|Photo by Tyler Sheilds|
For nearly six months, Wien listened to every album from New Jersey artists he could find that was released in the past decade. Each album was given a grade and the top 100 formed the basis for "Are You Listening?" On August 12, Val Emmich will be joined by Brian Fitzpatrick and the Band of Brothers, Arlan Feiles, Brian Molnar and the Naked Hearts, and a special one-time reunion show by The Commons led by Keith Monacchio. All five acts are not only featured in Wien's book, but combine for five of the top eleven albums.
"I really couldn't have imagined a better lineup help me celebrate the book's release," explained Wien. "The show contains the artists behind my #5 album (Brian Fitzpatrick with his solo album "Further Down The Line"), #7 album (Arlan Feiles with "Razing A Nation"), #8 (The Commons with "Come On Get Gone"), #9 (Brian Molnar and the Naked Hearts with "Temperance and the Devil"), and #11 (Val Emmich with "Sunlight Searchparty")."
Having Val Emmich be part of the show is truly special for Wien. In 2003, when Wien launched Upstage Magazine (an arts & entertainment publication that focused on Central New Jersey), Val Emmich graced the first cover. Val had just become the first unsigned artist to be featured on MTV's "Total Request Live" show and inspired a record label bidding war for his services. He would go on to release seven records during the decade with three making Wien's Top 100 list.
"Val could easily have had four or five albums make the list," said Wien. "He's one of the best songwriters in the area. It's exciting to have him debut a few new songs on a night when we celebrate his fine work over the past decade."
This book release party will be followed by one held at Trenton Social (former site of the Urban Word Cafe) in Trenton on Saturday, August 20. Artists scheduled to perform at that show include The Dipsomaniacs, The Amboys, Zak Smith Band, and Jon Caspi and the First Gun. Additional release parties are being scheduled throughout the state.
"Are You Listening?" is available from Amazon.com and select book and record stores throughout New Jersey. Copies will be available at the show and the author will be signing books as well. The book costs $19.95 for the black and white version and $40 for a full-color version. For more information on the book, visit www.NJmusic.org