Steve Forbert shutterbugs down at ART629 - March 1
In the ever-changing world of technology, it’s never really surprising to hear about events that are captured on a cell phone. Dynasties have fallen and careers have crashed from 30-second texts, videos and covertly snapped quick pixels of everyone doing the worst stuff imaginable. But cell cameras have also been used to capture some amazing moments in time. One of the individuals that have chosen to use the cell phone camera for good is Nashville songwriter Steve Forbert. Steve’s travels take him around the country, affording him a unique perspective on subjects and allowing him to look into the many positive themes that might not otherwise be seen by angry northern folk like us. The fact that he’s succeeded in combining fast sneak peeks at these images with the apparent good quality of a cell camera is very interesting to me.
So in that spirit of edgy expression, The ART629 gallery in Asbury Park, NJ, will be presenting a one-man show featuring 50 of Steve's cell phone photos. Forbert has never been one to shy away from originality so this kind of exhibit makes perfect sense. Other recent “Forbert Only” visions include his Plastic Plate Protest, an event where he took on bigwig food franchises such as Baja Fresh, Boston Market and Wendy’s in a concerted effort to get them to reconsider the use of plastic plates and bowls that are winding up in our landfills.
Forbert also released a teaser titled Seattle Tractor Tracks a series recorded on October 17, 2010 when Steve Forbert played an acoustic show in Seattle at the famed Tractor Tavern. Like his cell phone photo gallery idea, Steve came up with a dynamic presentation of getting this compilation listened to by releasing one song a day for fans savvy enough to keep looking for the new daily dosage. Steve likes to make you think instead of just doing it for you, which to me is the true job of any artist.
The photo exhibit opens on March 1 and will be on display the entire month. In addition, a gallery party will be held on Saturday, March 19 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to celebrate the opening, so please stop by if you're in the area. And don’t forget to have your own cell phone camera ready, as you never know who might show up at this show in the city by the sea. For further information on what Steve Forbert has up his sleeve, head over to steveforbert.com or check out Pat Schiavinos ART629 gallery schedule at art629.com.
Joe Harvard’s Rock N’ Talk - Synaxis Feb. 25
What do you get when you cross the Jersey humor of Uncle Floyd with the carnival conundrums of Andy Kaufman and the rock and roll sparkle of Lou Reed? Well, you get Joe Harvard. And Joe Harvard continues his soft parade of thought, music and more with his ongoing Rock N’ Talk, a veritable smörgåsbord of information coming this Friday down at Synaxis (Parthenon Lounge). Rock N’ Talk combines the elements of performances with short interviews of special guests from all areas of the music industry. Think of it as the Cookman Avenue version of Conan O’Brien. After a performance, each guest joins Joe Harvard for an in-depth look into the creative process, the work itself and the survival strategies adopted in a not-so-artist friendly world.
Expect intriguing personalities, great music and surprises in general with dialogue ranging from serene to seditious. This Fridays special guests include Ben Ross (from Mothguts and 117), Kristen Driscoll, one of the areas savvy photographers showing off her latest photos, Emily Grove (singer/songwriter) and yours truly from The Aquarian telling tall tales and enhanced yarns. Come yell out questions and throw beer, I’ll tell you anything you’ve always wanted to know. Doors are at 8:30 p.m., it's a $5 cover and drink specials like $3 domestic beers, $5 Jack drinks, $6 “house” drinks etc. The Parthenon Lounge is at 660 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ.
Marty And Doug’s New Religion - Phalanx Film Entertainment
From the creative minds of New Jersey writers Dan Conrad, Dan Kowalski and Greg Vorob comes the answer to the question that we’ve all considered from time to time, namely, “What kind of religion can I get into so I can meet willing girls and avoid paying taxes?” Well, the characters from the online series titled Marty And Doug’s New Religion explore that quandary in detail.
Marty And Doug’s New Religion pokes fun at the holy trinity of stereotypes, delivering an across the face smack to everything from Jesus, to the shady priests that run the church across the street and the lawyers who back them. The six part series has great moments and the characters seem to have good beginnings to a future maturity. But unlike another web sensation called Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager, which leans way into an awkward and sketchy direction to enhance its cheesy flavor, New Religion tends to come up short in areas that should have me rolling.
With its stark, prop cheesy look and over enunciating actors, it can seem a bit too homemade at times, but the clever use of added gags (Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes” pepper spray) and high school shtick (the church of awesomism) saves me from having flat out ask, “Where’s The Beef?”
Clever scenes abound, such as in episode four between the sexy hot Veronica, (Molly Montgomery) an ordained spy from the church across the street who infiltrates the new religion and the horny minds that give her their secrets make this a series totally worth watching in full. Watching to see whom these nutty messiahs will sell out next with their freeform treachery is an adventure in itself as they get infected by religious power. The scene between Jesus (Ian Campbell Dunn) the priest and the lawyer treads slapstick ground as they conspire to overthrow the boys across the way and end their secret meeting with a good ole’ Dr. Evil style laugh fest.
By episode five, the gang looks to hit stride, flowing more easily with interaction and timing, while continuing their cheestastic Two Stooges meets Jim Jones routine. Honestly, if this series were shot with shorter scenes and dubbed sound effects and dialogue, it would be easier to laugh along with. The peripheral characters such as the oriental stereotype (Jiho Lee) snapping pictures and the brainy Phyllis (Lisa Pert) add true heartbeat to an occasionally flat lining pace.
The British stereotype with bowler hat, mustache, tea and language was a great choice as well. If you look at the overall unfolding of the series, it’s a lighthearted example of how dissention and blind faith in religion mix easily with greed and deceit in the real world. Episode five ends as their religion split into two sects, “Awesomism vs. Baddasstianity,” and the boys clash in a straight up holy war.
Reminiscent of early It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Dan Conrad, Greg Vorob and Dan Kowalski have a great idea with New Religion. The comedic mixing of praying on the hopes of the lost with the everyday sins of the flesh are always a winner in my book, and if they keep striving, Marty And Doug’s New Religion could end up adding many more followers on the road to perdition. For further information on Marty And Doug’s New Religion check out martyanddoug.squarespace.com.