Newsletter 5-19-08

Hey Everyone,

A part of my childhood died over the weekend, and it's all Michael Bay's fault! I have fond memories of watching the Transformers in the 80's, and I actually remember enjoying the animated Transformers film from 1986. Sadly, Michael Bay (and screenwriters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman) have now tarnished my childhood memories with a film that royally sucked. I could go further into all the reasons why it sucked, but the film isn't worth the amount of time I've already spent on it.


Anyway, this week is a big week here at If all goes as planned we will be broadcasting our first live feed of a concert, a very special concert from Wilmington, North Carolina. Jersey Beat's own Jim Testa will be down at WE Fest (, and will be our correspondent broadcasting to all of us unable to make it down there this year live performances from the 12th year of the fest. So tune in all weekend for our first live simulcast. If this works, it may be the first of many...


And to get you ready for the WE Fest simulcast, Wednesday & Thursday on Lazlo's Den, we'll be doing the WE Fest pre-show, playing songs from many of the artists playing the fest, and including excerpts from an interview with WE Fest founder, Kenyata Sullivan.


The next Free Concert at Buddie's Tavern will be on Saturday June 28th and will feature sets by Agency, Keith Monacchio (from The Commons), and Matt Colligan.


Concert Picks for this week:

Lazlo (
Friday Echofission has their NYC CD release party for one of my favorite albums of 2008 (so far), "the straights". The show is at Sullivan Hall, and highly recommended.


Jim Testa (Jersey Beat)
Wednesday, May 21
THE MENZINGERS, Let Me Run, The Ruining - Asbury Lanes, 209 4th Ave. Asbury Park - 8 pm, $8, all ages

A typical Punk Nite at the Lanes: The Ruining are from Hamilton NJ and play melodic screamy punk; Let Me Runa are from New Jersey and play a kind of Americana-punk that sounds a bit like Gaslight Anthem, and The Menzingers are a melodic hardcore band on tour from Scranton, PA.


Jared Migden (WRSU)
Hear me out on this one.

While Bar A in Lake Como is not yet widely known for hosting original bands, it is the site of my pick for this week. Shawn Mars of Mars Needs Women will be celebrating the release of his new solo album, "Fabulous Disaster," at Bar A this Wednesday night. Joining him will be Frankenstein 3000 and the Black Clouds.


And now it's time for this week's Pissed Off!

This past week a friend of mine spent $95 (plus surcharges I'm sure) to get tickets to see Madonna. When I pointed out that that's an insane amount of money to pay for a concert ticket, this friend mentioned how these were the cheaper seats.

Putting aside my friend's taste in music, it's absolutely disgusting that artist's think they can charge so much for concert tickets. What's worse is people's willingness to pay these outrageous prices. Whatever you want to call it, a recession, an economic downturn, etc., the fact is a lot of people (including myself) are struggling to make ends meet with increasing food and gas prices, which makes it all the more bizarre that concerts by most of the bigger names in music, artists who already make a nice amount of money, feel the need to charge so much for concert tickets.

For instance, does Bruce Springsteen really need to charge $75 to over $200 for tickets to his shows? Bruce has always been touted as the man of the working class, but the working class can't afford to see him anymore...unless they make a decision to see Bruce instead of purchasing food, or worse, charging it, putting themselves into further debt. And what's even more appalling is a few years ago Bruce did a solo tour and CHARGED THE SAME FOR TICKETS AS HE DOES WHEN HE TOURS WITH THE E STREET BAND. Really Bruce, you're not rich enough already? You need the working class's money so bad?

But one of the most offensive prices I've seen so far this summer is The Police charging $75 for lawn seating at PNC Bank Arts Center. Now I do not like the Arts Center to begin with, their parking situation is atrocious and their sound (in part because of their cement dome) is terrible, but let's forget those two things, if I'm going to shell out $75 for a concert ticket I should get a real comfortable seat (not just a space on the lawn) and covering over my head so that if it rains I'm not going to get sick (because that $75 I spent would have otherwise paid part of my healthcare premium).

The real problem though, as I mentioned above, is people's willingness to pay these outrageous prices because they really want to see these artists. If we all simply refused to pay these prices, shows would either be cancelled or they'd be forced to charge a more reasonable price.

I certainly do not want to see venues or artists lose money on their tours, but there is no reason for them to try to gouge us either with these prices.

A good example of someone who does care about his fans is Garth Brooks. Late last year he did nine shows with his wife (Trisha Yearwood) in Kansas City, his first shows in like 7 or 8 years. He could have charged a fortune and I'm sure people would have paid it, but he made sure all tickets (including surcharges) were $32.50! Maybe Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Madonna, and all the other artists who charge too much for tickets, should take a page from Garth and really care about the working class.

That's all for this week folks.