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I created the NJ Avant-Garde for my Online Journalism class at Rowan University. Even though this semester has come to a close and I no longer need to keep this blog going, I love what it has become and will definitely continue work on it.

Check out a few of my “greatest hits” so far:

Hey Market Riot plays in Glassboro: Jesse Riddle rocks a Tom Morello cover

Pour Soul acoustic performance on Radio NJ/AG: Aaron Smith plays live and talks real

AK47Million on Radio NJ/AG: Alex Kiedaisch talks about the style of his electronic music

Waiting at the Bus Stop: The Bus Stop Cafe in Pitman, NJ – Great coffee, great music, great people.

Sweet Dee is No Deadbeat!: DeAnna Munger talks promotion in todays music scene


Tyler Zlatkus on Radio NJ/AG

Tyler out front of the Barrington Coffee House ©JLIII

I ran into Tyler Zlatkus at the Barrington Coffee House. He had been in town for the past week and was finishing up his stay by playing one last open mic. Just the night before he had played (and even hosted because Mike Romano didn’t show up) the open mic at The Treehouse Coffee Shop.

Tyler’s music is reminiscent a of classic rock singer/songwriter. He lists some of his biggest influences as: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd.

He just recently recorded his six song EP, Pendulum, featuring songs such as, “Puppet Man”, “Forget You” and the title track, “Pendulum” which can be found throughout the audio interview below.

Zlatkus started really getting into music during high school where he formed a band with a good friend of his called The Dimensions which he called, “more of a trippy, psychedelic band.” His friend, “looked just like Jimi Hendrix and played just like him so he couldn’t stand not playing any Hendrix covers.”

At the age of 17, straight out of high school, Zlatkus moved out to live on his own. “I’ve always been very independent,” he said. Living on his own wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be so he produced local bands in Washington to afford rent for a while.

He was living with Josh Jones at the time. They lived together for a year and created a few bands over that time period. Zlatkus became heavily influenced by the Beatles at this time and soon earned their entire catalogue.

Naturally, they started a Beatles cover band called British Export, which has gone on to be a three-time winner of the Liver Pool Beatles Fest in Europe. They played for the remainder of Zlatkus’s stay at their apartment. Ultimately, the two had a falling out and Zlatkus not only moved out but also left the band.

“I really enjoy playing music for people and letting them take the spotlight as well but my solo stuff is always just me,” he explained. “I wrote a lot of my older music when I was happy. My first album can be condensed down to one girl, just about,” he said while laughing.

Tyler plays the Barrington Coffee House ©JLIII

“About five days before I came here to Jersey I played an open mic called the Mandolin Cafe. I met this producer named Anthony who needed studio musicians. So, I layed down some bass on a few tracks he already had and he offered to record my album [Pendulum] for free!”

Because of Zlatkus’s background with recording and producing, as well as his many instrumental talents, he basically created his entire album by himself. “He checked in on me in the studio here and there, but It was really all just me.”

He recorded his EP in only 5 days so that he would have something to sell when he came to New Jersey. Unfortunately, he did not prove to be a good salesman.

“I tried selling them here but no one will buy them so I’ve given about 30 away so far.”

He was asking only five dollars for the CD so I decided to buy one. After purchasing it I asked him how much it actually cost him to make the CD.

“It didn’t cost me anything [to record the album]. It was just five days of hard work. Plus, the whole, lifetime of learning an instrument and that’s a lot of work too.”

I guess he’s right in that regard, musicians do need to master their art in order to make money, and Tyler has certainly done that!
Check out my interview with him!

Tyler plays “Pendulum” out front of the Barrington Coffee House ©JLII

The Barrington Coffee House Rocks

The Barrington Coffee House ©JLIII

Every Thurday night, Scott ‘Trif’ Trifeletti runs the Wide Open Mic at the Barrington Coffee House.  This open mic is always packed every week. Their website even says that the open mic runs from, “8pm until it’s over.”

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Barrington. The artists are always diverse and the coffee is always brewed right.

At the end of every open mic, usually around 12:15 or so, Trif gets a few artists to play together and have a jam session. I’ve joined in on a few end of night jams before.  It’s one of the most unique open mic experience because it is always different artists from an array of genres.

This weeks artists did a fantastic job! Check out the  slideshow below!

Rick McGuire & Michelle Biehl, ‘Color of Skies’ w/Gerry Thompson & Arthur Herrmann followed by Tyler Zlatkus (from WA!)

************  Known for the Best in Great LIVE Music!  ************

Scheduled Friday and Saturday night shows @ The Barrington Coffeehouse

Reservations @ 856.573.7800 For Any Show Taken Anytime!

Contacts & Bookings 


Live on Radio NJ/AG: Hey Market Riot covers Tom Morello

Hey Market Riot plays for pennies in Glassboro ©JLIII


Red Sea Affair on Radio NJ/AG (Video)

Red Sea Affair’s Myspace  Red Sea Affair’s Facebook

Check out a few of their influences like Emery, Brand New, and The Mars Volta!


Good Times and Tunes @ The Tree House

I stopped by the open mic at The Tree House Coffee Shop in Audobon, NJ. Every week you’re guaranteed a good time!

Noah Hammond enjoys some nicotine outside The Tree House ©JLIII

Grabbin’ some grub @ The Tree House ©JLIII

The food is always delicious! I went for a grilled cheese this time around.

The Treehouse has a very diverse group of musicians that have come in and out over the years. I had the pleasure of watching Willie Stavely perform  his unique folk style. I caught up with him after his set and he gave me his card. It turns out he is also a very skilled carpenter that makes custom hand-carved wooden marionettes and dancing puppets.

Willie Stavely ©JLIII

The Tree house has such a warm and inviting environment that you immediately want to grab a cup of joe and stay awhile.

Mike Romano, host of the Treehouse Open Mic, plays an interesting instrument called the Hammer Dulcimer and he plays it very well. Check it out!
Mike Romano plays @ The Tree House ©JLIII

The Tree House ©JLIII

Stop by their website and check out the menu! Don’t miss their open mic every wednesday!


Pour Soul acoustic performance on Radio NJ/AG

I had the pleasure of sitting down for an acoustic session with Aaron Smith of Pour Soul. He explains to me what Pour Soul’s motivation is and his lyrical style. He played for me two tracks that he plays with the band and also played a few of his original tracks.

Photo © Derek J


Jersey Makes Good Musicians

As I wandered through the web today, I did a little research on the New Jersey music scene. I had no idea so many talented artists had come from this beautiful state. Here are just a few I found. Disregard the obvious ones and see which ones you didn’t know.

©nj.greateststateever.com


The Dying Times on Radio NJ/AG

The Reverend stands tall in these dying times ©JLII

Rev. Mark Ansell, of The Dying Times shares with me his version of Folk Punk and talks about his influences.

Ansell serenades me before we record ©JLII

The Dying Times recording in my "studio" ©JLII

All Music ©The  Dying Times

Background track: The Viking Road Chronicles II


Like Bullets from an AK: AK47Million on Radio NJ/AG

Alex Kiedaisch of AK47Million talks about his music and explains what music means to him.

Now playing on Radio NJ/AG:

All music ©AK47Million

* “Sounds Fun” featuring Matt Keane AKA Matty Bones

AK grabs the mic in his recording studio ©JLIII