pushing up the daisies 2021.

This weekend I went to Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 and it was everything I hoped for and more. I was seriously very excited about it which could have set me up for extreme disappointment but luckily it was great and no one was disappointed.

LOVIN IT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was held at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. The event is always held there and it needs to always be held there or else it’s not Pushing Up the Daisies. Maybe it seems like an “odd venue” but I think it’s the best venue of all time. If I was dead and buried there I would be glad that living people paid to be there and came to party with me. It’s just the highest level of respect, wanting to party with someone. And showing up for that party. Even if they’re dead.

I wish the dogs were still there.

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about and getting pumped for this event. I planned my outfit, my snacks, the ways I was going to entertain myself. It was my music festival for the summer, I guess. Since I don’t recognize or have any interest in any bands in the Gov Ball lineup anymore. I was mostly just excited about being outside and listening to live music. The outside world and bands playing music both make me really happy.

So I was there all day mostly alone. I laid on my beach blanket and wore a bathing suit because everywhere is the beach and I don’t care what anyone says about that unless they agree. It was a really, really nice day. The sun was so bright and warm. An impossibly perfect spring day.

IMPOSSIBLY. PERFECT.

Like so perfect that the thought of the possibility of more perfection in the future as the summer approaches makes it EVEN MORE PERFECT.

It was great. And the bands were great! GREAT GREAT GREAT.

First up was Sofia Oro. I thought she was super talented but what do I know, really? Either way I was entertained and she did awesome covers of Wicked Game by Chris Issak and Criminal by Fiona Apple. Also she was only 17!

Wow. What a way to start the day and it was only 1:30pm.

Sofia!👏🏻

Next up was Rockstar Racecar from Bloomfield, NJ. They were introduced as from Montclair but then they were like “Actually Bloomfield but no one cares about Bloomfield so we say ‘Montclair.'” I would like to submit that I DO care about Bloomfield and acknowledge that it is a different, separate place from Montclair. Thx.

I enjoyed them! The one guy had blue hair which is always fun. In my notes I wrote that they had a song about Coney Island and how much they like it and I personally hate Coney Island LIKE A LOT but I did like the song.

Then I got super into my snacks and taking pictures of myself and I stopped paying attention and taking notes for a while. The following bands performed during that time: Steel Press, Viktor.Digital, Pynkie 5, and Morningside Lane. Although I wasn’t FULLY paying attention at this point I do know that it was all enjoyable music and I would surely return to listen again.

Thinking a little bit harder about it I do fully remember Pynkie 5 because the gal was wearing THE CUTEST OUTFIT and if anyone ever tries to tell you that outfits don’t matter they are IDIOTS.

Then the clock struck 5 and it was time to transition from the day session into the night session.

My boyf joined for the evening sesh and I was 💕👏🏻🤗

Puppy Pile started off the evening sesh, and I kind of remember what they were like but mostly I just got stuck on thinking about their name, Puppy Pile, and thinking about a pile of actual puppies. And this made me glad. So thank you, Puppy Pile.

Hudson City Rats were up next and they’re always fun. I enjoy their instruments and their vibe and their beards. Thank you for your service.

The CROWN JEWEL, if you will, of Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was Jersey City’s own Desir Decir. Yay! Love them! LOVE THEM LOTS. Glad to see them back in the world! I’m glad to see everyone back in the world post COVID and they are part of and encompass everyone so good to see ya Desir Decir.

Going into the day I thought the last band was going to be The Jack Moves, who are also very fun. But then it wasn’t them and I was confused. Did I invent that The Jack Moves would be there in my mind? It wouldn’t have been the first time I invented something in my mind that simply wasn’t true. But I returned to @rockitdocket on Instagram to confirm and didn’t see them there but clicked over to @jcmusicscene and there they were tagged in a post on April 19 of this year promoting Pushing Up the Daisies. So I’m not crazy…well I am but at least not about THIS particular thing. Whew. Guess they just couldn’t make it. We’re all human, after all.

Anyway the last band ended up being Lapeche and I’m sorry but I was very tired and already at home by that point. It was a long day! I’m sure they were great though. Shout out to Lapeche, I’ll catch you at the next one.

BECAUSE COVID IS ALMOST OVER SO THERE WILL BE MORE, A TON OF “NEXT ONES” AND I CANNOT WAIT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was a great time and I think everyone there would agree. If they don’t we don’t need them.

I really didn’t take many pics of the show and only have silly ones of myself, like this. Sorry.

The cemetery looked great mostly because helpful local folks have been volunteering for “Wake and Rake” events on Saturday mornings for the past few weeks! They awoke and were raking and also doing other types of groundskeeping to really make it super nice for all of us.

Thanks everyone, you did a fantastic job with a valuable public service and I salute you.

YOU, yes YOU, can keep an eye out for future Wake and Rakes here. If they set more up I think I’m going to do it some Saturday soon so maybe I’ll see you there! Usually there are goats that trim the grass and maintain the grounds and I’m not sure what’s up with them so I guess people are the goats for now.

Thank you everyone for a lovely, sunny, snack filled day in the cemetery I can’t wait to do it again soon.

i forgot i like records.

You guys, I forgot I like records. I like, REALLY LIKE RECORDS.

Don’t worry, I remembered this past Saturday. You can call off the search party.

I’m not 100% sure how I first got into records but one day in 2009 I ordered this old LOOKING record player from Target at the recommendation of my friend Laura from work. The first record I bought was Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest because DUH IT WAS 2009. PS I was here. Be impressed. Beyonce was there!

But then I realized that NEW records are very expensive and also not very fun to go looking for. But OLD records can be under $5 and you get to do an ACTIVITY that involves digging through bins of old dusty things and THAT is the adventure I was after.

ADDITIONALLY record stores are often havens for cute, quiet mysterious guys who love music and hate themselves and that was ALSO the kind of adventure I was after.

So I went to record stores! I went in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Austin and LA and Deep Ellum (Dallas) and Phoenix and Athens, GA. I went to record stores wherever I went whenever I could find them. I bought tons of $1 records that I then crammed into the middle of my overstuffed suitcase that I had to sit on to close and cross my fingers they didn’t snap in half.

You’ll be glad to know, I never snapped a record. Whew.

When I lived in downtown Jersey City I loved to go to Iris Records and peruse the dollar bins. You may be aware that “peruse,” although often used to describe a quick scan of something, is in fact THE OPPOSITE and means that you take a long-ass time to carefully and purposefully look through something. So yes, that is what I would do. (OH SHIT MERRIAM-WEBSTER IT MEANS BOTH <AIR HORN SOUND>)

Sometimes I would bring friends, or some guy or whoever, but I really enjoyed it when I went by myself and I was lost in my own thoughts and thinking about my own ideas of what music…IS. And what I like about it, and what I don’t like about it, and which records were worth spending $1 on.

At the end of my search when I approached the register with my pile, I always felt judged. I won’t lie! Music people are very judgmental. Which is uncool. And also why I never really considered myself like an actual, ACTUAL music person, even though I love music and going to concerts and ogling boys in bands. It’s too much to keep up with. I’ve said before I’m not compettive and I’m really not. I don’t want to have like a music stand off with you about who knows more.

I would rather die.

I don’t really know what this is but it has birds so yeah.

So yeah, checking out at record stores always felt hard, as I felt judged. But that could just be me, being an awkward weirdo. Either way you feel as though you are presenting your valuable discoveries to a panel of experts and you’re concerned about whether or not your ideas will be validated and/or accepted as fact. And like, whatever, I guess. The guy at Iris Records was super nice. He had curly hair and glasses and definitely smiled, so he gets respect for that.

But then Iris Records was no more! But maybe they’re back now? I don’t know, I’m confused.

For the last couple of years, even before the pandemic, I had started to really enjoy SILENCE. Like just sitting in my apartment reading in SILENCE. Or messing around on my phone BUT IN SILENCE. Or in the kitchen baking but with NO ADDITIONAL NOISES. I really started not listening to music as much. Sometimes I didn’t listen to music for weeks at a time. Maybe I was kind of going through something, or maybe I just needed a break. I had gone through a solid decade of hard work learning about new bands and listening to new songs and attending concerts that went super late on school nights and going to 3 day long festivals and I was DEFINITELY too old to make it through 3 days toward the end. Music and I were like, “On a break.” For a while!

In December of last year I started to run for recreational purposes, and with running came random playlists curated by Nike Run Club and some of those playlists had songs I liked! So I started to build a playlist of stuff I liked again, and I’ve been listening to it, as I move around the world…or just my house.

And I’ve been enjoying it. But, as I said, the return to records didn’t happen until this past weekend. There was a $1 record sale at Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and of course I had to go because it’s one of my favorite places but also I can reasonably walk there and I needed to get my steps in, you guys.

Before I left I was going through old records that I haven’t even looked at in at least two years and I remembered all the late nights at my old apartment, bringing friends back after the bar and sprawling around the living room and listening to random shit. These were defining moments of my life and I felt sad that I left them behind.

Once I got to Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop, it was as fun as I remembered to zone out and listen to music and relax and look through the boxes of records. And I reflected on how it was once one of my favorite things and I wondered why I had stayed away so long. I don’t really have an answer for that but I’m back, baby!

And the record sale is still going on this week, in fact they will be there this very night, Wednesday 2/3/21 3-7pm eastern standard time. Check out The Hive Goods Instagram for more info.

spotify wrapped: you don’t have to be a dick about it.

The end of the year has come. Even though it was a lame year, we still have the thrill of end of the year “lists” and “retrospectives” and one of my favorites is Spotify Wrapped.

First of all, I love Spotify as an app, an idea, AND A LIFESTYLE. To this day I marvel over being able to find any music I want at any time. It’s there and it’s beautiful and it’s for me.

Everyone I know that loves music loves Spotify. I’m not saying it’s a requirement, I’m just saying in my EXPERIENCE all of my fellow music lovers are fully on board. It’s a great thing to have in our lives, living inside of our phone.

So the Spotify Wrapped time of year, when it arrives, is fun and joyful and exciting. I love to see what everyone has been listening to, I really truly do.

I won’t go into how much I miss getting mix tapes/CDs from pals BUT I MISS IT A LOT. It was truly an unparalleled honor to give and receive these bespoke musical anthologies and I miss it every day.

So Spotify Wrapped offers a chance to see what pals have been listening to. Taking a peek at their favorites and most played helps me discover more music! If I really respect someone’s musical taste or relate to their taste overall, I’ll go and listen to everything on their list and I will be a better person for it and that is a beautiful thing.

Most of my friends shared their Spotify Wrapped videos and it was fun and happy. I saw some friends express their happiness over enjoying the Spotify Wrappeds of others. All was well.

Until I started to see some memes that were like, “I don’t care what you listened to this year,” or like, “I’d rather see your ‘dumb’ workout video than your Spotify Wrapped.” And for whatever reason it made me COMPLETELY ANNOYED.

I simply don’t understand why some people have to be SO SNARKY and HATE EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. LIke they were just looking for their next thing to pick on and feel superior to and they were so excited when Spotify Wrapped came around so they could really TEACH IT A LESSON.

Why do you look down on fun, on happiness, on a CELEBRATION OF HUMAN SPIRIT? HAVE YOU NO SOUL?

I get that it’s like “cool” and “subversive” to judge and hate on stuff. But maybe get over it just this once. We’ve had a hard year.

I know that “social media” as a “thing” gets a lot of flak for ruining our lives, but I think at its core social media allows us to tell stories about ourselves and the people around us, and that’s good for us. All humans are storytellers, it’s a thing. We were story tellers when we couldn’t really speak and when we painted in caves and when we only had oral traditions and then we had the printing press and then came radio followed by TV and so on and so on. We will always find a new way to tell our stories and THAT IS NOT BAD. Social media lets ANYONE easily tell their story and have an audience, even if only one person sees it. If NO people see it and they’re just shouting into the void, THAT STILL HAS VALUE, as far as the human experience.

So let people have their Spotify Wrapped without fear of your rude, unnecessary, and irrelevant commentary, is what I’m saying. They’re not hurting anyone. And in addition to just tolerating it, I urge you to find in your heart the ability to RESPECT it, maybe even ENJOY it. It might make you glad. And less of a sad, disappointed, fun-ruining hater with no soul.

To help you get started, here is MY Spotify Wrapped Top Songs of 2020 playlist.

ENJOY.

ghost of uncle joe’s dress rehearsal.

Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.

In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.

Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!

I’m obviously going on Halloween.

Here’s the schedule for your informaish:

But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.

The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.

And I’m sorry.

I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.

And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.

Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.

They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!

I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.

It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.

Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.

summer emo night at porta jersey city.

Guys, I was already having a hard time and then my bird died so I haven’t written about Emo Night at Porta yet. Emotionally I just couldn’t bear to really rave about something I wanted to give a rave review to. But it happened almost a week ago so I’ll tell you a bit about it now before it turns into like ten years ago.

Emo night! Porta Jersey City! Phil Nasty! Drink specials! Rooftop! Woo!

Just trying to get myself pumped here.

Honestly it was a really great night. You know I LOVED the emo night back in January and I wasn’t even drinking back then. So this one was like EVEN BETTER and as I mentioned my birdie died but at this point she was just sick but I was still very sad so it was nice to be out for a couple of hours and also leave her alone and quiet which is what the vet recommended but I couldn’t resist peeking in her little cage every 2 minutes to check on her.

So yes, I needed a drink. Thanks for asking.

They had an awesome looking cocktail that I should have gotten but didn’t and I still feel residual regret about it. There was cold brew involved which I’m always on board for.

Another drink special was Miller Light in a can but it was in a BLACK CAN because this is EMO and we are SAD and also…I’m sad about my bird. So I drank the black can.

We ordered our usual 14 1/2 which is the spiciest, meatiest pie in town and we love it so much. In two towns, because it’s also better than all the spicy-meaty choices in Hoboken. So there.

I did have some leftovers but my pal put them in her tote and then I forgot them when I left and they were lost forever.

I was too sad about my bird. I couldn’t be trusted. My mind was not right.

Music was also included in emo night! Music was the whole point of emo night! Don’t act like you forgot!

Phil Nasty played the greatest emo bangers this side of 2005 and everyone had the time of their lives singing along at the top of their lungs. It’s just the way we roll.

As a special added bonus there were fun little song quotes on sticks for taking pictures. I was super super super (SUPER X3!) excited when I saw them and no one else got excited at first and I felt like a loser but then people did so it was okay. Maybe I should care less about being a loser but if I did I guess I wouldn’t be emo. So in the end I DID fit in?

Anyway I loved it. Loved every second. I’m so glad to be back in the world and I am grateful for every second. I felt happy and lucky to be up on the roof with a bunch of pals and like-minded jersey city individuals. It was a beautiful evening and PERFECTLY socially distanced so don’t think for a SECOND that they blew it there because they def KILLED IT and gov murph himself would be proud AF.

Marianne and Phil and Porta and probably some other really cool fun fab folks did a great badass job and I’m so pumped I went.

Whew, okay. Glad I got to tell you about that and give it the enthusiasm it deserves. Gonna go cry more about my bird now bye.

jersey city’s fm is closing.

Jersey City’s FM is closing and I’m pretty depressed about it.

I tried to go for a show last night and I got tired and only ended up staying an hour and 10 minutes so maybe I’m part of the problem. But I’m still depressed about it. Were you wondering how I was going to make this about me? Well, that’s how.

This post is going to be about my personal feelings and viewpoints regarding Jersey City’s FM closing and I didn’t conduct any research on why this closing is happening so if you’re looking for facts you won’t find them here. Not today. Just FYI.

Not sure why Jersey City’s FM is closing but I’m sure it probably has something to do with money and there not being enough of it. Money is always getting in the way and it’s a legitmate outrage. Why can’t we just have fun shit? Who cares how much people spend on shit or make on shit? Oh right, everyone cares about that. We can’t have fun shit unless it makes money. The world is a depressing place.

An older man in attendance at the show last night referred to my dinosaur earrings as “hot shit.” Like in a…good way?

Before FM was FM is was Union Republic, which was a purveyor of ramen. I despise ramen so I never went there. I just hate ramen as a food but not as an overall concept. So like, DO NOT invite me to eat foods with you and then suggest, “OMG LET’S GET RAMEN!” Because I would barf. But if you want to get ramen on your own, I’ll allow it.

It seems like many other people also didn’t go there, whether they like ramen or not, because it closed. Presumably for money reasons.

When FM first became FM it was a different iteration of FM. There were like, TV dinners? It had more of a 70s vibe, and way more seating. LIKE WAY MORE. Wow, thinking back, it was legit restaurant amounts of seating. Weird. And I never saw anyone really sitting there and DINING so I don’t think that really worked out for them. For some reason I recall them playing exclusively 70s/disco music. And it was a cute idea, but it wasn’t going to work. It was no Welcome to the Johnson’s.

At some point in recent history, Dancing Tony, man about town and runner of fun, took over what was going on at FM in some capacity. I’m not sure if he has some kind of ownership of the actual venue, but he certainly appears to have creative ownership as far as the bands that play there and the overall shit that happens there. I don’t know his actual title but in addition to running fun overall as a concept, he is also running fun at FM. And I love it! Dancing Tony can do no wrong! Dancing Tony 2020!

So the entertainment got way better there. They put a stage where the useless unoccupied eating tables were. They put up some rock n roll Jersey City art by Robert Piersanti. Things were looking up!

I went to quite a few pretty cool shows there. I saw JC bands I know and love, LIKE LOVE LOVE, like Desir Decir and Babraham Lincoln. I saw one night of shitty open mic stand up comedy. I thought about going to burlesque and I really should have. FM is a great place and I enjoy going there.

The one difference when it comes to FM, compared to most other bars with live music in Jersey City, they charge a cover. I don’t love a cover. I’m a proud millenial in many ways, and one of those ways is that I never carry cash. I hate having to go to Paradise Deli to take out twenty whole dollars and pay a $3 ATM fee and THEN pay a $3 fee to my bank in order to pay an $8 cover charge. It is not my favorite.

But I will do it for the love of the BANDS. Because BANDS MAKE US DANCE.

I regret leaving before Wyldlife even went on last night and only seeing the “Screaming Suspender Man” band which is how I’m going to refer to the band I saw because I don’t know their name and I’m doing lazy armchair journalism today. Despite my laziness toward properly identifying his band I did actually enjoy the Screaming Suspender Man, he was a vibe. He was wearing pants and suspenders, and that was all. And he was VERY INTO IT WHICH I ADMIRE GREATLY.

Update: A wise commenter let me know this band is called Cruelty. Woo!

Screaming Suspender Man, 2020.

My back started to hurt and I had to sit in a chair and I got so tired and that bored me so I had to leave and get Downtown Yogurt. I don’t know what else to tell you. Plz forgive me, Dancing Tony.

FM will be missed by me, and others who enjoy live music in Jersey City. Which is like, a lot of people, you guys. It’s kind of a thing here. Ugh. This sucks.

Their final show is this Saturday, February 1 at 7:30pm. And Desir Decir is playing YUUUSSSSS. And ALSO…you can get tickets on Eventbrite so you don’t have to get out cash at Paradise Deli for the cover charge YUSSSS AGAINNNNN.

I’m not sure what is going to take FM’s place…maybe nothing? Hopefully not ramen.

What are you going to miss most about FM? What are your favorite memories there? Do you know the facts about why they’re closing? Or the real name of the Screaming Suspender Man band? Feel free to share.

emo night at porta jersey city.

Last night I attended my most favorite activity at one of my most favorite places and that was a dance party at Emo Night at Porta Jersey City. I am going to devote this post to singing the praises of this event and plan to reach an unprecedented level of hyperbole, even for me.

I’m including the Instagram accounts of the folks involved in planning and putting on this event so you can go check em out, they’re all doing fun shit around the town and some of it you can do along with them!:

@marbearz – boss gal of Porta

@philipnasty – DJ

@goodyalan – DJ

@laurenzilla – she made the art! and was taking pics.

I’ll begin by saying that I was not an emo kid. I was not even close to an emo kid. Have you seen me? I am too loud and smiley, I’m a joiner. I am NOT the counterculture. But my SISTER was an emo kid and since she’s so much cooler than me, I look up to her even though she’s younger, so I learned some emo shit from her.

I mostly learned emo songs from riding around in her car when she picked me up if I was in my hometown for the weekend and drunk during college. Just hearing these yelling, sad, cathartic-to-scream-along-to songs in her car and eventually learning them and screaming them on my own gave me a real appreciation for the emo oeuvre. It’s true. So I eventually became an emo kid BUT ONLY IN MY OWN MIND and I’m probably an emo poseur forever but you’ll just have to deal with it.

So last night was Emo Night at Porta Jersey City and I was very, VERY pumped. Again because I am NOT cool so I get very, VERY pumped about shit. It was billed as a “dance party,” AND OMG THAT IS WHAT IT WAS. Everyone was dancing around and singing the songs. Including me. And I got very, very sweaty. The primary indication of a successful dance party.

You know when it’s the winter and you get really sweaty dancing and then you go outside for a minute and you’re like “WOO!”? Maybe you don’t know, because there aren’t enough dance parties in this god damn world. As far as I’m concerned there should be a dance party every single day. It feels amazing to move around and not care how you’re moving or who else is moving or even if you’re the only one moving. Because the point of a dance party is to move and not care, and those not moving and actually caring are DOING IT WRONG.

It really took me back in a lot of ways. To a younger time, a simpler time, but also an infinitely more emo time. Jersey City is a small town, so everyone’s ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend or ex dog walker or ex favorite waitress or mom’s ex cabana boy was probably there. Around here there’s a very limited pool of other human beings with which to entertain oneself. And people were prob like “eeeek, that’s the EX,” but then it was like, “Screw it! <screams emo song into blow up microphone> <slams blow up microphone on the floor> <does a badass spin/hair flip combo> <chugs cup of water because it’s Dry January, then realizes there is just ice left and the ice hits them in the nose and falls down their shirt> YEAHHHHH!”

Didn’t want to surrender this inflatable mic.

And there’s a bit of nostalgia in that. A bit of high school, a bit of college, a bit of being an immature moron. A certain level of unnecessary intrigue and speculation. Following the nostalgia came gratitude, that there is no longer a reason to concern oneself with these kinds of things because onseselves iz adultz now thx xoxoxo.

But we can still dance and sing our little adult hearts out along to the greatest emo hits of our collective history.

Didn’t get a good pic of us though. 😔

Additionally I didn’t drink a drop of anything that wasn’t straight up water with a splash of water on the rocks and I still had the time of my life. This slightly baffles me because usually I don’t feel like dancing without at least a small drop of some kind of adult beverage, but I was just having so much fun that I went for it. I UNLEASHED THE DRAGON.

Full disclosure, I am a terrible, TERRIBLE dancer and I always have been. I have a very hard time moving around to the beat of the music because I have zero rhythm and now I am DEAF so it’s even harder to hear and to move and to keep up. But I’ve reached a point that I do not care. And maybe this inspires others as well: the same weird drunk dude came up to me three times last night and very sincerely looked into my eyes and said “ I love you,” and I very sincerely told him three times “Thanks but I have a boyfriend,” and he still returned a 4th and final time because he couldn’t resist the siren song of my awkward and rhythm-less dancing so YOU tell ME who is the queen of the dance floor, thx.

As I looked around, I saw many others happily dancing and enjoying themselves immensely as well. There are folks I see out all the time at the usual Jersey City places that are often lurking alone with like, a sad face and a hood on (I guess they are ACTUALLY emo) and even THEY were dancing and I was honestly proud to be alive. I even saw some almost-smiles. I’m not making this up. Emo dance parties save lives.

What I’m saying is, we need to have more dance parties. We need to have more dance parties that include songs that a certain type of person who is in a certain age group range would know and love, I think is what I’m actually saying. Because in order for this kind of dance party to be this fun there has to be some kind of emotional/nostalgic/throwback element that really brings everyone together and gets everyone PUMPED AF.

Am I making too big of a deal about my excitement regarding Emo Night at Porta Jersey City? Maybe, but you should have been there! I sometimes forget the power and influence and emotional effect that music has on my life because it’s a HUGE amount of all of those things and then sometimes I blow it and don’t listen to music for WEEKS in a row and I want to SMACK myself.

I’ll end by saying that Emo Night at Porta Jersey City was a euphoric and transcendent experience, as only a dance party in a hot basement on a cold and dark winter night can be. And then you go outside and you’re all sweaty and steam is flying off of your head. It suddenly seems very quiet, the street is empty. You think about going back in but your ears are ringing and you’re afraid of losing the hearing in your other ear so you decide to call it a night.

Yeah…time to go home.

As I fell asleep last night I thought about how it felt like for the first time in a long time the night lived up to my hopes and expectations. It seems stupid and silly and childish but it did, okay?! PLZ HAVE MORE EMO DANCE PARTIES I AM BEGGING YOU.

Did you go to the Emo Night at Porta Jersey City? Did you love it? If you didn’t love it you can get the hell out of here and don’t come back. What was your favorite song they played? What other types of dance parties do you think Porta should have? What other places should have dance parties?! I’m looking for a dance party a day every day lifestyle. Thx.

sad gal music vol 1.

I was listening to Best Coast on Amtrak a few weeks ago and I was thinking about how I used to listen to Best Coast all day every day. And I remembered those days. And like any old person, “I can’t say that I miss ‘em, things are better now harhar.” But like they are.

I’m pretty sure the person that introduced me to sad gal music is this guy I used to date that had a walk-in closet and he mostly only had his drums in there. I loved that walk-in closet. And I’m glad he showed me sad gal music. He showed me a lot of cool music and I am forever grateful. He also lived in JC when I (shamefully! stupidly! only because my rent was $700!) lived in Hoboken and helped me see that I had to move to JC ASAP. And then I did.

When I was younger, like in high school, I think the top 3 CDs on rotation in my car were Nelly, Nas, and 50cent. I still don’t fully know how a whole grade of 152 students attending a high school literally in the middle of a cornfield got completely obsessed with this type of music but that can be explored another time. Update: Nick read this and told me, “it was MTV, DUH.” Mystery solved.

And then in college I listened pretty much exclusively to Bob Marley. And cheerleading music I guess. But that was it.

So my brain was ripe for finding and accepting and absorbing and relating to some new music. I think.

And Best Coast was the perfect gateway to sad gal music. They are Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno and they are my favorite. The lyrics are simple but poignant, to me at least. Like, boys are bad and they break your heart and you hate them but you love them so you’ll let them keep breaking your heart and the pain is beautiful and you will chase after them even though skateboards go faster than human legs can go and you should have learned to skateboard when you were ten and you had the chance.

JK they didn’t say the part about the skateboards. But I did.

No matter what song, for me they all invoke a sense of longing. When I’m sad, the thing I get most sad about is that feeling of longing, of wanting something you don’t have and feeling so desperate to have it that it feels like you have a black hole in your chest. Does anyone else know about this?

Maybe you don’t but you can agree that the happy, surf-y, California-y vibe of the music is the complete opposite of the lyrics and that’s part of what I like about it. Like hey we’re jamming on the west coast BEST COAST but people still suck and we still want things we can’t have and feel like shit about it.

I’ve often told people “if you want to know what the inside of my head sounds like, listen to Best Coast.” Things have gotten a little different over the years but I think this still applies most of the time.

I mentioned previously that part of my love for Best Coast comes from them being open about mental illness and that comes out in the songs as well. And it’s just a real feel fest.

I used to listen to it every day because I felt this desperate longing EVERY DAY and I felt a strong sense of solidarity and validation as I blasted this in my headphones and stomped around everywhere in combat boots and maybe that’s why I went deaf in one ear I guess we’ll never know.

It just really fit my VIBES for an extended period of time. A period of time that was like…OH GROSS A WHOLE DECADE PRETTY MUCH.

I’ve been to quite a few of their shows, and I can’t locate the photos from any of them. I know there was one at Terminal 5, one somewhere in Brooklyn, and one in a random spot on the West Side Highway that I thought was random as hell. I also missed them one year at Governor’s Ball because that was the ONLY year we took the ferry and that stupid thing made us late. Don’t take the ferry. Just walk you guys.

One time when I was in LA I met Best Coast! They were DJing at this Space 15Twenty place on Cahuenga (ka-WANG-a) and I walked up to them and was so excited and glad to meet them and I only spoke to them for like 20 seconds but they were the best….COAST!

JK that was dumb.

But I was so excited, look at my face here.

I mean I look insane but they look cool as hell and also kind. That’s how they always look I love them.

2016 was a tough year for many and we also got Trump later that year, but 2016 was my rebuilding year so I am not mad at 2016. And meeting Best Coast in 2016 was part of that.

And then in 2017 they CAME TO JERSEY CITY and did a show at White Eagle Hall which I could walk to in 5 mins from my old apartment. And it was like two of the things I love most in the world (JC+BC) came together in a perfect moment in an old high school gym turned concert venue. And it was like that because that’s what it was. They killed it at White Eagle, these poorly compressed .gifs don’t lie.

I started writing this earlier today because I’ve been wanting to write about them, my most fav band, and a few hours after I started writing it I saw on Bethany’s Instagram that they’re coming out with a new album on 11/5! Like they just said that today! IT’S LIKE I KNEW.

IT IS SCORPIO SEASON.

(Bethany is also a Scorpio)

So go ahead and listen to them on Spotify or wherever you get your music these days. You have like a week to catch up before this new album!

I think it’s best to start from the beginning, so chronologically you would want to do these first (links go to Spotify):

Make You Mine 7”

Something In the Way

Then head over to this one, their first more mainstream one:

Crazy For You

Love it. And then next comes my fav:

The Only Place

And also these two which I also like but didn’t listen to quite as obsessively as Crazy For You and The Only Place but still pretty obsessively:

Fade Away

California Nights

Honestly I love them all. What about you? Do you love Best Coast? Do you love another band as much as I love Best Coast? Do you like sad gal music as an overall genre? I do. And I’ll talk more about it soon. Thanks for listening.

double parked fest.

More fun shit happened in Jersey City this weekend! If you know Jersey City, you know that there’s always fun shit happening and there’s nothing you can do about it. So you should probably just go do the fun shit and get it over with. In Jersey City we love live Jersey City music and we were not disappointed on Saturday as live Jersey City music graced Newark Ave.

Pet Shop (my most favorite bar) and The Archer (as of today my most favorite place to eat a Frito pie even better than the first one I ever had at a roller derby match in Corpus Christi, TX) had an event called Double Parked Fest and it was a radio show and a rock concert and a street festival and it was everything I ever wanted out of a beautiful fall Saturday in Hudson County.

It started at noon so we arrived promptly at 12:15 to survey the scene. There was a giant drink shaker (?) atop a truck and it looked like a cement truck but it was intended to cement you in drunkenness in some way and had something to do with whiskey except I didn’t go over there so I’m not 100% sure what it had to do with whiskey. Some pals did get a drink from there and reported it was “very strong.”

Milk Sugar Love the greatest ice cream you’ve ever had, had a tent but I think they ran out because I went back a few hours later to get some and it had disappeared completely from the spot like it was abducted by aliens. I was really really sad.

ZeroKid the best vintage store to shop at while drunk and probably when not drunk but I’ve only ever shopped there drunk due to its proximity to Lucky7 and later hours, also had a tent. I noticed some great stuff in there as we walked by and meant to go back but didn’t but I’ll see you next time ZeroKid. Love you thx bye.

ADHD Driven was there with some AWESOME LOOKIN STUFF and I also didn’t get to go back over there but I did get to stop by her booth the next day at the Jersey City Oddities market and she had these awesome vintage hand dyed jeans and I couldn’t find any that fit among what she had there but she said she would assist me with finding ones that fit me in the future if I want AND I DO WANT.

WFMU was broadcasting live from the fest and I thought that was super cool. I have an unrequited crush on WFMU because I love everything they do and I make my co workers listen at work all the time like “This is the radio station of MY TOWN” and they’re like we don’t care but ok, and I wish I was cool like WFMU about all things music but I’m not but it’s ok because they allow me to admire them. They broadcasted and they said some things about the bands and I forget what they said but it was great. They also gave out free stickers and we are children so we love stickers so we took lots of those.

Arriving early before mostly anyone allowed us to secure a picnic table bench to sit at the whole entire time and we were super excited about this. Although we do support local businesses we also had a ton of white claws and bud lights left over from a housewarming party I had a month or so ago so I packed those up in a little cooler and they served our purposes for the majority of the time.

We shared the aforementioned WILD BOAR FRITO PIE

And also enjoyed one of these Goth Dogs from PM Dawg. THE BREAD WAS BLACK BECAUSE IT IS GOTH AND ALSO DELICIOUS.

The only bad thing that happened the whole day was an older man that seemingly didn’t have a full grasp on reality tried to talk to me at one point I think but he was talking into my deaf ear and I didn’t see him next to me because I was watching the performance and taking notes but also couldn’t hear him and he became outraged and tumbled into a verbal attack on me and my very existence, finally moving position so that I could hear him with my non deaf ear, but I still couldn’t hear him very well because LIVE MUSIC so then he was even more mad and told me “You’re out of your mind! You weren’t born in Jersey City!” Basically I think he was just mad because he saw me as the full embodiment of everything he hates about millennials and America and gentrification all rolled into one and then I was ignoring him so it made it even worse but I was like I am literally just standing here doing nothing, you asshole. But then he screamed “what is wrong with you?! Are you DEAF?!” And he like spit out “deaf” with such disgust. And I was like “yes. Yes I am deaf. I have a disability and I’m sorry that offends you.” And then he stalked off. And then I think he forgot about the whole thing so that was good. But I didn’t. Oh no, I did not forget and will continue to stoke the fire of my resentment toward him until the day I die. Thank you.

I won’t forget you, sir.

Anyway this was a musical event so I’m going to tell you about all of the musical acts except for the headliner Ex Hex and I’m sure they were great but we were there from 12:15pm to 7:57pm and Ex Hex went on at 8:15(?) and after Crazy and the Brains I was so pumped up but also so tired and couldn’t make it another second and had to go home to the hot tub.

As always I will warn you that I am not a musical professional and this is only my very personal recollection and I did take notes and will try my best to be a good journalist but this is a blog so you get what you came for.

Sean Kiely

Sean Kiely is always playing something around the town and I’ve heard a lot of good things but this was my first time seeing him play in person. I will say that the slower, quieter songs did seem to have trouble making an impact in the outdoor space, but we really enjoyed the one or two more upbeat ones they played. The most badass thing about this performance was that the sound broke at the end and Kiely and band boldly stepped away from their mics and kept singing/playing until the bitter end. The crowd was pumped and cheering them on and I think that was my favorite part of the whole day.

The Lo-Fis

The Lo-Fis are a trio of dudes that looked like they were in high school but I’m a bad judge of people’s ages so maybe they weren’t that young. I don’t mean that in a bad way! I just mean I think they were in high school and actually if they are that’s cool as hell that they played this festival. They also looked like they went shopping at one of our many fine Jersey City vintage boutiques and the drummer had the best hair of all time. Beyond me just analyzing their hair and their age and what they were wearing I really enjoyed their music and they seemed to really enjoy it too which always makes me happy and glad and fully on board with a performance, seeing the performers look pumped about what they’re doing. At one point the lead singer did this funny little slow spin thing during a time he didn’t have to sing and it was adorable but like in a BAD ASS ROCK WAY. I guess.

Glazer

I believe our fearless leader Dancing Tony said Glazer was from New Brunswick because I wrote that down in my notebook and I would never ever forget someone mentioning New Brunswick so I didn’t even need to write it down anyway. “Moving up from the basement to the big stage, Glazer!” That’s all I have written down for them I think they weren’t really my style but that’s okay it takes all kinds to ROCK.

Baby Shakes

On the other side of the coin Baby Shakes WAS FULLY MY STYLE because it was like 3 cute but badass chicks enslaved a solitary man and made him their drummer all while wearing miniskirts with fishnets and denim jackets and amazing sunglasses and also THESE BOOTS.

I just love it when gals wear miniskirts to do shit and also get said shit DONE. Personally I love wearing miniskirts and I also love doing shit and I’m glad to see that philosophy in action.

I really enjoyed their music, I think they may have been in my top two as far as style of music and presentation of said style. I could be biased because I love girl bands and girls doing cool stuff and sorry not sorry.

Barrie

Speaking of gals doing stuff, Barrie was also gals doing stuff and I think they were from Brooklyn and they said “Thank you for having us in your beautiful town” and I thought that was kind and respectful so 10 points for Barrie. A few of them also wore beanies which I thought was fun and for 45 seconds as I was trying to write that down I forgot the word for “beanie” and it took me to a weird mental place but that’s not Barrie’s fault or anything so sorry I brought it up. Thank you for coming to our beautiful town Barrie we were glad to host you.

Ice Balloons

At this point in the day I had drank a lot a lot of white claws and was probably starting to lose touch with reality anyway but then Ice Balloons came on and the lead singer was wearing the head of a fly the entire time and it was weird and spooky and creepy but ‘tis the season so okay I’ll go with it. There was also a guy in this band that everyone kept telling me was in TV on the Radio and I googled it and it was…true! Woo! So then I had Wolf Like Me in my head for the next 72 hours. Yes it’s still in my head.

Crazy & the Brains

Crazy & the Brains is my most favorite Jersey City local band. Actually maybe I shouldn’t say that because I like them all and Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is coming up so I should have some RESPECT for ALL Jersey City local bands. But anyway I love these guys lots. I love their style, see: THESE SHOES.

And they just always seem like they’re having fun and they’re jumping around and they make me want to jump around and sing and also yell. But in a good natured way. I don’t know, it’s good shit.

The lead singer also always leaves the stage or like “performance area” and walks around and sings among the people and seemingly parties among the people for the duration of the song and I think that’s really cool.

They also have some fun instrumental stuff going on, for example A XYLOPHONE and the very tall Xylophone Man (TM) takes his moment to SLAY SOME XLY and KILLS IT and you’re like wooooo!!!

Maybe I’m not describing this well because I didn’t drink enough coffee and I also was so busy enjoying the performance that I didn’t get any good pictures but I think they’re great and that’s all. Crazy & the Brains 4evs.

Ex Hex

Sorry I didn’t stay for you Ex Hex but I will link you here so that others may know you and love you. I did hear good things about this performance on the social media of others.

And that was that! It was a great and fun day and I’m very proud of Pet Shop and The Archer for doing a good and big and special wonderful powerful lovely thing and I can’t wait until next year.

Still hoping for merch with this pigeon on it let me know if you have any leads…

Did you go to Double Parked Fest? What did you think?!?!?!