The Obvious is a band that has pushed hard to raise themselves above the rest of Monmouth County’s punk rock mavericks. Utilizing smart compositional skills, the band hits their rowdy fans with shock and awe presence in their quest to be the best. Front girl Surojanie Sugrim roars across the stage with her torn stockings, tangled foot pedals and guitar cables dragging behind her, as she charges her fans and welcomes them to the stage and into her arms as her deadly band cracks the musical whip.

The band’s back with new songs and a brand new drummer that looks to make them even tougher to top in our musical “king of the hill” scene. Featuring former Vanities member Rob Blake on drums, the band is moving in a serious, fun-filled direction. Rob is a long time Shoreworld friend and overall great drummer who logged time with The Black Clouds as well as several production credits for SweetBeef Studios. The addition of Blake, alongside bassist Mike Smith give The Obvious precise power and skilled, compositional insight that is so sorely missing from many others in the genre.

Add the fact that a Bouncing Soul has taken them under his wing and you have a band with future gold readily available. Pete Steinkopf recorded the foursome at the Bouncing Souls’ own Little Eden Studios in spring of 2010, and he praises The Obvious in their press release for their fervent energy, crafted songwriting, and watertight musicianship. “Angie (Surojanie) has a devil inside her. The Obvious are exactly what rock and roll needs at this moment, and this band is absolutely on FIRE”. That is great praise coming from one of rock and rolls main purveyors of punk. The band just released a second EP, Maybe She’s Bored With It, which was also recorded and produced by Steinkopf.

The Obvious use everything in their arsenal of talent to get their point across when it comes to their musical mayhem. The band pokes good-natured fun at themselves as well as taking dirty, gravel-filled shots at everything life throws at them along the way. Audacious and water tight, The Obvious is always a great band to watch live or listen to on disc.

In celebration of their new release, the band will be hosting a show at the Asbury Lanes along with some other standout performers. The Asbury Lanes show will take place this Saturday, April 28, and will feature such intricate groups as Chemtrail, Lost In Society and Give Me Static. The Obvious playing without support would be a great show on its own, adding these bands makes it an event only the stupid would miss.

Doors are at 8 p.m. and the admission is a mere five bucks to get in. There will also be prizes, special guests and much, much more. The Asbury Lanes is located on 4th Avenue right next to the old Fast Lane building. For more information on the new CD, Maybe She’s Bored With It, head over to facebook.com/theobviousband.

Bob Gruen Comes To Art 629 On May 4

Bob Gruen is a household name in the music community. From his famed time with John and Yoko to his documentation of the 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival—which featured Ozzy, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe—Bob’s quest for quality and the capture of life’s true time frame has been unprecedented. Over the last 40 years, he has captured the entertainment world’s spirit on 35mm film. From Led Zeppelin to Johnny Rotten, he has snapped it all.

I’m particularly fascinated by his famous shot of “Sid Vicious with a hot dog” photo, which in 1999, was actually acquired by the National Portrait Gallery of London as part of their permanent collection. Gruen was also presented with MOJO magazine’s Honours List Award for “Classic Image in London.” All Dolled Up is a DVD documentary made by Gruen and Nadya Beck and based on early ‘70s footage of The New York Dolls. That project was released in 2005 and quickly followed by Lookin’ Fine On Television.

If there is one thing I can say about Bob Gruen, it is that he has never settled for good enough. Bob could have easily walked away years ago after reaching such a satisfying career level. However, as most people who come to find the apogee of success in this business, it is based on one true secret for longevity. That secret is true love of doing what you do.

During the ‘70s, Bob was the chief photographer for a magazine called Rock Scene. He cultivated a style that made him a specialist in behind-the-scenes photo features with rock’s biggest names. He literally went on tour with the emerging punk kings of the day, hitting the road with bands such as The New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Clash, Patti Smith and many others. His long-term friendship with these artists continues until this very day and his tales are among rocks most comprehensive histories of rock and roll culture.

This man could write a book. Actually, he did write one and this exhibit will be based off his 2011 release titled Rock Seen. The show will focus on shots procured over Gruen’s 40-plus year career, focusing on excerpts and stills from the Abrams published work.

The show opening will take place on Friday, May 4, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and remain on display until May 27. The exhibit is at Patrick Schiavino’s Art629 gallery on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park. Mr. Gruen will be attending the party. This will be the very first showing in Asbury Park by Bob, but definitely not the first time he has worked in town.

History buffs (and photogs) should recall that Gruen was here during the Convention Hall Clash shows in 1982 as well as shooting for the Pretenders in 1994. Bob Gruen is part of the New Jersey family of rock and roll, and we are extremely honored.

Art629 is the brainchild of Patrick Schiavino. Schiavino has an interesting and multi-faceted history in his own right. From his days as a talent buyer for clubs such as Club Bene to his foray (and great success) into the world of painting, Schiavino is one of the Shoreworld’s most unsung successes.

He was a key decision maker for bringing many great names to New Jersey and being the person to show them to the world as live performers. Club Bene alumni such as Howard Stern, Regis and Imus all made their live debuts under Schiavino’s watchful and experienced hand.

After tiring of the daily grind in a talent buyers life, Patrick went on to excel as a painter, immediately launching into the highly skilled world of artists such as William Griffith, Robert W. Starkey, Judy Targan, and Kay Walkingstick. He went on to secure many career highlights, including being commissioned by the U.S. government for two of his paintings that are displayed at the American Embassy in Luxembourg as well as the state of New Jersey’s offer to do a three-month solo exhibit at the state house in Trenton. In 1998, Schiavino assisted Sting and John McEnroe as a participant in a fundraiser at McEnroe’s Soho gallery, raising thousands for the rainforest.

Schiavino continues to create, both physically and visually, with his Cookman Avenue space in downtown Asbury Park every day of the week. For further information about this show call Patrick Schiavino at art629 Gallery (732) 988-5111, or visit the art629 website at art629.com. For more information about Bob Gruen, you can visit his website at bobgruen.com.

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