Posted tagged ‘cover bands’

Top 5 Things I’m Looking Forward to This Summer

April 24, 2011

No shore traffic for me this summer - definitely looking forward to that!

Flowers are in bloom, the weather’s getting warmer, and girls all over New Jersey are visiting tanning booths and throwing up their meals in order to look good in a bikini.  These are all signs that summer is coming to the Jersey Shore.  And I couldn’t be happier, especially after the winter we had this year.  So what am I looking forward to most about this summer in the Armpit of America?  Keep reading to find out.

1. Finally being popular – As this will be my first summer living at the beach, I may finally know what it’s like to be popular!  From what I’ve heard, when you have a beach house, people come out of the woodwork to come over.  So even though I’ll probably be taken advantage of by some of my random acquaintances who want a place to chill before going to the beach or crash after going to the bars, it will feel like I have so many more friends!

2. Corn – Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, we’re stuck eating corn out of a can or from the freezer.  Not in summer though.  Come July, New Jersey provides its residents with the best, sweetest corn imaginable. It’s so unbelievably good, you don’t even have to cook it. Hell, you don’t heve have to husk it! Take that, Nebraska!

3. Outdoor Bars – The bars at the Jersey Shore are fun all year round.  But they can get a little cramped and stuffy during the off-season.  Once summer comes, they open up their outdoor sections, allowing guests the option to escape the guidos and crappy coverbands inside, and hang around outside. That being said, here’s a quick list of my favorite outdoor bars: (more…)

Winter in New Jersey Still Sucks!

January 17, 2011

...except during the winter.

About a year ago, I wrote this entry about the rough winter we were having in the Armpit of America. Well, last year’s winter was pretty balmy compared to this year. In that entry, I bitched about us getting two feet of snow last year. That might has well have been two inches compared to the three feet we got a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, three feet of snow. None of which has really melted yet. Almost every single day since that major snowfall on December 26 has been at or below freezing. And the little amount that actually does melt or evaporate just gets replaced by a new snowfall, such as the one going on right now. Luckily for me, I work from home. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the millions of New Jerseyans who have to drive to work on already shitty roads made shittier by this horrible weather.

Despite the weather, I’ve still been having fun here at the Jersey Shore. One of the good things about this winter weather is that it keeps all the guidos from North Jersey and New York up where they belong. For instance, I had quite a pleasant, guido-less night at the Boathouse on Saturday. As nice as it is when it’s less crowded, it was weird seeing the bar as empty as it was. Either way, it was a fun night. The live music was provided by Daddy Pop, one of the regular cover bands that populate the Shore and the band that played at my sister’s wedding. They were pretty good, and I commend them for only playing one of these overplayed cover band songs. It was American Girl for those interested. (more…)

The Wild, The Inebriated, and The E Street Shuffle

October 5, 2010

 

One of my souveniers from the night...the other was a hangover.

 

I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday.  Well, aside from my epic 21st birthday weekend (My birthday was on a Friday that year, so we went to the bars at midnight on Thursday, went to the Breakfast Club Friday, and had a house party Saturday), that’s mostly true.

This year, things were a little different.  Now that I have a beautiful apartment in Belmar, along with plenty of bars within walking distance, why not go all out?  So I invited a bunch of people over to check out the place and then hang out at a bar.  Even though my birthday was once again on a Friday this year, I limited the celebrating to only one night.

After the guests started arriving, I tried to order a couple monster pizzas from 3 Brothers.  Alas, they never answered the phone.  After calling a dozen times, and after a few other people tried to no avail, I ordered pizza from some other place.  Though perfectly adequate, this regular pizza is nothing compared to giant 3 Brothers pizza.

After hanging out at the apartment for a while and getting sauced up, we headed out for the Boathouse.  As luck would have it, there was a live band there that night.  Even luckier, it was The E Street Shuffle, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band!  Though I never heard of them before that night, I was impressed.  They did a great job, playing both the hits and the lesser known songs. (more…)

Belmar: The First 48 Hours

September 6, 2010

Two days ago, I moved out of New Brunswick and into a beautiful oceanfront apartment in Belmar. Though New Brunswick will always have a special place in my heart, having lived there for five years, I’m happy to leave that city behind. One can only take so much dirt and crime and shady people. While the Armpit of America has more than its fair share of these things (hence the nickname), Belmar is a safe haven from such deviance. Or at least it’s relatively safe compared to elsewhere in the state.

Saturday afternoon, I rented a U-Haul and the woman and I brought all my stuff to the new place. After spending a couple hours unloading (somehow the two of us were able to carry two couches up a flight of stairs), we drove back to return the truck. We didn’t get back to Belmar until 10:30, at which point my roommate, his girlfriend, and three of our friends showed up. We ordered a giant pizza from 3 Brothers Pizza and spent the next couple hours setting up. Since we didn’t have cable, and still don’t as of right now, we tapped into my DVD collection. The Robot Chicken Star Wars episode and Yellow Submarine were the DVDS of choice. Though we talked about hitting up the bars, everyone was too tired and sweaty from moving to go out, so we just hung around until 2:00 before going to bed.

Sunday was spent shopping around at the saddest little Shop Rite (hard to explain but it’s just depressing) and K-Mart and finishing unpacking and everything else. When it was dinner time, we decided to try something different and went to Kaya’s Kitchen, a completely vegetarian restaurant run by hippies. (more…)

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…)

More Like Point Un-Pleasant…

June 13, 2009

There comes at least one point in everyone’s lives when you realize that something you loved as a kid truly is a piece of shit. This can happen with a TV show (such as when I recently saw an old episode of Ren and Stimpy) or perhaps a favorite candy (anyone remember Gushers?). Either way, it’s incredibly disappointing when you discover that something that you only have positive memories of never was that great to begin with. I had one of these ah-ha (or rather uh-oh) moments last night in Point Pleasant.

Point Pleasant is a shore town in Ocean County, known for its boardwalk, a surprisingly nice aquarium, and its two biggest bars, Martell’s Tiki Bar and Jenks. Both are found on long piers that stretch right up to ocean; but this is the only thing they have in common. Jenks, with its loud club music and all-around trashiness, attracts world-class Jersey skanks, which in turn attract the loud, greasy New Yorkers. Martell’s, on the other hand, offers a more fun and laid-back experience. Or at least it used to.

Although it’s easy to understand how our perspective of something can change as we go from youth to adulthood, it’s harder to accept when something goes downhill in the course of a year. Martell’s was always my favorite shore bar, and I have plenty of great memories hanging out at the end of the pier with friends as the moon rose over the maritime horizon. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true. Anyway, I was expecting to have the usual good time there last night, but something was horribly wrong.

Upon entering, which was more difficult than it should have been (since the ID-checker, wristband-wrapper, and money-taker were all on top of each other), I noticed that the bar didn’t look right. It was definitely missing something…like people. The entire pier is usually packed end to end. As this was the first warm, rain-free Friday night in a long time, and because the unofficial summer season is well under way, the bar should have been mobbed.

Perhaps this lack of people could be attributed to the band that was performing last night. Now crappy cover bands are a staple of any bar on the Jersey Shore. However, there is a difference between a crappy cover band and a crappy cover band. A crappy cover band is what you expect to hear – although not great, they get the job done and keep people entertained. A crappy cover band, though, fails at this. The band from last night was definitely a crappy cover band. It was bad enough that they decided to play the annoying Poker Face. It was a worse decision to have their male singer perform it.

My next gripe about Martell’s has to do with the drinks. I ordered my standard Vodka Tonic and a Corona for the girlfriend. After handing the bartender a $20, I was given a five-dollar bill, two singles, and some change in return. If my math is correct, that means I paid over $12 for those two simple drinks. Now if my Vodka Tonic was made with Grey Goose or if the Corona came with some special kind of lime, I could understand the price. However, my drink was made with generic vodka, and, as far as I could tell, the lime in the Corona was just a regular one. Regardless, my drink was served in a really tiny glass. No standard-sized plastic cup or the like. This was a glorified shot glass. After ordering another one, I was told the price was $6.50. Now I could understand paying this much for a Vodka Tonic at a swanky bar in Manhattan. However, there is no reason for a grimy shore bar to charge twice as much money for half a drink.

After hanging out there for a couple hours, we left the bar to get some food on the boardwalk. We then tried to get back in to use the bathroom before leaving. However, the bouncer wouldn’t let us it and said, “It’s last call, no one gets in.” I pointed out how he had just let these two girls back in right in front of us. He then said its because they had to meet up with their friends. I replied, “So you let people back in to ‘meet up with their friends,’ but we can’t go in to use the bathroom?” The poor thing looked perplexed. A couple minutes passed before he finally responded with, “Yeah, thats right.” I then told him what a great job he was doing. He smiled and said thanks, without the slightest bit of sarcasm or cynicism, as if he thought I was really complimenting him.

The boardwalk at Point Pleasant, and specifically Martell’s Tiki Bar, have always been a fun place to hang out at. Yet, last night was a less-than-spectacular experience. An unorganized staff, a crappy cover band, pricey and unsatisfying drinks, and dumb bouncers all worked together to tarnish my image of this magical place. In the past, I would have recommended that anyone from another state go to Martell’s to see a more pleasant side of New Jersey. However, after last night, it really represents the Armpit of America.