The March 2014 episode of Lamplighter News, featuring coverage of Backroom Studios first show ever. Filmed, edited, and animated by Jordan Weinrich.
The February 2014 episode of Lamplighter News, featuring an interview with Handed to the Thousands. Filmed, edited, and animated by Jordan Weinrich.
The December 2013 episode of Lamplighter News, featuring an interview with Buddy Nielson of Senses Fail. Filmed, edited, and animated by Jordan Weinrich.
Covering NJ’s music scene has been a staple for Lamplighter since the beginning, and we love that the scene is vibrant and always changing. Whether you’ve been following us for a while or you only just found us, we’d love for you to get to know our approach to keeping up with NJ music.
Meet our Music Editor
Mike King joined Lamplighter in the spring of 2012 as Music Editor. He graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in English Writing. He enjoys singing for My Eyes Fall Victim and the occasional foray into independent filmmaking. Feel free to contact Mike with any new press releases, new music, and interesting information about your band by e-mailing Music@LamplighterNJ.com. Bands are sometimes curious why Mike hasn’t e-mailed them back. The truth? He spends a lot of time sorting through e-mails from bands, PR companies, show promoters, and countless others thinking their e-mail to him is as important as yours. The short answer is: If we’re going to write about you, he’ll most likely let you know. Every message we receive is important to us, but we simply can’t review everyone with the love and attention they deserve. Bands and artists from outside of NJ (which means NYC too) be warned…you’re not really our thing. If you’re a NJ band claiming to be from Brooklyn, now would be a great time to reclaim your true roots.
Features & Reviews
We run two types of articles regarding music on Lamplighter: features and reviews. When we’re writing feature articles, we love to cover the full spectrum of the scene. From bands engaged in conceptual projects, to grassroots non-profits supporting young artists, to people rebuilding the scene’s beloved businesses, our mission is not to simply acknowledge that people are making music…that’s obvious enough. We want to show you that there are ends to the music scene that engage the community and the art in exciting ways. We also want to write openly and honestly. Take for example Mike King’s article “Why You Should Be Upset Trees Above Mandalay Is No Longer Making Music“. It’s not an easy or comfortable piece to read. But because we at Lamplighter are active members of the musical landscape we write about, know that our opinions aren’t as overbearing gatekeepers but as friends singing along in the pit.
Our reviews are generally quick and clean (though sometimes we get deliciously wordy), getting right to the essence of the music. The truth is (as explained above) we get a lot of music sent to us, so it’s rare that we’ll print a negative review. Oftentimes these reviews are sketches of the music as much as they are critical–we don’t want to turn you off to these artists, but draw you in. Once we tweak our system a bit, we’ll be adding ratings too! We’re hoping this will clue you in more quickly to the music we’ve really enjoyed. Since we’ve updated the website, we’ve added streaming music players at the end of our reviews. Two great examples are our recent reviews of Trees Above Mandalay and By Surprise.
We are opening up a project that has, for many months now, been in-process behind closed doors and tight lips. Lamplighter will be starting the first ever (as far as we can find!) NJ-exclusive music chart. In collaboration with local radio stations, we will be tracking the real on-air radio plays of music from artists all over the state. In an effort to make sure the pool of music is broad, deep, and accessible, we will also act as a distributor for local musicians to these stations. This will ensure every station has access to the same new releases, the same persistent library of music, and information on bands from the entire state, rather than have each station work to seek out these artists on their own.
NJ’s Top Artists: September 2013
Artist Song Album This Could Be Your Band Your Song Your Album
This entire project is completely FREE to any musicians or radio stations interested in participating. Lamplighter’s goal here is truly not to profit, but to promote the local music scene by dramatically expanding its audience. We think it’s not only important but beneficial to NJ’s radio stations to invest in the state’s musicians–Lamplighter aims to make this unbelievably easy. We’ll be releasing much more detailed information about this in the coming weeks, but any musicians interested in getting involved right away can e-mail our Charting Director, Mike Castellucci, at Charts@LamplighterNJ.com for more information.
Welcome to the all new LamplighterNJ.com!
We here at Lamplighter are extremely excited about the new website because it not only marks an occasion where we’ll be able to deliver content in a better format than we ever have before, it also marks the starting point for new types of content and the beginning of new plans for Lamplighter as an organization. Throughout the month, we’ll be explaining in greater detail what you’ll be able to find. As a brief overview, here’s what we’ll be showcasing on the website from now on:
We’ve always published features about NJ’s musicians, artists, and writers. Now with our new format, these feature articles will be more dynamic and (we think) eye-catching. You’ll see more images, fancy quotes, and side content that was only before available in the print magazine. Dive into our archive now and see what we mean as we’ve updated some of our older content to fit the new layout.
Just like our feature articles, we’ve always published reviews of local music releases, giving you some insight into what we think of the scene’s work. However, we’ll soon be implementing a brand new rating system that will allow us to rate and rank albums in a standard way. Check out our latest review of Trees Above Mandalay and see that we’re now also embedding music players from the artists’ Bandcamp pages, giving you easy listening access to the music we’re reviewing.
What was once our Poetry section is now Literature, and we’re opening up that section to the full range of creative writing: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. In time, we’ll release a call for submissions after which we’ll publish chosen submissions online at different intervals and in the next print issue of the magazine.
Our Columns page highlights all the op-ed content Lamplighter curates: Michael Mantovani’s rock & roll blog The Everyman Psychedelic, Lamplighter’s guest opinion essay State of the Scene, and exclusive episodes of NJ’s most insane podcast, Two Guys One Mic.
We LOVE our photographers! They’ve done amazing work for us, and we want to make sure they have a space to showcase that work online. Our Galleries page is where you’ll find photo sets from the staff of Lamplighter. Whether from a photo shoot we set up, an event we held, or just an event we attended, we’ll be posting regular collections to the Galleries page. Keep your eyes peeled for ‘Media Round-ups’ in our news section, where we’ll discuss all of the new photo galleries and Videos we’ve posted to the website.
Along with our fantastic team of photographers, Lamplighter has acquired a number of videographers as well! Similar to our Galleries page, under Videos, we’ll be posting footage from our events and others, as well as interviews, features, and much, much more.
If you’re wondering where our Culture articles have gone, we can safely tell you they have not disappeared! While we are no longer looking to publish articles about the variety of interesting alt culture in NJ (as much as we really, really love it), we have to accept that our focus as an organization is truly artistic. All of our past culture articles can still be found by either searching our website or browsing through the Archives.
The Road Ahead
We will be posting many more in-depth details, statements from the staff, and a lot of new content as we move through September. You can stay updated by checking LamplighterNJ.com daily, following us on Twitter, or liking us on Facebook for regular notifications as we publish new material. Please let us know what you think of the new website by leaving a comment below or by sending us a message on our Contact Us page.
Thanks for visiting! And we hope you keep up with us throughout our transformation.
I have terrible stage fright. As soon as I know someone’s watching me, my heart starts racing. I stumble over my words. I get all sweaty. There’s a weird buzzing in my head. Clearly, I’m a behind-the-scenes kind of girl. It’s what makes me a good editor, but you can imagine that it makes writing a very public note a little nerve-wracking.
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone because I believe in what we do here at Lamplighter. In the few months that we’ve existed as a magazine, I have met more passionate and talented people than I’ve come across in most of my life. I could attempt to deconstruct what I love so much about New Jersey and our scene–the musicians, artists, venues, shows and exhibits and readings–but I won’t be doing any favors for the alternative community by talking about the bits and pieces. What really has me so excited about being a part of this is the overall atmosphere that surrounds these people and these places. There is a certain energy, an undercurrent that connects all of the people who make up the scene, solely for a love of sharing music and art.
To take part in New Jersey culture is to enter a recursive relationship that constantly feeds off of itself, because our community is a place in which these needs are recognized and embraced. We understand each other here. Even with such divergent and obstinate (let’s face it, some stereotypes are true) perspectives in the mix, we choose to focus on what we share instead of what separates us. And there are so many things that make up our collective identity that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else.
So yes, I can rattle off a list of names, places, and events that make us amazing, but if that’s all I can, do I’ve missed the whole point entirely. And the fact that you’re reading this tells me you understand that point. You’re a part of this, too. Maybe you’re one of the incredible contributors who’ve helped to make our first print issue a reality. Maybe you’re one of the people who helps to create that energy I’m talking about. Or maybe you just live here and you like what our magazine is doing. Whoever you are, thank you for your role in this – for making this magazine a new and essential part of the community.
My name is Dhruvin Dave and I’m the Marketing Director for Lamplighter. Even though I graduated with B.Sc in Finance and BA in Economics, my true passion has always been for the arts. As a young kid, I grew up under the artistic influence of my grandparents, who spent their free time devoted to painting, writing, directing (small dramas/plays), and practicing classical Indian music. I still remember filling out notebook after notebook with notes for melodies, songs and poems, sketches, doodles…all of it while doing (or not really doing) homework for school.
Business school and work took over most of my life during my 2nd year at William Paterson University, and I slowly started to lose my love and passion for artistic expression. But, fatefully, meeting Patrick and Nadia in my last semester in college turned that around. With the potential of being exposed to and learning about new genres of music and exploring new arts and culture(s), my burning passion for the arts has definitely been reignited. Despite of working full-time in the finance industry, I decided to join Patrick, Nadia, and Megan to bring an idea, Lamplighter, to life.
Lamplighter exposed me to a great community of alternative music and culture that I was unaware of until now. Though it has been difficult to appreciate certain genres more than others (I never listened to hardcore before my involvement with Lamplighter), it has encouraged me to expand my personal interests. Working with great friends while getting to meet new, amazing people has been a truly wonderful experience. Learning so much about the scene, it only feels right to give back to the community by helping to spread it to people like myself, those who might not even be aware of the amazing talents that are homegrown!
Though we’ve met our campaign goal, we can still collect donations until March 19th, so I encourage anyone who is interested to take the time to pick up a copy of the magazine through IndieGoGo while you still can. Any donations beyond this point will only improve the quality of the magazine, and a better first issue can only set us in motion for a better future.
And thanks to everyone who has supported us so far!