Shoreworld: Susan Lisle Benefit, The Easy Outs & Best Buy Battle

Susan Lisle Benefit @ The Wonder Bar, Aug. 11

The reason the music scene survives is due to the superb people who quietly support this area year after year. They don’t ask for returns, and they come only to celebrate the life and excitement of the music. I’m talking about cool people like Susan Lisle, a fun and sunny Tinton Falls resident that had been an avid music supporter before the term “Glory Days” ever existed. I didn’t know Susan well, but I knew her enough to say hello, and I always got a smile and a good-natured reply. Susan passed away after an ongoing battle with cancer on July 11 at the age of 61.

Susan had many friends in and around New Jersey, especially in the Asbury Park area. She was an established local and was always out in support of events or music in our vicinity. Susan’s passion for life was genuine and without strings. She loved the music and the camaraderie of the shore scene. She is yet another down to earth person that will be sorely missed.

There will be a memorial gathering at The Wonder Bar on Fifth and Ocean Ave in Asbury on Wednesday, Aug. 11 from 5 p.m. til 9 p.m. Many musicians are slated to attend, and I’m sure it’s just as Susan would want. Friends such as Bobby Bandiera, Bob Burger and Joe Petillo and The Upstage Band will perform along with several unlisted guest musicians.

The memorial also is hoping to raise money to help the family, who are dealing with the remaining medical bills. And while door donations for this event are $10, we ask that you also send donations directly to: Friends of Susan Lisle Fund, c/o Cindy Anderson, 33 Fairfield Drive, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

The Easy Outs, Come On, Come On

Bongo Boys Records

The Easy Outs have teamed up with guitarist/songwriter Gar Francis (The Doughboys) for their latest single out on Bongo Boys Records. Come On, Come On is a collaboration between Francis and drummer/songwriter Kurt Reil from The Grip Weeds. With the good time Farfisa vibe of ? And The Mysterians, sing along choruses and solid simple playing, the tune tackles roots 1960s territory with traditional style and class.

The Easy Outs take experienced advice here, and it’s a smart move on their part. In today’s industry, there’s absolutely no room for wasting time, and the best way to get where you need to go is to listen to guys that have cleared those roads. In that area of expertise, Francis and Reil move this band around the musical highway and into the fast lane of the Park Avenue players in a straight-ahead way. Gar Francis also guest stars on the single, playing organs, Mellotron, sax and the raunchiest guitar this side of the T. Rex. The Grip Weeds supply tough, blue-collar backing vocals here as well.

I like the old style presentation of sending out a single. I mean, it’s really tough for a simple rock band now, especially with the changes in the industry and their attention towards pre-fab baby food music. I swear if one more 40 year-old dude says to me, “Lady Gaga is really good and her band is totally awesome,” I will yank out their vocal cords. But putting my antisocial demeanor aside, you have to give credit where credit is due.

When a band feels that they have one song that will knock you out and that’s what they send you, that’s pretty definitive of the self-assured talent they possess.

Come On, Come On isn’t going to solve the oil spill crisis or fix the unemployment debacle, but it definitely will raise your spirits and get your mind off of the world and into its cool rhythms, gritty sounds and sing along lyrics. And at the end of the day that’s all that it’s really about. Real music that makes you feel something instead of just putting you into the corner of some dopey hipster joint that blasts trend while you stand there sipping $14 martinis.

Gar and the boys take basic 1960s roots language and turn it into an infectious good time performance that everyone can understand, and in this crazy day and age that just might be the best kind of communication for all of us. Check out the rest of what the Easy Outs are up to over at

Best Buy Battle 2010 @ The Stone Pony, Aug. 10, Aug. 17 and Aug. 24

Since sometime in 2008, Best Buy has offered musical instrument sales at many of their locations. They started off with several Best Buy stores in Southern California and Minneapolis and were quite successful with their pilot of the musical instruments store-within-a-store concept. “The introduction of musical instruments is a natural progression for Best Buy,” explained Steve Hehir, senior vice president of musical instruments. “Consumers have always looked to us as a resource for music in a variety of formats. Now they’ll be able to rely on us for help with musical performance and creating too.”

Best Buy’s “Store-within-a-store” features trained musical instrument specialists that know about gear. In addition to retail sales, Best Buy musical instrument stores will offer group and personal guitar lessons. I still look at Best Buy as a place to buy my flat screen TV’s and washing machines, but I can now stop in and pick up a Marshall head if I wish, which is kind of cool for guy who hates multiple store stops more than anything. But gigging musicians are known for their need of slowly built relationships when it comes to their instruments, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Best Buy interacts with the musical community at large.

A great start towards that interaction has been the Best Buy Battle 2010. The company has jumped right into the rock and roll deep end with their hot new band contest. Best Buy, along with The Stone Pony, have been doing their collective thing since June 8 and as of this writing they will be entering the semi finals portion that is slated to kick off on Aug. 16 on the Stone Pony’s inside stage.

Bands have been competing on Tuesdays throughout the summer. Six bands will be in each showcase; with the top two from each show moving on to the semifinal round. Two from the three semifinal rounds in August will then become finalists in the big showdown in September. Semi-finals start on Aug. 16 and run on Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 before the really big “Shoe” in September.

So come on out and support your friends, see some great music and see what happens next. Who knows? Your friend’s band might be the next big scene maker. For more information on this contest, directions or ticket info, head over to

Best Buy Battle Prizes

1st Place
$1000 in equipment from Best Buy Music
$1000 in cash
Multi-track live recording of finals show with basic 3-song mix
Photo shoot with Rocktography
Headline show at The Stone Pony
Open for major national show at The Stone Pony

Runner Up
$500 cash
$250 in equipment from Best Buy Music
Multi-track live recording of finals show with basic 3-song mix
Photo shoot with Rocktography
Open for major national show at The Stone Pony