Speak Into My Good Eye

Friends Celebrate 5 Years Of CoolDad Music In Their Own Words

Mike Mehalick March 24, 2017 Features, Interviews No Comments

CoolDad Music

Almost five years to the date, a beautiful baby blog was brought into the world by the name of CoolDad Music. Over the years, the site’s Jim Appio has welcomed music lovers of all stripes not only to his wealth of knowledge and friendship but also his extended family with the goings ons and milestones from his actual family as integral a part of his work as the surrounding arts.

Speak Into My Good Eye has been lucky enough to know Jim since the start of 2013 and host some of his work as you’ve likely seen tabbed above. Since then, Jim has hosted countless showcases, supported just as many independent artists and has become an essential part of his various local scenes.

Ahead of the big CoolDad Music 5th Anniversary show going down at Convention Hall, SIMGE asked some of Jim’s friends in the music world to share their experiences with him and best wishes. Check it all out below and be sure to catch Shellshag, dollys, Smalltalk and The RockNRoll HiFives tomorrow night.

CoolDad Music

“I always tell people that the Asbury music scene has gotten better over the last 5 years, and I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that Jim has been doing his blog that long. He works his ass off, and gives outstanding coverage of Asbury, but his blog is also a great way to discover bands from all over. I’m very happy to call him a friend and love seeing the recognition that his blog has been getting.” ~ Justin Bornemann (Dentist)

CoolDad Music

“What Jim is doing is so important, his relentless drive and ability to document the essence of the NJ/NY scene is invaluable to rock and roll history, 5 years in and his images just keep getting better and his opportunities continue to grow, Cheers Jim!! to many more years of this awesomeness you share with the world.” ~ Amy Dickman

Biff Swenson

“After returning from college I was totally out of the loop in Asbury. It felt like I was starting from square one in an ever-changing scene.

Jim was one of the first guys who was friendly enough to give a shit. That dude is practically at every show I go to. He’s super friendly, completely engaged, and thrives on the energy that this town puts out.

He is as rock n roll as they come, but he still always mentions his family. I love that he keeps us all informed on what’s going on every single god damn night of the week, but he also let’s us know he went on date night with CoolMom, or drove CoolDaughters to their swim meets. He’s just a guy, but that is why we love him. There’s no smoke and mirrors, it’s just a father who has as much love for music as he does his family.

The balance is applaudable and inspiring. He’s living both dreams. We could all only hope to do the same one day. Congratulations on 5 years, Jim! CHEERS!” ~ Biff Swenson (Yawn Mower)

Photo Credit: Jeff Crespi

“Jim is one of the hardest working music bloggers! sometimes I think he must be a robot to keep up with the happenings and what have yous. He’s helped us with videos and band pics that are always awesome.

On top of all that, he’s become a wonderfully close friend I’m super proud to say, yeah, I know CoolDad personally, he’s a friend.” ~ Emily Bornemann (Dentist)

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 1.59.15 PM

“CoolDad is the coolest of cool in a world of totally uncool people. Not only cool but nice, cool and nice usually don’t splice. So be cool like cool dad and treat your brothers and sisters real rad, bama lama.” ~ Captain Fun AKA Ron Santee


“CoolDad Jim is not ordinary person. A lot of people start a project (in this case a blog) and do it for a few months and then totally burn out it. Not CDJ. He’s helped me find out about/keep tabs on bands in my own home state that I don’t always have the chance to see, on a professionally regular basis for years now – all while having room for the “Dad” part in CoolDad Music.

I’ll never forget my first time hanging out at the Lanes with him, in between bands talking about family life, music, work…normal stuff but for like 40+ minutes straight. That was probably the first of multiple longer, genuine in person conversations I would have with him over the next couple years. Super pleasant to chat with always. When talking about the blog, he’s always been so humble, never taking enough credit for what he does, both from the writing side as well as the photography.

It’s always so hilarious to me because many of his articles are more well written than many “professional” press outlets. He actually takes the time to truly absorb music and have something of qualitative substance to say about it – a thing commonly lost in today’s online articles that heavily emphasize promotion over substance. He also takes some amazing live shots of bands.

There’s so much more I could say on each mini subtopic in this paragraph on Jim (wanted to paint a simple well-rounded picture), but the most important takeaway is that he’s a great man doing great things for bands that deserve more attention in the state of New Jersey.

Thanks for the great memories so far and looking forward to many more.” ~ Frank Joseph (NGHTCRWLRS)


“CoolDad cares about your dumb band so the rest of us don’t have to.” ~ Zak Kaplan (Smalltalk)


“CoolDad Jim is an invaluable asset to the east coast’s music community. He selflessly commits himself to keeping his readers informed of the goings-on in town, photo-documenting local events, booking and organizing super fun shows, writing thoughtful and encouraging reviews of records/gigs with pinpoint accuracy and wit, and of course being a really great dad.

There’s only a handful of folks around anymore who go out and do that sort of passion-driven journalism on a daily basis, and fewer who do it for free. But with Jim, I think it’s always discernible in conversation or through his writing that he does all that because he loves the endeavor and he loves music that much.

He stands out to me as a delightfully positive person in an artistic field that can be very thankless to journalists and critics. I vent to him all the time, he’s a fantastic listener and funny as heck to boot.” ~ Natalie Newbold (dollys)


“CoolDad Music will always be extra special to us because we are a family and a band so we know what it’s like to have a passion for music while raising kids.

Jim reviewed the first music we ever recorded, and he didn’t crush our dream. We are forever grateful for that and even more grateful for the friendship we’ve developed since then.

We’re lucky to have Jim in our lives and we are all lucky to have him supporting and working for the original music scene. I like buying Jim drinks and getting the latest gossip on the local scene.” ~ Joe Centeno (RocknRoll HiFives)


“Over the summer I went to a pool party BBQ show at Jim’s house and it really proved that he is the coolest dad ever. There were tents with food and The Rock n Roll High Fives family band played.

It started pouring at one point and I got stuck under one of the tents with a bunch of people who I was happy to get to know better and I ran out into the rain to get them beer.” ~ Tarra Thiessen (Sharkmuffin, Ex-Girlfriends)


“Some of my favorite conversations about music, and in general, over the past few years has been driving up to the city with Jim in the CoolDad van.

The one experience I’ll point to and will certainly never forget is when Jim and I went to go see My Bloody Valentine at the Manhattan Center or whatever it’s called now. It was my first time seeing them and it was such an added bonus to take in this incredible show with someone as passionate as Jim.

I was going through a real rough patch following a bunch of stuff not working out at the time and it was the train ride home where Jim imparted his wisdom and shared some of his experiences that gave me some great perspective and ultimately helped me out of the rut.

I’m honored to not only call Jim a collaborator, but also a dear friend.

Cheers to CoolDad! Long live CoolDad!” ~ Mike Mehalick (SIMGE)


“Jim represents everything that’s good and right about the music scene: he’s selfless, altruistic, and kind, with the best intentions always at the forefront. He has helped countless bands and his work ethic remains the standard against which other local publications are measured. You would think he’d be insular about all this but you’d be wrong – he’s the first person to answer when you need a hand.

Jim’s discerning ear keeps his considerable journalism honest (and I’ve never seen anyone take pictures in dimly-lot rooms the way he does). And what’s more, he’s a great human being with a lovely, supportive family. Not just a cool dad but a good one, too. Cheers, Mr. Appio! Well done.” ~ Brian Erickson (The Paper Jets)


“CoolDad AKA ‘Jim’ is literally a cool dad. He is super genuine, intelligent, and a god damn nice guy. He also has great taste in music. I feel really honored whenever he comes to a Battery show and I felt even better when he gives us a good review!

I love how he is so involved in the scene and promotes so many shows and bands. I always know what’s going on because whenever the weekend comes I go to his blog to get the scoop. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if he didn’t tell me where to go! He also is a great writer and it’s always fun to read his perspective.

Anyways…. congrats bud! Here is to 5 more years!!! I’ll also add you gotta give him credit for letting so many dumb ass degenerates at his house and pool for of the CoolDad BBQ. It’s a testament to how great him and his CoolFamily are.” – Brent Bergholm (The Battery Electric)


“CoolDad is a goddamn superhero. He doesn’t wear a cape, but I have seen the man change in a telephone booth after the crowds were spilling beer on him as he took probably the best photos of your band.

He has been there when I needed him whether it was an important show or whether I was too drunk to drive or whether I just wanted to hang out and get some food. I consider him a dear friend and he’s also changed my life in a lot of ways.

He’s been to your band’s show and he has probably been to your band’s show at least 10 times and been there to write a great review and take some amazing photos. From rock ‘n’ roll to whatever the fuck he has been there.

He has thrown shows when promoters couldn’t help out and been a true scene leader. I can’t say enough good words about him. 5 years and many more to come. See ya Saturday ~ Alex Rosen (The Battery Electric, Hot Blood)


It shouldn’t be a surprise that Jim has made a name for himself and his blog around here these last few years. His enthusiasm for his work, for music, and for the friendships he’s made along his CoolDad journey are palpable in every conversation I’ve ever had with him.

It’s a privilege to call Jim a buddy of mine. Cheers to five years! (P.S. As per the only piece I ever contributed to his blog, Jim knows I’m total shit with deadlines sometimes…)

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Mike is a graduate of the School Of Visual Arts with a BFA in Film & Video focused on screenwriting. His career stops have included editing positions at AOL, The Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed. He regularly contributes to a variety of outlets. Follow him @mmehalick

Leave A Response