To Speak on CMJ Panel October 18th * Interviews Ben Weasel for Issue Oriented * Critical Acclaim for "New Brunswick, NJ, Goodbye!"
Ronen Kauffman, always the workhorse, has announced a series of upcoming live appearances, and other fun, around the release of his debut book "New Brunswick, NJ Goodbye" out now on the Hopeless / Sub City imprint!
"The perfect summer punk rock read; smart, funny, and a total breeze." - Pastepunk.com
"What stands out most here is the way Kauffman captures the camaraderie and bonding that an underground scene can nurture... It's honest, sincere, funny, sad." - Jersey Beat
"Even the most skeptical reader is unlikely to find anything suspicious about Kauffman's sincere remembrance of what's arguably this decade's most successful DIY movement." - Revolver Magazine
"This book is hard to put down." - The Big Takeover
"Kauffman offers nuggets of insight and bursts of inspiration... Whatever your interest in music, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye is a compelling, entertaining and enlightening read, one that's highly recommended." - Playback Magazine
"Expressive... Ronen lays his life out there and has an interesting story to tell." - Hardware Media and Radio
"Kauffman's stories are vivid and often hilarious. For a reader who knows little about punk rock, the book is enlightening..." – Princeton TimeOff
Read interviews w/ Ronen Kauffman on Pastepunk * Absolutepunk * LateNightWallflower * PaperThinWalls * and The Boston Metro!
Ronen Kauffman is busy!
Now! - Ronen Kauffman interviews Ben Weasel for his podcast IssueOriented.com!
October 18th - 10:30am @ the NYU Kimmel Center, room 905/907
Ronen speaks live on the annual CMJ Lit Rock Panel w/ Michael Azerrad and Kara Zuarro
November 3rd and 4th - Ronen covers / interviews bands @ The Saints and Sinners Festival for Bammboozle TV!
Bands performing include Against Me!, Agnostic Front, Between the Buried and Me, The Casualties, Gaslight Anthem, Municipal Waste, The Number 12 Looks Like You, Saves The Day, Shai Hulud, Strike Anywhere, Walls of Jericho, and more!
Foreword by Jack Terricloth (World/Inferno Friendship Society)
"I'd long sensed that the world had its problems and that, in some way, I stood in opposition to those problems. Justice and fairness always felt important to me, most likely because I was reared in part by the spectre of one of history's most horrific crimes against humanity. But being a kid from the suburbs, lost in tract housing and pep rallies - well, I didn't have a way to focus my suspicions and resentments. Not until punk rock." - Ronen Kauffman
Everyone remembers growing up, and every music lover remembers the moment music became the most important influence in their life. Maybe it was the first time you heard an Operation Ivy album, or maybe it was your first Ramones record, or a basement show. That was it: the turning point, when you knew music was your life. Perhaps you started a zine, or booked punk rock shows with your favorite bands, or had a late night radio show at your local college - you knew music was important and you wanted to be a part of it. Maybe you even saw a bigger picture; maybe you even wanted to change the world, with music was your driving force; the inspiration and power to be productive, and just maybe, make a difference.
In his first ever book New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye - Bands, Dirty Basements, and the Search for Self, author Ronen Kauffman tells personal stories depicting the early years of his punk rock early-adulthood, and growing up in one of the country's most burgeoning underground counter-culture and forward thinking scenes - New Brunswick, New Jersey circa the mid to late 90's.
Whether reminiscing about selling his underground fanzine, hitting the road with The Degenerics or Lifetime, or playing a pickup game of basketball with Biohazard, Kauffman depicts beautifully the moments in which life becomes magical, and meaningful. Told through stories from the author's personal punk rock journey, many readers will easily relate some of Kauffman's experiences to their own lives. Some might even finish this book feeling as though they were part of a scene they'd never physically experienced. Even when Kauffman explores his biggest ideas, this book remains inviting and engaging: "From Hobbes and Locke to Machiavelli to Rousseau to John Stuart Mill from Bad Religion and Los Crudos to Embrace and Jawbreaker and Propagandhi the connections were everywhere."
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Take, for example, Kauffman's story of sleeping on a stranger's floor: "I suspect that Patty felt comfortable inviting us in for the same reasons we felt comfortable imposing on her: because at some level, we all believed that this was how the world should work. Whether it was punk and hardcore, or plain youthful idealism, we were invoking and enacting a sort of communal trust we hoped more people might consider. Admittedly, it was a simple act asking a stranger for shelter and receiving it. But within the act itself there was a tacit defiance; the rebuking of a modern society in which, to most folks, the idea of asking a stranger for a place to sleep is absurd."
About the Author:
"In all of the disagreements about what it really means to be 'punk' or 'hardcore', one maxim seems to weather most philosophical storms - that is, that punk or hardcore is what you make of it for yourself. For me, it was a way to speak out, a way to be creative, and a way to live in disciplined harmony with my heart and mind. Hardcore punk led me to adventure and it helped me to feel good about myself when I was pissed or depressed by the sick, sad world all around me." - Ronen Kauffman
Ronen Kauffman began writing about music and culture in 1993 in the pages of his self-published fanzine, Aneurysm. He then spent three years as the music editor for the Daily Targum at Rutgers University while attending college. In the time since, his thoughtful columns, expository features and straight music journalism have appeared in magazines such as Alternative Press, AMP, and Outburn, and on music news websites like Punknews.org and Pastepunk.com.
Kauffman was also the vocalist for New Brunswick, NJ's try.fail.try (a band whose members went on to join numerous bands including Burnt By The Sun, Every Time I Die, Nora, and others) and most recently, Zombie Apocalypse, a project including members of the influential metal-hardcore band Shai Hulud.
"At its most vital and important level, my being in a band was about a moment, an instant of connection between people through an arrangement of sounds. It was certainly not about record sales, merchandise, money, or being a rock star - tiny, modern blips in the greater story of music throughout human civilization."
In addition, Kauffman is the producer and host of Issue Oriented podcast (www.issueoriented.com), a fast-growing production which has appeared on Sirius Satellite Radio and has thousands of listeners and features thought-provoking interviews with the likes of Death By Stereo, Dan Yemin (Paint it Black, Lifetime), Aubin Paul (PunkNews.org), Ray Harkins (Abacus Records), Joanna Angel (BurningAngel.com), and others.
Kauffman holds a Double BA in Journalism & Mass Media and Political Science (Rutgers University, NJ), and a MS in Teaching (The New School, NYC) and currently teaches in a public school system. He lives with his wife in Jersey City, New Jersey.
A portion of the proceeds earned by Ronen Kauffman and Sub City Records from New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye will be donated to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. This organization refurbishes and distributes musical instruments to schools, programs and individuals in need across the United States. Kauffman has long been interested in the link between music, ideas, and change. Not only by writing at the intersection of music and ideas, but through working to raise awareness and funds for numerous charitable causes, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
In his book, Kauffman points to these adventures and other crossroads in his life, in exciting, and at times, both extremely humorous and thought-provoking detail, bringing his reader to a place many of us are familiar with, having possibly experienced similar roots ourselves, and can also find extremely endearing.
Other quotes from the book
"Truly, it was amazing to know that my best friends had written my favorite songs. And the differences between all the bands that played that day underscored a crucial principle within our small community of creative, disillusioned, funny outcasts: that having different interpretations of the same thing is a good thing. Just like in nature, diversity is good for art, expression and the evolution of human thought and consciousness. Diversity is essential."
"For a long time I'd seen a natural connection between fund raising and punk rock; it kept a nice, tidy civic element in play, lest the kids forget that their problems are connected to a bigger world. But these shows for Matt were different from all of that. Here was someone I knew well, suddenly paralyzed for life, and in reaction I was sent reeling. It brought everything so much closer. This wasn't about saving an arts collective or freeing a political prisoner I'd never met. It was about helping a friend. A friend I knew only because of music."
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