Vacationing With THE BRIGANTINES!


Are you planning on soaking up the rest of the summer at the Jersey Shore? Maybe you say “F*ck the Jersey Shore” because you live in Malibu, CA? Well, whatever the case may be – you only have a short time left to wring out the last drips of awesomeness the summer has in store for you. I suggest you do it with The Brigantine’s full length debut, Vacation!, loaded on your iPod.

New bands that do the whole surf-rock thing usually get lost in obscurity. And to say that I’m an authority on surf-rock is a bit of a stretch, but I am probably more of a fan of the genre than most people you know. The Beach Boys may have brought surf rock to the forefront, but their music was bubbly pop compared to some of the other more pure surf rock bands that hit since the style’s inception. Truthfully though, there are a lot of bands that consider themselves “surf rock” but play a confusing mixture of garage rock and second rate rockabilly. But that’s not surf. You want examples? Start up a search on ReverbNation and you’ll hear what I mean. It’s rare to hear a modern day band capture the surf sound so dead-on. Simply put, The Brigantine’s do it most excellently.

There’s an ethereal quality in the best surf rock tunes and that texture is all over The Brigantine’s debut Vacation! A couple of weeks ago, the album hit local record stores as well as digital stores like Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, and iTunes (and streaming on Spotify). I gave Vacation! a few thorough listens during my version of surfing – navigating New Jersey’s Route 287 on my daily commute, and I got really into it. Not every single track blew me away, but there’s much more good than bad here. Let me tell you what I thought about some of the songs.

First, I found it very cool that they kick off the album with the title track “Vacation,” but they also include the instrumental version of the track at the end of the album. It’s a nice book end and it also emphasizes the scene that the title track sets. It makes me feel like I’m back on the beach in Brigantine gazing at that pink sky.

The bouncy and humorous “Ray-Bans” may be the one track that I associate with most. It’s about losing your sunglasses (possibly while surfing) which is something I do a lot (not while surfing). It’s a huge disaster for me so I know how it is. I love the line “…Maybe I should put up a sign,” have you seen my Ray-Bans? HAHA. Love it. Word is that the band has filmed a video for this song which is premiering soon!

For the surf rock aficionado’s out there, look no further than “Brigantine Barrel” and “Reeferone” – songs you can confidently fit into a playlist beside any classic surf track like “Miserlou,” “Penetration,” and “Pipeline.” If you’re not into the surf genre than these guys aren’t going to be for you, but maybe you’ll dig their cover of “Then She Kissed Me,” the re-worded version made popular by The Beach Boys and later by KISS. “Next Summer” is quite possibly the strongest track overall. The head bopping beat and yearning harmony is reminiscent of Jersey icons, The Smithereens.

I’m happy that New Jersey has a new surf rock band on the scene who has delicately produced an album that will go down in the Garden State’s rich musical history. Like I said, I feel that I’m qualified to recommend these guys to you for a few reasons. I once drank 4 Stunned Mullets in 10 minutes down on the beach in Asbury and came away with merely a slight headache. I once interviewed Dick Dale and he talked to me for over an hour and a half about everything you can possibly imagine. And last but not least, I don’t surf, but if I ever do, I’ll be bringing my Shark Repellent Bat-Spray because I’ve seen “Surf’s Up, Joker’s Under” about 346 times and those sharks ain’t nothin’ to f*ck with.

The songs on Vacation! remind me of those laid back summer days you get all nostalgic about. That said, if you’re in the mood for some tasty waves and good tunes, check out The Brigantine’s. If you can’t get to the beach, turn on the album, put on your headphones, and use your imagination.

*I’m hoping this is true: Their bio states that they are working on a Halloween single which is making me flip out. I want it NOW! I love when bands release Halloween tracks. I nearly passed out when Alice Cooper released “Keepin’ Halloween Alive,” so these guys will be on my annual Halloween playlist!

The Brigantines are: Aaron Leonovich, Vincent Minervino, Scott Saint Hilaire, Don Tojeira and they’ll be playing at the bonfire in Asbury Park this Friday night 8/24!  RSVP HERE:
Official site:
Twitter: @the_brigantines

Slippery When Wet’s 25th Anniversary

PhotobucketMany readers of The Sexy Armpit who don’t know me in real life think I’m always bashing Bon Jovi…and I am. The thing is, I’m a huge Bon Jovi fan at the same time. You see, Bon Jovi is not the same band as they were when I was growing up. The cool rock stars from a few miles down the road who lived and breathed rock and roll are long gone. I guess sitting on billions of dollars sucked all the coolness and rock and roll out of them too. The guys hungry for stardom who worked with famed songwriter Desmond Child in Richie Sambora’s basement once upon a time creating what would become one of the most iconic rock albums of all time have taken a wrong turn on the road to rock.

I want none of this “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” crap or this “(You Want to) Make a Memory” bullshit. The modern Bon Jovi completely ignores the hard edged pop rock they once produced because they believe it isn’t lucrative anymore. Let’s be honest – I think Bon Jovi would become even more popular than they ever were if they released a really kickass hard rock song with a catchy chorus like they used to do back in the ’80s. People worship those songs. Do you really think people hanging out in bars 20 years from now are going to be sliding dollar bills into a space age jukebox to hear “When We Were Beautiful?” F-ck no. They want to hear the good stuff!

It’s simple, if you want to relive some of Bon Jovi’s greatest musical achievements then go into your iTunes and listen to their 1986 album Slippery When Wet in it’s entirety. It’s one of the greatest rock albums of all time and it’s sold 28 million copies worldwide. Even if you’re not a Bon Jovi fan, respect must be given to this album for it’s prominence in pop culture. Go to a wedding, a beach bar, a barbecue, or sporting event and chances are you will hear a song from Slippery When Wet. You know them whether you like to admit it or not, here we go: “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Never Say Goodbye,” and of course the song that’s almost as popular with drunk women as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” – “Livin’ On a Prayer.” Oh and I can’t forget one of my personal favorites, a song I share fondness for with Barf from Spaceballs, “Raise Your Hands.”

And now, easily one of Bon Jovi’s greatest tracks:


New Misfits Album Hitting Stores In October

Arthur Suydam’s kickass cover art!

October 4th 2011 will be an exciting day for Misfits fans because it marks the release of the first full length Misifts album of new material in about ten years. Many fans abandoned the NJ horror punk group in recent years because of all the lineup changes and direction of the music. Personally, they’re still The Misfits to me and the fact that they’re keeping the spirit of the band alive is cool. But then again, I’d probably go to see KISS even if there were no original members left. What can I say, I like their music!

The album is called The Devil’s Rain and it promises to be a treat for those hardcore fans who hung in there. The album was produced by noted punk producer Ed Stasium and it’s said to be a return to the sci-fi themes and monstrous sounds of their past. The sale page describes the album as “not just a continuation of a historic legacy, it’s a total reboot ushering in a new era of terror.” Sounds good to me.

Also, if you bought the Misfits last 2 singles “Land of the Dead” and “Twilight of the Dead,” they have been re-recorded for this album. Recently the band dismissed Robo for Murphy’s Law drummer, Eric Arce, now known as “Chupacbra.” Hopefully they can stick with this lineup for a while.

I’m looking forward to this new album and it’ll be a great addition to my October playlist! Also look out for The Misfits LIVE on tour. Their Halloween show happens on Friday, October 28th 2011 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Click HERE for tickets!

KWT: Ethan Van Sciver’s “Guardian of Freedom”


This week Kip Winger Thursday kills two birds with one stone. Kip and NJ all in one.

In 2006, Kip Winger called upon comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver to create the cover art for Winger’s album, IV. The art was also released for sale in poster form.

In an interview on Comics Bulletin, Van Sciver reveals that he was born in Utah but grew up in South Jersey! He also admitted to having some unfavorable jobs in the art field before becoming the prominent comic book artist he is today. He told Comics Bulletin that he “…took a much envied job at the Cherry Hill Mall as a caricaturist. I had to wear a tuxedo, but I was ‘Goth’, so I also wore eye-makeup and a big clunky ankh around my neck, just under my bowtie.”

In addition to his own creation, the Cyberfrog comic book series, Van Sciver has worked on comics for DC and Marvel including Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and X-Men. Recently he’s done work on The Flash Rebirth and Blackest Night series for DC comics.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 5: Bon Jovi – New Jersey

Earlier today, just about 15 miles south of where I’m sitting at my computer Jon Bon Jovi hosted a fundraising engagement for Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention at his mansion on the Navesink River. According to the Associated Press article, it cost each of the approximately 100 attendants over $30,000 to be there. You know me, whenever Barack is brought up I can’t help but spew the obligatory word play. Like when I sit around and wonder if Jon Bon Jovi and Barack Obama were Barakken like Dokken and Baracking out with their cocks out! There’s about 2 people in the entire world who will get a chuckle out of that. It’s those 2 middle aged South Koreans whom I write this blog for.
For the past several years, Jon Bon Jovi has been heavily involved in fundraising for the Democratic party, but he’s also known to spread his benevolence around in various other ways. For instance, Jon Bon Jovi also donated $1 million dollars to the city of Newark, N.J to build housing for homeless people with special needs such as AIDS.

A while back in 1988, Bon Jovi did another cool thing for Jersey. The band released their 4th album and simply named it New Jersey. For those of you who were caught up in the “hair band” scene at that time then you know this album was pretty damn special. Perhaps, it was more special to those of us from Jersey. Imagine owning an album named after your state that featured colossal hits like “Bad Medicine,” “I’ll Be There For You,” “Born To Be My Baby,” and “Lay Your Hands on Me.” Those are songs you probably all know, some of you probably hate, but you ALL know how they go! Wikipedia confirms that New Jersey holds the record for most Top 10 singles from a rock album with 5! The record still remains. Let’s see if lamos like Daughtry and Nickelback can pull off something like that, huh?!?!
Even though Bon Jovi had successful albums prior to it’s release, New Jersey showed that mega stardom wasn’t going to make them turn their backs on the state that put them on the map. Naming the album after their home state illustrates how they revere N.J. It’s rare that people who have made it big from Jersey talk about it highly. Usually people can’t wait to move away and then immediately turn around and trash the state. They’ll rip N.J a new asshole without flinching AND in public no less. Fortunately, guys like Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Kevin Smith proudly admit they’re from Jersey. Even with all of New Jersey’s faults and underhanded reputation, they aren’t afraid to hail the state and give back to the community. When I first heard that Bon Jovi was naming his album New Jersey I thought that was one of the coolest things ever. It’s a moment that I consider a proud one no matter how minuscule it may seem.
Track to Download Now:
Bon Jovi’s New Jersey contains “99 In the Shade” and is one of Bon Jovi’s most underrated tracks!