Archive for the ‘Music’ category

Top 5 Overplayed Jersey Shore Cover Band Songs

July 7, 2010

Jon Bon Jovi or Jersey girl? I'm still not sure.

If you hang out at bars at the Jersey Shore, you’re bound to come across at least one of many bands making their living off of other people’s songs. While they may have their own musical aspirations, no record company is knocking at the door with a big advance. So, they settle for cover gigs at the shore, where they play inferior versions of popular songs to indifferent audiences.

Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy the Jersey Shore cover bands, which are primarily made up of a bunch of 20-or-30-something year-old guys, usually along with one heavy-set, middle-aged man on bass. They make for a fun evening, no matter which shore bar, from Atlantic Highlands all the way down to Cape May, you might find yourself in. Who wouldn’t want to hear a band play a bunch of classics that everyone knows, rather than a crappy band that plays their own stuff?

Despite my fondness for Jersey Shore cover bands, I do have one point of contention with them. THEY ALL PLAY THE SAME SONGS! No matter which band you see, you’re more than likely to hear all of the five songs below. While not necessarily bad songs, you easily get sick of hearing them all summer long.

So, if any member, manager, or groupie (ha, yeah right!) of a Jersey Shore cover band is reading this, please get your band to stop playing these songs:

1. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard

Maybe it’s just me, but this song, more than the rest on the list, just seems so dated. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but think of some trashy 80s Jersey mall girls bopping their hairspray-hardened coifs around to this song. See? “Pour Some Sugar on Me” even makes this crusader against the negative Jersey stereotype actually buy into it.

2. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

“Living on a Prayer” has now made its second appearance on one of my Top 5 lists. Though not a bad song by any means, it is definitely overplayed. Overplayed on the radio, and overplayed by Jersey Shore cover bands. Sure, it’s pretty much the Armpit of America’s unofficial anthem. But, for these bands to play it every single night is just plain overkill. (more…)

The Best of NJ: WPRB 103.3 FM

April 15, 2010

That stands for "We Play Reallygoodmusic, Bitch!"

A few years ago, I got a job in Princeton, NJ and spent about two and a half years working there.  One of the highlights of that job was my hour-long commute.  For reals.  You see, though I was by myself in the car, I wasn’t alone.  I had the radio to keep me company.  And I kept that radio tuned to WPRB 103.3 FM – the radio station of Princeton University.

Though I would originally listen to Q104.3, the classic rock station based in New York, it would often break up as I traveled west towards Princeton.  Each day, I would do my usual search for a new station; every time the seek button brought me to a new one, I would either hear a commercial or static.  One day, though, I landed at 103.3.  I heard this really weird song that sounded like it was being sung by Lisa Simpson, and I was hooked.  (I would later find out that the song was Only Skin by Joanna Newsom.)

I kept the radio on 103.3 for the rest of my commute, and I kept hearing all these unusual songs.  They were like nothing I had ever heard.  Upon getting home, I looked up 103.3 to find out what it was all about.  I learned that it is the student-run radio station of Princeton University, known as WPRB.  As I had been so accustomed to conventional radio, where I would often hear the same songs over and over, this new (to me) station was a real awakening.

For the remainder of my time working in Princeton, I would listen to WPRB whenever possible.  I was exposed to all different kinds of music, as delivered by the station’s many different deejays.  You see, they have a different set of deejays and different programming each day.  On top of that, every deejay is only on for like two hours.  Although I was only able to listen to the station from 8 AM to 9 AM and from 5 PM to 6 PM (meaning I would hear the same shows each week), I still got a good sampling of music I had never heard before. (more…)

Top 5 Bruce Songs About New Jersey

March 9, 2010
I wish my Jew-fro looked half as good as that...

Are we sure he's not Jewish?

A few weeks ago, I created a list of what I consider the top 5 songs about the Armpit of America. Noticeably absent from that list were songs by Bruce Springsteen. Since the patron saint of New Jersey has written so many songs about the state, it would be impossible to pick just one. So I made this list of the top 5 Bruce Springsteen songs about New Jersey.

1. Born to Run – Perhaps the most famous of all Bruce’s songs, Born to Run takes us into a world of motorcycle-riding punks looking for love and a way to escape from this horrible state. Now you may be wondering why I would include a song that is so obviously about getting the fuck out of New Jersey (especially with lines like “Baby this town rips the bones from your back / It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap / We gotta get out while we’re young / ‘Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run“). But, as anyone who has ever lived in this state knows, wanting to get the hell out of here is part of the whole Jersey experience.

2. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – In this fun little song, Bruce sings about the trouble a guy has trying to get the girl of his desire to go out with him. Though he pleads and pleads to get her to come out (to meet up with characters like Jack the Rabbit, Weak Knees Willie, and Sloppy Sue) Rosalita refuses, since her parents don’t approve of her rock-n-rolling suitor. Our hero refuses to give up, though, and explains to the girl that a record company just gave him “a big advaaaancceeee!!!” At this point, the narrator forgets about convincing Rosie to hang out with local hooligans and, instead, he’s dead set on getting the fuck out of New Jersey. Especially since someone slashed his tires, rendering his car “a dud, stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.” Though we don’t know if he was successful in ever getting Rosalita out of her room, it sure is fun watching him try. (more…)

Top 5 Songs About New Jersey

February 2, 2010

Is this Jon Bon Jovi or a Jersey girl? I sure can't tell...

When I first decided to create this list of the top songs about the Armpit of America, I thought it would be pretty easy. However, as I began assembling the list, it became more difficult. There are plenty of songs that mention New Jersey, but I didn’t think that a mere shout-out was enough to put a song on this list. Instead, I wanted to include songs that represent the true spirit of living in this state. I could have included a couple Bruce Springsteen songs, but that would have been too easy. (Though you can look forward to a future Top 5 list of Bruce’s best songs about New Jersey.)

Anyway, I did manage to create a list. I’m sure there are plenty of songs I’ve overlooked. I’m sure people will disagree with the ones I did list. Agree or not, these are the songs I came up with:

1. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Poor Jon Bon Jovi. As big as he and his conceitedly named band were, are, or will be, he’ll never grow out of his status as New Jersey’s second favorite son. But don’t feel too bad for him, his song goes first on my list! Though the lyrics don’t mention New Jersey by name, it is clear that his story about Tommy and Gina takes place right here. With references to the docks at Bayonne and the ubiquitous Jersey diner, the story can’t take place anywhere else.

Our protagonists might not have much, and it apparently doesn’t make a difference if they make it or not. However, they have each other, you see, and that’s a lot for love. So they decide to give it a shot. Though things may be rough for Tommy and Gina, they show the true grit and toughness New Jerseyans are known for. On top of that, this song is pretty much the unofficial anthem of New Jersey. You can’t go to any bar or club in the Garden State without hearing it. At least that’s one thing Bon Jovi can wave in Bruce’s face. (more…)