For a performer whose torchy, bluesy vocalizings are normally a study in confidence and timing, Eryn Shewell lost complete control of the situation during a crucial moment of a December, 2016 gig at Asbury Park’s storied Wonder Bar. That’s when her guitarist, Matt O’Ree, halted her cover of the Christmas pop classic “Santa Baby” (on the line “forgot to mention one little thing… a ring”) and proposed to her before a cheering crowd, right there on the stage of the circuit landmark where the two had met some 10 years prior.
With a display of carved-surfboard art, a New Jersey premiere screening of Dave Made a Maze and a DJ’d after-party at three separate venues, the second annual Indie Street Film Festival officially got underway in Red Bank Wednesday evening, ushering in a four-days-and-nights slate of screenings, panels, workshops and get-togethers with an admirable “Cannes-do” spirit.
A project of the fillmajer cooperative Indie Street (working in partnership with Red Bank RiverCenter), the sequel to last year’s inaugural event looks to make a long-running “tentpole franchise” of the venture. It’s a multi-venue happening that offers plenty of reasons to visit the borough’s theaters, restaurants and nightspots — or even its best-kept-secret middle school auditorium — during that time of year when the beaches make their biggest bid for buzz.
A portion of the colorful mural painted earlier this month on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic heralds the second annual coming of the Indie Street Film Festival, co-founded by Jay Webb, below.
To Wanamassa resident Jay Webb, losing oneself in the flickering lights of a hushed, darkened room is only part of the joy of a film festival for cinephiles. Another is getting together and gabbing about what they’ve seen, and who’s doing what in an art form wholly dependent on collaboration.
Which is one reason the schedule for the second edition of the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to Red Bank next week, is studded with community events in between screenings of some 60 films.
Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis, left, and bassist Nash Aliaga at Jamian’s, where the band was conceived six years ago. A photo of the late Jerry Garcia has a place of honor on the stage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
[UPDATE, July 7: Forecast of rain postpones tonight’s Dead Bank show at the Dublin House. The band’s 200th gig will instead be tomorrow night (Friday) at the Dub, weather permitting.]
By JOHN T. WARD
The band’s name, echoing a moniker for Red Bank at its economic low of the 1980s, doesn’t exactly thrill local chamber-of-commerce types, Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis acknowledges.
“We’ve gotten a lot of crap from the town about it,” Willis said last week. “They’ll never let us play any of their festivals because of it. But I just wanted to see another connotation for ‘Dead Bank,’ a positive one.”
The Grateful Dead cover band is an inarguably local phenomenon, and this week, weather permitting, Dead Bank’s “perpetual tour of of Monmouth Street” brings it to the backyard of the Dublin House Pub for its 200th show.
Brooklyn-based Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer migrates into Red Bank for a Friday night jam at Jamian’s.
Mixed in among one of the busiest bar and restaurant scenes in Monmouth County, Jamian’s Food and Drink has long been a nightlife standardbearer in downtown Red Bank.
In addition to weekly gigs by Shore legends Bobby Bandiera and Pat Guadagno, plus reggae masters Random Test and one of the area’s most enduring open-mics, Jamian LaViola’s watering hole adds to its musical menu this Friday with a special catch-of-the-day: Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.
By SUSAN ERICSON
Just down Monmouth Street in Red Bank from the Count Basie Theatre, Jamian’s Food and Drink is packed before a show. Ticketholders dash in for a quick bite and something from the bar, and waitresses here know how to hustle, ensuring everyone gets in and out quickly.
Known for its varied live music scene, wall of locally produced artwork and surfer roots, it can be a little noisy and crowded inside. But out back, on Jamian’s patio, the vibe changes. Twinkling lights and background rock and roll make it easier to hold a conversation. This is where you’ll find a more relaxed scene. It’s also a good place to watch a game projected onto a big white wall.
The facade of Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street would nearly double in length with the addition of two storefronts to the right of the existing one, seen below. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
• Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street plans to expand by taking over the next-door spots formerly rented by Art’s Barber Shop, which closed this summer after nearly 50 years in business, and a space leased by a cellphone vendor.
PieHole catches Jen Rubino pre-bite at Jamian’s Food and Drink. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
Jamian’s Food and Drink gets testy on Tuesday nights as brainiacs and know-it-alls vie for points at a trivia contest that fills the Red Bank bar to capacity.
Jen Rubino, a 43-year-old borough resident and Italian teacher, has been showing up with her team from the beginning of the weekly showdown two years ago. Is it the camaraderie, the challenge — or maybe a craving for her favorite pizza that brings her out every week?
Bon Jovi’s new touring guitarist Matt O’Ree, above, plays a special ticketed-event tribute to Eric Clapton at Jamian’s this Saturday, even as JBJ and the boys perform a preview of their new album, just up Monmouth Street at Basie’s place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
For fans of the homegrown institution that is Bon Jovi, the first night of October brings an event that seems gifted from the gods of classic rock: an exclusive preview concert, going on at Red Bank’s own Count Basie Theatre, an “intimate” affair in which JBJ and his core bandmates (David Bryan, Tico Torres, Hugh McDonald) perform the entirety of their new album This House Is Not For Sale — their 14th studio opus, and a release that’s slated to drop on October 21.
By JOHN T. WARD
This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up yet another mouthwatering smorgasbord with news about three Red Bank eateries:
• a new French restaurant for a long-displaced chef
• a soon-to-open “New York-style Jewish deli,” complete with “pastrami salmon,” in the heart of downtown
• and expansion plans for a popular Monmouth Street bar and restaurant.
By SUSAN ERICSON
PieHole dipped a spoon into a bowl of black bean soup at Jamian’s Food and Drink in Red Bank while waiting for a recent weekly trivia game to begin, and swooned. Jalapeno heat and cumin-infused flavor told us that someone new was working in the kitchen.
Owner Jamian LaViola hired 46-year-old chef Andy Doelger to run the three-person kitchen two months ago, and customers are starting to notice the difference. We’ve been asked by more than one satisfied diner if we’ve tasted the braised short rib grilled cheese yet. Yes, we have and it’s seriously good.
The brief, sunlit window of Local Summer may be giving way to the first flush of fall, but the communities of the Greater Red Bank Green are hardly ready to throw in the beach towel on outdoor delights.
Witness the return on Saturday of a favorite riverside diversion: Shore Paddle in Marine Park in Red Bank.
The summer SEAson is almost over, but it’s still a great time to be on the water, as well as to enjoy one last paddle with friends at Shore Paddle, the annual fundraising Stand Up Paddle event that presents its 2015 edition on Saturday, September 26 — and in a brand new location.
Hosted by Paddleguru, this final event of the SUP season offers something for all ages and experience levels, and benefits Clean Ocean Action, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting our coastal ecosystems and waterways, keeping them safe and clean for all paddlers, swimmers, and beachgoers. While the setting for Shore Paddle remains the beautiful Navesink River, the event’s continued growth and popularity has resulted in its moving a few miles upriver this year, to Red Bank’s Marine Park.
By SUSAN ERICSON
A regular stop for many Count Basie Theatre ticket holders, Jamian’s Food and Drink, on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, has a loyal local following, showing up for dinner, ever-changing art shows, great music and a lively bar.
At a regular Tuesday night trivia game, PieHole noticed a customer tucking into an enormous burger that seemed to require larger-than-average hands to hold and a strong jaw to get a good bite.
The standard menu burger has never disappointed, so with curiosity piqued, we went back the next day to try that Monster Burger for lunch.
Not so very long ago the undisputed local capital of fireworks fun (and the occasional short fuse), the greater Red Bank green has opted to keep a lower profile during recent Fourths — but if you’re wandering the downtown streets this Friday night in search of some white-hot sizzle and spark, you just might find what you’re looking for at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street, where Matt O’Ree provides the pyrotechnics.
It’s another entry in an ongoing first-Friday gig at the musically minded Monmouth Street watering hole — one made all the more intense by the seasonal heat, the holiday-weekend vibe, and the fact that it doesn’t get much more all-American than O’Ree, his downright Ree-gal blues guitar technique, and the musically minded crowd at Jamian LaViola’s classically casual watering hole.
Longtime habitues of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash know Ming Chen as “weekend man” at Kevin Smith’s Lourdes-like grotto of pop pilgrimage — and the burgeoning fanbase of the Smith-produced AMC series know Ming as one of the Comic Book Men who’ve helped put Red Bank on the map of the multiverse for comix culture. But if you haven’t known Chen as a Marathon Man, then an upcoming event on Thursday, June 26 is designed to make the public aware that, when it comes to philanthropy, Chen is in it for the duration.
Hosted at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street, the “Not So Ordinary Fundraiser” party serves as the official kick-off to Ming and Nicole Run San Francisco, an endeavor in which Chen and fellow endurance runner Nicole Corre will take part in the upcoming San Francisco Marathon, scheduled for July 27.
Got anything going on this weekend? Even if your plans don’t include those twin national pastimes (handicapping TV commercials and scanning for wardrobe malfunctions in the hoary halftime air), there are still any number of alternative ways to socialize in the coming days and nights — and we’ve got a few of them right here.
Friday, January 31:
RED BANK: Those of you easily panicked by a Friday night forecast of SNOW should know that this time, the cool chills are localized beneath the roof of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank on Broad Street, where the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation hosts the first in a new 2014 series of Reckless Steamy Nights house party concerts at the old Anthony Reckless estate. The multi-talented visual artist, writer and performer Maxine Snow – co-organizer of the annual Women of Song events at the historic house – is joined by her bandmates in the Snow Project (keyboardist Kendall Scott, bassman Joseph Peterson, guitarist Mike McKernen, drummer Tony Tomaino) for an unplugged evening that mixes music, spoken word and live art painting to “bring back jazz to the masses.” It all happens between the hours of 8:30 and 11 pm, and it’s BYOB, with a $10 donation requested at the door (proceeds benefit the JSJBF scholarship programs). Call (732)933-1984 for more info.
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.
Above: Standup guy Kyle Grooms is among the headliners taking part in Saturday’s annual Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show fundraiser for 180 Turning Lives Around. Below, it’s a triple-header of Jim Gaffigan shows at the Count Basie.
A quadruple-whammy forecast of snow, ice, epic low temps and, uh, snow can put a klondike kibosh on the best-laid plans for the holiday-hangover weekend. But those willing to boldly go beyond home and hearth will find some entertaining people who aim to make it worth the trip or slip. All served up with a smile and a laugh — and all, we feel compelled to add, subject to schedule changes.
RED BANK: The chilly autumn landscapes of Nebraska and other Plains locales might appear downright tropical when you’re coming into Red Bank Bow Tie Cinemas from the Navesink riverside cold. But if you’re looking to defrost your extremities by the glow of a heartwarming father-son bonding scenario, you’ll need to do the hard miles with Alexander Payne’s comedy-drama road trip, through the kind of quirky relationship dynamics that the writer-director mastered in Sideways and The Descendants. 1960s Hollywood rebel Bruce Dern has his best role in decades as a drinky, distant deadfish of a dad who’s convinced that a direct-mail sweepstakes prize awaits him in Lincoln, NE — and he’s fortified by a strong cast that includes Will (SNL) Forte, Bob (Breaking Bad) Odenkirk and fellow codger contrarian Stacy Keach. At times broadly silly and bracingly sad, Nebraska nurtures a warm ember of humanity at its heart — and it’s playing on White Street with Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers’ seriocomic sojourn of an ambitious folkie adrift in the crashpads and coffeehouses of Camelot-era America. Take it here for showtimes throughout the weekend.