I’m still working 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 15th 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. At the end of October I celebrated my 27th anniversary on Jersey Shore airwaves. 1988-2001 at WHTG-FM, FM106.3; and 2001-now at 90.5 The Night, Brookdale Public Radio. We had another successful summer of concerts on the beach in Belmar and successful Membership Drives (we’re listener supported) as well.
Me with some of the 90.5 The Night staff accepting our award.
There was also an “FM 106.3 Reunion” in May that brought a lot of us former DJs and employees together at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. Musical guests included Framing Dakota and Sea Of Otters, both of which include former employees; along with Richard Barone, Jeffrey Gaines and Karen Mansfield.
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. Dad finally retired from singing with the Orpheus Club, a mens chorus based in nearby Ridgewood NJ.
My brother Gordon and his wife Teresa’s kids, are still getting older and bigger. Stephanie is now 21 and will be graduating in May with a mechanical engineering degree at Alfred University in Alfred NY. 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. (It’s not my fault mom & dad!!!) She seems to be doing very well there and is enjoying it. She’s joined the school dance team so she’s still dancing. She’s been part of the school “activities/entertainment board” type club, the club that puts on events, shows and concerts on campus. So she’s been involved in many live music events, running sound and setting up/breaking down concerts. I got to take her to some more concerts when she’s home from school too. Including the all-day WARPED Tour at the PNC Bank Arts Center. It’s always in mid-July so you always prepare for the hottest, most humid day possible. We got to spend a lot of that day with a band called Rivers Monroe from Philadelphia. I’m friends with their manager and they helped us out a lot that day. Steph even brought them up to Alfred for a show in the Fall semester. We saw our cousin Jesse Malin a couple times and we saw my buddies Jounce do their 15th annual holiday show at Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ.
Stephanie outside the Black Veil Brides bus at Warped Tour. That’s the lead singer Andy in the background.
Phillip is 18 now. He’s played trumpet and baritone in the school band, and now he’s added trombone. He’s also been part of the stage crew in the high school. So on concert night, not only does he have to perform, but he also has to set the stage, chairs, risers, etc. He’s also in the HS jazz band and has joined the Bloomfield Civic Band in Bloomfield NJ. He graduates high school in June. He has yet to decide where he’ll be going to college, but has expressed interest in also getting an engineering degree.
Phillip showing our cousin Ryan his Pokemon cards. Gordon and Victoria are behind them.
Victoria is 14! She’s turned into a big reader and still plays soccer, basketball and volleyball. And she’s “moving up” from Middle School to High School later this Spring. So it means a lot of “pomp & circumstance” for the family!
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. This year that included (either in concert or at the radio station) too many to mention at the Light Of Day Festival in January, the Non-CommVention in May, The Gentlemen Of The Road Tour in June, and WARPED Tour in July. As well as long-time faves Aaron Freeman (aka Gene Ween of Ween), Poi Dog Pondering, Mark Geary, Rhett Miller, Dave Wakeling (of The English Beat) (pic), Rhett Miller (of the Old 97s), Matt Keating, Griffin House, The Baseball Project (featuring Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, Mike Mills, Scott McCaughey & Josh Kantor), The Replacements, Craig Finn (of The Hold Steady), Willie Nile, Mitch Easter (pic), Joe Jackson, Charlie Mars, Steve Forbert, Matthew Caws (of Nada Surf) (pic), Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook (of Squeeze), Joseph Arthur, Brian Fallon (of The Gaslight Anthem), Matthew Ryan, Peter Case, Dramarama, Scars On 45, Dawes and Nicole Atkins.
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…
Bruce Tunkel – We’ll Make It Up As We Go
Dark City Strings – Fast, True & Free
Hey Anna – Run Koko
Jonathan Tea – Coming Home
Michael Askin – Ignore The Evidence
Paul Rosevear – Pearl
The Battery Electric – The Heart And The Thrill
The Doughboys – Hot Beat Stew
The Grip Weeds – How I Won The War
The Weeklings – The Weeklings
Thomas Wesley Stern – Never Leaving
Val Emmich – Autobio (Part One)
Williams Honor – Williams Honor
INDEPENDENT LABEL RELEASES
American Aquarium – Wolves
Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain
Amy Speace – That Kind Of Girl
Butch Walker – Afraid Of Ghosts
Calexico – Edge Of The Sun
Cheerleader – The Sunshine Of Your Youth
Davy Knowles – The Outsider
Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands
Death By Unga Bunga – Tell Me Why EP
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Medicine
Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble
Hey Rosetta! – Second Sight
Hollis Brown – 3 Shots
James Maddock – The Green
Jeffrey Dean Foster – The Arrow
Jesse Malin – New York Before The War
Jesse Malin – Outsiders
Joe Jackson – Fast Forward
John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat
Josh Rouse – The Embers Of Time
Juliana Hatfield Three – Whatever, My Love
Langhorne Slim & The Law – The Spirit Moves
Letts – Hold Fast
Noah Gundersen – Carry The Ghost
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
Rhett Miller – The Traveler
River City Extension – Deliverance
Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
Squeeze – Cradle To The Grave
Stereophonics – Keep The Village Alive
Steve Forbert – Compromised
The Ballroom Thieves – A Wolf In The Doorway
The Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club
The Cerny Brothers – Sleeping Giant
The Damnwells – The Damnwells
The Howling Tongues – The Howling Tongues
The London Souls – Here Come The Girls
The Sonics – This Is The Sonics
The Waterboys – Modern Blues
Veruca Salt – Ghost Notes
Victor Krummenacher – Hard To See Trouble Coming
Willy Porter – Human Kindness
MAJOR LABEL RELEASES
Ben Lee – Love Is The Great Rebellion
Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter
Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
Chris Isaak – First Comes The Night
Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
Elle King – Love Stuff
Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People
Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind
Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern
Ryan Adams – 1989
The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World