“If you’re an artist in this area and you perform live, over time, you can make some pretty good money,” explained local musician, and Asbury Park Press music journalist, Alex Biese. “It’s not anything you’ll be able retire on, but you’ll be able to have a good night on the town.”
It was after one of these pleasant evenings, dinner and drinks with the family earlier this Summer, that Biese looked inward and came to an important realization that, with the assistance of The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, he could help make the Holidays a little more merrier for many in our community.
“My family and I had a great time,” expressed Biese, “but at the end of the night, all of the money was gone, and what did I have to show for it? So I said to myself, I can either put the money in my pocket or give it someone who can really use it.”
So Biese made a few phone calls, four to be exact. That’s all it took to put together Thursday night’s food drive and fundraising event at Asbury Lanes featuring such musical acts as Biese, the North-Jersey Thrash-Fok collective, Big Wilson River, and the Old Bridge, NJ-based acoustic solo project Jamie & The Magic Torch featuring Jamie Theurich of Calamity Menagerie and The The O>Matics.
“I made four phone calls,” said Biese, “one to Jamie, one to Darrin [Bradberry of Big Wilson River], another to Asbury Lanes, and another to the Food Bank, and it was yes across the board. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
The good folks at Asbury Lanes have made a habit of hosting these types of benefit shows, most recently providing its time and space for such local favorites as Chemtrail, The Amboys, Marvin Sunk, and Save Your Strength to raise funds for The Ronald McDonald House, making Asbury’s premiere 10-pin penthouse and music locale the perfect spot in to host this showcase, and Biese concurs.
“Asbury Lanes is one of the most important places to me in this town. I’m there regularly, I’ve had a lot of great experiences at The Lanes. The people who run the place are so kind and accommodating, and I love the sound in there. After playing The Lanes in June I couldn’t get over how much I loved the sound in there. I’m addicted to playing there and I had to get back.”
Big Wilson River recently dropped its debut full-length record, a release known as The Octopus Album, an unofficial title based solely on the collection’s album art. The eight-song compilation is Trunk Rock Records first official release and its brand of Modest Mouse-type turmoil put to the tune of Folk-Punk instrumentals makes it one of SIMGE’s favorites of 2011…grab it for free here.
Jamie & The Magic Torch is described by its sole member as Mainstream Vegan Rock…you can experience the music here.
Biese’s catalogue of music isn’t extensive, however, the Americana artist, and acclaimed
local music journalist, recently added his rendition of the well traveled, well covered, Blues classic “St. James Infirmary Blues.”
“I was on the couch the other day thinking of Arlo Guthrie,” explained Biese of his latest recording, “and I started playing around with this song. It’s one of my favorites and it struck me that I recorded it with an app on my Iphone. This is a song that’s been around for 200 years. It’s a song that’s been covered by everyone from Louis Armstrong, to Bob Dylan, to The White Stripes. Its traveled around the world from Europe to Louisiana, and now to the coffee table in my living on my Iphone. That’s crazy.”
Biese hinted that studio time may be in his near future and an official release could come soon after that. Stay tuned for that and check his rendition of “St. James Infirmary Blues” here.
Doors for Thursday evening’s fundraising event open at 8 p.m. with a $10 cover charge to be paid upon entrance, however, the price of admission will be reduced to $7 for those who provide one non-perishable food item. All artist’s proceeds will be donated to the aforementioned Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties…don’t miss it.