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#11 Val Emmich: Sunlight Searchparty

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

#11 Val Emmich: Sunlight SearchpartyVal Emmich had a pretty amazing decade.  In addition to releasing seven critically acclaimed albums, appearing in major television shows like 30 Rock and Ugly Betty, shooting commercials for Macy’s and Heineken,  being the lead in an independent film, and getting married, he still managed to find time to write a novel.  Along the way, he also became a star within the music scenes of Asbury Park, Hoboken, and New Brunswick.

Val, who grew up in Manalapan, took up the guitar after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease at the age of 15 and forced to limit his physical activities.  A few years later, he began acting in commercials to help raise money for college.  While acting came easy for Val, he continued to consider himself a musician first and foremost. 

A video for “Privacy Attracts A Crowd”  off of his debut album became the first by an independent artist to air on MTV’s Total Request Live show;  a bidding war among the record industry quickly ensued.  A year later, Val’s debut was rereleased nationally on Epic Records with a few song changes.

Unfortunately, life on the label didn’t work out very well for either side and Val soon returned to life as an indie artist once again.  Rather than feel sorry for himself, Val’s next release (Sunlight Searchparty) signaled a renewed sense of optimism, energy, and a sense of joy from his new found freedom.

Three releases by Val made this list of Top 100 Albums of the Decade and he nearly had even more make the cut.  After much soul searching, this album earned the top spot largely because his songwriting was reaching  new depths as a true “Val Emmich” sound began to emerge. This period was a creative zenith for Val and a great time for his fans.



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Highlights include “New Year’s Resolution,” “First Try,” “This Ship’s Going Down,” “Absolutely Still,” “Decadent Decline,” and “Cover Up.”

Photo by Dave Sgalambro


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station Asbury Music. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.


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Event calendar
Saturday, Aug 24, 2019


MUSIC


Game Grumps Live @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

SOLID BRONZE @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

WHO'S BAD: THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON EXPERIENCE @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

GLEN BURTNIK'S SUMMER OF LOVE CONCERT @ Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

NICKELBACK @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

O Sole Trio: Bravissimo Broadway @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Santana and The Doobie Brothers @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

Lola Montez & Special Guests @ Dingbatz, Clifton - 8:00pm

LEILA FOROUHAR & MANSOUR LIVE IN CONCERT @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:30pm

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at MAGGIE'S TIKI BAR & GRILL in JACKSON, NJ @ Maggie's Bar and Grill in Jackson / Lakewood, NJ!, Jackson - 5:30pm

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 8:30pm

WOODSTOCK 2019 @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 1:00pm

Cirotti Trio @ Middle Valley Community Center, Long Valley - 7:30pm


Rufus Wainwright @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Sugar Mountain @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Memoirs of a Forgotten Man @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Frozen Jr. @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


DANCE


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