The Wag, The Successful Failures, Tom Maroon
Got songs? Got harmonies? Got fun and unbridled enthusiasm? Then you’ve got The Wag! Hailing from the Bayshore area of New Jersey, this 4-piece unit has been entertaining and moving audiences for 25 years but still sounds as fresh as it did on day one! With 4 alternating lead vocalists, catchy melodies, and sophisticated harmonies, they will take you on a journey of pop rock delight!
The evolution of The Wag’s songwriting is evident on their latest recording, We Carry On. This full length release shows emotional maturity from a band that has several releases to their credit.
This upbeat high energy band are seasoned professionals. Whether performing in local establishments or opening for national acts such as Jason Mraz, Rick Springfield, Gavin DeGraw, Phillip Phillips, John Cafferty, Peter Tork, and Jefferson Starship, you’re always guaranteed a ‘Class A’ performance filled with catchy melodies, beautiful harmonies, and exciting showmanship. The Wag has a monthly residence at The Coffee House in Edison, NJ, and has taken part in regional and international tours, including England, Canada, and Japan. The Wag has also added an acoustic set to their repertoire, further diversifying their sound and allowing them to reach a larger audience.
The Wag performs some of the catchiest original songs around, and also has an extensive list of cover songs and are available for any type of situation, whether it be coffee house, private parties, house concerts, or theater shows. Whatever the event, if you want a fun, exciting, family-friendly band, then you want The Wag!
Brian Ostering – Bass and vocals
Alicia Van Sant – Keyboards, vocals, percussion, some flute, occasional guitar
Don Lee – Guitar and vocals
Don has been performing with The Wag since November of 2012. Please check out his solo career here.
Joshua Van Ness – Drums, percussion, guitar and vocals
Joshua has been performing with The Wag since August of 2015. Please check out his solo career here.
Arielle Strauss – Bongos
Ralph Capasso – Saxophone, drums and percussion
Michael Brett – Guitar and vocals
Erez Lirov – Trumpet
Joe Lisa – Violin
Ken Masson – Drums and percussion
Former Member: Dan Corboy – Guitar and vocals
Mike Smith Group
NJ/CT Space Rock 2.0
John and Peter’s Comedy Presents: Kristen Becker
Onstage and off, performer/producer/activist Kristen Becker’s role is that of instigator. She isn’t afraid of figuring things out on the fly, nor does she shy from developing projects for equally capable hands. As Becker puts it, “I’m pretty good at putting things together, getting them going, and then getting the fuck out of the way.”
Raised in conservative Shreveport, Louisiana, the Dykes of Hazard creator has opened for Ani DiFranco, contributed to The Advocate, and – between founding Nietzsche’s legendary Doin’ Time Comedy open mic and serving as first general manager of Helium Comedy Club – been featured on the cover of Buffalo News’ entertainment section as “Buffalo’s Queen of Comedy.”
As decidedly adult debut album How Could She? attests, Becker’s stand-up topics range from fisting to humanitarianism. With Pastor Jay Bakker (son of one Tammy Faye), in 2015 Becker embarked on an ideological exploration of the Deep South. Their Loosen the Bible Belt variety tour emphasized humanity over hypocrisy, offering unifying voices to bridge the gap between religious groups and LGBTQ communities. With a Loosen the Bible Belt documentary short on the horizon, Becker is excited to highlight an underground, self-produced circuit of freelance pastors preaching love and acceptance, notions that remain foreign to more sanctimonious pulpits.
The Bible Belt also loosened Becker’s organizational intuition. 2016 saw her founding the Summer of Sass, a nonprofit collective freeing young LGBTQ adults from damaging religious climates to live, work, and personally thrive in the liberal haven of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Vice called the experiment “the kind of formative experience that can change—or save—lives.” The Boston Globe agreed, lauding the environment as one where “gender is not an issue, where the specter of being bullied is not a daily fear.”
Between community sales of the artist-driven Resistance Coloring Book and a $25,000 grant from the Palette Fund, the mentorship program has doubled its number of participants, began assembling a board of directors, and sought permanent housing. As Becker sees it, telling kids “It gets better,” is a great start. But the ability to show them how much better things can be is another altogether. “It’s mind-blowing how quickly the impact begin to happen,” Becker marvels, “and these kids’ lives begin changing forever.”
2019 included producing the inaugural End of the Earth Comedy Festival. (“The theme is everything’s going to shit. Let’s laugh about it, but also how can we also make it better?”) Becker will also revisit her annual holiday character Sandy Claus, the “older, drunker, gayer” sister of St. Nick who offers audiences live seasonal fare somewhere on the spectrum between drag acts and The SantaLand Diaries. Sandy Claus began touring nationally, Christmas 2021.
The middle ground is where Becker feels most at home… and most useful. Her background, life experiences, and insight into seemingly disparate societies allow her to act as an open-minded translator. If she can identify as a bleeding-heart liberal as readily as she concedes a Right-leaning stance on firearms, then the Women’s Studies majors and rednecks of the world can also find common ground, for the good of the world. If she can help them share a few laughs in the process, even better.
“If I didn’t do it, no one else was going to,” Becker laughs. “Turns out I’m the lesbian for that job, too!”
Shaper*Rubix Pube*Mosin Nagant
MOUNTAIN BASED MUTANT ROCK
Vanessa Marchiano (Rev NES) – guitar/ vocals/ noisemakers
Rob Shepherd –
Allovous is a high energy rock band from Enfield, CT
The Pine Boys
Hailing from Albany, NY, The Pine Boys are an eclectic combination of jam, funk and hip-hop. They blend character driven story telling with memorable groovy riffs resulting in something truly their own. The group was founded by multi-instrumentalists Brett Maney and Andrew Cerone in 2016. When they started playing live in 2019 they added long time friend Sam Lasky on Keyboards. Since then they have played all over Upstate NY – anywhere from basements to outdoor amphitheaters.
Over twenty of their songs are part of an interconnected story universe set in the fictional town of “Vacationland”. Vacationland is also the place / mindset you travel to when you see the group in concert. They feel that seeing a live Pine show should serve as a time to take a vacation from your normal reality and temporarily venture into their world.
Vacationland (2022), Electric Minnow EP (2021), Deadass (2020), Cheese Vehicle EP (2020), Moving Furniture EP (2019), My Bad (2019), The Ghost Pine (2018)
Solid Bronze is the brainchild of two New Jersey musicians, Ian Everett and George Miller. The band began solely as a recording project as the two had bonded over their love for deep soul and funk music and were looking to tap in to a new sound. They wrote songs as a rhythm section, Miller on drums and Everett on bass or guitar. Friend, musician and songwriter Chris Harford was called in and took a producer’s role, leading to the recording sessions that took place over the next year at Mickey Melchiondo’s (Dean Ween of Ween fame) studio.
Their debut album “The Fruit Basket” is the result of a year of recording and mixing in and out Deaner’s studio. Guests such as Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton (Parliament/Funkadelic), Dana Colley (Morphine), Glenn McClelland (Ween), to name a few, were called in to the sessions to beef up the vibe. With clear influences from heavy soul and funk, out-there jazz & loud and swirling psychedelia to less obvious interests like reggae, library and exotica & hip hop, their music takes on different personas while still keeping its own identity.
Their first single “The Invisible Man” has met critical praise and features vocals by Atlanta based hip hop artist CLEW. and received the honor of a dub mix by the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry
The live band is comprised of Tommy Heutmaker on guitar, Mark Gallagher on baritone saxophone and Kerrin Pantelakis on vocals & percussion, with Miller on the drum set and Everett on bass guitar. They’ve been locking in and are making a name for themselves on the stage as they continue to play out supporting “The Fruit Basket”.
Long Time Rounders & DeLaVida
The Anderson Council*The Julia Kirk Band*The Make Three
Peter Horvath-Vocals, Guitar