SEA.HEAR.NOW MUSIC/ART/SURF FEST PUSHES THE SUMMER ENVELOPE

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, September 27 2018

If you somehow thought that the season of the top-down, open-air entertainment event ended when the calendar flipped to Fall…if you assumed that the era of sprawling music festivals was a thing of the past here in a bustling, busy, ever-evolving Asbury Park…and if you’re adamant that parents and teens would NEVER share a minivan ride to the same destination concert attraction, then “See here now, buddy” — a certain Music, Art and Surf Festival is primed to prove you wrong on all counts.

Going up this Saturday and Sunday on three outdoor stages (two by the sea; one beneath the watchful gaze of the Founder’s statue in Bradley Park), as well as the northern stretch of Asbury Park’s boardwalk and the September swells of the Atlantic Ocean, the inaugural Sea.Hear.Now Festival aims to summon a level of excitement that evokes the WNEW beach concerts of decades past, or the Warped Tours and the Bamboozles of more recent memory — in a way that’s a lot more in sync with the community, a lick less crazy/crowded, and in the words of co-producer Danny Clinch, “a little more family.”

“Family” in this case is an acknowledgment of the generation that grew up on those legendary festivals, and a nod to the fact that many of these young old-timers are still dedicated concertgoers, even as the next generation stakes out some sonic turf of its own. With an eclectic bill headlined by pro surfer turned soft rocker Jack Johnson, and emo-ey California alt-rockers Incubus, it’s a rain-or-shine affair that spotlights a sampling of some of the Asbury area’s standout performers (including Neptune City-to-Nashville native Nicole Atkins), alongside veterans like Blondie (still a great live act, thanks to the core of Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and super drummer Clem Burke) and Social Distortion — and, as Clinch touts it, such hyper-currently hot bands as Highly Suspect and The Menzingers.

For Clinch — the photographer, artist and blues harpist whose images of Bruce Springsteen, Tupac and other music legends have shown a deeply rooted affinity for the American creative spirit — the ambitious event represents an increased commitment to Asbury Park that exploded in recent seasons with the opening of his Transparent Gallery; the exhibit space (and merch/music shop, and intimate venue for small-room concerts, book signings, lectures, or what-have-you) that beckons from the Kingsley Street side of the Asbury Hotel.

It’s also a major expansion of the Sea.Hear.Now brand for Danny and his local producing partner Tim Donnelly, whose previous presentations in Asbury Park included a smaller-scale surf-centric event in 2011, as well as a 2012 followup that took place a week before an even bigger event named Sandy (the pair also produced a post-Sandy “On the Beach” benefit at the Paramount, headlined by My Morning Jacket). For this weekend’s festivities, Clinch and Donnelly joined forces with C3 Presents, the Texas-based nationwide promoter whose major endeavors have included the Austin City Limits Festival and Lollapalooza.

“We’ve made a lot of friends in the industry, and we got to the point where we thought that we could produce something really special for Asbury Park,” says Clinch. “The city really embraced it, too…we’re coming in with a specifically curated rock and roll event that’s a good manageable size, and we’ve worked very well together with Mayor Moor and his crew.”

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IT’S WHAT’S UP FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 27 – OCTOBER 3

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, September 27 2018

SOUNDS: Melanie Up Close, at Tim McLoone’s

“New Jersey always wanted to claim me,” the veteran folk-pop singer Melanie told us in an interview some years back. “But when we first moved (to Long Branch) from the city, it was then very provincial…they hadn’t seen the likes of me.” The self-proclaimed “outcast andoddball” who got her start singing at a Sea Bright restaurant, who made her first big splash at Woodstock — and who scaled the charts with hits like the soulful “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” the nostalgic country-honk “Look What They’ve Done to My Song,” and the teasingly playful “Brand New Key” in the seasons before Springsteen — makes a rare Shoreside homecoming appearance TONIGHT, September 27, when she takes it topside to Tim McLoone’s Supper Club for an intimate concert that teams Melanie Safka with her longtime tour accompanist (and son) Beau-Jared Schekyryk. Produced by RUE Events, it’s an Up Close and Personal set of songs, stories, and Safka-esque observations from an artist who’s appeared on some of the world’s most famous stages, achieved international stardom, and managed an enviable balance of fame and family life, on her way to becoming a traveling ambassador of peace, love and cross-cultural understanding who can still “basically think that the world can be changed with a song.” Reserve tickets to the 7:30 pm show ($49.50) at timmcloonessupperclub.com.

SOUNDS: Pete Yorn Acoustic at the  Stone Pony

A Jersey guy by birth ‘n breeding, and a longtime favorite about these Shore Points, Pete Yorn returns to the Stone Pony stage this Friday, September 28, on the northeast leg of an “Evening With…” tour that finds the multi-instro singer-songwriter kicking it solo acoustic, despite the fact that his two most recent releases found him harmonizing with occasional collaborator Scarlett Johansson (the Apart EP), and 90s alt-rocker Liz Phair (a cover of The Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man”). Anticipate a retrospective of the artist’s growing catalog (including some high-profile Hollywood film score contributions, and the odd dip into the deep end of the covertunes pool), and maybe even some as-yet unreleased items from the workshop drawing board. Tickets to the 7 pm show ($30 advance; $35 d.o.s.) are available at stoneponyonline.com — and the artist’s website peteyorn.com offers “VIP backstage experiences where fans can meet Pete, watch soundcheck and even attend a pre-show performance of a song in the dressing room.”

SOUNDS: Dramarama at the Wonder Bar

“The songs are all about me,” John Easdale told us several years back in reference to his alterna-powerpop group Dramarama. “If I’m doing my job right, then people will see a bit of themselves in the song.” Despite the singer’s relocation to LA, the band that emerged from Wayne, NJ to gift the world with “violent and twisted” ditties like “Last Cigarette” and “Anything, Anything” remain perennial favorites here on the Shore (thanks in large part to heavy rotation on the old WHTG-FM) — and on Friday, September 28, the Drama-tists return to the Wonder Bar for a rocking “33 1/3 Years of Dramarama” retrospective, for which tix to the 8 pm show are $21 at the door or from wonderbarasburypark.com.

STAGES: Catapult’s “Magic Shadows” at Monmouth U

They wowed the national television audience when they appeared on Season Eight of America’s Got Talent — and yet, the members of Catapult remain shadowy figures to the general public. Founded in 2008 by choreographer (and veteran of Pilobolus Dance Theatre) Adam Battlestein, Catapult is a troupe of artists who perform behind onstage screens in a way that melds contemporary dance with centuries-old storytelling and even sculpture. When the company brings its Magic Shadows show to the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University on Friday, they’ll convey a cycle of eight “shape transformation” stories (through movement, music, and something akin to magic) that just might inspire you to never look at your own shadow the same way again. Tickets to the 8 pm event ($40-$50 adults; $20-$25 children) can be reserved by calling 732-263-6889, or visiting http://www.monmouth.edu/arts.

STAGES: NENA’s “Secret Garden” at JS Arts

Returning to the auditorium of Ocean Grove’s Jersey Shore Arts Center for their annual fall offering, producer-director Nick Montesano and his NENAproductions Theater Project present a new production of The Secret Garden, the Tony-winning musical adapted from the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Boasting songs by Lucy Simon and Pulitzer winner Marsha Norman, the oft-filmed story of a young orphaned girl named Mary, the tragedy-haunted uncle she’s sent to live with — and a hidden neglected garden that offers both mysteries and a chance for redemption — stars Maura Whalen in a followup to her turn in NENA’s staging of Fun Home. Jeffrey Fiorello (pictured with Maura) co-stars as Uncle Archibald, and the supporting cast features many returning company players under the music direction of Jeff Brown. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, September 28 through October 6 at 7:30 pm, with a 3 pm Sunday matinee on October 7. Tickets ($25 adults, $19 kids) can be purchased at the door, through ticketleap.com, or by calling 732-988-1007.

SCENES: DJ Spooky’s “Book of Ice” at Monmouth U

“I think of Antarctica as a place of meditation and deep time,” said Paul D. Miller — aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid — in an interview that appeared here in this space several months back. “Everyone who has been there is humbled by the scenario…it really is the most un-Earth like place on this planet.”

A trip-hop DJ, composer, musician, software designer, visual artist, author and educator, the “interdisciplinary” master was inspired by his own travels to Antarctica to create the “part fiction, part science” project The Book of Ice; a print work that also inspired an album, a symphonic work, and a touring Book of Ice multimedia presentation that comes to the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University this Tuesday evening, October 2. Originally scheduled for this past March, the polar explorer’s visit to campus was postponed due to some light snow…ahem…but when That Subliminal Kid takes the stage of Monmouth’s flagship performance venue, it will be a FREE 6 pm event that’s a presented as part of the ArtNow: Performance, Art and Technology series. A string quartet of area musicians and Monmouth faculty members joins DJ Spooky on electronics, providing a soundtrack to a display of projected images that’s followed by a post-performance discussion with the artist. Admission, once again, is free of charge, so take it to the Pollak for a unique Tuesday night out — and search this site for our archived interview with Paul “DJ Spooky” Miller.

But why stop there? Take it to the pure print edition of THE COASTER, where the What’s Up pages of Asbury Park’s fightin’ weekly fun-tab have the details on movies, art shows, and lots more music — including a special Bruce Birthday Bash hosted by Jo Bonanno…sets by local favorites Waiting On Mongo and The Cold Seas…the Asbury return of singer-songwriter Josh Zuckerman, an all new monthly Open Mic series at Palette Gallery, and the kickoff to an extended Oktoberfest of live Polka bands, at Asbury Festhalle Biergarten!

IT’S WHAT’S UP FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 20-26

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, September 20 2018

SOUNDS: Birch Hill Reunion at the Stone Pony

BIRCH HILL! The name elicits quivers of reverence from Jersey rock fans of (ahem) “a certain age” — as Art Stock’s old-school Old Bridge nightclub achieved its destiny as a destination venue for major national/international (and lovably localoid) metal, alternative, post-punk, and classic-rock acts around the turn of the new century. On Friday, September 21 — almost 15 years after the legally beleaguered Route 9 rendezvous hosted its “Wrecking Ball” finale — an all-star squad of veterans from such back-in-the-day club favorites as White Tiger, TT Quick, Split Sydney and Faith Healer commandeers the stage of the Stone Pony (where a number of Birch-baptized bands have found a Shoreside harbor in recent seasons), assembling Avengers-style under the name Dark Horse, for a Birch Hill Metal Reunion that promises a raucous retrospective of the sounds that made the Middlesex-Monmouth corridor a regional capital of hell-yeah headbang. Tickets to the 7 pm senior earlybird ($17 advance; $20 d.o.s.) available at stoneponyonline.com.

SOUNDS: Talib Kweli at Asbury Lanes

One of the first of the high-profile acts announced for the recent reboot/ ramp-up of Asbury Lanes — and the last of that inaugural slate to arrive on the stage of the reborn rec room — Talib Kweli brings his passionate perspectives on the day’s headlines (while making some headlines of his own in recent months) to a long-awaited Asbury area debut. Coming off a busy 2017 that saw the release of the album Radio Silence, the Brooklyn-based veteran and master-of-much-media has been equally busy in 2018; performing all over the map and finding collaborative common ground with everyone from Black Star colleague Yasiin Bey — to Grateful Dead charter member Phil Lesh, with whom he guested on “Shakedown Street” at a recent Apollo Theatre GOTV benefit. On Friday, September 21, Kweli visits the hometown of the Hip Hop Institute in the company of Brazilian rapper Niko Is, and Jersey City’s own Mazzi, with doors open at 8 pm and tickets ($25) available at asburylanes.com. Continue reading

IT’S What’S UP FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 23-29

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, August 23 2018

SIGHTS: Wooden Walls ArtWalk on the Asbury boards

The Asbury Park boardwalk is the setting on Thursday, August 23, as two of our favorite figures on the Asbury Park arts scene — Parlor Gallery co-owner and Wooden Walls Project curator Jenn Hampton, plus Paranormal Books & Curiosities proprietor and Asbury Park Tour Company historian Kathy Kelly— team up with the folks at the Red Bank-based nonprofit MonmouthArts for a special edition of the group’s ArtWalk events. Between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, Jenn and Kathy will be the guides for an up-close look at the acclaimed mural project (and a delve into the colorful history of the city’s famed waterfront) that includes an artist meet-’n-greet, access to a temporary installation in the Carousel building, and a post-tour performance art event (on the beach at Second Avenue) by Transformer’s Siren Arts series.

Grab-and-go drinks and snacks will be provided by Asbury Park Yacht Club, and participants get special discounts on exclusive Wooden Walls-themed towels, bags, and other merchandise available from Shelter Home. It’s a fundraiser for the ongoing programs of Monmouth Arts, with a portion of proceeds dedicated to the support of the Wooden Walls Project. Get tickets ($50, or $40 for Monmouth Arts members) online at https://bit.ly/2AdjmgE— and mark your Carousel for 12 noon on Sunday, August 26, when artist Jeffrey Fulvimari is in the iconic roundhouse at the south end of the boards, for a FREE Live Paint Event.

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IT’S WHAT’S UP FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 16-22

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, August 16 2018

SOUNDS: The Blasters at the Wonder Bar

In an interview we did several years ago with yelping, yodeling musicologist (and Ph.D-level math genius) Phil Alvin, the lead singer of The Blasters framed his hometown of Downey, CA as a true crossroads for what his band famously branded American Music: the roadhouse C&W, R&B, hard blues, Western swing, rockabilly, and saloon jazz that form the foundation for all to come. The four-piece band re-takes the famous stage of the Wonder Bar TONIGHT, August 16, for another raucous session of the kind of stuff that transmits anywhere, and transmutes leaden days into golden-age good times. And, while Alvin has expressed his disdain for the “clown” show of cowboy-hatted country (“If you told Bob Wills back in his early days that he played ‘cowboy’ music, he’d’a kicked your ass”), he’ll surely be pleased to share the bill with swingin’ singing cowboy Jet Weston and His Atomic Ranch Hands, in a bill (further featuring Lara Hope) that opens its doors at 7 pm, with tickets ($25) available at wonderbarasburypark.com.

SOUNDS: Guided By Voices at Asbury Lanes

When they returned to Asbury Park for the first time in a while, with an August 2014 gig at the Stone Pony, Guided By Voices delivered a now-legendary show (preserved for posterity on live Yahoo simulcast) that saw the dissolution of the band’s reunited “classic” lineup amid superhuman consumption of alcohol, epic rants, and onstage collapse on the part of frontman Robert Pollard, the sixty-something former schoolteacher whose astonishingly prolific GBV/ solo/ side-gig output numbers in the literal hundreds of albums, EPs, singles, and surprises. Of course, none of that failed to stem the ongoing tide of record releases — and when Guided By Voices materialized for a September 2017 date at House of Independents, a re-energized Pollard re-teamed with guitarist Doug Gillard for a satisfying revamp of the band’s mid/late 90s configuration that climaxed with an arena-ready cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” With a man-made mountain of material to draw from, the elder statesman master of the lo-fi two minute masterpiece goes positively Fourth Ave for a Friday night fracas at Asbury Lanes on August 17— and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if he doesn’t put forth another five albums between the bus and the back door. Available tickets for the 8:30 pm show ($25) at asburylanes.com. Continue reading

IT’S WHAT’S UP FOR WEEK OF JULY 26-AUGUST 1

Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, July 26 2018

SOUNDS: Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Stone Pony

He cut his national profile as the lanky lead vocalist of The Black Crowes — but it’s as the namesake nabob of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood that the LA rocker has been racking up the road miles (and the classic rock cred) in recent seasons. Pitched as a “farm to table psychedelic band” — and tied into Deadhead/jamband circles both spiritually and via their famous sit-in collaborators (plus at the graphics/ merch level) — the onetime side-gig has coalesced into an attraction all its own; as apt to explore an extended-length composition as it is to whip out a succinct take on milestones by Dylan, the Dead, Carl Perkins and Jimmy Reed. CBR plays a full length “Evening With” performance at the Stone Pony TONIGHT, July 26, with available tickets to the 7 pm show ($30) at stoneponyonline.com.

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IT’S A SEVEN DAY WEEKEND FOR MUSIC FANS, JUNE 14-20

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.

IT’S WHAT’S UP FOR MAY 10-16

The Sainted Zappa’s legacy REVISITated…fast-food culture RECYCLE-arted…punk-rock pappies RESURGENTized…the Stoney’s SummerStage REOPEN-ized…the Golden Gays girls re-BRUNCHIFIED…The Music Man re-YOUTHIFIED…and Asbury VIPs re-ENERGIZED for another spin on the Carousel…it’s WHAT’S UP in and around Asbury town for the week beginning Thursday, May 10, and we’ve got the highlights right HERE, with the FULL layout of music, movies, art, special events and MORE exclusively in the printed pages of THE COASTER weekly!

SIGHTS: RECYCLED at Art629 Gallery

The gallery at 629 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park hosts a group show featuring new works constructed from  recycled/ repurposed materials. Artists include Lisa Bagwell, whose delectably “disposable,” playful parodies of fast food culture have been seen at area libraries and at the Monmouth Arts “Zero Waste Arts Fest” on Sandy Hook. Also represented: Joe Harvard, crafty curator of Cookman Ave’s own gARTen project (coming soon to an additional west side locale!). Call gallery at 732-859-1458 for exhibit dates and hours. Continue reading