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On a week in which Long Branch-born Funk-Key Friend (and esteemed Member of Parliament) BERNIE WORRELL is due to receive the Key to the City of LB…see picks for Saturday, 6/30…another Local Boy Makes Good from a place that you may not have been aware of. Ocean Township native TIM HAUSER (third from left in the toon above) leads his fellow members of MANHATTAN TRANSFER back to the Count Basie Theatre, the venerable venue named for the iconic “Kid from Red Bank,” with whom Hauser and company actually collaborated back in the 1980s! Expect a special tribute to the Count at Thursday’s concert, exclusively for the hometown audience…and expect everything you’ll need to know and THEN some at the flip of the paperless page…
MONDAY! Andre Cholmondeley and Friends at the Saint. Longtime residents and habitues of the Red Bank That Wuz remember Andre Cholmondeley as co-proprietor/ spiritual force behind the much-missed Second Nature Natural Foods, the Broad Street emporium he operated with his late partner in life, art and commerce Cheri Jiosne. Since relocated to Asheville, NC, the spectacular master of exhilaratingly effects-laden guitar explorations is known internationally for Project/Object, the object project that morphed from occasional local tribute to the ouevre of Frank Zappa, to a touring cult phenom that drew the participation of Ike Willis and other veteran Mothers of Invention. Andre — who just came off the road in support of prog pioneer Greg Lake of all people — still makes the odd reappearance on the Upper Wet Side, and in an effort to combat Monday mundanity he’ll be occupying Main Street musicbox The Saint, in a set (featuring Bob Ramos) that’s bookended by Jon Francis (8:30pm) and Michael Haleta (9:30pm). The Saint, 601 Main St., Asbury Park • 7pm/ $8
MONDAY! Eric Lindell at The Press Room. Just a couple of blocks away at The Press Room — scene this past weekend of a deliciously decadent production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch — the Bangs Ave bandbar and biergarten hosts a surprise eleventh-hour scheduling by Eric Lindell, acclaimed swamprock soul saucier, Alligator Records recording artiste AND quite possibly the only active surfer on any past or current blues label roster. Touring behind his recent release I Still Love You, the Gulf Coast gaucho brings his well-earned crowsfeet and easily swinging, Van Morrison-marinated R&B spicings to the stage that’s hosted everything from garage punk, Americana and surf to local hiphop and the always-looking-for-a-gig Bruce Springsteen. The Press Room, 610 Bangs Ave., Asbury Park • 8pm/ $10
TUESDAY! Hard to believe that even in the midst of an area that represents such a decadent smorgasbord of choices most every night of every week, there could still be such a thing as a relative “off” interlude. All things considered, it’s probably good for our wellbeing to dial it down a notch every so often — and with options like Jim Norton’s Trivia Challenge (The Brickwall), Russ and Kim’s Punk Rock Happy Hour (The Brighton), Chris Rockwell’s Tuesday Night Speakeasy (The Annex) Lance and Debbie’s ongoing Doggy Yappy Hour (The Wonder Bar) and the odd Scrabble scrimmage, it’s not like there’s stonecold NOTHING to latch onto here in the drab foothills of the workweek hump. Still, your upperWETside Control Voice, being a bit burnt after many consecutive nights of events and invites, opted to make last Tuesday a rare and welcome TV marathon…PBS Newshour, Jeopardy, baseball, half a horror movie, mas beisbol, American Dad, Tosh, Workaholics, Daily Show, Colbert, Baseball Tonight, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and a final bleary-eyed collapse into the land of Burns & Allen and infomercials. Felt good, too.
WEDNESDAY! John Edward at the Paramount. According to John Edward, “Information comes through to me in three basic ways: seeing, hearing, and feeling the energy of the person that’s crossed over.” You won’t find the internationally acclaimed psychic medium, best selling author and star of TV’s Crossing Over singing, dancing or telling jokes at any of his “concert” appearances — but when this popular draw at theaters throughout the Upper Wet Side (Count Basie, Monmouth U et al) returns to the Asbury boards, he’ll be lifting the veil between this world and the next, in a relaxed, conversational manner that’s made believers of audiences from coast to coast. Tix available here, and a caveat of “reading not guaranteed.” Paramount Theatre, Ocean and Fifth Aves., Asbury Park • 7pm
WEDNESDAY! The Beach Boys at Pee ‘N See. In an interview that we did last year with last-Boy-standing Mike Love, the longtime keeper of the touring Beach Boys flame allowed that a rumored album reuniting him with fellow founders (turned frenemies) Brian Wilson and Al Jardine was “still in the works. We’ve had a lot of discussions about it, Brian and I; we’ve talked about making time to write again, and right now the plan is that we’re looking forward to recording in the fall.” To which we offered that it had been a long time since the original members of The Beach Boys shared a cramped cruise in a car, a ride in a tour bus, or the same side of the conference table at a lawyer’s office.
Well, strike us pink and so help us Rhonda — here in the year AFTER the golden anniversary milestone of the first Beach Boys gig, the surviving charter members have realigned for that first set of original material in more than a generation (That’s Why God Made the Radio) and a big-venue tour that brings them to the stationary saucer of the PNC Bank Arts Center — scene of some memorable millennial events in which Brian paid tribute to the landmark Pet Sounds and lost masterpiece Smile with his band The Wondermints.
Brian, Mike and Al will be joined of course by 45-year “new guy” (and Ted Kennedy lookalike) Bruce Johnston, as well as by on-again-off-again original member David Marks (present on the band’s earliest tours and recording sessions), for a night of catalog perennials, new Brian-penned stuff AND other potential surprises — with the unspoken undercurrent that THIS is your last chance to bear witness to rock and roll history. Tix from Live Nation, with all the restrictions, surcharges, pat-downs, confiscations, mark-ups, waits, walks and weather issues that make summer in the Holmdel hills such a magical interlude. PNC Bank Arts Center, Garden State Parkway in Holmdel • 7:30pm/ $25 – $175
WEDNESDAY! Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band at the Pony. He’s The Boss of Idaho — the biggest thing out of The Gem State since Pappy Boyington AND Harmon Killebrew combined. Josh Ritter may have made his mark in Ireland (where we hear they’re also partial to the potato), but with seven albums of acclaimed Americana, including the recentest release Bringing in the Darlings, the still-young ambassador of acousticana puts forth a rootsy ramble of a sound (all lap steel and accordion and tuba and elbows and doorknobs) that’s as fresh as Freedom Fries, and we DON’T mean microwave-thawed OreIda. Brookdale Public Radio personality Jeff Raspe introduces the other J.R. at The Stone Pony, with Tift Merritt setting things up. Stone Pony, Ocean and Second Aves., Asbury Park • doors 4pm/ $18 advance, $20 door
CANCELLED! Paula Cole at Two River. The latest in a renewed summer series of Intimate Evenings events at Two River Theater (presented in this case by Count Basie Theatre Foundation) has been removed from Wednesday’s schedule with no reslate date, although the series is set to resume (with a bang and a boom) with six more installments in July and August. Two River Theater, Bridge Ave. at Edmund Wilson Plaza, Red Bank
THURSDAY through SUNDAY! Crossing Borders Festival at Two River. Two River Theater Company presents the second annual FREE four day festival of new works by Latino playwrights, curated by Jerry Ruiz — and kicking off at 5:30pm with a public-welcome Block Party outside the Bridge Ave performing arts space. It’s followed by a reading in English of Intringulis by Carlo Albán, a former resident of both Sesame Street and Sayreville who tells his story of life in a family of undocumented immigrants. There’s much more in store over the weekend (including a Sunday encore of Intringulis, this time en Español); watch upperWETside for a fully fledged feature on the summer-season event. Two River Theater, Bridge Ave. at Edmund Wilson Plaza, Red Bank • 5pm/ FREE
THURSDAY! Manhattan Transfer at the Basie. Last time that Tim Hauser and his veteran vanguard vocalizers The Manhattan Transfer visited the Count Basie Theatre, the Ocean Township native and St. Rose High School grad (turned LA emigre) told us he was “grateful that I had the opportunity” to grow up around this neck of the weeds, adding that “I tell my West Coast friends that they’ve got to spend summer on the Jersey Shore to really ‘get’ it.”
The Grammy winning quartet of retro pop-jazz harmonizers (with Hauser, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul joined by Margaret Dorn, substituting for an ailing Cheryl Bentyne) has more than just a lip-service connection to the late great William “Count” Basie. In fact, they actually recorded several tracks with “The Kid from Red Bank” and his band for their 1985 release Vocalese — and Basie band trombonist Dennis Wilson was commissioned by the Count to develop new material with the MT, further cementing a relationship that seems especially pertinent on the eve of the group’s return to the Basie-birthing borough on June 28.
“We have about seven or eight songs that are associated with Count Basie in some way,” observes Hauser, who, with the sophisticated scat cats and kittens of the Transfer, performed a set-within-a-set of Count-related numbers last time out — a special treat that was experienced exclusively by the Red Bank audience on that 2003 tour.
When the Transfer makes its local stop on their milestone 40th Anniversary Tout, expect the usual — the usual being awesome harmonic technique, genuine musical scholarship and an easygoing confidence in their own unerring instincts for material and presentation — along with the group’s top 20 hits (“The Boy From New York City,” “Twilight Zone”), Grammy-lauded critical faves (“Sassy” and signature tune “Birdland”) and just about any surprise that can be scatted, sung and swung. Take it here for tix. Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank • 8pm/ $29.50 – $55
THURSDAY! The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Stone Pony SummerStage. The Bad Boy of Rock ‘n Roll is BACK (you know, he like divorced Kate Hudson, got fired off a ZZ Top tour and reportedly spit on a lady at 7-11) — with what has to be his eighth or ninth band since the debut of back around the last time that anybody paid for music. This project, entitled Chris Robinson Brotherhood, features fellow former Crowe Adam MacDougall for continuity’s sake; they’ll be taking the Stone Pony SummerStage in the wake of the just-released Big Moon Ritual, for a full-length show that looks to veer once more toward the jam-heavy sets the lanky lightning rod was doing a decade ago in front of New Earth Mud. Stone Pony, Ocean and Second Aves., Asbury Park • doors 4pm/ $24.50 advance, $30 door
FRIDAY! Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Basie. Apparently those ethereal harmonies don’t extend to their personal dynamics, but if the superannuated supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash sometimes attracts the soft-rock equivalent of NASCAR crash-junkie ghouls, looking for signs of that famed friction between the umpty-billionth reprise of “Our House,” then they’ve also admirably put the lie to the notion that musical marriages of convenience never outlive the recording contracts they were rooted in. Last seen on the Asbury boards and at the Pee ‘N See Arts Center, the boys take their domestic summer tour to the Count Basie Theatre with five-piece backup band, a slew of solo and combo signature songs, and a pledge to donate a dollar from every ticket sold to The Guacamole Fund and other charitable orgs. Take it here for tickets. Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank • 8pm/ $19.50 – $45
SATURDAY! Dierks Bentley at Stone Pony SummerStage. Ever since Toby Keith took a detour over to the Stone Pony a few years back as an ancillary tie-in to a PNC gig, the Second Avenue freezeout has played regular, if still only occasional, host to many of the latest creations of the Music Row publicist cubicles. Graced with an easygoing self-effacing humor and admirably devoid of a cowboy hat, Dierks Bentley presents a largely inoffensive front that makes the parade of chart-toppers and award-winners go down easy as a SummerStage-sponsor “beer.” He’s paired here with Colts Neck’s own scrupulously groomed corp-country sensation Corey Wagar, while Michael McClinton and Amanda Duncan try for an inside-the-club home run, and The Bob Polding Band goes for the late-innings save. Stone Pony, Ocean and Second Aves., Asbury Park • doors 5pm/ $37.50 advance, $45 door
SATURDAY! Bernie Worrell at the Brighton. He’s already been a Member of Parliament — by which we mean a heyday mainstay of George Clinton’s P-Funk mothership juggernaut — and his funkflex keyboard mastery was a big part of why the circa 1980 expanded version of Talking Heads remains the fave configuration for a lot of Byrne victims out there. When Long Branch-born Bernie Worrell returns to the seaside city for a Saturday night set at The Brighton, he’ll be presented the Key to the City by longtime LB Mayor Adam Schneider — an accolade that’s perhaps second only to inclusion on the fabled Brighton Wall of Fame. The frequent fixture on the millennial jamband scene (and member of every supergroup from Black Jack Johnson to Colonel Claypool’s Bucket Of Bernie Brains) appears with Karmic Juggernaut, on a program that includes a well-publicized “surprise” appearance by Upper Wet Side funk bass favorite son TM Stevens. Brighton Bar, 121 Brighton Ave., Long Branch • 8pm/ no cover
SATURDAY! Anthony Green and The Dear Hunter at the Paramount. The vaguely matinee-idol frontdude from Circa Survive and about a dozen other projects of limited half-life is still out there touring behind Beautiful Things, his sophomore solo set and the topic of a concert jaunt that finds him backed by the full faith and credit of Casey Crescenzo and The Dear Hunter. Still listed by some sources as being at The Stone Pony, this value-meal priced show was moved up the boardwalk to the Paramount proscenium, when it was announced that the concert would be recorded. Paramount Theatre, Ocean and Fifth Aves., Asbury Park • 7pm • $15 CHEAP!!
SATURDAY! Sha Na Na at Great Auditorium. Ocean Grove’s historic wooden ship of family entertainment is still more likely at any given time to welcome Kirk Cameron than any veterans of the original Woodstock mudfest — but lest we forget, Sha Na Na were there at Max Yasgur’s farm too (as they were on the smash soundtrack to the Grease movie), and tonight the guys who jumpstarted the whole 50s nostalgia thing barely ten years after the fact (giving us by extension American Graffiti, Happy Days and plenty of lackluster diner experiences) arrive at the Great Aud, minus Jon “Bowzer” Bauman and much of the lineup we remember from their old syndicated TV show. Tickets right here — and be mindful that “the audience gets to sing and dance along, and participate in Greaser Olympics.” Great Auditorium, Pilgrim and Ocean Pathways, Ocean Grove • 8pm/ $25, $30
SUNDAY! Umphrey’s McGee at Stone Pony SummerStage. A jamprog standby whose annual sojourns to the Stone Pony SummerStage have become the stuff of civic tradition, Umphrey’s McGee continues to hack the hackysack set with improggably long and complex excursions that are more apt to channel Zep, Zappa and Ze Pinque Phloid than most of the second-hand stoner fare that tends to find snug harbor at the Stoney. They’ll be performing two hour-long sets in the great out-of-doors, with as the saucy solo set-up man and special pre- (Quincy Mumford) and post- (Tiny Boxes) main event bonus extras inside the famous corpclub. Stone Pony, Ocean and Second Aves., Asbury Park • doors 4pm/ $26.50 advance, $30 door
SUNDAY! “Phantoms, Fools and Midnight Ramblers”: Recent Works on Paper by Robyn Ellenbogen. “I’m excited about this body of work,” states one of our fave people on the local arts scene, visual artist and busy educator/ therapist Robyn Ellenbogen — adding that “having children out of the house definitely yields higher art production,” although “I have come to realize that aging (mine particularly) really makes you cut back on the activities that are not essential.”
Fortunately, pieces like “Passing Through Pearls and Emptiness” (pictured above), infused as they are with a poet’s sense of wonder (and a scientist’s sense of when to leave things be) are NOT considered non-essential by this busy painter, sketcher and digital imagist. So take a tip from the artist; leave those dishes to fester and laundry to melt slowly back into the nurturing earth, and head over to one of Asbury’s greatest unspoiled resources (the gorgeous gallery at Hotel Tides) for a Sunday evening reception, during which Ellenbogen’s daughter — the passionately activist singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Xenia Sky — provides complementary soundscape. Hotel Tides, 408 Seventh Ave., Asbury Park • 5-8pm