Local Scene Says Goodbye to Brad’s Shows


Hundreds of the area’s most devoted music fans swarmed to Skater’s Choice Saturday for one final night of punk rock hosted by longtime staple, Brad’s Shows.

It doesn’t take much for an entire decade to slip by since the very first time teens rushed to  Choice Inline Arena to watch their best friend’s band kick ass on the rink.  Despite the lack of side bangs and excessive black eyeliner, not a lot has changed within our own native tri-state scene over the years.

The same exact vibes flew through the set; some mixture of adrenaline and early 2000’s pop-punk fueled angst… Except this time intertwined with raging nostalgia, forcing each individual to acknowledge the fact that this whole local scene thing has turned out to be a pretty big deal.

“It felt great for me and the guys to play where it all started with Brad” says One Foot Forward and Carry Along the Coastline bassist Vince Ciafardoni, “For me it was my first place that I’ve ever played and it really was a special moment I’ll never forget.”

The final Brad’s Show event lasted roughly 6 hours, featuring the area’s most respected acts from Skank Week to Far Beyond the Sunrise and a special surprise set from Vacate.


Brad’s Show is set to be taken over by Harry Oelenschlager, who will continue to book shows at Red Dwarf Studios in Sewell, NJ.

Many Bradboozle attendees took to social media after the show, expressing their gratitude for Brad and all that he has done for the scene.



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So thank you Brad Kelsey for providing a platform; on which friends are made, opportunities are presented, and memories are made that will last a lifetime.


New Jersey Residents Welcome Summer At Spring Tide Festival in Stone Harbor

Hey all! So over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten the chance to explore New Jersey together. From museums to underground concerts, I think it’s safe to say it is perfectly possible to ball on a college budget around here. However, as the summer and warm weather approaches, a whole new spectrum of affordable activities come into play.

New Jersey is home to roughly 130 miles of coastline (holy crap!!) giving us a huge variety of beaches. A day at the beach is probably the most obvious way to have fun without spending money, but there are other free things to do “down the shore” too!

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Stone Harbor’s annual Spring Tide festival. It took place on Saturday May 7th from 1pm to 6pm. This is the area’s way of celebrating all the gifts that the spring season brought, in order to welcome the summer season. It was so much fun!!! I mean, I knew it would be a good time (beach, food & music all for free, how could it not be fun?), BUT I have to admit I was surprised at the variety of people this specific event catered to. Whether you were 2 years old or 62 years old, there was something there for you.

The festival included a beer garden, fresh seafood, live music, boat exhibits, and even a sand pit and theater show for the little ones. Many people at Spring Tide Fest were locals who expressed a lot of pride in their beach town.

James Silcott of Jonathon’s Harbor Catering says he & his co-worker/friend, Paris, cater the Spring Tide Festival every year. “We like festivals and we love the people here [at Stone Harbor]” says Silcott.

Cherrie Swift, longtime volunteer of the Stone Harbor Museum says she attends the festival each year with her husband. “This is what kicks off the summer season” says Swift. “It’s always a lot of fun.”

At the event, I even found out that Stone Harbor uses their own hashtag #stoneharborlife. This kindof thing makes you feel a little insecure about the coolness of your own town LOL. Based on the #stoneharborlife hashtag on instagram, I see there are three things that residents of this town really love: The beach, coffee, and food. Hey, I can’t blame them.

I think my favorite part of the event was the live music. Even the band, The Mighty Parrot consisted of locals from the quaint shore town. They played classics from The Beatles, Prince, Tom Petty, and more. Once they took the stage, you could feel the whole atmosphere change as nothing but good vibes flowed through the streets. After a few songs, they already had a crowd of people dancing.

The Stone Harbor Spring Tidal Festival is just one of the many beach fests that will be going down this summer. Just next week you can check out the Spring Block Party in Ocean City. Click here to explore a whole list of fun things to do this summer.

Below is a photo gallery of my day the annual Spring Tide Festival 🙂

Bus Stop Music Cafe Serves The Perfect Place to Chill in New Jersey

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written last, but today I have a super cool video to share with you. We’re quickly approaching the end of the semester, which means we’re very close to freedom; however, this also means we’re extra sleep deprived, stressed out, and well… let’s face it.. BROKE.

I’ve been trying extra hard to find new places to hang out without spending too much money. Luckily I recently stumbled upon a new favorite place. It’s only two minutes away from my school and I can already tell I’m going to become a regular there.

The Bus Stop Music Cafe has something to offer for everyone. From a firsthand perspective, I can say it sort of gives you an old, cozy, vintage film-like experience that will leave you feeling both nostalgic and at home. Best of all it’s totally affordable and a perfect suit for us college students.

Check out the video below to learn more:

*By the way, the header image for this post is a photo I took of the music infused walls of Bus Stop

Also, here are links to both bands featured in the video: Swing That Cat & Norman Taylor and Blue Soul

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market: New Jersey Celebrates Art

Nothing screams “college budget” quite like a punk rock flea market. And nothing screams “punk rock” quite like New Jersey.

This past weekend the region’s most dedicated punk rockers fled to our state’s capital for the annual Punk Rock Flea Market. The event was made up of hundreds of extremely talented and unique vendors. From candle-making and hair styling to photography and painting, all elements of our local art scene were celebrated.

This event was RAD.

I got to do two of my favorite things: Get to know people in our local music scene and collect cool information to share with YOU! Click below to hear what some local vendors and attendees had to say about the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market and what NJ’s punk rock scene means to them.

Here are some photos of the speakers you heard above:


Sisters, Karyn and Elise Peterson of Bridgewater, NJ enjoy the last few hours of this year’s Punk Rock Flea Market.

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Matt Bernard, 28 and Dakota Bethke, 18 of Russo Music in Hamilton, NJ team up with Timeless Tat2 to raise money for Trenton music and art programs.


Steve, age 25, comes from Philadelphia for the second year in a row to support his tattoo artist of 12 oz. Studios in Brooklawn, NJ.

Sidenote: The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market was tons of fun, but if you missed it, don’t worry! In the audio clip, you may have heard something about “Art All Night”. This is an upcoming event that  will also take place at the Roebling Wire Works in Trenton, from June 18th to 19th. Click here to learn all about it.

Ann Delaney Knows A Thing or Two About New Jersey… And Blogging

Hello again! I hope you’ve all been enjoying these first few weeks of spring.. Despite the wintery weather (I had the pleasure of waking up to SNOW today), I’d like to remind you that summer is just around the corner! Those words make me extremely happy, and if you’re tired of bundling up and being mistaken for a ghost due to your paleness, I’m sure they make you happy too.

I truly enjoy running this blog and sharing the hidden wonders of NJ with you, but my semester will be ending soon 😦 . As a sort of premature going away gift, I thought I would introduce you to someone who can take the wheel  for the summer.

Okay, so you’ve heard of beach bums. You’ve heard of beach babies. You’ve probably even heard of The Beach Boys.. But have you ever heard of a… *drum roll please*…


Well if not, then fear no more. This week I had the pleasure of talking to New Jersey’s very own beach blogger, Ann Delaney. (Check out her site here!) She shared some really cool insight from her experience as a blogger.

Ann, age 55 is a full time real estate agent and  resident of the beautiful, south jersey shore-town, Stone Harbor. In November 2006, Ann decided it was time to update her business website. Looking to do something other than the typical reality blog, she went in a new direction, incorporating more of a “lifestyle” touch. Ann enjoys running this new type of blog, but admits it can be a challenge to add fresh content on a regular basis.

She says the best, and most rewarding aspect of blogging is definitely the feedback she receives from her readers. Since she’s not always sure how many people are reading, it’s nice to hear from people with comments and questions about a particular post.

Ann is certainly enthusiastic about the role blogging will play in the future of journalism. She likes how blogging allows for a “personal account of events” and opinions, along with some good old-fashioned news too. She points out, though, that unlike a news article, you can incorporate these things and it is perfectly acceptable.

Having been doing this whole blog thing for an entire decade, it’s safe to say Ann has gained a lot of useful knowledge. Advice she would share with someone who is new to running a beat blog would be to post regularly and always include photos. She adds that if the blog is for business, be sure not to overwhelm the readers with self promotion and boring ads. Finally, the most important advice she has is to mix it up by adding hints of humor and personality. Her readers often tell her that they feel like they know her just by reading her blog and Twitter posts, which she takes as a true compliment.

New Jersey’s Best Kept Secret: Museums

In my last post, we discussed Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute and how it surprisingly fits into our college kid budget. I genuinely had a great experience there (click here to read all about it). So naturally, I began to wonder why I haven’t been visiting places like this my whole life. I mean if a facility as distinguished as the Franklin Institute offers $5.00 specials, other museums must be affordable too, right?

Well, I did some research…

It turns out, not only is New Jersey home to a variety of affordable museums, but we’re also home to a variety of FREE museums!!! And there’s nothing I love more than freedom dude. Okay, maybe that doesn’t really apply here (patriotic and inspirational post about freedom coming soon). But no worries, because I also love free stuff!

Below is a list of the top 10 museums within our state that are totally free of charge:

1. Zimmerli Art Museum– New Brunswick

Whether you’re an art fanatic or not, Zimmerli has something interesting to offer. Here, you can learn about various artists, eras, and genres. They also hold special live educational performances.

2. African American Heritage Museum– Hammonton

The African American Heritage has a fascinating and boisterous history. You can get in touch with this history through original works of art and various exhibits. There are many upcoming events being held this Spring.

3.  Atlantic City Art Center– Atlantic City

This particular art museum is unique because it’s right by the ocean. You can appreciate artwork in a peaceful environment at the beach. Does it get any better than that?

4.  Discovery Seashell Museum– Ocean City

THIS ONE SOUNDS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!! You’re never too old to admire sea shells… And according to their website, all of the museum’s operators are certified divers who have traveled the world, collecting various sea shells (talk about a dream job). 10,000 kinds of sea shells can be found here, along with other marine organisms.

5.  Keyport Fire Museum– Keyport

Experience a timeline of artifacts from the firefighting industry, dating all the way back to the 19th century.

6.  The Old Monroe Schoolhouse– Monroe

This historic beauty was built way back in the 1800’s. It’s rare that you get to see a building this old that hasn’t been touched or renovated.

7.  Southern New Jersey All Sports Museum– Bridgeton

This museum encompasses all things sports in South Jersey. From records, to photos, to awards, to equipment, you can re-live some of the greatest moments in our sport history. Plus, the fact that all of these great moments took place just around the corner makes it pretty special.

8.  Meadowlands Museum– Rutherford

This museum is actually a farmhouse that was build in the 19th century. You can’t even say that isn’t badass.

9.  New Jersey Museum of Boating– Point Pleasant

Aside from some really cool boats, you can learn about a bunch of other marine-related things here. For instance, their current exhibition is centered on lighthouses. If you’re into the shore scene, this could be really cool place to learn about your favorite vacation spot.

10.  Maywood Station Museum– Maywood

Historical railroad lovers… or people who think trains are pretty dope, this one’s for you!

So, whether you’re into art, sports, history, boats, trains, fire???, or anything in between, there’s probably a museum for you. Above, are the links to each of their websites, where you can find information regarding hours of operation, directions, contact information, etc.

Museums are a great way to cure boredom without resorting to the ordinary, unexciting, and often expensive scenes. You can have fun with your friends or even by yourself, and learn something new without spending a dime. And don’t forget, these are only ten of the countless FREE museums in New Jersey!

No Longer Stuck in the Suburbs: Visit Philadelphia… Or Outer Space?

In my last post, we came across a major breakthrough.. Are you ready for this? Okay, here it is:


Yes, it’s true! Cars are a thing now, and so we have the ability to, well… go places.

Last time, we talked about Delaware and all the great, fun, cheap, things to do there. For this post I’d like to focus on another out-of-state destination. Just like Delaware, this destination too lies around the corner. It’s Philadelphia.

I’m sure that you’re already aware of the crazy amount of things to do in Philly. I mean let’s be real, the place is packed with cafes, music venues, parks, stores, bars, and so so much more! However, we often forget that Philly is also home to some pretty incredible museums. If you deem museums as “boring” or “expensive”, leave this blog right now. JUST KIDDING but I do ask that you think again, homie!

This past week I had the pleasure of attending an extremely cool event at the Franklin Institute. It was called “Night Skies in the Observatory“. It’s basically an astronomy night! The place was completely filled with people, a majority of them being college students. This is probably because the event only costs $5.00. Yep, that’s right. The price I pay for a single drink at starbucks got me into an event where I got to explore an entire museum, look through multiple telescopes on a city rooftop, and  listen to a guest speaker (follow him on twitter!), who holds a Ph.D. in cosmology and astrophysics. Rad.

Check out these pics from my experience:


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Real photo of the moon I was able to take through the telescope!


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Taken from the observatory deck.

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This view was lovely…
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& of course, my inner 1st grader had to visit the giant heart. It was harder to fit inside there this time though…

So have I sold you yet? If so, keep reading! Below are the dates for the upcoming Night Skies events. Turns out they happen on a monthly basis. Woo!


April 14th : 7 – 10p.m. – Amazing Telescopes! In the Planetarium: Dr. James Aguirre; Seeing the Invisible – Science and Technology of Radio Astronomy

May 12th : 7 – 10 p.m. – History of American Planetariums. In the Planetarium: Prof. Mark Trodden

June 9th : 7 – 10 p.m. – Worldwide Stories of the Night Sky; In the Planetarium: Ashley Baker

(This information was taken from The Franklin Institute official website)

Bottom line: Philadelphia is cool. Outer Space is cool. Five dollars is cool. Go to astronomy night!!!!


Thinking Like a College Student: Q&A with Matt McCourt

We’re hungry, tired, broke, and on the brink of a mental breakdown. Who are we? Yeah, you guessed it… We’re college kids. So please, kindly stay at a 3-foot radius from us at all times and refrain from asking any questions that pertain to our future.

Okay, that was rude. And kind of dramatic. I’m sorry.

But really, college kids are frequent passengers on the struggle bus and sometimes we just need a break. This blog is all about having fun on a college budget, so I figured why not get some insight from one of my fellow peers.

Matt McCourt is a senior Public Relations and Psychology major at Rowan University. Yesterday I sat down with him and asked about what he likes to do for fun around here. This is what he had to say:

Me: What are some things you do for fun around New Jersey?

Matt: New Jersey actually has some pretty nice parks.

Me: Yes, I actually just wrote a blog post about that… (lol awkward, click this link!!)

Matt: Oh really? Okay, well then I’ll take this in a different direction… So around New Jersey, there’s actually a lot of farms and back roads too. Something that I like to do is take my motorcycle out and just go down any one of those random roads. I’m talking roads you would usually never even think to take.

Me: Now is a motorcycle required for this or can we use cars too?

Matt: Yeah, totally! You can still do it in a car or even a regular bicycle. I just happen to explore a lot because I have a motor cycle.

Me: How about when the weather isn’t so nice? What are some things you like to do besides sitting inside?

Matt: Well, when the weather’s shi*ty you still kind of want to go out and do something, instead of just sitting around all day. A great place to go out and do a bunch of fun, affordable, stuff is Delaware. This is easy for me, because I live about 15 minutes away from the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It’s really no different than driving down to the shore or something. A lot of times I’ll see a movie over there or go out to eat. They don’t charge tax by the way! There’s also a lot of great places to shop. I personally like their outlets.

Me: Do you have a favorite spot to visit in Delaware?

Matt: I do, actually. There’s this nice little Regal cinema theater that’s kind of near Wilmington and they have this entire shopping center too with a bunch of really cool stores. Then there’s this super awesome lake that lights up at night. So you have the options to see a show at the theater, and/or shop, but then again if you’re looking to spend zero money, you can just go and enjoy the lake. I’ve done that before.

Me: That’s awesome! Everyone goes to Philly, but rarely do we realize that Delaware is around the corner too. Have you learned  anything from living on a college budget?

Matt: I’ve learned to be f*cking creative! Like, you gotta get out there. You don’t want to just go out and see a movie every week, or go out to some lame dinner. You want to find random things to do, where you can just get together with friends and have a good time. Go out and throw a frisbee in some random field you’ve never seen before! Or just sit around in some nice little fancy area. New Jersey has so many little towns that you probably don’t even know about!

So there you have it. It’s not totally impossible to adventure on a budget. Sometimes you’ve just got to think outside of the box. Luckily NJ is a small state, surrounded by a bunch of other states. Why not gather some friends, and go on a mini road trip for the day? Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, New York… Take your pick! They’re all beautiful places that are under 4 hours away.

Attention New Jersey Music Fans: Rocking On A Budget!

Oh, music… The most exhilarating form of art. Why must you consume every dollar I make? How did you become such a commodity? What happened to the good, old fashioned clapping of hands, while stomping around in a circle, doing that weird yodeling thing? Okay, I took things too far. I’m sorry if I lost you. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that as a music lover, I tend to spend a lot of money on concert tickets… and it sucks.

If you’re a concert feen yourself, I’m sure you understand my struggle. However, there is hope for us! This past weekend I was introduced to the wonderful world of basement shows. It was great.

Basement shows are a key element to the underground alternative scene. From pop punk to progressive rock, you’re not a true punk until you’ve attended a basement show. The concept is simple: It’s a rock show in a basement. You get the concert experience without paying more than $5.00. Sure, it may be a little cramped and the people around you may be a bit sweaty, but these conditions kind of help you form a bond. The second the music begins, everyone is instantly connected. Such an intimate venue is able to give you a concert experience like no other. It’s no longer a famous band on a stage versus a sea of fans. Instead, it’s one big room full of kids who are jamming together whether they’re playing an instrument or just shouting along.

I got the chance to chat with a couple of the bands who played on Saturday and it’s safe to say they can all agree that the best part about basement shows is the small environment. Ken Hicks, bass player of Sybil says “Even though there’s less room to move around, you can really feel the crowd’s energy”.

Here are some pictures from the show, which by the way, took place in New Brunswick!



The Band featured in the above photos is Eagle Daddy.

And yes, that is indeed a Donald Trump punching bag.

New Jersey Nature: A Guide to the Free Outdoors

So according to my weather app, it’s going to be 60 degrees and sunny tomorrow. Last time I checked, we were in the middle of February but perhaps that nap I took last night lasted longer than I thought. I know I’m ignorant about many things in life, but I thought I could at least be aware of where we are in the year. In any case, I’ll choose not to question such awesome weather during a time where I should be out in the cold somewhere cursing mother nature as I slip on ice and spill my venti nonfat mocha all over the place (still bitter, that sh*t costed me over 5 bucks!).

So this weird and unpredictable weather has definitely been working in favor of us poor, college students! Not only have our walks to class been nicer, but there is also more to do on the weekends while we’re ballin’ on a budget. Don’t limit yourself to the typical movie night or diner trip… Nature is out there, free of cost, and waiting to be explored. I don’t think you ever really outgrow a nice trip to the park.

Despite New Jersey’s splendid reputation of being “the armpit of the country”, we are actually home to some of the most beautiful landscapes. Below is a list of my top five local parks, where you can have a great time without emptying your wallet.

  1. Belleplain State Forest
  2. Camp Glen Gray
  3. Cooper River
  4. Allamuchy Mountain
  5. Barnegate Lighthouse State Park

Each of these sites will allow you to enjoy a day of wholesome and authentic fun. Whether it be going for a hike, simply taking a walk, or playing a pickup game with some friends, there is plenty to do and it won’t cost much money at all. So, hey, why not take a break from being stuck inside four walls when there is so much adventure waiting literally outside your door? The forecast is on your side, so go out and take it in while you can! Because despite such great weather, the fact is, it’s still February. And who knows, this time next week you could be cursing mother nature and slipping on ice.

*I took the featured photo (located at the top of this post) at Cooper River in Pennsauken, New Jersey!