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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...1/5/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 01/06/2017
Now that 2016 has drawn to a close, there were a few things of note but these are just some things to contemplate if you're a supporter of your local music and arts communities in 2017 and beyond. 
1) Let's face facts, venues which host live music are dwindling. Many will say that this trend "Ebbs and flows" but the harsh reality is they are closing and in some areas at an alarming rate. The amount of venues for original artists to ply their wares has become so scarce that unless you're willing to most likely overpay for a cup of coffee; you're not seeing a night of fresh, new, groundbreaking material. So when a fine band such as Charles Laurita & The MischiefHoney Spot Blvd. or Ernie White are at a local watering hole like Shattered Skin will be at Champ's this Saturday; go and support them! 
2) Cover bands are still the rage and always will be but they, like the original acts, are also facing a shortage of venues. A recent closure in Windsor, NJ was that of Amarone's. A huge supporter of Mercer County area cover acts which covered a broad spectrum of genres and styles, the ownership has decided to permanently close its doors. O'Connor's American Bar & Grille, located on the outskirts of Mt. Holly, NJ was a very active supporter of talent. They had live music every Friday and Saturday evening for nearly all of 2016 but alas, due to lack of support, they had to pull the plug. On the upside, Freddie's Tavern in Ewing, NJ once again has begun having live entertainment as well as Dadz Bar & Grill in Lumberton. 
3) This space has dedicated itself to listing live entertainment venues and strives to feature a different interview every week. Unfortunately, all too often, many bands, solo artists and establishments go unmentioned due to poor self promotion. Here's a helpful tip: Creating a Facebook event two months in advance and then not sharing it again and/or often or creating one the day of your gig are both wastes of your time.  Venues are no, none, zero or very little help as well and rely on the performer(s) to promote their appearance. This is a vicious cycle which usually results in poor attendance and no shot at being re-booked in the establishment. Most bars and restaurants rarely update their websites, marquis or Facebook pages, so if you are the artist; create some art in the form of Facebook events, tweets, e-mails, posters and whatever else you may think of because in the digital/cyber age, you are expected to be on your own. "Expected" being the key word because of quotes from promoters such as, "I don't need to promote you; don't you have a fan base? Don't you know how to use social media?" Yes, that is an actual quote, overheard when discussing an attempt at scheduling future gigs but due to a less than stellar turn out on this evening; was not happening. A favorite quote also heard can be attributed to bassist Mike Carthan, who while attempting to book a venue was asked, "Do you have a following?" To which his poignant response was, "Well, don't you have customers?" Touche` Mike!
4) Smoking bans, drunk driving laws, exorbitant drink prices, gas prices, and a current down economy have all contributed to the lack of attendance or support for some or much of the decline in attendance.Throw in licensing fees and ASCAP/BMI fines and music venues, at times are burdened beyond their capabilities. 
5) Cutbacks in school budgets and funding all across our great nation has taken valuable exposure away from music and arts programs; further limiting our children's options. Exposure to art and music has proven time and time again to enhance learning in all areas of life as well as provide stress relief and an outlet for kids of all ages. Yes, even the the "Nerds," "Dweebs" and "Dorks" have gone on to excel in music; here's another tip for our great educators; not all children enjoy playing sports. 
6) Artists of all genres deal with rejection and resounding "No" answers almost daily; to say that they have a thick skin is an understatement. Many of them struggle to make ends meet and have no medical insurance. Granted, this is their chosen field of occupation but it is no less important to them as a nine to five job is to someone else. Artists are often asked to do "Freebies" or something on consignment; show me any business who would be accepting of those same terms. "Come perform for free this Tuesday, if you do OK I may hire you back." That's the equivalent of saying you'll only pay your tab at an eating establishment if you find the meal satisfactory. Yet often times bands, solo artists and other artists are more than willing to oblige these thieves just to, "Get their foot in the door" and let's not even discuss, "Pay to play." 
In closing, before this column becomes a novel, when you go to support live music and artists, you're rewarding years of hard work, practice, rejection, passion and efforts. The artists or art which you see before you came from the imaginations, pain, happiness or sorrow of its creator; many of which teach our children or inspire the child in all of us. Normal is not a word to describe a musician or an artist, as they are all a bit "Different" but it's that difference which makes the world a better place, for music and art touch us all in some way. 
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!

This week's event listings

Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers Street Trenton
Sat. 6 p.m. Deadkick, Electric Puke, Inari One, Shattered Skin, (TBA). All ages, $10
Sun. 4 p.m. Suburban Scum, Paper Trail, Departed, Gator King, Time Spent, Bahscumbug. All ages, $10
Tues. 8 p.m. Harbor, Lori Johansson, Nikki Nailbomb, (TBA).  Ages 21+, $5
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Shaun Ruymen
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6 p.m. Michele Wiley Duo
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 7:30 p.m. David Dales Trio
Sun. (12 p.m.) Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Larry Tritel
Wed. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Winard Harper Quartet. $10 (cover charge includes buffet)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie and Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Out Of The Red
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. DJ DNIAL
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Chris
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Dane Rosenfeld
Fri. 9 p.m. Brian Bortnick
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale (4 p.m.) Soul Kitchen
Wed. 8 p.m. Mia Johnson                                 
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Sat. 8 p.m. Zeke Sky Band
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows age 21+
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Sun. 10 a.m.
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Brand X. Ages 21+, Doors at 6 p.m., $39
Fri. 8:15 p.m. "Tom Petty Tribute" w/ Damn The Torpedoes. Ages 21+, Doors at 6 p.m., $25
Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Naturals
Sun. 8 p.m. Rocky & His Friends
Tues. 8 p.m. Jerry Lee Watkins
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Series" Hosted by Pat Foran 
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. Sergio Neri
Fri. 6 p.m. Catmoondaddy
Sat. 6 p.m. Acoustic Road
Sun. 2 p.m."Jazzy Sundays" feat. Vintners Piano Solo
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Audio Pilot
Sat. 2 p.m. Terry Rivel
Sun. 2 p.m. Bob Daley
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. The Ernie White Band
Sat. 9 p.m. General Krank
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 10:30 p.m."Beer Pong" w/ DJ RV & MC Slim
Sat. 9 p.m. Blue Reign
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Sat. 10 p.m. Seeing Snakes (Record Release), Local Demise, Too Far Gone, Riverside Odds, The Sheckies. Ages 21+, Doors at 9 p.m., $7
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Sat. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
PANJ Radio
Bridge Street Lambertville
(609) 460-4673
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. The Williamsboy
Pasquale's Bar
9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(267) 202-6268
Fri. 9:30 p.m. "DJ Dance Party"
Sat. 9 p.m. "DJ Dance Party w/ Live Band"
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Blind Lemmon Pie
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Audio Pilot
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Please check web site for upcoming events
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Rick Fiori Jazz Trio
Sun. 7 p.m. Princeton Bluegrass Jam
South Rio
120 South Warren Street Trenton
(609) 943-2123
Thurs. 7 p.m. "All You Can eat Crabs." Music, Drink Specials, Sports on TV
Tues. "$2 Tuesday"
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Steve Kessler and Friends. $20
Sat. 8 p.m. Scott Bravo, Vin Downes and Ken Bonfield. $20
Sun. 2 p.m.  "Exquisite Meditation Experience for New Beginnings" w/ Tijen Genco and Harpist Professor Gloria Galante. $25 (Registration required)
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. Billy Hector
Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 9 p.m. No Limits
Sat. 9 p.m. Audio Riot
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
(609) 291-7020
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. (TBA)
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction
Sat. 9 p.m. Ernie White
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. Smoked Ice 
Sat. 9 p.m. No Way Out
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Oliver McElhone
Sat 9 p.m. Kevin McCloskey & Diarmuid MacSuibhne
Tues. 9 p.m. Taylor Reed
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine Street Trenton
(609) 392-6000
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic. 
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Fri. 4 p.m. First Friday 
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. Steal Your Face. ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Lord Nelson. ($5 cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign-ups at 6:30 p.m.)
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton, NJ Location)
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 10 p.m. Zeke Sky Band
Sat. 10 p.m. Essie & the Big Chill
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Tues. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson 
All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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