los Angeles-bred Arlan Feiles has established himself as a respected artist worldwide with the release of five independent albums. But his sixth, “What Kind of World?,” is his best because he seems even more inspired with the recent birth of his first son to confront society’s ills with an eclectic palate of roots music, including gospel, soul, blues, folk and country. His view of the world through not only a father’s eyes, but also those of a child, is stunning in its beauty and might. ... READ ON

The Smithereens, bassist Mike Mesaros, singer-songwriter-guitarist Pat DiNizio, guitarist Jim Babjak and drummer Dennis Diken, will be inducted on Oct. 27 into the New Jersey Hall of Fame at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.... READ ON


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