History of Pushing9 Media

"'My name is Ozymandius, king of kings:
Look on my words, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

You may or may not know (or care), but Pushing9 Media is actually the last vestige of a once-vibrant local music organization that at its peak included a production house, a booking agency, and a print zine.

P9 Media traces its roots to the 1996 compilation New Brunswick Underground, produced by Mike Doktorski, which spotlighted the vibrant and eclectic music scene of the city of New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. Shortly after the release of NBU, Mike teamed with local musician Andy Gesner to promote a series of live shows at the Budapest Cocktail Lounge, a sleepy neighborhood bar in the city's Hungarian district. The first few months of Budapest shows were extremely successful, and the bar's ownership green-lighted Mike and Andy to do whatever they wanted. Soon, the initial focus on the New Brunswick Underground acts gave way to a broader booking policy that encompassed bands from other parts of NJ, then touring bands from across the country (and beyond).

Encouraged by their success, by 1998 Mike and Andy had expanded their 'NBU Productions' to other venues (including a series of sold-out showcases at NYC's Arlene Grocery) while maintaining their weekly series at the Budapest. Also in 1998, NBU launched the print zine New Brunswick Underground which by its third issue included a companion compilation CD.

Plot NBU's story on a graph (if that's your thing) and it's obvious that this was the high point. But peaks are hard to sustain. A few of NBU's charter acts broke up in 1998, and plus New Brunswick had become quite incestuous, with local musicians playing in three or four bands each with no time to focus on any one of them -- in hindsight, an unwelcome byproduct of a close-knit scene.

In early 2000, Mike and Andy ended their series at the Budapest Lounge and that was really the beginning of the end. The Budapest had been the epicenter of NBU's universe, and without its gravitational pull everything else began to spin away. The partnership carried on nominally for another year, but in early '01 Andy left NBU for good.

Mike opted to keep NBU going, albeit in a more modest format, until 2007, bringing the decade long project to a close.


October 18-19, 1996 »»» NBU officially launches with the release of the compilation CD New Brunswick Underground, on
Childlike Records. A 2-day record release party at the
Court Tavern features performances by 14 out of 16 bands on the CD.

November 1996 »»» Mike Doktorski and Andy Gesner launch a Saturday night music series at the Budapest Cocktail Lounge, 234 Somerset Street, New Brunswick.


June 1997 »»» NBU presents the first of its Budapalooza multi-band open air events, held annually from '97 to '99 on the corner of Somerset and Harvey during the city's Hungarian Festival.

September 1997 »»» Mike and Andy co-produce a pair of cassette-only compilations, Buda Bootlegs Vols. I and II, consisting of live recordings made at the Budapest on "nothing more than a cassette player set up on the other side of the room recording everything as it happened."


March 1998 »»» With NBU's Mike and Andy as publishers, and local music writer Jennifer Salvato on board as editor, the zine New Brunswick Underground launches with a 32-page Issue #1.

May 1, 1998 »»» New Brunswick invades Manhattan! NBU hosts its first industry showcase at Arlene Grocery, featuring sets by Bionic Rhoda, Fatty Lumpkin, Boss Jim Gettys, Suran Song in Stag, Prosolar Mechanics, and Bunt.

June 1998 »»» Issue #2 of New Brunswick Underground features exclusive interviews with Matt Pinfield and Ween's Mickey Melchiondo.

July 1998 »»» One of NBU's top acts, Bionic Rhoda, calls it a day.

September 1998 »»» NBU releases Issue #3 of its zine with a companion 18-track
promotional CD with songs by Bionic Rhoda, Boss Jim Gettys, Evelyn Forever, Velour 44, Love Gas, Hi Pro Glo, and Yummy, among others. Issue 3 features an exclusive interview with Smithereens Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken.

November 13, 1998 »»» NBU celebrates its 2 year anniversary at the Budapest with a show by ex-Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker.

December 1998 »»» The 72-page Issue #4 closes out a busy year for NBU. This issue includes Jen Salvato's story on brand new band Ben Trovato (whose frontman was an 18 year old Val Emmich).


April 1999 »»» NBU lends logistical and planning assistance the Independent Music Festival, which features performances by 85 bands at multiple New Brunswick venues April 7-11. NBU also hosts IMF shows at The Budapest and coordinates the release of Issue #5 (which by now has been re-named simply The Underground) as the festival's official program. Issue 5 also features an exclusive interview by with Glen Burtnik, and an interview with The Milwaukees by Laura Lifshitz (who went on to enjoy some minor stardom as co-host of MTV's Say What! Karaoke).

April 1999 »»» Childlike Records releases the compilation Parachute Pants, featuring local acts covering80s hits, produced by NBU's Mike Doktorski and Bunt frontman Chris Martine.

June 1999 »»» NBU hosts its final Budapalooza while simultaneously releasing Issue #6 of The Underground featuring a coverstory on Fountains of Wayne and an interview with NJ Film Fest coordinater Al Nigrin.

July 1999 »»» Issue #6 is a huge hit with the kids at WHTG's Surfstock which is headlined by Underground cover boys Fountains of Wayne.

August 1999 »»» Boss Jim Gettys, another charter NBU act, calls it quits.

Summer 1999 »»» NBU hosts a weekly, Thursday-night music showcase at the Harvest Moon.

August 1999 »»» The Underground receives the first of its two Asbury Park Music Award nominations in the category "Best News Publication to Support Local Music."

Sept 16-18 1999 »»» Hurricane Floyd hits New Brunswick and the Raritan River overflows, completely flooding Rt. 18 and devastating most of Bound Brook (including the old Palmyra Tea Room..now the Hamilton St. Café).

September 1999 »»» Issue #7 of The Underground includes a companion 22-track compilation CD produced by Mike, Andy, and local musician Brett Neilley (now the bassist for New Blood Revival), and features an exclusive story on the 30th anniversary of The Aquarian by NBU editor Jen Salvato.

December 31, 1999 »»» NBU hosts a New Year's Eve gala at Harvest Moon, featuring a performance by Little T and One Track Mike (who are signed by Lava/Atlantic a year later).


February 26, 2000 »»» After 3 years, 3 months, and nearly 200 shows, NBU concludes its music series at the Budapest Cocktail Lounge. A year later, the bar is sold, re-modeled, and subsequently re-opened as a sports bar.


March 2000 »»» NBU releases the eighth and final issue of The Underground, featuring a cover story on scene newcomers Last Perfect Thing and a new compilation CD co-produced by Mike Doktorski and Heinz Remus of Buffalo, NY.

Apr-Nov 2000 »»» NBU lends assistance to Smithereen Pat DiNizio's failed Senate campaign,booking a series of fund-raising events featuring performances by Pat and various NBU acts.


Jan 2001 »»» Andy Gesner leaves NBU to launch to launch his own music marketing business HIP Video Promo. Mike Doktorski re-launches NBUnderground.com as a news service and definitive e-resource for the local music scene.

Feb 2001 »»» An NBU show at Maxwell's featuring The Milwaukees, Ex Number Five, and Penfold draws 194 people.

Mar 2001 »»» The venerable Melody Bar closes its doors for good, signaling the end of an era for many in the New Brunswick music and arts community.

June 2001 »»» Love Gas plays its final show at an NBU event at the Court Tavern.


Feb 2002 »»» NBU's final show (@ Maxwell's) features performances by The Milwaukees, Errortype 11, Penfold, and Nebulous Thoughts and draws 221 paid attendees...officially selling out the venue.


June 17, 2007 »»» NBUnderground.com goes offline.