Asbury Rockstars Charities – Annual Softball Event On Aug. 27

On Saturday, Aug. 27, Bert Willis field in Neptune will host the 5th Annual Asbury Rockstars Charity Softball Tournament from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This family-friendly event will feature eight teams comprised of your favorite local artists, musicians (including names such as The Parlor Mob, The Obvious, The Amboys, Status Green and more) and industry professionals, battling it out on the field to support numerous local and national charities.

The players will participate in seven slow-pitch softball games that end in playoffs to raise donations for the charity of their choice. This event will include prizes and commemorative merchandise, including a Gibson acoustic guitar and other great prizes. Raffle tickets for the Gibson acoustic dreadnought guitar (valued at $1,365) can be purchased at Russo Music Asbury Park located at 639 Cookman Avenue up until game day. Also offered is a beautiful metallic blue low-rider bicycle donated by Second Life Bike’s on Main Street in Asbury. The drawing will be held on game day, and as with all Asbury Rockstar raffles, winner need not be present.

Asbury Rockstars Charities was the recipient of an Asbury Music Award for “Best Thing To Happen to Asbury Park, 2008/2009,” for raising over $10,000 dollars for various local and national charities. This year’s charities include Autism NJ, Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park, Collaborative Support Programs of NJ, Livestrong, Mercy Center, Monmouth County SPCA, National MS Society and The Jason Fazio Fund.

Since 2007, Asbury Rock Stars Charities has been hosting an annual slow pitch softball tournament, consisting of artists and musicians from the Asbury Park community, to promote the music industry in Asbury Park, NJ, as well as raise money for local and national charities. While the winning team’s charity receives the largest share of the donations collected, all represented charities receive a substantial donation.

In effect, while remaining a competitive event, no one goes home a loser. To date the event has raised over $35,000 dollars for numerous charities and has facilitated the participation of over 300 artists, musicians and songwriters in the area. To find out how you can help, please visit asburyrockstarscharity.org.

 

Asbury Park: Where Music Lives – An Anthology

So, we’ve all seen the books about Asbury Park. The same stories about the same guys that put the town on the map and made it what it is today, or something close to that. Not to begrudge the accomplishments of any musician, poet, painter or back-alley politician that scrambles to secure a slot in history, but I’ve always noticed that the acknowledgement factor for the more eclectic contributors is quite low, and that few, if any, get to voice an opinion loud enough to get over the din of Asbury’s flighty and boisterous pop culture.

Asbury Park: Where Music Lives is a brief and ongoing anthology that wisely circles from behind, digging into the history of a town that had so many vital things long before rock and roll put its branding iron across the ocean-side strip. The book traces the history of 12 key genres that continue to make this East Coast city a go-to destination for art lovers of all kinds. From the early gospel-inspired sounds of Gladstone Trott and his Hammond B3 to the thundering blitzkrieg of Sonny Kenn’s hard rock band, Maelstrom, this first look into the city is filled with unique viewpoints that should interest readers with even a small curiosity about Asbury Park and its historic presence.

Reading through the book (it’s an easy 62 pages) I quickly learned several things that the normal everyday Joe would not see as synonymous with the Asbury image we’ve come to buy. I learned about the great Delores Holland, one of the only female jazz musicians on the Jersey shore, a player who was in the same league as Count Basie or Ray Charles. Delores was a church organist who could also be seen at night, sitting in the hotel lounges of The Berkeley and Monterey or at Leo Karp’s Turf club over on Springwood and Atkins.

The book also takes you to the stories of other musicians such as Tenor Saxophonist Dorian Parreott (Cu-Bops) and the recollections of renowned Paragon Ragtime Orchestra conductor, Rick Benjamin, who tells the fascinating story of trombonist and bandleader Arthur Pryor, Asbury’s first real rockstar prototype.

The pace of the book is brisk and paints vivid and vital pictures of musicians in their meteoric prime times, creating boardwalk history and putting their stamp across the world on everything from ragtime to opera and doing so without entitlement or much public fanfare. Images flash of bands hustling club gigs at The Orchid Lounge or The Roman Arch, and influential players gathered at slick musical instrument stores, talking shop at Tustigs or Scott’s Music on Main between Mattison and Summerfield.

I like that this introductory—the first of several (I hope)—installment stops short at getting too scattered. These are just the first of the many forays into Asbury’s past and present. It’s just enough to whet the appetite. I’m sure future installments will have plenty to talk about, as this area hasn’t stopped producing culture and cutting-edge music since it began over three centuries ago. For more information on Asbury Park: Where Music Lives, head over to asburyparkmusic.org.


Brighton Bar Kicks Off New Wednesday And Thursday Night Specials

The Brighton Bar is stretching its arms out further to musicians and hosting weekly Wednesday night shows featuring local bands. Instead of waiting for the weekend to see hometown heroes play at overpriced beach bars, these new Wednesday events allow for more enjoyment of the local music scene, with very low cost. Admission is only $5 for a night of live music; doors are at 7:30 p.m. and shows start at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Also, a new kind of Thursday night will begin at The Brighton Bar. The Alternative Thursday will offer a different style of music to the public, focusing on ‘80s, ‘90s and today’s alternative, with DJ C-Rex at the head of it all. Backing up this weekly night of music will be $2 margaritas and $2 draft beers, to insure a good time for everyone.

DJ C-Rex has been in the DJ game since the early ’90s at The Fastlane in Asbury Park. Since then, he’s spun at many NJ venues, and has opened for Velvet Revolver. His specialty is spinning ’80s classics like Depeche Mode and The Cure. Influenced by the former alternative station WHTG 106.3, DJ C-Rex plans on rocking The Alternative Thursdays with the ABC game, where patrons will be challenged to, “Name a band that starts with Z.” Patrons can expect to hear a cool range of music from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s with no repeats.

DJ C-Rex manages Jack’s Music Shoppe in Red Bank, and has been with the store for the past 20 years. He is influenced by the eclectic musical tastes that the record store attracts and is introduced to new music on a daily basis. It’s not uncommon for him to listen to Phil Ochs, Guided By Voices, Kenny Chesney and the Clash all in the same day. Since he’s aware of his audience’s vast taste in music, C-Rex will take requests at The Alternative, and will play classics that everyone can relate to with some newer stuff thrown in.

The Brighton Bar is known for their successful ability to showcase local talent and has lent its stage to many famous acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Chris Vrenna of Marilyn Manson, In Between Dreams and Three Doors Down. The Brighton Bar is located at 121 Brighton Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740. The Alternative Thursdays are 18 to enter, 21 to drink with a low cost of $2 to enter. More information can be found at motormediausa.com/events.

 

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