The Wag are hoping to become a signed act in 2006
The year 2005 was rather eventful in the world of New Jersey music. It was a year, during which the areaâ€™s most legendary performer Bruce Springsteen released a solo effort entitled Devils & Dust
and toured the world. Back in Asbury Park, 2005 saw the kick off of some impressive young acts, as the veteran bands continued to play at some rather impressive venues.
Brian Ostering, bassist for Middletown, NJ-based The Wag, said the most memorable moment for his band was developing and writing acoustic songs for its new acoustic set.
â€śThis year we have developed an acoustic set, which has made it possible for us to perform in venues that are new to us,â€ť he said. â€śIt is a new creative outlet for us. It was challenging and rewarding.â€ť
The band was nominated for the fifth time as Top Pop Band in the 2005 Asbury Music Awards, something which Ostering also included as a highlight.
â€śItâ€™s a great compliment, considering all the pop acts around these days,â€ť he said. â€śAlso, having opened for some pretty big-name acts has been a big highlight for us."
Though 2005 was a memorable year, all of the Wagâ€™s years together can be described in the same manner, he said.
The bandâ€™s goal in 2006 is to become a signed act, he said.
For John Rango, lead guitarist for Echofission, the past yearâ€™s most memorable moment happened during the Live 8 concert.
â€śThe most memorable musical moment in 2005 is the reunion of Pink Floyd at Live 8,â€ť Rango said.
Echofission's new CD "Amplify The Sun" will be released early in 2006
Rango said Echofissionâ€™s highlights included hosting a Hurricane Katrina relief benefit show that drew about 300 people and playing its first theater show at the Luna Stage in Montclair, NJ.
â€śBut, most importantly, we went back into the studio this fall to record a seven-song EP with longtime friend and recording engineer, Mod [Elefant],â€ť he said.
The bandâ€™s top priority in 2006 will be to have as many people become exposed to its music as possible, he said.
Echofission's "Amplify The Sun" will be released on Jan. 14 at the Mexicali Blues Cafe in Teaneck, NJ. Free copies of the CD will be distributed during the show.
â€śJoining us as opening and supporting acts will be Seminole jam band God Street Wine guitarist/vocalist Lo Faber,â€ť Rango said â€śLo will be playing an opening acoustic set, as well as joining Echofission
during their set and our friends who we play with more than any other band, Souls' Release, will play a set as well. After the release party, the band will play some gigs supporting the new album and also
work on new songs.â€ť
The fifth year of the 21st century seemed memorable for both Echofission and The Wag and both should garner some more momentum early in 2006.
â€śIt was most definitely a memorable year,â€ť Rango said. â€śAfter playing for years together, we have solidified our sound and have become more open-minded and experimental. That is memorable for us.â€ť
[ Websites: www.thewagband.com and www.echofission.com ]