by Gary Wien
PARK, NJ) -- Most everybody that goes to The Saint in Asbury Park on a
regular basis knows that Scott Stamper, the club's owner, is a huge fan
of music from Austin, TX. Not only has he made an annual pilgrimage to
Austin each year for the City's vaunted South by Southwest music
festival, but he often encourages bands from the area to make a stop in
Asbury Park when they can. On Tuesday, June 26, a pair of bands from
Texas took him up on the offer and helped make for a very interesting
Jersey Shore versus Austin night.
New Jersey kicked off the
night with Moon Motel. Although the band had gone through a major
lineup change this year, they sounded better than I think I've ever
heard them -- mainly due to the beautiful, moaning saxophone play which
accentuated the painful lyrics in a wonderful fashion and helped create
and amazing atmosphere. I had never seen Moon Motel with the sax, but
it's a truly brilliant move for them. At times, the sax play and somber
lyrics reminded me of early tunes by The Waterboys, one of my all-time
One of the highlights of the set was when Deirdre
Forrest of Beannacht joined them on stage to sing an unreleased song by
Beannacht. "This is a cover song, but it was written by Deidre, so
she's covering herself!" he said. This was a great pairing, they
sounded perfect together. Deidre would later tell me that the song is
called "Leaving Lullaby" and it might turn up on a future Beannacht
As I sat at the bar watching the band, I thought to
myself that this was the type of night we're fortunate to have along the
shore. When I travel around the country, I'm lucky to ever seen an act
with music as beautiful as Moon Motel and here they are the opening act
on a Tuesday... Go figure.
Shivery Shakes from Austin was up next.
I simply loved this band. For some reason some of their tunes reminded
me a bit of a more modern version of the Plimsouls. They had that
blend of punk pop mixed with harmonies and a slight touch of sixties
influence. The end result was a highly entertaining dose of radio
friendly tunes from a very polished sounding band. What of the best
things about seeing touring bands is seeing acts that have really honed
their sound on the road. They even had some members of the audience
dancing! That's a rarity these days... Ah, Tuesdays.
from Texas... And we'd like to get back to Texas so if anyone would like
to buy a disc or a t-shirt or have a floor we could sleep on..." said
the lead singer. This got me thinking Wouldn't it be great to have a
club with a spare room for traveling bands to crash in? Artists could
play for merch money and get free room and board while heading out to
their next gig.
For me, one of the best thing about Tuesday nights
at The Saint for me is seeing traveling bands like this who couldn't
bring enough to garner a weekend spot, but will simply blow you away.
Tuesday nights also generally offer a mixture of counter programming --
morose, introspective singer-songwriters followed by out and out rockers
-- it makes for fun nights for the music fan.
The third band of
the night was the Accidental seabirds. This band has been gaining quite a
following around the Jersey Shore area. The band has a very
adventurous sound; at times they sound like prog rock band, other times
like a jam band. It's a rather unique combination that plays off of
intense vocals and frequent musical chord and progression changes within
"This is the best sounding room in town, I wanna hear
you sing. These guys want to play all of the new stuff that doesn't
have any harmonies" said the lead singer. They wound up playing several
new songs despite his protest and the new songs sounded quite strong.
always nice when a band sounds different from everyone else in the
scene and the Accidental Seabirds certainly fit that bill.
Jealousy closed out the night with a highly unique sound due to three
different people taking turns at lead vocals. While multiple singers
sometimes fails to create a distinctive sound, that wasn't the case
here. If anything, the various singers simply added to the band's
sound, offering different perspectives and taking advantage of each
other's strengths. Some songs were pure indie rock, others were soulful
odes to sixties rock. Most were not only memorable, but highly
addictive. The band was a perfect close to a true Tuesday night grab bag
of musical styles.
"It's a Tuesday night and this is like the
best night we've had anywhere in the nation. You guys should be
everywhere!" said Sabrina Ellis who was celebrating her 26th birthday on
I've long said that Tuesdays were my favorite night to
go out. Not only do you get to see great bands on the rise, but it
helps the week go by. It's a good way to relax after two days of work;
by Wednesday, the work week is half over; by Thursday, you can already
see the weekend. Tuesday is the key for me and there's nothing better
than the creative vibes offered on Tuesday nights at the Saint. Earlier
in the summer, I the night featured a pair of gypsy rock and roll
bands. Where else are you going to see something like that?
night was a good example of why the Austin music scene is so interesting
and why the Jersey Shore scene deserves more recognition. We went head
to head with the "live music capital of the world" and more than held
Check out the bands at:Moon Motel -- https://www.facebook.com/moonmotel
Shivery Shakes -- http://www.reverbnation.com/shiveryshakes
Accidental Seabirds -- http://www.reverbnation.com/accidentalseabirds
Bobby Jealousy -- http://www.reverbnation.com/bobbyjealousy