HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2019!!
Sorry for the delay! I’ve had quite a busy end of 2019 and start of 2020…
Well, the big news is that we lost my mom on July 6 2019 after a relatively short battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. She was 80. It was just 2 weeks after my parents’ 57th wedding anniversary. So my dad has been alone in the old house for the first time…well, ever…since the house was built in 1963. He seems to be getting used to it and dealing with it pretty well. His health is still pretty good, though his feet are giving him some aggravation and slowing him down. He’ll be 85 in June.
I’m still on the air at WBJB-FM, 90.5 The Night Brookdale Public Radio at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft NJ. I am the Music Director and afternoon on air host, every Monday through Friday 3p-7p. You can visit the website to listen online. We’re a “Triple A” radio station. That stands for “Adult Album Alternative.” We play a lot of rock, classic rock, blues, acoustic, alternative, singer/songwriters, and a lot of local NJ artists. We had another successful summer of concerts on the beach in Belmar and successful Membership Drives (we’re listener supported) as well. On Halloween I celebrated my 31st anniversary on the air on the Jersey Shore. I started at WHTG-FM (FM106.3) back in 1988. For the second Fall Semester in a row, an old music industry collegue of mine who is now a professor at my alma mater Hofstra University on Long Island and is running the Music Business Department invited me to come out at speak to the fall class about radio (or at least my experience in radio). Seeing the advances that the radio station there (WRHU) has made since my days there is always pretty amazing and kind of overwhelming.
I also continue working part-time at Jack’s Music Shoppe, a legendary record store that’s been in Red Bank NJ for 50 years. Only working on Sundays and Record Store Days, but it’s enough to get back into the “record store thing.” I get to work with some fellow “record geeks” and we always have a good time. It’s been reassuring to see how much vinyl we sell day to day. By the way, the plural of “vinyl” is “vinyl.”
My brother Gordon and his wife Teresa’s kids are turning into great young adults.
Stephanie is now 25 and is finally using her engineering degree. She just started working full-time at the company that Gordon works for, Ringfeder. She’s a so-called “Application Engineer.” Which does not, as I was lead to believe, mean that she has to read all of the job applications that come in to Ringfeder. I really have no idea what she’s doing. She’s also a teacher at her old dance school and is one of the coaches for the Cresskill High School cheerleading squad.
Phillip is 22. He is now a Senior at Western New England University in Springfield MA. He’s studying computer engineering at the moment. He’s also been playing tuba/baritone in their marching band. Last summer he interned at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in northwest NJ.
Victoria is apparently 18 and a Senior at Cresskill High School. She’s a big reader and still plays soccer and volleyball and sings in choir. She’s currently deciding where she wants to go to college to study something in the TV/video field.
In January 2020 they unexpectedly had to put down their Papillon, Gizmo who was 13 and a half years old. It would appear that he had a previously undiagnosed (or apparent) brain tumor. Which leaves them with only a chinchilla named Sparky. Yes, an actual chinchilla.
And, as any of my Facebook friends can tell you, I still go to way too many concerts. As usual, I try to see as many local Jersey shore bands as possible. But I still get out to see a lot of my favorite national acts too.
In April myself and a few of my old friends from my years at Absolute A Go Go Records/Miracle Management put together an all-day celebration in honor of my old boss Brad Morrison, who had passed away suddenly in April of 2018. We made it a fund-raiser for the education of his 2 kids. We held it at Monty Hall in Jersey City. Of all of the bands that played only 1 was actually a still active band. So that means that all of the others – all of them – got back together, rehearsed as much as they could and worked up a short set to play at the show. It was all “above and beyond” and greatly appreciated. Believe it or not, here’s video of the entire show!
In June I got to “moderate” (which basically means “listen after asking a question”) a Q&A panel discussion on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Joining me were Elliott Landy, one of the festival’s official photographers; a young novelist from the Jersey Shore named Sea Gudinski; and 2 of my old friends who were both at Woodstock as teenagers, music executive Brad Hunt and musician Tommy Fuller.In September I put together a little benefit show on the beach at the Keansburg Amusement Park! I figured 7 years after Superstorm Sandy was a good time to remind folks that not all is “back to normal” on the Bayshore. So I gathered some musician friends of mine, all from the Bayshore, and we threw a concert “For The Bayshore” at the most iconic symbol of the Bayshore – The Keansburg Amusement Park! We did it as a benefit for the only – the only – Sandy related charity that appeared to still be functioning, The New Jersey Organizing Project. Here’s video of Jon Caspi & The First Gun ft Dez Cadena (of Black Flag) covering Black Flag’s “Rise Above.”
The highlight this year was, again, the Joe Strummer/The Clash all-star charity tribute shows that “Cousin” Jesse Malin & I have been putting together. After a sold out first show in August 2017 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park NJ, we have now sold out 6 shows! In 2018 we took it to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC and Dingwall’s in Camden Town, London England. In January 2019 we brought the show out to The Roxy in LA! On December 14 2019 we returned to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Clash’s landmark double album London Calling…on the actual anniversary of its release in the UK! And then on January 11 2020 (since this update is so late I’ll include a 2020 highlight) we returned to The Roxy in LA to celebrate the release of London Calling…one day after its initial US release! Booking those 2 dates almost perfectly on the album’s release dates was a complete coincidence, if you can believe that! We had sooooo many amazing guests at both shows.
Here’s an absurd amount of photos from the shows:
The shows are benefits for Music & Memory and The Joe Strummer Foundation. We raised more money than expected for both organizations. Find the documentary “Alive Inside” or visit their websites (linked here) to learn more about their work.
And, contrary to popular belief, this and every year sees a lot of great music put out into the world. All you have to do is look…and listen…
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead – Airwaves http://andrewleaheymusic.com/
Andy Black – The Ghost Of Ohio http://www.andyblackmusic.com/
Arlan Feiles – What Kind Of World http://www.arlanfeilesmusic.com/
Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason https://badreligion.com/
Bob Mould – Sunshine Love https://bobmould.com/
Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars https://brucespringsteen.net/
Craig Finn – I Need A New War https://craigfinn.net/
Daddy Long Legs – Lowdown Ways http://officialdaddylonglegs.com/
Darrin Bradbury – Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs https://darrinbradbury.com/
Dave Vargo – Spaces In Between https://davevargomusic.com/
Diane & The Gentle Men – Little Things EP https://www.dianegentile.com/
Eli Paperboy Reed – 99 Cent Dreams http://www.elipaperboyreed.com/
Frank Lombardi – Predawn https://www.facebook.com/franklombardimusic/
Frank Turner – No Man’s Land https://frank-turner.com/home/
Glen Hansard – This Wild Willing http://glenhansard.com/
Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets – Shake Stomp and Stumble https://www.gregantistaandthelonelystreets.com/
Griffin House – Rising Star https://griffinhousemusic.com/
Guided By Voices – Zeppelin Over China https://www.guidedbyvoices.com/
Hamish Anderson – Out Of My Head http://www.hamishandersonmusic.com/
Hollis Brown – Ozone Park https://www.hollisbrown.com/
Jackson Pines – Gas Station Blues & Diamond Rings https://www.jacksonpines.com/
Jade Jackson – Wilderness https://jadejackson.com/
Jamestown Revival – San Isabel https://jamestownrevival.com/
Jesse Malin – Sunset Kids https://www.jessemalin.com/
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt – The Fun In The Fight http://www.jocelynandchrismusic.com/
Joe Jackson – Fool http://joejackson.com/
Josh Ritter – Fever Breaks https://www.joshritter.com/
Juliana Hatfield – Weird https://www.julianahatfield.com/
Liam Gallagher – Why Me? Why Not. https://www.liamgallagher.com/
Los Coast – Samsara https://www.loscoast.com/
Matty Carlock – The Jailbirds https://www.115tindallroad.com/
Michael McDermott – Orphans https://michael-mcdermott.com/
Mike Daly & The Planets – All It Takes Is One https://dalyplanets.bandcamp.com/
Noah Gundersen – Lover http://www.noahgundersen.com/
Orville Peck – Pony https://www.orvillepeck.com/
Pedro The Lion – Phoenix https://pedrothelion.com/
Pete Yorn – Caretakers http://www.peteyorn.com/
Pixies – Beneath The Eyrie https://www.pixiesmusic.com/
Ride – This Is Not A Safe Place https://www.thebandride.com/
Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Brighter Days http://www.robertrandolph.net/
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow https://www.sharonvanetten.com/
Skyeline – The Disillusionment of Infatuation EP https://www.facebook.com/skyelinetheband/
Swervedriver – Future Ruins https://www.swervedriver.com/
The Alarm – Sigma http://thealarm.com/
The Anderson Counccil – Worlds Collide https://www.theandersoncouncil.org/
The Campfire Flies – Sparks Like Little Stars http://thecampfireflies.com/
The Dream Syndicate – These Times http://www.thedreamsyndicate.com/
The Extensions – Bellicose https://www.facebook.com/theextensionsband/
The Inoculated Canaries – Hypocrite https://theinoculatedcanaries.com/
The Hold Steady – Thrashing Thru The Passion https://www.theholdsteady.net/
The Magpie Salute – High Water II http://themagpiesalute.com/
The Menzingers – Hello Exile https://themenzingers.com/
The Parlor Mob – Dark Hour https://www.parlormob.com/
The Skullers – Freight Trains & Party Games EP http://www.theskullers.com/
The Specials – Encore https://www.thespecials.com/
The Vansaders – Standstill https://thevansaders.bandcamp.com/
The Vaughns – FOMO https://www.thevaughns.com/
The Waterboys – Where The Action Is https://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/
Tobias The Owl – A Safe Harbor For Wayward Echoes https://www.tobiastheowl.com/
Trapper Schoepp – Primetime Illusion http://trapperschoepp.com/
Val Emmich – Tizzy http://valemmich.com/
Versing – 10000 https://www.hardlyart.com/artists/versing
Waiting For Henry – The Gospel Of Moby Grape https://www.waitingforhenry.com/
Yawn Mower – Why Work Harder Than You Have To EP https://yawnmower.bandcamp.com/
Don’t forget, you can find me on the interwebs.
Personal Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/unkajeff
Public Figure Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/JeffRaspeMusicWizard
You Tube http://www.youtube.com/unkajeff
Love It To Life, the charitry organization that Jesse Malin & I started https://loveittolife.org/