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#27 The Commons: Dirt Waffle

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

Dirt Waffle represented a major change of direction for The Commons.  This release moved away from the collective moodiness  and introspection of Come On Get Gone towards a mixed bag of rock, pop, and even jazzy numbers.  The result is somewhat akin to the music released by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies during the ‘80s.  It was something entirely unexpected from The Commons, but they pulled it off well.  In fact, the album seems to get better with age.

When lead singer Keith Monacchio was informed that this release made the Top 100, he replied that he always believed this was a better album than many people thought.  While many fans of the band would have  been more likely to highlight American Ghost instead,  Dirt Waffle deserves a second look.  Within this album are several of the best songs the band ever recorded.

Ironically what makes it so good is also what makes people forget how good it is.

From the get go, the album runs through a potpourri of mellow tunes, rockers, and off-beat numbers that dare you to categorize them.  While Come On Get Gone and American Ghost both had specific themes running through their albums, Dirt Waffle is undeniably free of any such barriers.  It’s not due to a lack of focus, the band just seemed ready, after the seriousness of their previous release, to have fun again.

There’s the hilarious tale of the band on a roadtrip in “The Van Rolls On”; the new wave inspired paranoia of “It’ll Go Away”; the bouncy fun of “Numbers” and friends who are doing time in prison.  In between lies the utterly beautiful “Simple Things” and wonderfully sentimental “Looking Back.”  The album is like fine wine...

Highlights include “Don’t Go On Me,” “Numbers,” “Back On The Bus,” “Simple Things,” “Three...Two...One,” “The Van Rolls On,” and “Looking Back.”


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

 






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Event calendar
Friday, Mar 22, 2019


MUSIC

East Coast In Lullaby @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

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

Swingadelic Featuring Rob Paparozzi @ Roys Hall (Blairstown), Blairstown - 8:00pm

Carolyn Messina at Table 42 @ Table 42, Dover - 7:00pm

Tom Chapin with Dan Pelletier at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

Finding Neverland @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Music of Cream @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Summer of Love IX @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

WARRANT @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 6:00pm

Selwyn Birchwood @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Mamma Mia @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Native Gardens @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 8:00pm

The Source by Jack Canfora @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Sassy Mamas presented by Dunbar Repertory Company @ Middletown Arts Center, Middletown - 8:00pm

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE GOLDEN MEATBALL @ The Growing Stage: The Childrens Theatre of New Jersey, Netcong - 7:30pm

Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Ken Ludwigs The Gods of Comedy @ Matthews Theatre @ McCarter Theatre, Princeton - 8:00pm

Theo @ Marion Huber Theater @ Two River Theater, Red Bank - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Comedy Night at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


FILM

Hairspray Sing-Along with host Jeremy Grunin! @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm


KIDS

Celebrate Holi @ iPlay America, Freehold - 4:00pm

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