Above: Britt Savage and the Nines recall those 1980s nights of 75-cent ‘kazis and roses for the ladies, when they reunite for a throwback Friday at the Downtown… while below, Ziggy Shock turns Fair Haven’s K of C hall into the best kept secret on the Shore music scene.
Friday, January 24:
RED BANK: With recent overnight temps threatening to put the Greenland into the greater Green, being “dressed to the nines” has tended to mean wearing nine extra layers of unfashionably lifesaving thermals.
But for just one cold dark night, clubgoers of all ages can wayback to those 1980s summers when the drinking age was 18, closing time was 3 a.m. — and the mega-barbands ruled a clubscape dotted with fortress-like institutions like the Tradewinds, Fountain Casino and Club Xanadu. Tonight, the Downtown welcomes what might just be the first-ever Red Bank appearance by one of the era’s most fervently followed cover combos — the Nines, featuring vivacious vocalist Britt Savage. Now based in Nashville, the in-demand session singer (and 1992 grand prize winner on TV’s Star Search) reunited with her classic band lineup — guitarist Adam Roller, bassist John Rogers, drummer Mick Gormaley, and Bill Dellicato subbing for the late keyboardist Bobby Gordon — for a July 2013 show in Asbury Park that brought in so much love, they up and did it again during the recent Light of Day music festival. Britt and the boys will be taking it upstairs at the double-wide Downtown for several sets of VICE-vintage favorites that could reasonably include everything from “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Kids in America” to some radio-ready originals from Britt’s recent Music City projects. And you can take it right here for a full interview with this most noble of Savages, or take it just around the corner for more frosty fun at the jiggle end of January.
FAIR HAVEN: Speaking of the 1980s, Friday night also affords an opportunity to catch up with one of the most gifted guitarists on that era’s original music scene — Siegfried Schock, whose tenure in bands with names like Stiff Pigeon, Holy Trinity and White Out found the Munich-born “Sigi” opening for some of the most awesome names in the business and dealing his Edge-y soundsplash licks in most every alt-friendly venue between the Shore and the city. After putting his music aspirations aside in favor of career and daddy-track considerations, the family-man fretmeister picked up his guitar again with a vengeance a few years back, fronting the power-pop-punk trio project Ziggy Shock in a flurry of activity that’s resulted in a growing fanbase and a full-length release, ‘Burn.’ So what’s the veteran musician’s favorite place to gig these days? None other than than the Knights of Columbus Red Bank Council 3187 in Fair Haven — a best-kept secret that the guitarist praises for its “great crowd… cheap beer… and you get paid!” Ziggy/Sigi and his bandmates will be sprinkling original stardust and likeminded covers between the hours of 8 and 11:30 p.m. Take it here for more upcoming shows, and take it back to the KofC on February 7, when singer-songwriter John Amabile plays a benefit for Lunch Break of Red Bank.
Saturday, January 25:
RUMSON: All of us for whom those quacks from Duck Dynasty are too dag-nasty or too, well, fake can find some real-deal thrills this morning, when Rumson Country Day School — in cooperation with the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association — hosts the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art. Going on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’s a display of hand carved decoys, shorebirds, wildlife art, demos, appraisals and more, spotlighting the in-demand work of featured sculptor George Strunk and designed to “celebrate the past, present and future of area traditions rich in history and art.” It’s $10 to get in (free for kids under 12), with proceeds benefiting the Horizons Student Enrichment Program for local children living in low income circumstances.
LITTLE SILVER: While you still can’t find an official Little Silver-themed playset among the Lego products at the local toy store or hobby shop, the Little Silver Historical Society continues to remedy that oversight. For the fourth year, the society hosts the unique event known as “Build Little Silver with LEGOs,” in the community room of Embury Methodist Church. Between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m., locals are invited to participate in the construction of a 12 by 18 LEGO scale model of their hometown, with family registration a $25 minimum donation (parents must accompany their kids), and admission free to spectators who just want to cheer on their neighbors. There’s still time to pre-register in person at Byford & Mills (or sign up at the door on the afternoon of the event) — and for bragging rights, eight to ten of the final creations will be displayed in the front windows of the Little Silver Post Office Museum (next to the borough library) through the month of February.
RED BANK: Although January might be a bit of a remove from June’s prime wedding season, there’s no time like the present to line up a photographer, caterer, dressmaker, entertainer or stylist for the big day — and on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m., the Oyster Point Hotel and the Molly Pitcher Inn present A View for Two Bridal Showcase, which spotlights some of Red Bank’s top bridal professionals. Hosted in the Oyster Point Ballroom, it’s a strolling expo for which complimentary signature drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served, with registration between 1:45 and 3:45 p.m. at the ballroom door. Upon check-in, registered brides will receive a numbered ticket to be used for prize drawings held at 4:30 p.m.. Tours of the two hotels will be offered throughout the day, with complimentary shuttle service to the Molly departing from the front entrance of the Oyster Point.
RED BANK: At 8 p.m,, it’s the first of several preview performances for the Two River Theater Company production of William Shakespeare’s “comedy of cross-dressing heroines and triumphant heroes,” As You Like It. Michael Sexton of NYC’s Shakespeare Society directs Jacob Fishel (last season’s Henry V) and a spirited ensemble in a musically minded staging for which the actors will be singing and providing their own toot-whistle-plunk-and-boom on various instruments. Take it here for tickets to the show, which opens on January 31 — and here for an interview with cast member (and former Cosby Show regular) Geoffrey Owens on redbankgreen.
Sunday, January 26:
RED BANK: There’s an Open Mic at near every watering hole up and down the Jersey coast — and then there’s the most glorious grandaddy of them all, the weekly Infamous Open Mic event at Jamian’s Food and Drink. Hosted by Rob Dye and a house band of talented friends, the Sunday night tradition has been a fixture around downtown Red Bank for close to two decades, but really found its groove when it arrived at Jamian LaViola’s intimately intense Monmouth Street space several seasons back. It’s there you’ll that find many of the local scene’s most dedicated singers, players and supporters congregating, hanging out, trying new ideas, cutting up on some classics and making the kind of connections that have spawned some fascinating new projects and collaborations. A full set of instruments and PA system is provided for any newcomers who want to take part in a format that’s drawn the likes of Pat Guadagno, Brian Kirk, Matt O’Ree, Poppa John Bug and many other surprise guests — with sign-ups starting at 7:30 p.m., and occasional announcements put forth for a 6:30 p.m. warm-up Open Mic session for younger performers.