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Big News! Emily Mann to retire as McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director following 2019-2020 season
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By Gary Wien

One look at the van's odometer and you realize just how hard L.P. and her band work. They drive that van from one side of the country to the other; over and over again. They practically live out of it, and just might from time to time. For a touring band, a good van means everything. And L.P. certainly pushes their van to the limit. Just as she does with her music.

The van recently broke down about ten miles outside of Denver and forced them to miss a show in Indiana. "We've driven this van about 85,000 miles in a year," she explained. "There was some kind of a wheel or hub thing. We couldn't steer so we had to get off of the highway. Then we thought that the transmission was acting a little funky. It's still under warranty for the first 100,000 miles. It will probably go right at 101,000."

Things might have been a little different for L.P. if she hadn't been screwed by her first record company. As with many artists, the record company tried changing the rules of the contract at the last minute. Unlike many artists who are simply happy at having a deal, L.P. didn't give in to their demands.

"Right before the record was about to come out... I mean, records had been pressed and the tour was booked... They wanted my publishing and they wanted me to sign on for another two records. And I was getting wind that they weren't even really going to spend enough to get this one off of the ground. So, I wasn't going to give them my fuckin' publishing for nothing, or for very little money, and then give them two more records.

"They didn't shelf the record, but they put it out with nothing behind it," she explained.

Since that time L.P. has been doing it on her own. She released the brilliant record, "Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol" last summer on an indie label and has been touring hard in support of it. Every place she plays she blows the crowd away with the band's intense live show. Her singing is not just powerful but dramatic. She doesn't beg to be heard, she demands that you listen. After one song you're wondering "why the hell isn't this band big?"

Her singing is so powerful it's no surprise to find out that she grew up singing opera. Nowadays she focuses on rock and roll, but uses vocal exercises that are based on opera techniques.

"They've got it down to a science," says L.P. "They've got exercises that help me so I know exactly what to do to get my voice into shape that day. The opera kind of gave me the background and the setup and the control."

Control is definitely needed because the band plays around 200 dates a year. Since she goes so far out with each song, she needs the exercises to keep her voice intact for the entire tour. She admits to testing the limits every night. It's like having a corvette and never leaving second gear, L.P. knows she has a gift and wants to use it as much as possible.

"Almost in every song I can't help myself, I have to go to the wall," she says. "Sometimes I'm like I've got to hold off, but I can't help myself. It just feels really good and the crowd gets into it."

The band recently played the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. L.P. had been there before a few times with the band Cracker (whom L.P. tours with occasionally) but this was the first time for the band.

"It was great!" said L.P. "We did three shows at Coyote Ugly. It was totally rocking! All of the girls dance on the bar there. The first two nights were our nights more; the third night there were about four bachelor parties taking place and the girls were insanely amazing. That night the girls won. I felt more people were watching them than us!"

With a zillion bands in town for SXSW, it's not hard to run into a famous musician or two. L.P. had her own encounter; unfortunately she had no idea who she was talking to. It turns out it was Ian Hunter. Not knowing what he looked like, L.P. asked if he played with Ian Hunter. He said, "No, I am Ian Hunter."

From festivals to club shows, the band is committed to having as many people hear the last record as possible although it can get a little tiresome playing the same songs each night.

"As a writer, you're like if I don't play a new song these people are going to throw shit at me!" said L.P. "But they're just getting into the record and if you love a record you don't care how many times you see it live."

On the band's website, L.P. talks about how she never gets tired of hearing people say "how come you guys aren't big?" but those words can begin to wear on you.

"I feel a little crazy sometimes. The things that people will say to you on the road... I have a little suitcase in my head where all that stuff goes and I've just got to lock it up because its swimming around in there. I'm always like, "why aren't we big?" But there's so many great bands out there and there is no rhyme or reason; you just have to keep doing it for the love of what you're doing. I believe that if you just keep going, good shit will happen to you."

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Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!

Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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