HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2016!!
I’m still on the air at WBJB-FM, 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. We won the Asbury Music Award for Top Local Radio Station for the 16th year in a row. 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, some alternative, singer/songwriters, and a lot of local NJ artists. We had another successful summer of concerts on the beach in Belmar (only 1 rain out!) and successful Membership Drives (we’re listener supported) as well.
I’ve also been working part-time at Jack’s Music Shoppe, a legendary record store in Red Bank NJ. Only been working on Sundays and Record Store Days, but it’s enough to get back into the “record store thing.” And some extra money is helpful. 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. And not just old guys crate-digging for old records. There are a lot of folks buying new releases and reissues on vinyl. And most of them are, I’d guess, between 15 and 27. So that’s great to see…
My folks are retired and doing okay in Cresskill.
My brother Gordon and his wife Teresa’s kids, are still getting older and bigger. Stephanie is now 22 and graduated in May with a mechanical engineering degree at Alfred University in Alfred NY. Most of the family and I made it up to Alfred in May for the ceremony. However, she’s decided that she wants to get into the music business/concert business by teching or working sound for a band or venue. I got her a sort-of “mentorship” with Brian, the main sound guy at Mexicali Live. It’s a terrific venue/restaurant in Teaneck NJ. He’s also a tour manager for a band called The Front Bottoms and they did a lot of touring this year so she hasn’t been able to “train” as much as she should have yet, but in due time… She’s also been teaching at her old dance school and doing some math tutoring. I got to take her to some more concerts after graduation too. Including the all-day WARPED Tour at the PNC Bank Arts Center (because I *am* the best uncle ever).
Phillip is 19 now. He graduated from Cresskill High School and has started college at Western New England University in Springfield MA. He’s studying engineering at the moment. He’s not sure yet what specialization. The Division III football championship schedule had an interesting weekend in late November when Alfred and Western New England played each other. Alfred won 30-24.
Victoria is 15 and has “graduated” from junior high to High School. She’s turned into a big reader and still plays soccer, basketball and volleyball. She’s even joined me and Stephanie at WARPED Tour a couple of years now.
Gizmo the Papillon, is still reaking havoc wherever he goes and getting too many treats from Grandma. They’ve also added a chinchilla named Sparky.
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. And… This year I got to celebrate my 50th birthday by inviting some of my favorites to play a show at The Strand Theater in Lakewood NJ. My birthday is in March, but we had the party in April with Jesse Malin & his band, Mark Erelli & his trio, Val Emmich, Lowlight, Cortney Metzler from Harper’s Fellow and Framing Dakota. It was a terrific night – lots of great music and friends. Thanks to all performers, everyone at the theater and everyone who made it!
A couple of other highlights were seeing The Cure again. I hadn’t seen them in quite a long time. 15 years and 364 days, to be exact. I even got to take “Cousin Jesse” (Jesse Malin) to see them for his first time. Oddly, my buddy Marty Willson-Piper, formerly of The Church, was seeing them the same night for *his* first time too!
Then, in July, I got to see the first band I ever worked with on their first tour since 1997. Miracle Legion reunited and toured for 4 or 5 weeks. I saw them in Brooklyn and then the next night in Hamden CT. Here are a lot of photos I took at the CT show. Looking forward to more shows in April!
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…
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Silver Tears
American Babies – An Epic Battle Between Light And Dark
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead – Skyline In Central Time
Anthony D’Amato – Cold Snap
Ben Arnold – Lost Keys
BJ Barham – Rockingham
Butch Walker – Stay Gold
D Generation – Nothing Is Anywhere
Derik Hultquist – Southern Iron
Dinosaur Jr – Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
Don DiLego – Magnificent Ram A
Drive-By Truckers – American Band
Eli “Paperboy” Reed – My Way Home
Griffin House – So On And So Forth
Hamish Anderson – Trouble
Hidden Cities – All New Friends EP
John K Samson – Winter Wheat
Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan – Take It, It’s Yours
Letters To Cleo – Back To Nebraska
Mark Erelli – For A Song
Michael McDermott – Willow Springs
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land Or Bust
Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are
Nada Surf – Peaceful Ghosts
Richard Barone – Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village In The 60s
Run River North – Drinking From A Salt Pond
Ryley Walker – Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
Silver Torches – Heatherfield
Steve Conte – International Cover-Up
Sulk – No Illusions
The Ballroom Thieves – Deadeye
The Candles – Matter & Spirit
The Fleshtones – The Band Drinks For Free
The I Don’t Cares – Wild Stab
The Pixies – Head Carrier
Waiting For Henry – Town Called Patience
Willie Nile – World War Willie
Young In The City – Young In The City EP/Young In The City II EP
Accidental Seabirds – Metedeconk
Airacuda – Daydreaming
Bone And Marrow – Introspectator
Colton Kayser – Place To Settle
Dave Mooney – Costumes And Crowns
Dave Vargo – Burning Through
Dentist – Ceilings
Des & The Swagmatics – Des & The Swagmatics
EdTang & The Chops – Magic Tricks And Rolling Stone
Francis Lombardi – Francis Lombardi
Homeless Apians – Mr Sun
Jo Wymer – S.L.G.
Joseph Alton Miller – Songs Of Travel For The Vagabond
Lowlight – Where Do We Go From Here
Matty Carlock – Loveless
Remember Jones – Ladies And Gentlemen, Remember Jones!
Stolen Rhodes – Bend With The Wind
The Anderson Council – Assorted Colours
The Rock N Roll HiFives – The Beat The Sound The Dragon’s Roar
The Shady Street Show Band – Revelry
The Vansaders – This Time Around
Val Emmich – Whatever’s Chasing You
MAJOR LABEL RELEASES
Alejandro Escovedo – Burn Something Beautiful
Brian Fallon – Painkillers
Eliot Sumner – Information
Jamestown Revival – The Education Of A Wandering Man
Marcus King Band – Marcus King Band
NEEDTOBREATHE – Hard Love
Pete Yorn – Arranging Time
Sting – 57th & 9th
Tall Heights – Neptune
The Lumineers – Cleopatra
The Wild Feathers – Lonely Is A Lifetime
Various Artists – Sing Street soundtrack
Blue Rodeo – 1000 Arms (CAN import)
Hothouse Flowers – Let’s Do This Thing (IRE import)
Peter Garrett – A Version Of Now (AUS import)
The Wonder Stuff – 30 Goes Around The Sun (UK import)
This just in… On Christmas Eve Eve I finally did a proper sleep study at a local hospital. And the verdict is: I have severe sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine. I had done an out-patient version in July and apparently it showed that I was sleeping at 28% efficiency. And waking up as many as 58 times an hour. The night of my in-patient test with a CPAP machine showed 98% efficient sleep.