The Other Punk Underground Just Over the Bridge: Collingswood New Jersey

It’s no secret that when it comes to dining, the strip of Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, New Jersey – one forkful from the Ben Franklin and the Walt Whitman Bridges from Philly – is second to none. From Oasis Mexican Grill and Osaka to Hearthside and Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, the only thing more daring than its diversity is its wealth of genuinely dynamic flavors (Nunzio’s in particular, is among the five best Italian restaurants in the world – and I’ve dined throughout Italy).

No so far from the amazing Collingswood dining experience that is Haddon Avenue is another scene altogether, Lincoln Avenue and Collingswood Music, an all-purpose musical instrument store that fixes your guitar, offers school band rentals and music lessons, and – for me, the big bonus – sells vintage LP’s from all eras. Along with all that, Collingswood Music has become a showplace for area musicians and national artists with a like-minded vibe to the shop itself: something punkish, psychedelic and askew.

Recent shows at Collingswood Music have featured Creem Circus, Del Pez, Nixon’s Head, Garrett Klahn (Texas Is The Reason) and Lesa Aldridge (Klitz).

There’s no better opportunity, then, to open its 2020 concert slate – Saturday, January 11, at 7 pm – than to welcome Brother JT, Mick Cancer & the Leftovers and The Koosmans.

Whether as the frank founder of the legendary Original Sins, or on his own as a solo artist, Brother JT has become a Good Housekeeping seal for all thing manically and moodily psychedelic and garage punkish. The Koosmans = Franny and Rudy Koosman – like their loud garage punk too, but play it hard and acoustically, so there’s that challenge.

Then there is Mick Cancer & The Leftovers, an all-star Philly/Collingswood shockabilly, psych-punk ensemble with alumni from Sic Kidz, Pink Slip Daddy, Dixy Blood, Jukebox Zeros, The Ladytron (the Shimmy Disc label band), and, even Chubby Checker’s backing band.

The last time I ran into Cancer, a wise Philly punk elder statesman if ever there was, he hinted at something new and wild coming in 2020. I dare say that The leftovers must be it, and if not – WTF could he have planned?


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