Life on the road can be an exhausting and liberating experience for any performer but for a rock band on tour, the road becomes a testing ground for new material, a venue to get the word out about the music and – with any luck – a step closer to a record deal. New York-area rock band Your So-Called Friends has been touring the East Coast, southeast and Midwest since October 2010, playing its original tunes in local clubs and with each show, tightening grooves and polishing their performance. On March 5th, Your So-Called Friends takes a break from the road to make their New York City debut at Crash Mansion on the Lower East Side. Continue reading “Your So-Called Friends”-Local Rock Band Takes Touring Detour to Debut in New York→
River View Observer Restaurant VIEWS:Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory A Friendly Face, a Cup of Joe and Wow!
By Sally Deering
New Jerseyans know diners like they know Turnpike exits. They even know the best diners at Turnpike exits. There’s something about a diner’s home-cooked fare and no frills atmosphere that conjures up images of Edward Hopper paintings and memories of 3 am conversations over coffee and pie.
The diner mystique even has a TV following with viewers tuning in to the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” where host Guy Fieri travels the U.S. eating blue plate specials from the menus of greasy spoons. A while back, one of the stops on Fieri’s show was the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory on Jersey Avenue in Jersey City across from the Jersey City Medical Center. But unlike many of the diners featured on the show, the Brownstone is more upscale and the menu features entrees you’d likely find in New York and at higher prices.
The Brownstone offers diner fare, the eggs, burgers and sandwiches are always on the menu, but it’s definitely more than a diner. It’s a nice, easy-going restaurant that serves great food from traditional recipes that go back to when owners Zoe and Bobby Bournias were kids learning the restaurant business from their parents Irene and Peter who owned M&A diner back in the 1960s and ’70s. They converted it to the Newport Pancake House in the 1980s and when their father Pete was going to sell the business in 2004, Zoe and Bobby decided to leave their careers and run the business with their dad. They renovated and expanded and in 2005 re-named the eatery the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory, transforming it from a plain-and-simple diner to a family restaurant with a menu that goes far beyond blue plate specials. Continue reading The Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory in Jersey City Takes that Old Diner Fare and Makes it New Again!→
During the 2010 holiday season, Amazon.com sold 2 million Kindles and Barnes & Noble selling 1.5 million Nooks, stats that are a wake-up call to big name book publishers and a “Yahoo!” to writers everywhere who can now self-publish their Great American Novels their way. Ebook publishing is the new frontier for writers to boldly sell their fiction and non-fiction – and find their niche – and a possible income – utilizing 21st Century technology and the social media network that connects us all.
Electronic Readers have transformed the way we’re reading biographies, textbooks, cook books, you name it. Books of every genre are now available via download and ebook publishers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google (and more) are giving writers the chance to see their books in electronic print not only on Kindles and Nooks, but IPads, IPhones, Droids and other techno gadgets. Of course, the Big Kahunas of book publishing like Random House, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster are still doing big business in hardcovers and paperback, but the stats indicate more and more people would rather click a button on their handy electronic reader than turn the page of a dog-eared book. Continue reading How to Publish the Great American eNovel→
Acappella groups – four or five guys singing harmonies with no back-up band – bridged the gap between 1950s Doo-Wop and 1960s rock and roll, but until now, little has been written about that time in music history when teenagers harmonized on street corners, inside subways and underneath train trestles searching for the echo that gave them their sound.
Abraham Santiago grew up in Jersey City and remembers the days he sang tenor in The Concepts, a street corner acappella group of fellow students from Ferris High School in Jersey City. Santiago, who now resides in Chicago, took his memories of those days and collaborated on a book and documentary about the acappella era with Steve Dunham, an acappella enthusiast and music producer in Las Vegas with a mammoth acappella record collection and a passion for singing street harmonies.
“Acappella Street Corner Vocal Groups: A Brief History and Discography of 1960s Singing Groups,” (Mellow Sound Press, Chicago,167 pgs;) chronicles every street corner acappella group ever recorded from that time like Joanne and the Heartaches, the Royal Counts and the Persuasions; and the record companies that produced their songs, like Snowflake, Relic and Catamount. The documentary, “Street Corner Harmony: The Missing Link in Rock and Roll History,” narrated by record producer Wayne Stierle delves deeper into the singers’ lives and the genre of acappella music. Both the book and the documentary are touchstones to a bygone era, the time between the 1950s and 1960s, when musical tastes shifted to British rockers like The Beatles and short-haired teens singing acappella became as old-hat as the Hi-Fi record players that spun their songs. Continue reading Searching for the Echo-Book and Film Shine Light on 1960s Street Corner Acappella Groups→
Cantigas Women’s Choir Brings Voices to Global Music and Harmony to Local Communty
by Sally Deering Once a week, gathered inside the music room of an elementary school in Hoboken, women of varying ages and walks of life harmonize together as members of the Cantigas Women’s Choir. This all-girl community glee club performs the music of many nations and during the course of its 8-year history has become a “family of women” bringing harmony to its community both on and off the stage.
Arthur’s Tavern Serves Delmonico Steaks with Old Hoboken Charm
by Sally Deering
In a town where almost every doorway on Washington Street leads to an eatery, Arthur’s Tavern on the corner of 3rd Street stands out as a Hoboken treasure – a throwback to the way the town looked back in the day with prices that are more than reasonable (a Delmonico hamburger for $5.95) and steaks and sides as yummy and comforting as your favorite dish on grandma’s table.
The tables decked out in red-checkered tablecloths first catch your attention as soon as you walk in the door. Then you notice the stained-glass lamps hanging from the hammered-tin ceiling. Add to that the mouth-watering aroma of sizzling Delmonico steaks and you immediately relax a little, ready to settle in for some hearty and delicious fare. Continue reading Restaurant VIEWS-The Best Steaks in Town -Hoboken→
Bayonne’s Enzo Palumbo Loses “Big Brother” Cash but Keeps an Eye on the Hollywood Prize- River View Observer Exclusive Interview
By Sally Deering
Photo sent by Enzo Palumbo
First, an explanation of the “meow meow.” It’s like “etcetera, etcetera,” mixed with “yada yada” with a hint of “Oh yeah? What’s it to ya?” It’s also the nickname of Enzo Palumbo, a handsome, funny, “tell it like it is” insurance adjustor from Bayonne who spent 75 days as a contestant on CBS’s “Big Brother” this summer. Let’s let Palumbo describe the “meow-meow.”
“Meow-meow” it stems from back in the day,” Palumbo says. “Years ago, I was with my friend and we were with two girls. One sits in the front seat with me and before I put my radio on, she farts in my car and tries to blame me. I ask her, what are you doing? She says, ‘whatever, meow, meow. That was the end of it. Meow meow. I’m a straight up cool cat.”
Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia to Help Fund Library Capital Improvements
by Sally Deering
Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe lit up the silver screen with her simmering sexuality, bootyliscious bod and a killer smile that warmed film-lovers hearts. Playing the bubble-headed blonde roles producers cast her in, Monroe delivered sex-appeal by the D-cupful with an added twist of vulnerability, like her character Sugar Kane in “Some Like it Hot.” When Sugar tells “girl musicians” Josephine and Daphne, (played Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon,) “I’m tired of getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop,” the chord strikes like an arrow threw the heart and although the line belongs to writer/director Billy Wilder and his co-writer I.A.L. Diamond, the delivery is all Marilyn.
Hoboken International Film Festival Shines Kliegs on Teaneck!
By Sally Deering
First Cannes, then Sundance, now Teaneck? Yes folks, Cedar Lane Cinemas in Teaneck rolls out the red carpet for the fifth annual Hoboken International Film Festival, which used to be held in Hoboken, but because of some snafu, will now wow film-lovers a few miles north of Sinatra’s hometown.
The indie film fest promises to be a feast for the eyes, 115 feature-length films, documentaries, shorts and TV pilots presented on the silver screen with in-person appearances by Oscar-winning movie stars, Emmy-winning TV stars and the writers and directors who nurtured their films from their first baby-steps. Continue reading Indie Cover Story -Indie Filmmakers Head to the ‘Burbs→
Thirty-five Hudson Women Honored for their Contributions
By Sally Deering
On Wed, March 24th, Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored 35 local women, many of whom dared to be first including the first woman Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer; the first woman president of the Bayonne chapter of the NAACP Dorothy Adams; the first woman Vice President at Saint Peter’s College Dr. Eileen Poiani; and, the first woman elected to the Jersey City Municipal Council Lois Shaw.