Newsletter 3-24-08

Hey Everyone,

Those looking for my "Pissed Off!" (rant), I have permanently moved it to the end of the newsletter. This way those that simply want news can ignore the last section of this newsletter, and everyone else can continue you enjoy (or get annoyed) by what I have to say about a myriad of subjects. And let me remind you that if you have an opinion or comment about my "Pissed Off!" topic, feel free to e-mail me with it.

If you missed last Saturday's Free Concert at Buddie's Tavern, you missed one hell of a great night of music. Big thanks to Chris Collins, Joshua Van Ness, and J Stanley, who all played amazing music! And, as always, thanks to Mike Grau, Tony The Kid, Karen, Curt, and everyone else at Buddie’s Tavern who make it the best venue for live music in NJ.’s next Free Concert at Buddie's Tavern will be on Saturday April 12th, and feature sets by Mike Ferraro & The Young Republicans, Alter Ego (feat. Nick from Souls Release), and Kate Hart.

And you can mark your calendar’s now because my (Lazlo) birthday bash will be at Buddie’s Tavern on Saturday May 10th, with some extra special bands playing.

In other news:

No new reviews this week, but there are plenty of great ones from previous weeks that you should check out at

And while you're at don't forget to download the March / April 2008 New Music Sampler. It's FREE, and features new music from: Bushwhack, Mazeffect, The Majestic Twelve, I/O/I, Chris Collins, Vicky Emerson, Billie Burke Estate, Blank Pages, Fiskum, Brian Vander Ark, Nerve Tonic, and Slappy.

And now it's time for this weeks concert picks:

Lazlo (
Thursday night the Saint in Asbury Park has a great double bill of cool roots rock bands with Arlan Feiles & The Lone Howdys, and the Joe Harvadr Band.

Jim Testa (Jersey Beat)
Saturday March 29
EASTERN ANCHORS, Dose - Brighton Bar, 121 Brighton Ave. Long Branch NJ - 9 pm, $10, 21+

It's a very quiet week but one show I can recommend is a rare appearance by the Eastern Anchors at the venerable Brighton Bar on Saturday. Eastern Anchors features ex-members of Aviso'Hara and Clydesdale and should be well worth checking out. The opening is Dose.

Gary Wien (Asbury Music)
Picks for this week include Saturday night at the Saint in Asbury Park for Hey Cole's Second Anniversary party featuring The Gay Blades with April Smith and The Great Picture Show / Anthony Fiumano and the Medicine Chest / The Molotov Cocktails / Outside The Box and Joanna Burns (acoustic Storytellers set). And then on Sunday, it's the return of Twisted Covers with a spotlight on Elvis Costello. Show takes place at 5pm at the Twisted Tree Cafe in Asbury Park. Admission is free. Artists include Christian Beach, Joe D'Urso, George Wirth, Eryn Shewell, Joe Harvard, Tony Tedesco, Michael Brettt, Jo Wymer, Deena Shoshkes (from the Cucumbers) and more!

And now for this week’s “Pissed Off!”

While the alleged controversy over the statements of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a reverend at Barack Obama's church, continues on, even in the aftermath of his well stated, "A More Perfect Union", speech, I thought it was time for a reality check.

Rev. Wright made some statements in that speech on Sept. 16th, 2001, remember that date folks because it will be important later, he made some statements that were inflammatory and wrong. Obama immediately denounced the statements when he was asked about them, but apparently that is not enough for the media. As a member of the church he should have immediately left the church for good, some people have said.

So let me ask those people this, back when I was going to Monmouth College (now Monmouth University), Curtis Sliwa (founder of the Guardian Angels) spoke at my college, and I went to see him speak. I found him to be an ignorant racist, constantly referring to Jewish people as the, "people with the Ben Hur symbol" (apparently referring to the Jewish star). Now the fact that I was a student at the college where this bigot spoke, does that mean that I should have immediately left the college? I obviously renounce Sliwa's comments, but if I had political aspirations would this come back to haunt me like Rev. Wright's sermon?

Even having to have this conversation is ridiculous and demeans Americans. Let's try to talk about issues. But since the media loves to go down this road, ok, let's go down it.

As Stephen Colbert so expertly pointed out during all this Rev. Wright nonsense, John McCain has aligned himself with Jerry Falwell, even giving a commencement speech at Falwell's Liberty University.

And yet on September 17th, 2001, just one day after Rev. Wright's speech, Jerry Falwell said this on the 700 Club:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen.""

So why isn't McCain being berated about this?

Look, we've all been at lectures, sermons, even rock concerts where we don't agree with everything that the people talking are saying. That doesn't mean it needs to be a big deal. The media, once again grasping for stories, has decided to make this a much bigger deal then it ever needed to be.

And the most damning information of it all may come from one of CNN's own commentators. Roland Martin point out in an expertly written piece (which you can read here:, that what the news has shown us is small excerpts of the sermon. Anything taken out of context is a bad idea.

From Roland Martin's commentary piece:

"One of the most controversial statements in this sermon was when he mentioned “chickens coming home to roost.” He was actually quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force, who was speaking on FOX News. That’s what he told the congregation."

Kind of puts the whole thing in a slightly different context, doesn't it?

Anyway, my point is still that the media, once again, as it has done for over a century now, continues to sink to new depths of muckraking in keeping this story alive as long as they have. Can't they go back to talking about Spitzer's sex scandal some more. Now there is a story that needs more in depth coverage. I will not be happy until a secretly filmed sex tape of the liaison turns up on the internet. All media resources should be put forth to digging that up. Then we can continue to live in the dark on the more important news stories.

And in case you're wondering, yes, I do get the irony of talking more about the very thing I am saying we should move on from talking about.

That's all for this week folks.