February 12, 2011
ASBURY PARK, NJ—Jim Boggia is a performer who figured out long ago that if you’re going to learn to swim, you might as well jump into the deep end of the pond. And that’s how he approaches his stage show and audience. Boggia isn’t your run-of-the-mill acoustic strummer out to show how dark and sensitive he can be to the four girls up front. I mean, I’m sure he’s looking for them too, but he also reaches deep into the back of the room, utilizing a strong understanding of what it takes to focus the attention of an audience. His bag of traditional entertainment tools includes chiseled wit, naturally timed delivery and genuinely untraceable humor when setting up his songs. His vision is unique and his subject matter is anything but mundane.
Lets be honest, for most of us, there’s nothing worse than hearing a solo artist go through song after song about a girl who left him, or even worse, about a girl he or she is infatuated with. Speaking for myself, I need content, imagination and everything in between. I need something that makes me shake my head and laugh out loud or that sends that rare chill down the spine from a certain progression or melody.
Boggia’s show at The Saint got those responses and more as this one-man powerhouse took the crowd on a journey through songs like “To And Fro” a Tom Petty-esque pop gem filled with intricate changes, melodies and great lines like, “You say you’re leaving, but you never go.” Great stage banter moments from Boggia include his explanation of how he borrowed his hair shaking technique from singer songwriter Rhett Miller.
Jim is a great guitarist, and he gives us all a lesson on “Annie Also Ran.” I sense a hint of Don Henley tone on this one, but his playing style is what really knocks me out. Jim combines smart, complex Larry Carlton chords with rhythmic sensibility and sweet tone of Samuel Beam (Iron and Wine).
One of his outstanding audience entertainment moments came next as Boggia took a broad swipe at the classic, “If I Didn’t Care,” by The Ink Spots. Complete with enough bumba deeda’s and happy trails chords to make even David Lee Roth split his spandex jumpsuit jumping for joy.
“Listening To NRBQ” featured what Jim called, “78 percent less bullshit.” His unique, down-stroked modulating minors, ala the Beatles, and his Joe Jackson-styled melodies popped this tune into the crowd’s ‘gotta go get it’ list. With the quality of craft and combined presence and approach, Jim Boggia needs to be a household name. I’d love to see him with his full band. I picture it containing 100 percent less bullshit.
Once again moving into wacky, entertainment mode, Jim broke into a Star Trek medley, including a rendition of the main theme and the fight scene music between Kirk and Spock from “Amok Time” (God, I’m such a Star Trek douche), the episode where Spock raises an eyebrow and says, “I will have to kill you, Jim.” At the end of the day, at least this guy has a sense of humor to go along with the mop of hair. Audience “ooh la las” on “8 track” were fun and slap sticky. At one point, he put his guitar down and was off the stage leading the chants, hands in the air.
Jim’s ukulele prowess was made good use of on the Beatles “It’s Only Love.” And a uke version of “Thunder Road,” a version that I included the cute line, “Well, I got this ukulele and I learned how to make it talk.” Taking Les Paul’s (and many other greats) cue, Boggia ends with an emotional music box version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” Boggia once again demonstrated that he is no mere strum along lately, he’s got real player skills on several instruments, and that’s always a good thing.
”That’s Not Why I Hate NY” is a melodic dervish that rides high in Boggias set list. Done in the old school style of a King or Mitchell, the lyrical wordplay of the verses wrap around to his end result with tongue-in-cheek jabs about rats and traffic and the horrid $2000 per month rents, which are the black and white set-ups as to why he really hates that God-forsaken skyline, namely, the choice of a love believing the fantasy of that metropolis over the realistic world and what she’s left outside. Very Paul Simon-vibed.
“The Only Living Boy In NY” is another Matthew Sweet fetish; great melodies and free-flowing overtones bringing in melancholy and romanticized visions of the early ‘90s. Jim also sidestepped to do a quick ode to mini disks, “Come on, I just wrote that,” Boggia tells the Saintly crowd to laughter. “Bubblegum 45,” a quirky and intelligent super pop tune also came through strong, with bold chords and melodies ala Glenn Tillbrook and crew. I was glad I made this Boggia show as it really does instill new faith in me that performers do give a shit about the bottom line while cradling the creative process close in this whimsical music scene jungle. I can’t wait for his next CD to hit the shelves. Go see what Jim is up to at jimboggia.com.
Asbury Media Gathers The Flock @ Dos Locos – March 5
For those of you who may not know who or what Asbury Media is, they are a full-service company headed by Asbury Media founder and Grammy-winning audio engineer Tom Ruff. Asbury Media provides audio mastering, remote audio and video recording, sound reinforcement, stage lighting, post-production sound for video and video editing facilities.
They also provide technical customer support to corporations in the media industry. They provide phone, email and online chat support for a variety of software applications as well. Their team currently supports users in the U.S., EU, Asia and Australia. Services include the creation and maintenance of support web sites, the tracking of support requests via a combination of industry-standard and internally developed systems, and the creation of automated graphical reports for management. How’s that for a mouthful?
So, besides all that technical mumbo jumbo, Asbury Media will be hosting a free exhibition of the pro audio services the company provides to local artists, organizations, and businesses. The event will be held this Saturday, March 5, at Dos Locos, located 911 Kingsley St., Asbury Park, NJ. It features original music by local luminaries such as The Sunday Blues, Ben Franklin, No Wine For Kittens, Colie Brice and The New Age Blues Experience, as well as an appearance by DJ Re-Kon. The event will be hosted by Lil’ Erik.
Additionally, exhibitors representing other local music interests will be on hand including WBJB 90.5 The Night, AA Music Consulting, AERIA Records, Asbury Music Company, Bands On A Budget, Blow Up Radio, Classick Material, Hey Cole, Indie Solutions, Jersey Shore Sound, Kristen Driscoll Photography, Lady Liberty L.L.C., Lake House Music, New York Guitar Festival, Phanphest Enterprises, Russo Music and Stupid American Music.
In a time where dissention, economics and plain ole’ cabin fever threaten to split the musical colony asunder, this is a great event that re-focuses attention on local businesses, talents and services. Come check it out this weekend! For additional information, please visit asburymedia.com.