The following article was written by Mike "K" Kryskowiak, who runs the blog hubcitynoise.blogspot.com.
We all know that New Brunswick has had its share of DIY/punk bands over the years, Bouncing Souls, Hub City Stompers, Screaming Females, etc, but what about the bands that never blew up?
Since roughly mid-2004, I've been hitting up shows in basements, burrito shops, and bars, and bringing along my camera. What started as just a way to preserve the moment for myself turned into a long-running compulsion to record as much as possible. For the most part, I'd film local bands that had my friends as members, later expanding to whole shows (or at least as long as my battery lasted). Sometime in 2008, I decided to try and make a video compilation, and what started as a small fun project quickly became overwhelming. Surely nobody would want to sit through a 4-dvd, 8 hour pile of 40 different bands. I gave up. Then, in September 2010, I thought, why the hell not? I'll start a video blog. Armed with my crappy camera, some cheap-o video editing software, and the YouTubes, I started sifting through a few hundred gigabytes worth of material and started posting.
After being asked to choose just 8 videos for this post, I did the same thing, except over about a week instead of a year. Choosing just 8 was difficult, so, New Brunswick residents, bear with me. There are lots I wish I could have included, but in the interests of brevity, I'll get started now. (Read the rest after the jump.)
First up, here's the Magnet City Kids. According to Heydog, the drummer, they formed around 2002 with members of The Atomic Missiles and went through a few iterations over the years, eventually going on hiatus in early 2009. I had a few moments to choose from, but I figured playing live outside on April Fool's Day 2005 simply felt right. Here's all of the set that I caught before running out of battery power:
Magnet City Kids
Next up, another former New Brunswick resident, Door, plays as Earth Crown at Castle Puppy, a basement in town in October 2007. Door's departure to Baltimore was a huge blow to the noise scene in town. Also on that show (or at least that week) were Kites, Black Pus, and Jessica Rylan.
Keeping in the noise theme of that last video, this next one is a purposely out-of-focus set by ASPS in January 2008. In this incarnation, we've got Kevin Winter of 2673, King Darves of Jenny Haniver and King Darves fame, Tonio of Hikikomori, and RSK of Philadelphia's Slow Tongued Beauty.
Another live outside set, this time it's Pots and Powercells on 10 September 2010 in Sewaren, NJ. More a collective than a band, the core members are mostly based out of New Brunswick/Highland Park with others in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Texas and started playing under the NJ Transit bridge in Highland Park in the late summer of 2009. In this lineup, we've got members of the Mike Bruno Black Magic Family Band, Summer Dresses, Bog Body, Post Shower Drip, and countless other one-off projects. Goes good with the color "burgermint."
Pots and Powercells
Moving on from noise jams, Bog Body was the next in a long line of heavy jams, including members of the now-defunct Doomsday Sleepover, Vehm, Waste Gates, and a number of others. This set's faster than usual, since it took place in a metal-smelting workshop on one of the Rutgers campuses in January 2011.
The Human Adult Band, the longest-running band in this list, has been playing "since October 2002 and has featured a revolving door of members from experimental, rock and noise acts, Buckets and Batteries,
Gorgot and Magnet City Kids," to quote Trevor Pennsylvania, the man behind the band and dihd.net. Also, the only set recorded not within 10 miles of town, this was at the Charleston Pub in Brooklyn, NY.
Human Adult Band
I feel a bit guilty since this next band lives in Brooklyn, but I can get away with it because Jaime, their drummer, has played in several New Brunswick bands from 2004-2008. Also, it's not every day you go out and see a 13th-century cover band playing a noise/punk show. I simply couldn't resist. Playing at the now defunct McCormick's Irish Pub, a longtime punk rock dive bar, here's AOI:
And to finish us off, The Bewilderness is where you end up when you take members of The Atomic Missiles, Magnet City Kids, and the Invincible Gods, feed them whiskey, and plug them in. From October 2011 at the Loft, another long-running staple location where there are still flyers from shows in the '90s stuck to the wall, unheard of in the superlegal New Brunswick music scene.
The full versions of these videos and over a hundred others can be seen on my blog, hubcitynoise.blogspot.com, which I update somewhat regularly.
-Mike "K" Kryskowiak