Cover of issue No. 37.
|Circulation||triannual (print, ended 2007)|
|Publisher||Not a Mongo|
|First issue||March 1982|
|Based in||Weehawken, New Jersey|
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Jersey Beat is an American music zine. It was founded in 1982 by music critic Jim Testa. As of 2007, the zine stopped publishing print issues, but continues as an online publication. Jersey Beat covers the music scene both internationally and locally, with special emphasis on the East Coast of the United States.
By the late 1970s, Testa graduated from Rutgers University, and upon returning home, he frequented burgeoning punk music clubs like CBGB and Maxwell's. A former college associate was running a fanzine called Dischords from Washington D.C., which featured a column submitted by Testa called "Jersey Beat." The name is a play on Mersey Beat, an early 1960s English music publication. After Discords folded, Testa began publishing his own zine, Jersey Beat, in March 1982. Testa registered the domain jerseybeat.com in 1995. In The World of Zines: a Guide to the Independent Magazine Revolution, authors Gunderloy and Goldberg Janice note that Jersey Beat went "from a small review of New Jersey alternative bands to becoming one of the most thoughtful new music zines in the nation." By the early 1990s, the magazine grew to one-hundred and twenty-eight pages, with glossy color covers, and as BlowUpRadio notes, they "were like novels."
There have been many well-known staff and contributors to Jersey Beat; former writers include Donny the Punk, Jim DeRogatis, Karen Schoemer, Chris Frantz, Ben Weasel, Joe Queer, Mick Hale, Johnny Puke and Tris McCall. In 1998, Ben Weasel from the punk band Screeching Weasel included Jersey Beat in the lyrics to the song "My Friends Are Getting Famous," which appears on Lookout Records' Punk USA compilation album.
In Rolling Stone's Alt-rock-a-rama, Testa described the zine as "an ongoing excursion through the punk-rock underground, with occasional detours into the mainstream." Jersey Beat covers a wide range of music, focusing on many of the various permutations of punk, including the subgenres pop punk, hardcore, anti-folk and electropunk. The zine features extensive reviews of zines, compact discs, demo tapes and vinyl recordings. Jersey Beat has also interviewed many prominent musical acts. The punk rock band Green Day was interviewed in the early 1990s, and Jersey Beat published one of the first comprehensive articles on the marketing of punk rock into mainstream music. The final print issue is No. 77 in 2007, and the first exclusive online issue features a piece on the Screaming Females with original artwork by Marissa Paternoster, which was intended to be the cover for issue No. 78. In 2013, Jersey Beat interviewed Finnish gothic metal band HIM frontman Ville Valo, during the Rock Allegiance Tour.
Testa is a staff writer for the the newspaper Jersey Journal, and the news site NJ.com, and previously wrote for the music magazine The Aquarian Weekly, and the newspaper the Star Ledger. He has also written for the music magazine Rolling Stone, as well as Ghetto Blaster, Hoboken Now, Request and Guitar World. In 1998, Testa received the Asbury Park Music Awards' Living Legends Award, and in 2013, he was named the Hoboken Music Awards' Living Legend Honoree.
- Kot 1997.
- Jarnow 2012.
- Stapinski 2005.
- Heinrich 2004.
- DeRogatis & Carrillo 2004.
- Mallegg 1999.
- BlowUpRadio Staff 2017.
- Gunderloy & Goldberg Janice 1992.
- DeRogatis 2003.
- Metro Lyrics.
- Schinder 1996.
- Kot 2009.
- Testa 2018.
- Blabbermouth.net Staff 2013.
- Schmidt 2010.
- Lustig 2013.
- Hoboken Music Awards Staff 2013.
- Blabbermouth.net Staff (2 October 2013), "HIM Frontman Interviewed By Jersey Beat Magazine (Video)", Blabbermouth.net, retrieved 12 February 2014
- BlowUpRadio Staff (22 March 2017), "Lazlo Interviews Jim Testa (Jersey Beat) ", BlowUpRadio, retrieved 6 March 2019
- DeRogatis, Jim (2003), Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's, p. 225, ISBN 9780306812712, OCLC 52979223
- DeRogatis, Jim; Carrillo, Carmél (2004), Kill your idols: a new generation of rock writers reconsiders the classics, p. 301, ISBN 9781569802762
- Gunderloy, Mike; Goldberg Janice, Cari (1992), The world of zines: a guide to the independent magazine revolution, p. 54, ISBN 9780140167207
- Heinrich, Katherine (1 July 2004), "Turn the Beat Around Maxwell's hosts fund-raiser for Jersey music fanzine", Hudson Reporter, retrieved 12 February 2014
- Hoboken Music Awards Staff (2013), "Awards Winners!", Hoboken Music Awards, archived from the original on 21 February 2014, retrieved 12 February 2014
- Jarnow, Jesse (2012), "5", Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock, ISBN 9781101588680
- Kot, Greg (1997), "Fanzines: Music's Labors Of Love", Chicago Tribune, p. 3
- Kot, Greg (2009), Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, Simon & Schuster, p. 116, ISBN 9781416547273
- Lustig, Jay (8 November 2013), "James Rensenbrink, one-of-a-kind publisher of the Aquarian, dies at 81", The Aquarian Weekly, retrieved 12 February 2014
- Mallegg, Kristin B. (1999), Gale directory of publications and broadcast media, 2, p. 1174, ISBN 9780787623999
- Metro Lyrics, "Screeching Weasel "My Friends Are Getting Famous" Lyrics", Metro Lyrics, retrieved 26 June 2016
- Schinder, Scott (1996), Rolling Stone's Alt-rock-a-rama, p. 1822, ISBN 9780385313605
- Schmidt, Margaret (16 February 2010), "Veteran Jersey music critic Jim Testa joins Hoboken Now", Jersey Journal, retrieved 12 February 2014
- Stapinski, Helene (2005), Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, with Music, Villard, p. 196, ISBN 9780812967890
- Testa, Jim (2018), "The Jersey Beat Story Vol. 1", Jersey Beat, retrieved 27 January 2019