Makin Waves Scene Report with Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar, Lump’N’Loaf Records, Can’t Swim, & More

Also featured this week are Vianna Rose, Gurlzilla and Let’s Get Folked Up

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar is back at the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall and will kick off Nov. 24 with the lighting of 35-foot tree and arrival of Santa Claus. The Asbury All Stars Holiday Band will perform before and after the 6:45 p.m. tree-lighting to kick off a parade of performers through Dec. 23. The bazaar will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on opening day, but typically will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Other highlights will include kids’ classes, holiday decorations, craft and wellness workshops, a holiday photo booth and a fireplace lounge. 

Inspired by the outdoor Weihnachtsmarkts of Germany, Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar also will feature a hot drink bar with glühwein hot-mulled wine, hot chocolate and hot cider. A seasonal menu and holiday drinks will be available at the Anchors Bend and Asbury Oyster Bar. 

Children and pets can have photos taken with Santa at the Christmas tree from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can bring a toy, gently used coat or a monetary donation to receive a 4×6 print and digital photos. 

Music at the Bazaar, as well as Convention Hall and its Paramount Theatre, will include Gray Wales Christmas and DJ Atom Worth, Nov. 24; Natasha Wright Trio, Nov. 25 and Dec. 1; Sunken City Sax Quartet, Dec. 2; Audra Mariel Jazz Quartet,  Thurgood Marshall School Choir, and The Choir School of Asbury Park, Dec. 3; Gray Wales Christmas and A Very Asbury Holiday Show to benefit Asbury Park Music Foundation, Dec. 9; “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” with Kurtis Blow; Slowey and the Boats, Dec. 15; The Front Bottoms Champagne Jam, Dec. 16; Audra Mariel Jazz Quartet and DJ Riff Raff, Dec. 22, and Sunken City Sax Quartet and Audra Mariel Jazz Quartet, Dec. 23.

Hillsborough-based Lump’N’Loaf Records has lots of cool stuff coming up, including two great holiday shows this weekend at Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen. Nov. 23 is the sixth annual free Black Friday Show with Little Dipper and The 39. The following evening is the annual Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show to benefit Elijah’s Promise, a food justice and empowerment program based in New Brunswick. Getting their freak on will be A Halo Called Fred, Trio of Madness, Karnevil Circus Sideshow, King Missle’s John S. Hall, I’ve Had Too Much Pasta, In Goth We Trust’s Chelsea Goodwin, Coveilance Dance Project, the musical puppetry of Jumpin’ Jamie, juggler Dr. Zack, Eric Vitner of Idea Machine Films, and talon artist Lauren Curtis. Trio of Madness, whose drummer, Mike Wojik, recently was endorsed by Bucks County Drum Co. with a new custom kit, also will play Dec. 9 at John & Peter’s in New Hope.

Keansburg rockers Can’t Swim have dropped their latest Pure Noise album, “This Too Won’t Pass,” and are on a national tour with Trophy Eyes, Seaway, Microwave and Hot Mulligan in support of it. The record articulates the struggles of seeking clarity and catharsis. Area dates include Nov. 29, Unitarian Church of Philadelphia and Dec. 1, Le Poisson Rouge, New York City.

Young Jersey Shore superstar Vianna Rose will celebrate the release of her debut EP on Lakehouse Music Academy’s MOTO Records on Nov. 24 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Sharing the bill will be The Fusion, Abby Kenna, Emmalynne Deross, INEEDMOREJULZ and label mate Georgia Owen. Other big gigs for the teen talent have been Convention Hall, House of Independents, PNC Bank Arts Center, the Make A Wish Foundation gala, and as weekly cantor of St. Catherine’s Church in Spring Lake.

This year, Kate Dressed Up’s annual Gurlzilla charity concert on Dec. 1 at Asbury Park Music Foundation will benefit Garden State Equality also with the talent of Avery Mandeville and the Man Devils, Des and the Swagmatics, Prim, and Pamela Flores. Sitting in Kate’s set will be Renee Maskin of Lowlight, Foxanne and Philly singer-songwriter Elaine Rasnake. The empowering and charitable Gurlzilla has been going on for each of the last three seasons of good will. With 150,000 members, Garden State Equality is the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group and civil rights organization.

The next installment of Let’s Get Folked Up will feature a songwriters circle with Doug Zambon of The Vansaders, Bobby Mahoney, Chris Brown, Arlan Feiles and Meg Berry, plus an opening set by Cat London, on Nov. 29 at The Downtown in Red Bank. Hosted by Jersey Shore radio personality Megan O’Shea and co-founded by Brown, the series kicked off in May in Asbury Park and is presented every other month. Each show has been great, especially this upcoming one, and I am looking forward to what the New Year brings.

Bob Makin is the reporter for a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at