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Jesse Malin at Jack’s Music Shoppe, Red Bank, New Jersey

Published March 29, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6978Jesse Malin (Photo by Dennis Mistretta)

Today was marked on my calendar several weeks ago, as it’s been a very long time since I saw Jesse Malin perform. “Very long” as in over 20 years when I used to follow his band D-Generation back in the early 1990s.

I was all revved up for afternoon of live music, as Jesse is an amazing singer/songwriter with so much depth. And what better place to see live music than a record store?

The event promoted Jesse’s new album, “New York Before The War.” As a journalist, I was taught never to write “buy it now” when writing a review — so this will officially be the first time in my writing career that I say, “Buy it now!” Thirteen perfectly produced tunes leave you craving more. Not one clunker in the bunch. But then again, I expected nothing less. From D-Generation to St. Mark’s Social to solo and so forth — it’s all good.

Jesse started the set off with my favorite tune from the CD, “Addicted.” My other favorite is”Bent Up.” (And this is what I say now, as favorite songs change over the years. I’m always one to embrace albums forever … not just during the time they are first released).

Jesse was accompanied by fabulous guitarist and backing vocalist, Derek Cruz, who co-wrote many of the songs. And the grand surprise of the set was The Clash’s “Stay Free” (one of my all-time favorite Clash songs).

Jack’s Music Shoppe was filled with about 100 fans of all ages; many who lined up for autographs after the show. It was cool seeing Jesse again after so many years.

For more information on Jesse Malin, visit: http://www.jessemalin.com/

SAM_6984Me and Jesse Malin

SAM_6987Rock photographer Mark Weiss (left) and my husband, Dennis

At the event my husband ran into rock photographer Mark Weiss (http://www.markweissphotography.com/), who was a good friend and big supporter of my husband’s band Pharoah (http://sexglamgloom.com/).

And nothing better than ending the day with a meal at Surf Taco!! (http://www.surftaco.com/). I had the Baja Bowl (Mahi mahi fish, rice, beans, portobello mushrooms, grilled peppers, onions, lettuce, pico de gallo salsa and guacamole).

Yeah, life is good 🙂

 

Springing Ahead!

Published March 9, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3732Art on wall of Surf Taco in Red Bank

It was super getting up early during “Spring Ahead” when everyone else stayed in bed making up the extra hour.

My husband and I hit Red Bank which is a hip little town about a half hour from our home. I did some clothes shopping while he went record shopping, then I met up with him. I scored two blouses and a CD from a band that’s been around for some time but I recently discovered via Pandora.

It’s just all about the keyboards — they totally speak to me.

After shopping we had a great lunch at Surf Taco. I’m thrilled that they now have vegan tacos (and that they KNOW that vegan means NO CHEESE!) YAY!

Then we went to the next town over — Shrewsbury — to my favorite market Dean’s and got some great healthy eats: buckwheat noodles, chia kombucha, fresh organic blackberries, and much more!

The sun was shining and it was simply a gorgeous winter day! Life is good, as always.

Elvis Birthday Bash 2014! Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, New Jersey

Published January 18, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3420Scot Bruce as Elvis

Last night I treated my husband Dennis to The Elvis Birthday Bash at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

We saw this show twice before in the past, with the double bill of Scot Bruce and Mike Albert — and I must stay, this one was the best of all!

Scot Bruce, who does the “Sun Years” or “early” Elvis was phenomenal. I loved that this time around he did some of the Elvis songs you don’t hear as much and he did a Bruce Springsteen song, as Elvis which was really cool. My favorite part of his act was hearing “Don’t Be Cruel.” The audience went nuts for him, as if he was really Elvis.

Mike Albert, the “Las Vegas Elvis” was on fire! Lots of love and audience participation — he totally wowed them. He also brought his mother on stage to sing “The Wonder of You” to her. Then a song you rarely hear an Elvis impersonator do — “Let’s Pretend” sent chills up my spine! He wore an extraordinary costume that had a peacock stitched on it.

SAM_3452Mike Albert, the Las Vegas Elvis

SAM_3453“An American Trilogy” was the grand finale.

After Mike Albert performed “An American Trilogy” Scot Bruce came onstage to perform “Hound Dog” with him.

As always, there was a meet and greet in the lobby and the two Elvises took pictures with fans. It was fun meeting them again!

SAM_3454From left: Scot Bruce, Dennis, Maryanne, Mike Albert

ABBA Mania!

Published November 10, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2814ABBA Mania (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

The last time ABBA performed was in 1979, so it’s wonderful that we have ABBA tribute bands to carry on the legend!

Last night my husband and I checked out ABBA Mania at Count Basie theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. The show was incredible (once they got the sound mix right after the first couple songs!) The costumes and choreography were fun and the musicians were fantastic — with progressive guitar and keyboard, combined with pop vocals, ABBA is, was and always will be a class musical act — and ABBA Mania certainly delivers.

The first three songs were my favorites: “Waterloo,” “Voulez Vous,” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”

They did two sets with an intermission and many costume changes.

Later on they brought a children’s choir onstage to assist in a few tunes.

They ended with “Dancing Queen” and then did “Mamma Mia” for a second time. Almost the entire audience was on their feet dancing. It was a magical evening.

ABBA Mania consists of Alison Ward as Agnetha, Chrisitan Carpenter as Bjorn, Dan Gluckstein as Benny, and Anna McDonald as Anni-Frid (Frida).

The band includes Pablo Roberts on bass, Chris Blackwell on guitar and Mark Thomas on drums.

For more information here is their official website: http://www.abbamania.com/

SAM_2805SAM_2796Me, enjoying the show!

Shoes That Make a Point

Published March 11, 2013 by Maryanne

One Toe

Cartoon swiped from Google search

I love going shopping with my husband because he’s an artist and he truly appreciates me trying on clothes.

I’m petite, only 5’2″ at most and my husband adores this, so he loves picking out clothes for me. And he has that artistic eye that can automatically see what looks good before you even put it on.

That said, I always have a blast shopping with him. When I’m torn between two pair of tights — which color matches better — I can always count on him to give me the perfect answer.

Yesterday we had a beautiful day in New Jersey and decided to do some shopping in Red Bank. After record shopping, a certain clothing shop caught my eye and I’m like, ‘Let’s go in here.”

After buying three great pieces, I spotted some cute polka dotted shoes. They were slip on mules but with a very pointed toe. “What do you think?”

Like me, Dennis loved the polka dots, but hated the pointy toe. He explained that I don’t have a “pointy toe” personality. What is a “pointy toe” personality?

“Someone who is  [and he made a weird noise that sounded like “eeehhhhh/nayyehhhh”] in your face. Your personality is sweet and subtle.”

Ahhh, I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about! Kinda like the women who were shopping in that very same store. Very loud. Major sense of privilege. Has to be center of attention. SCREAMING in your ear while you’re shopping. Baby talking to their children, giving no respect to fellow customers, acting as if the world belongs to them — and them alone. Eww!

(Not to mention that he pointed out that pointy shoes make your toes look deformed — and he definitely has a POINT! — pun always intended!).

Then he continued to point out how he used pointy shoes to draw wicked characters in cartoons.

His observations made so much sense. I thought about the show where I saw the most pointy shoes ever … “Sex and the City.” Whenever Carrie Bradshaw was bitching about a relationship, there she was, walking in the street, toes pointed 10 to 2, and those pointy shoes coming straight at the camera!

Now, I love this show, but the image and the association with these types of females — “EEhhhh/nayyehhh” could have easily replaced anything that was coming out of Sarah Jessica Parker’s mouth. No wonder so many men hate that show! It truly stereotypes a certain kind of woman that is self-serving, whining and always putting herself first. The pointy shoes just add to that character. If you notice, whenever Carrie is in a vulnerable situation, she’s barefoot. And I never realized this before!

But of course the Sarah Jessica Parker is likeable. She had to be in order for the show to be successful.

The real life women in those shoes are as horrid and wicked as the points portray! They’ll push you out of their way when they are looking at something. They will stand, practically on top of you. They are totally oblivious to what is around them. They will shriek into their cell phones no matter who they are annoying.

If this is how these women treat their fellow female shoppers, I can only imagine how badly they treat their husbands! But then again anyone who marries a woman like that must be equally as obnoxious so I don’t feel sorry for them one bit!

So, as always, when shopping for my summer shoes, I will continue to gravitate to shoes that say sweet and pretty: ballerina flats, open-toe sandals, feminine platforms, or cute punky Converse sneakers. And the beauty of it will be that as always, my feet will feel just as good as I take off the shoes as they did when I first put them on.

No corns or blisters on these happy feet! Bring on the summer!