Sunday, June 12, 2011
To the delight of his loyal fans, Brian Wilson performed his classic hits Thursday night, adding in a twist of Gershwin.
I was eight years old when Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys released the album, "Pet Sounds." By then the band already had a huge catalog of hits and this album was meant to compete on a serious level with The Beatles, "Rubber Soul" -- and it did. Unfortunately, it was not the commercial success Wilson had hoped for. In 1972 it was re-released as part of a package with the Beach Boys album, "Carl and the Passions - So Tough," an atypical record for the band that had little involvement from Brian. I was in high school when I found that set in a cut-out bin and it has been a favorite ever since. It wasn't a musical choice that I could share with my friends because they were all listening to anything but the Beach Boys. The fans of the…
Thursday, June 9, 2011
The 'peripheral visionary' comes at you sideways.
Steven Wright has been around for awhile, and he hasn't changed a bit. Okay, he's older and heavier and he looks as if he's auditioning for a Beckett play, but his act and his delivery are still very, well, Steven Wright. And that was just fine for his audience. Wright is the master of ironic one- liners, spoken with a fine tuned lethargic delivery that makes his humor even more unique. You can try telling the jokes to friends, but somehow they are just funnier coming out of Wright's mouth. And they come at you constantly. Every once in a while he gives you a moment or two to let the joke sink in, which is helpful because these are one-liners that you actually need to think about. Some of the things he would like you to consider: "If heat…
Monday, February 7, 2011
Livingston Chinese School rings in the Year of the Rabbit.
The Chinese New Year brought hundreds of Livingston residents and their friends and families together on Sunday afternoon, a celebration of Chinese heritage, fittingly held at Heritage Middle School. From the moment lion dancers wended their way through the packed auditorium, envelopes of lucky money gingerly placed into their mouths, we knew we were in for a treat of Chinese traditions and customs, performed by the children of the Livingston Chinese School. Livingston’s Chinese community has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. It has a large presence in the town, where more than 14 percent of the township’s population is Asian, according to Census data. Numbers are growing throughout the state. The 2010 Census data released last week …
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Lauryn Hill experience at the Wellmont involved a lot of ... waiting.
Part of the Lauryn Hill experience is waiting. Waiting for Ms. Hill is a little like waiting for Godot, although your companions are better dressed, there's some good music playing, and you can get a beer if you want to. And eventually, she does show up. The doors opened at 7 on Friday at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. DJ Rich Medina started spinning tunes at 9. Warm '70s grooves gave way to remakes of warm '70s grooves and then some disco and hip-hop. The DJ started to pack up around 9:45, lights started flashing and the crowd started to cheer. Then he went back to playing tunes. Finally, at 10, he gave up the spotlight to ... another DJ. Lauryn Hill's man, DJ Rampage, played some harder beats, shouted out to "New Jersey," and got …
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Performances ring in Chinese New Year celebration.
The rich tradition of Chinese dance took center stage on Saturday night as Livingston celebrated Chinese Culture Day and welcomed the Year of the Rabbit. Performances included dance by Livingston's Huaxia Chinese School and Yana Ballet, music by violins and traditional bamboo flute, and Chinese martial arts by Master Chuantong Lin and the students of the Wushu - Kung Fu Fitness Center along with special guest Master Panda. We take you behind the lens of Bob Krasner to show you the beauty of the culture displayed on Saturday night at the Chinese New Year festivities at Livingston High School.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Hello everybody, sings 'Miss Kelly,' we're so glad to see you.
Kelly Heinze is not your average music teacher. Just catch her during one of her classes — where she gets right down on the floor to engage with her littlest musical students. With a background in musical theater and a program based on research, Heinze is striving to make music a positive educational force through her Music and More with Kelly program for the smallest infant up to 18-year-old teens. She approaches her classes with a combination of enthusiasm and organization — making children and parents alike happy. "All children are born musical," Heinze says. "The smallest infant may not be able to produce the same physical response (i.e., clapping or singing) as a toddler, but the groundwork is set for further learning." As for parents…
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Mo Menzel fiddles away in Livingston.
Tucked away upstairs of Town Center, Mo Menzel is comfortably tucked in a blanket on a favorite chair. Surrounded by the richly polished wood of hundreds of violins, she literally has the world on a string. By day, she carries on the legacy of Menzel Violins in a stylist showroom in Town Center. By night, she hosts an eclectic concert series at MoFiddles, an underground arts space on the top floor of the suburban New Jersey shopping center. Featuring bluegrass, jazz, blues and more, MoFiddles “is a breath of fresh air for this region,” said Larry Maltz, a Livingston musician who frequents the venue. “You feel like you’re listening to great musicians in your living room." Menzel said six degrees of separation between herself and her musical…
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Music Review: B.B. King satisfies a packed house.
Even legends catch a cold and BB King had a bad one on Thursday night. The regally attired 85-year-old bluesman was greeted by a standing ovation from the packed house when he entered the stage at Montclair's Wellmont Theatre. After tossing out guitar picks to his fans, he apologized for the state of his voice and then proceeded to hold court, putting everything he had into favorites like "The Thrill Is Gone," "When Love Comes To Town," and an instrumental version of "When The Saints Go Marching In." He frequently took time to talk and joke with the crowd while the seasoned veterans of his touring band found a quiet groove behind him. At times it felt like he was talking more than playing. But even though his singing sounded (in King's …
"Photographer/Provocateur" opens Sunday at the JCC.
Howard Heyman collected miniature men of combat as a child growing up in Livingston. A few years ago, he revisited his childhood hobby by going on eBay to search for the tiny figurines that he lost track of as a boy. He was thrilled to find the toy soldiers online that he once treasured. When he finished collecting this time around, he had spent nearly a thousand dollars. With his camera lens, Heyman now sees and photographically interprets qualities about the soldiers unimaginable to him in his youth. The hand-painted fighting men, made of metal or molded plastic, are from the Warriors of the World collection manufactured by the Marx Company. It includes gladiators, pirates, and soldiers from the Civil War and World War I. The Roman …
Friday, January 7, 2011
If you're out frolicking, shoveling, sledding, skiing or slipping, we want to see it.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
Friday, January 7, 2011
We've begun this snowy scrapbook with images of branches in white and set against a setting sun. Email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add them to this gallery. If you're out frolicking, shoveling, sledding, skiing or slipping, we want to see it. This time around, the forecast calls for just 2 to 4 inches. You can check out readers' photos from last month's blizzard here.