HAPPY HOLIDAYS…2010…FROM JEFF RASPE
HAPPY HOLIDAYS !
Welcome to a quick wrap up of my 2010. I hope you’ve all had healthy, happy, and fruitful years.
I am still working at WBJB-FM, 90.5 The NIGHT, Brookdale Public Radio out of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft NJ. It’s in central NJ for those of you not in the area. I’m the afternoon host and Music Director. You can visit the website to listen online. I’m on every day from 3pm to 7pm. We’re a rock station. Specifically, a “Triple A” radio station. That stands for “Adult Album Alternative.” This past November we won our tenth consecutive Asbury Music Award for Top Local Radio Station To Support Local Music. In August I got to go to Boulder CO for one of my format’s conventions. Coincidentally, the convention is held in a hotel that my Dad’s cousin Richard and his wife Elaine own. So, not only did I get to have a great few days with my cohorts from the radio and promotion world with a remarkable amount of live music and partyin’ with rock stars, but I also got to spend some great time with some of my cousins.
I’ve also started doing more live DJing. I’ve DJed a couple times at the Stone Pony when “Cousin” Jesse Malin plays there with his band, at his request. As well as at Bowery Electric in NYC, one of the bars that Jesse co-owns. Starting in December I’m also now spinning regularly every Wednesday night at a place called The Downtown, in downtown Red Bank NJ. It’s part of a new weekly series of shows with live bands, art, and me playin’ records.
My folks are both doing okay. Dad is still singing with the Orpheus Club, a mens chorus based in nearby Ridgewood NJ. Both of them are now “retired” so there’s a lot of cleaning up going on at the old house. Well, that and sleeping. They finally replaced the old sliding door that leads out to the back yard….after Mom accidentally tried to walk through it. While it was closed. They also put up a shed and planted a new tree in the backyard.
We had a terrific surprise 75th birthday party for Dad. His birthday is June 9, so having the party on July 11 really helped the surprise factor. Between myself, my brother Gordon and his wife Teresa we set the whole thing up without Dad or Mom ever even having an inkling that something was coming. It was quite the subversive operation! Not only that, but we got the 70+ guests to keep the secret too! And many of them had more than a few opportunities to let the cat out of the bag, right up until the night before the party! We had old friends, new friends, cousins and more come in, literally, from all over the country for it. It was an amazing day with everyone really helping make it happen. Even though it may have been my idea, it never would have happened without the help of Gordon and Teresa, Stephanie, Aunt Anna, The Barretts and Nini. And everyone else for not only keeping the secret, but for taking the time, energy and expense to make it to NJ on a sweltering July afternoon to help Dad celebrate his 75th. I still can’t thank all of you enough…
The kids, Gordon and Teresa’s kids, are still getting older and bigger. Stephanie is now 16. Still big into dance and cheerleading. She is also still playing basketball and singing in the choir. She seems to be doing well and enjoying school. She’s now a junior! Soon she’ll be driving and visiting colleges and studying for the SATs! Her little brother Phillip is 13. He still seems to be enjoying soccer, basketball, playing trumpet in concert band and is also doing well in school. He’s one of the first students of the brand new Cresskill Middle School (same building as the High School). Victoria is 9 and is going to the same elementary school that the others went to. And mommy, daddy and Unkajeff for that matter. She’s also still playing soccer, something that she only started last year. She’s apparently very good and can kick the ball equally well with either leg. And the youngest member of the family, Gizmo the Papillon, is still reaking havoc wherever he goes.
In September I celebrated “Embarrass The Hell Out Of Your Niece Week.” It’s a little celebration I created to mark the week that your niece turns 16. What you do is you post to Facebook a whole bunch of embarrassing photos of her through the first 16 years of her life. Feel free to celebrate it yourself someday. It was a blast. For me. It would have been a heckuva lot funnier if Stephanie were actually allowed to have a Facebook page. But, I had fun. I atoned for that in October by spending a sunny Sunday afternoon driving into NYC with Stephanie to take her to my friend Lois’ boutique in my old stomping grounds of the Lower East Side. Lois is an old friend and listener of mine that has become a terrific dress designer/maker and she recently opened her own store on Ludlow Street. So I took Stephanie in and bought her a dress for the homecoming dance. Yeah, I’m that good an uncle. After getting the dress we met up with the rest of the family back in NJ for some dinner at a local diner. So, we’re sitting at the table and – without having seen the dress yet – Teresa asks Stephanie “Is it black?” Without missing a beat Phillip chimes in “Or purple?” You can see for yourself here. I’d say Mommy and little brother know Stephanie pretty well, eh?
And, for those of you that didn’t hear the news last year, I bought a house in Keansburg NJ. Moved in last December. I’m still there and everything is going okay. Compared to all of the work that had to get done before moving in, what’s left to do is relatively minor. Until I decide to do something like finish the attic, or put in a driveway, or build a large shed, or cut down a tree or two…. It’s a nice little street, my neighbors are very nice. Keansburg is a bayshore town on the Raritan Bay. It’s only a short walk (or shorter drive) to the legendary Keansburg Amusement Park from the house.
Jeff’s favorite releases of 2010. In alphabetical order. By first name.
MAJOR LABEL RELEASES
Band Of Horses – Infinite Arms
Elvis Costello – National Ransom
Fistful Of Mercy – As I Call You Down
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Raul Malo – Sinners & Saints
Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Mojo
INDEPENDENT LABEL RELEASES
Backyard Tire Fire – Good To Be
Ben Arnold – Simplify
Clem Snide – The Meat Of Life
David Ford – Let The Hard Times Roll
Delta Spirit – History From Below
Ellis Paul – The Day Everything Changed
Fran Healy – Wreckorder
Freedy Johnston – Rain On The City
Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
Good Old War – Good Old War
Griffin House – The Learner
Hoodoo Gurus – Purity Of Essence
Jesse Malin & St Marks Social – Love It To Life
Josh Ritter – So Runs The World Away
Jukebox The Ghost – Everything Under The Sun
Juliana Hatfield – Peace & Love
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
Lissie – Catching A Tiger
Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
Mark Erelli – Little Vigils
Mark Geary – Live Love Lost It NYC
Old 97s – The Grand Theatre, Vol 1
Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation
Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back
Peter Himmelman – The Mystery And The Hum
Richard Barone – Glow
Richard Thompson – Dream Attic
Shannon McNally – Western Ballad
Sloan – Hit & Run EP
Steve Forbert – Down In Flames
Teenage Fanclub – Shadows
The Autumn Defense – Once Around
The Figgs – The Man Who Fights Himself
The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever
The Like – Release Me
The Spring Standards – Would Things Be Different
The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt
Tift Merritt – See You On The Moon
Tracey Thorn – Love And Its Opposite
Willie Nile – The Innocent Ones
April Smith & The Great Picture Show – Songs For A Sinking Ship
Cara Salimando – Dust EP
Charlotte Sometimes – Sideways
Gerald Edward – You Write The Words
Keith Monacchio – The Long Evening
Laura Monzo – Manic
River City Extension – The Unmistakable Man
Scott Liss & The Sixty Six – The Blackpool Letters
Stringbean – Layin’ Low
The Gay Blades – Savages
The Grip Weeds – Strange Change Machine
Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
Don’t forget, you can find me on the interwebs.