From classic Disco, Celtic punk and showband Soul — to Western swing, Millennial folk-alt-pop and even Gypsy dub — the days and nights to come represent a “seven day weekend” of sonic options in and around the bars, boards, bistros and bowling alleys of Asbury Park (or, looked at a different way, “just another week” here in that place Where Music Lives). So, even if you weren’t one of the lucky-lotto winners for a chance to see Bruce Springsteen perform the bottled-bubbly re-launch of the refitted SS Asbury Lanes, there’s still plenty of uber-classic to ultra-contemporary sounds for the asking (including the present-tense projects of not one but two Bruce-band drummers), and we’ve got a crazy calendar countdown of the highlights right here and now — along with a couple of exciting things happening in the realm of modern classic films and pop art nouveau — with the full accounting of weekly listings appearing in the printed pages of Asbury’s fightin’ fun-tab, The COASTER!
THURSDAY, June 14 delivers a special-treat act from ‘cross the pond to the sidewalkside windows of the Wonder Bar, when the long-running Leedsmen The New Mastersounds bring their organ-driven brand of so-cool-it’s-hot funk grooves to the Asbury circuit, on a perfect-matchup bill that finds the Shore’s own Hammond B-3 flying ace Matt Wade joining local funk-faves Waiting for Mongo for an opener set that’s an organ-ic meal in itself. Doors open at 8 pm, with tix ($25) reservable at wonderbarasburypark.com.
Meanwhile, over at downtown’s awesomely all-purpose auditorium House of Independents, the band MACK play what’s being billed as their final show, on a Thrillsday bill with Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, The Burns and Tula Vera. Doors open at 7:30 pm, with eminently affordable $10 admission gettable at houseofindependents.com or in person/across the street at Lola’s European Café.
Working a territory that spans everything from bordertown Tex-Mex to Music Row country to the Latin-infused sounds of their native Miami, the Grammy winning, ultra-eclectic band of roots rockers The Mavericks have resisted easy branding every bit as much as their namesake livestock — but on FRIDAY, June 15, Raul Malo and the 2018 lineup of the long-established band (reunited a few years back to great) find themselves corralled for a couple of hours inside that venerable venue the Paramount Theater. Still riding the momentum of their 2017 self-release Brand New Day, the band takes the stage in an 8 pm show for which tickets ($18-$37) are available from ticketmaster.com.
The night starts at the earlybird hour of 4:30 pm, when the gates of the Stone Pony SummerStage swing open for an outdoor outing by the LA-based dance-pop (by way of neo-soul) six piece Fitz and the Tantrums. The combo co-fronted by Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs appears with the X Ambassadors in a show for which tickets ($35 advance/ $45 d.o.s.) are at stoneponyonline.com.
Arguably the most unusual match-up of venue and vaudeville within the busy week happens at the Lakehouse complex HQ of The Asbury Park Music Foundation at 7 pm, when The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd Anthony Fantano brings his brand of hip hop hilarity (purveyed under his alter ego Cal Chuchesta) and multi-media mayhem (courtesy of his award winning vlog The Needle Drop) to a fundraiser event on behalf of the Asbury Park Music Foundation’s educational programs, with admission ($15 advance; $20 d.o.s.; $40 VIP option) gettable from the APMF website.
Over at the space-age saucer that was the legendary boardwalk HoJo’s, original Springsteen Band drummer (and R&R Hall o’ Famer) Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez joins fellow Shore scene stalwart Paul Whistler in their dynamic duo project Dawg Whistle, downstairs at Robinson Ale House, while Bruce backing vocalist Layonne Holmes joins the ten-piece showband Motor City Revue for a topside turn at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club. Both sets start at 8 pm, with admission to the upstairs show priced at $20.
Speaking of the Dropkick Murphys — which we will be, momentarily — former DMs vocalist Mike McColgan brings his Boston-bred Street Dogs to the House of Indies for an 8:30 pm set and a $16 ticket…while garage-goth Britpunks The Horrors (pictured) make their local debut, bringing everybody down (but in a good way) at the newly ball-polished Asbury Lanes, in a 9 pm set for which tix ($18) can be gotten at asburylanes.com…then at 10 pm, the latterday landmark Langosta Lounge brings back the one-of-a-kind singing cowboy sounds of Jet Weston and His Atomic Ranch Hands to the boardwalk restaurant’s stage, for a set of truly vintage country-western crooners that’s unlike anything else you’ll experience Shoreside this season.
Then, at the party-starting hour of 11 pm, connoisseurs of classic DISCO are encouraged to take it just a few dance steps into nearby Neptune (and a couple of hours later into the heart of the nightlife), where The Headliner musters up a must-see bill honoring the numerous influences that supercharged modern club dance music in the 1970s and 80s. It’s a three-for-all highlighted by Carol Douglas, whose trailblazing hit “Doctor’s Orders” rewrote the prescription for danceable R&B way back in 1974 — and the beat continues nonstop with Cory Daye, (pictured), whose vocals helped put the swing into the Dr. Buzzard blockbuster “Cherchez La Femme” in 1976 (as well as subsequent solo outings and projects with Kid Creole and the Coconuts). Representing the early 1980s is the 21st century incarnation of Lime, the Quebecois dance-synth duo whose hitmaking legacy (“Your Love,” “Babe We’re Gonna Love Tonight”) survived the divorce of original husband-wife members Denis and Denys LePage — as well as Denis’s transgender rebranding — through the onstage performances of singers Rob Hubertz and Joy Dorris.
SATURDAY, June 16 brings some legendary localoids back to the Stone Pony stage, courtesy of E Street Band timelord Max Weinberg’s Jukebox; a collaboration with The Weeklings’ Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger and John Merjave about which more deep-dish detail can be found elsewhere on this same space…meanwhile the House of Indies highlights Asbury’s own prolific/eclectic millennial rockers Deal Casino in a record release event keyed to their ep Isadora Duncan. Tickets are $8 for the 7:30 pm show that further features Sonic Blume and Well Wisher, and Haunt Club.
From legendary locals we go to The Undesirable Tenants, the name bestowed upon a project that spotlights the skills of veteran Shore music makers Rich Oddo, Phil Rizzo and Bon Jovi tour guitarist/ championship bluesman Matt O’Ree (pictured), joined for a 7:30 pm set at The Saint by Tom Donovan and the double-drumming brothers Gonzalez. Tickets are a recession-busting ten bucks, from thesaintnj.com…back at the Langosta Lounge, Jersey alterna-rock legend Don Dazzo (Whirling Dervishes, Everlounge) plays special guest DJ for a 10 pm Mermaid Dance Party designed to wet the whistle for the upcoming fourth annual Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids, about which much more to come in these pixilated pages.
From SUNDAY Jazz Brunch at McLoone’s (10:30), to live music on the Wonder Bar’s Yappy Hour Deck (3 pm) and the return of the Sandy Mack Sunday Jam at the Asbury Hotel’s Soundbooth Lounge (4 pm), the so-called Day of Rest offers NO rest for wicked-cool music fans on June 17, as the Stoney SummerStage opens its gates at 5 pm for a twi-night doubleheader that pairs Boston’s gloriously shillelagh-kicking Celtic punks the Dropkick Murphys with the West Coast’s own similarly festive Flogging Molly, in a frantic fleadh for which tickets ($50.50) can he had at stoneponyonline.com…then at 7:30 pm, Alec Ounsworth and the 2018 edition of his long-running Philly-based alt-pop band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah take the House of Independents stage, with an “open your mouth say aahhh” intro set by another Asbury area favorite, Dentist. It’s $18 from houseofindependents.com or the cross-Cookman box office.
The big story on an unusually manic MONDAY, June 18 is of course the pre-announced surprise appearance by Bruce Springsteen, taking the night off his Broadway engagement to officially bless the remade/remodeled Asbury Lanes in the company of Boss-photog Danny Clinch and his Tangiers Blues Band. It’s a sold-out event staged in benefit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (with a lucky hundred Asbury Parkers having been awarded sought-after tix in an online lottery last week), and it’s topped by Portugal. the Man, with the Grammy winning hitmakers (“Feel It Still”) from Wasilla, AK making their own Asbury debut in the 8 pm concert that’s made national headlines.
Not to be outdone, the House of Indies offers up another local debut for an act that’s generated a great deal of excited buzz, the improbably named duo I Don’t Know How But They Found Me. Composed of former members of Panic! At the Disco and Falling in Reverse, the bass-and-drums band has been playing hide-and-seek with record labels for a couple of seasons now; their music — with heavy strains and veins of 70s glam and 80s new wave — is on display in a 7 pm show (opened by Cherry Pools), for which tickets are priced at $15.
While TUESDAY is generally the province of Café Artiste Songwriters Showcase at Ocean Grove’s Jersey Shore Arts Center, the Lanes resets the pins on June 19 for yet another Asbury first: an appearance by Brit millennial popster Bishop Briggs, who’s touring on the momentum generated by her full-length debut Check Your Scars — this after having already scaled the Billboard charts, appeared on national TV, toured with major acts and made good on top festival stages. Doors open 7 pm and tix are $20 for the show, with opening set by LIFT.
WEDNESDAY may represent a daunting working-week hump for some, but out on the sands of the Anchor’s Bend seaside stage (just off the north end of Convention Hall), the segue into summer is smooth, as Shoreggae perennials the Predator Dub Assassins work a June 20 entry in their weekly sandy stand; one that presages the June 21 coming of the 2018 Jams on the Sand series…at House of Independents, the air is charged with electricity, as veteran Britpunks Charged GBH (the first word is often silent) join Piñata Protest, School Drugs and Nervous Triggers for an Asbury whistle-stop on their frankly awesome 40th anniversary tour, with showtime at 7:30 pm and tix at $20.
All this and it’s not even officially Summer yet…tune in next week…and there’s still more where that came from, with the full listings of live and DJ music available in the printed precincts of The Coaster.
SCREENS: CARY ELWES presents THE PRINCESS BRIDE
A made-in-mainstream-Hollywood cult classic if ever there was one, Rob Reiner’s 1987 film of William Goldman’s fractured-fairytale novel The Princess Bride continues to win new generations of fans — and on the evening of Saturday, June 16, Asbury Park’s oldest standing movie house invites one of the movie’s major stars to step out from the storybook screen, for an in-person Evening with Cary Elwes that brings the actor (and author of the 2014 book As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride) to the Paramount Theater stage for a live appearance. The leading man discusses his dream role of swashbuckling Westley, his co-starring cast of vivid characters, and the film’s path from moderate box-office success to world conquest, during a Q&A session that follows the 7:30 pm screening. Available tickets are $39.50 in advance from ticketmaster.com, with copies of Elwes’s book available for purchase at the event.
SIGHTS: BEYOND POP ART at Parlor Gallery
When it first turned heads (and set the fine art world on its ear) more than 60 years ago, Pop Art was already an avenue that looked simultaneously forward and back — an in-your-face commentary on modern American life that drew from decades of hard-sell images (product packaging, comic books, movie star iconography, various accepted social wisdoms), to paint a portrait of a consumerist culture amusing itself into mutually assured extinction.
It also represented a fun and thrilling ride that hasn’t shown signs of slowing down here in Twitter-speed 2018, and beginning this Saturday evening, June 16, Asbury Park’s premier Pop Art paradise — that’s Jenn and Jill’s ever-seductive Parlor Gallery on the downtown “arts block” — presents Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, a new group show that examines “Art Beyond Pop” through the curated contributions of more than a dozen different explorers of the realm. Opening with a free public-welcome reception between 7 and 11 pm (and continuing at the 717 Cookman Ave space through a date TBA), the display is highlighted by works from Greg Gossel (above left), whose nationally and internationally exhibited creations offer “a visual history of change and process that simultaneously features and condemns popular culture.” Of special interest to art enthusiasts — although not necessarily reproducible in the proverbial family newspaper — is Bri Cirel (above right) and her series of “Dicks,” a hilarious running tour of art history that lovingly parodies the work of everyone from Magritte to Haring, through the twists and turns of the male member.
Also featured are works by Peter Adamyan, Craig Skibs Barker, BNS, Michael Forbes, Ray Geary, Joshua Horkey, Indie 184, Trevor Mikula, Andy Pawlan, Dominique Steffens, David Williams, and Andre Veloux.