Pat DiNizio is a New Jersey musician that needs no introduction. The Scotch Plains native and his band The Smithereens was one of the biggest East Coast draws in the ’80s. The Smithereens churned out gold and platinum success with songs such as “Behind The Wall Of Sleep,” “Only A Memory” and “A Girl Like You.” But like many groups from that time frame, the cultural and stylistic tidal wave of grunge shifted the public focus into a completely different area of musical direction. But to the band’s credit, they have remained close, staying together and releasing records right into this current time frame.
While DiNizio has stayed tight with his “band of brothers,” he also went on to release several solo discs including 2011’s two-disc set, This Is Pat DiNizio. Throughout the years, DiNizio has refined his solo work, resurrecting the memories of his youth and expanding both subject and sound of those heady AM days. DiNizio began to reinvent himself as the band’s popularity shifted. Starting with radio host duties, he evolved into performing house concerts for die-hard fans before morphing into his long-running one-man show. The one-man show took root in Las Vegas at The Riviera, and Pat became the Strip’s only resident rock show artist. DiNizio received rave reviews from both press and the music industry at large, and continues that success till this very day.
To expand upon that, he has brought his show to the Garden State for a continued run that also features local, original acts. DiNizio is nothing but encouraging when it comes to New Jersey musicians looking to break into the game. Since late 2014, Confessions Of A Rock Star has taken up residence in both Asbury Park, and now over at The Crossroads in Garwood, NJ.
Confessions Of A Rock Star combines cover songs, original hits, rare gems and the engaging and intimate stories cultivated from his illustrious life in the studio and on the road.
His latest run takes place over at Langosta Lounge on Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park each and every Thursday. Presented by Sammy Boyd, Confessions Of A Rock Star is a free admission show and an excellent opportunity to see one of New Jersey’s true rock and roll legends.
The Langosta Lounge is located at 1000 Ocean Avenue. For schedule information go to langostalounge.com.
Christine Feola’s Dark City Entertainment Sheds Light On Asbury Park’s “Best Of The Best” Current Crop – The Wonder Bar – March 28
Christine Feola and Dark City Entertainment continue to offer original entertainment on the Jersey Shore. In a town known for its hierarchy of grumpy, profiteering old men, she brings an inspirational and modern jolt to the area. Let’s be honest, pushing the “Glory Days” sound of Asbury has turned into a means of getting curious (and rude) tourists to spend their money on an East Coast, one-dimensional version of yesterday while standing around blurting, “Is Da Boss gonna be here?”
Feola goes out of her way to showcase young, up-and-coming rockers that have something to say but few places to say it. Her Monday nights at The Wonder Bar are popular and packed, driving the focus back to why this area was famous in the first place. She’s not alone, but she is one a very small group that continues to promote true original music. Asbury guys like Scott Stamper, Sammy Boyd, Pete Mantis and Kyle Brendle all fight the good fight, as does good friend Greg Macolino at The Brighton Bar, but the rest are just turning the area into a cornucopia of dumbed-down cover swill.
On March 28, Dark City Entertainment steps up to ring in the spring with a solid lineup of rock and roll bands. The main focus for the night is the band Gods. Featuring Paul Ritchie from the manically popular Parlor Mob, Gods anoints their masses with a simpler, 1960s dimension of style and sound. Ritchie has run the gauntlet of compositional experimentation as a writer, as well as a successful and identifiable producer. His name at a show is the relatable marker for a guaranteed night of engaging music.
Also on the bill will be Asbury’s Wreaths. When it comes to discovering a group who stick to their guns no matter what the current scene climate might be, Wreaths have a rigid standard of psychedelic excellence. Wreaths always give 100% when they hit the stage or submerge into the studio and are a band I suggest seeing live.
New York City’s Silverbird is also on board. Comprised of Corey Davis, Dan Whaley, Jacob Schaub and Timm Barr, this Big Apple band is currently finishing up their new full-length record. Recorded in a New York monastery (Gregorian chants, anybody?), Silverbird is putting the finishing touches on a project that already carries a very large buzz. This four-piece continuum of precious metals promises to bring a heady blend of Brooklyn-based rock and roll to the oceanfront venue.
The Dark City night also hails the Trentonian apogee of Roy Orbitron. I have to admit, this was the band that got the night noticed by me. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the visionary mixture of Roy Orbison’s warbling, sunglassed vibe encased in the titanium skeleton of Robocop. But Roy Orbitron is anything but mechanical. Out in support of their brand new Girl’s Boyfriends, the band mixes a clever stew of boisterous, rock and punk emo for their masses.
Add DJ Mike Merrill (longtime Shore industry and radio personality) to the mix, and you have a complete package of the very “best of the best.” And seriously, isn’t that what we should all be supporting these days? Real music that shows thought and personal effort. Not some pretentious douchebag hacking out a 2015 version of “Rosalita.”
Don’t miss this top pick for March. Dark City tells me that Gods will be handing out free CDs to the first 100 people through the door. So come join The Wonder Bar on March 28 and help keep New Jersey in the proper context as reigning home of original music.
To view the entire Dark City Entertainment roster coming to The Wonder Bar, head over to darkcityentertainment.com. The Wonder Bar is at Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ. wonderbarasburypark.com