Archive for the ‘Asbury Park’ Category

Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – 6/10/2011

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Its been a crazy two weeks, so I’m trying to keep up with the individual blogs before I forget to…   They’ll be shorter than my longer-winded ones 🙂

Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – Friday, June 10th, 2011

I drove down to Asbury Park to see one of my best friends Jeff Hornlien play his first show with his new band “Casualty”.

If you haven’t heard by now, Jeff’s old band “The RiffSurfers” (that I managed – against my will LOL), are no more.  <insert huge sad face here>   No dramatic fight between the 5 J’s (Jeff Hornlien, Jimmy Diamonde, Jenna D’Onofrio, John Kraemer & James Hannon (umm, that’s me),  but things weren’t happening, and we all eventually went different directions.  I went on to promote my book “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang“;  John became Johnny Rox and joined the band “Tasting Grace” (see my review of their shows here and here);  Jenna joined the successful cover band Decades Invasion and is probably playing somewhere near you this weekend (and next weekend, and the weekend after that);  Jimmy became James Giunta, Certified Hypno-Therapist and currently has a thriving practice in Red Bank, NJ.   And Jeff started up this new band called “Casualty” with old RiffSurfer drummer Sean O’Connor and bass player Nicky Vitucci.   So now that you’re all caught up with the history of the band, lets move on to their first show.

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Band Review: Black 47 at the Stone Pony, Memorial Day 2011

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Band Review: Black 47 at the Stone Pony, Memorial Day 2011

As biased as my previous review was, this one will be also.  But, unlike the previous review, I became biased towards Black 47, not because of friendships (which came later), but because I was just a super fan going back to their early days (1989-1991) when they were playing in the Norwood/Bainbridge section of the Bronx – which just happened to be my old neighborhood.

I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I never did see the band live when they were playing back in my old neighborhood.  They had played in the local Irish bars, and by this time I had already given up drinking at the ripe old age of 16 (more common in my Irish-American neighborhood than you would expect)

I don’t remember who exactly, but “someone” recommended Black 47, and I picked up their CD – probably at Crazy Eddie’s on Fordham Road. I was really surprised that I liked their music.   I DID NOT like Irish music at all at that time tho – too many parentally-forced listenings of “Wild Colonial Boy” and “The Unicorn” on WFUV’s Sunday radio program will do that to you.

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Review/Blog: Brandon Flowers at the Stone Pony – Dec 1st, 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

This is not really a “review” of the show, but more of a journal of the “James & Jackie Experience” of the Brandon Flowers show last night.

Well, it’s the beginning of the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate than with Brandon Flowers of the band The Killers right? What, you don’t celebrate Christmas season with the Killers in your house? But my beautiful wife Jackie tells me everyone does it! (FYI Jackie is celebrating her birthday today so feel free to wish her well in the comments – Happy Birthday sweetheart!)

I’m joking of course, but it was a way to tell you that every year on World AIDS day, The Killers put out a Christmas song and video where all the profits go to fighting AIDS… So yesterday (December 1st 2010), they released their newest Christmas song “Boots” at fine establishments everywhere. I picked my copy up on ITunes and it’s actually a pretty good song that I recommend you getting (or at least watching the equally good video) – The money goes to a good cause so it’s a win-win situation.

The “Boots” video link is at: http://www.starbucks.com/share/#/the-killers – Supposedly every viewing make STARBUCKS/RED contribute a nickel to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

The other thing is that my wife likes the Killers. I mean she REALLY likes them – almost bordering on obsession. as I mentioned in an old Blog , if Jackie had to choose between me and lead singer Brandon Flowers, I’d be worried.  Please see the August 2008 blog where Brandon Flowers checked out my wife’s boobs.

Mr. Flowers is doing a solo tour now, and he happened to come to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ last night. You may know the Stone Pony from when the band I managed called The RiffSurfers played there a couple of summers back or probably more likely from a little known New Jersey-ite named Bruce Springsteen

The Stone Pony is a great venue to see big acts. Its relatively small and intimate, and usually when acts play there they hang out and take pictures and sign autographs. I’ve seen some great acts there such as the aforementioned RiffSurfers, my pal Larry Kirwan and Black 47, The Smithereens, and the New York Dolls to name a few.

So when my wife’s obsession Brandon Flowers came to Asbury Park, the day before her birthday, you know I was gonna be there… Plus it was a Wednesday night in the middle of the holiday season down the shore for a “little known” solo act of a band that’s popular in a certain population – so I figured if 20-30 people came out that would be a lot. And Jackie could meet the dude, get a picture and maybe an autograph.

Boy did I underestimate the selling power of Brandon Flowers! Last night we drove down to Asbury Park, and got an early whiff of my mistake in judgment when parking was a little difficult. Asbury Park in winter is a normally a pretty desolate place – but tonight we had to park a few blocks away..

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A biased review of Tasting Grace at Asbury Park Convention Hall

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Pics at bottom of blog – dont forget to click “read more”

OK, let me explain the title of this blog first.  I am a huge fan of drummer Johnny Rox going back to the days when he was known as little Johnny Pebblez…  Sorry for that – its just a private joke I have with John since I can’t in good conscience call him by his stage name, and I don’t want to give out his real name in this blog…  Long story-short, John is a great friend, old band-mate, and one of my 501st brethren, so I can’t give anything but a biased review of him…  (RiffSurfer Squad forever!) – Also, as I started writing this, I realized that this is so much more than a review – its a freaking look into my life  LOL

OK, getting that out of the way, he’s in this band called Tasting Grace now and I’ve been hearing a LOT about them for the past few months…   They are about to start an International tour (OK, they’re playing Puerto Rico in addition to the states – I’m not sure how that fits into the international scope of things, but lets just say their tour is bigger than a national tour –  Either way, I’m proud of my friend and the success that he’s gotten and will get — (see how this is going to be biased?)

Last night, November 6th, 2010 was the first show of the tour, and it was at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.  They were the headlining band for Lucha Vavoom! – A wrestling event made by MTV (I think), and has strippers and masked wrestlers in the style of old Mexican wrestling luchadors.  But more on that later – This review blog is primarily about Tasting Grace’s show…

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