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By Gary Wien

For several years now, the Dipsomaniacs have watched their career progress on a rather slow, manageable plane. Each year found the Trenton based band playing bigger shows and each new record receiving more recognition than the previous one. It's a path that has definitely built a fanbase throughout the area, but one that practically ensured that the band would never be an overnight success.

That is until now. The plan for the band is changing quickly because the Dipsomaniacs, or Dipsos as their fans call them, were the recent winners of the Little Steven Rockin' Garage competition for Philadelphia. To do so, they first had to beat out hundreds of bands just to make the list of 20 who took the stage at the Pontiac Grille for the competition. The Dipsos played on May 14th. After being announced as one of the four finalists, they had to come back the next night to battle yet again. Only this time, they left not only as the winner, but with $6,000 worth of Gibson equipment in their van and a date at the Finals on July 22nd at Irving Plaza in New York City.

"It was a long weekend," said Mick Chorbo. "When we got picked for the finals on Friday night, we were unexpectedly enthusiatic and emotionally into it. There was a lot of high fiving and all that. And then Saturday, we were just exhausted. Just kind of surprised really because I had convinced myself we wouldn't win. That's just the way I handle things - figure the worst will happen."

The weekend found the members of the Dipsomaniacs often in front of cameras, interviewed for a documentary being made about the competition. They were interviewed before their first set on Friday, after the set, and had an extended interview early on Saturday.

The constant rehashing of the band's history revealed how the band was named. A dipsomaniac is defined as "one who has an irrepressible desire for alcoholic drinks." According to Chorbo, the name originally came from the band's drummer, Tom O'Grady. Tom and Mick had been in bands together since they were 13 and Dipsomaniacs was on one of Tom's lists of band names for one of their old bands they had in high school.

"He found it in the dictionary," said Chorbo. "And when you're 17 and you find a word that means drunks, but nobody knows it, it seems pretty cool. When you're over 30 and you're still stuck with that name, it might not mean the same thing, but we're just stuck with it."

Their name may not represent their current lifestyle or philosophies, but it is a nod to two of their favorite bands and biggest influences - the Who and the Replacements. The band's sound is often compared to the Replacements and Chorbo admits to being a big fan of the songwriting from Paul Westerberg.

"Part of what I try to get from the Replacements is the honesty in the songwriting," explains Chorbo. "Despite all of the stuff they write about the 'Mats, the songs are really good. They really do stand up."

Although the band is known for a great live show - they've even had reviews which basically said the Dipsomaniacs would blow the Who away - Chorbo actually prefers the studio over the stage.

"Me personally, I like the recording process," he said. "But I've kind of polled the band and each guy gets off on a different aspect of it. I like the whole recording process; writing the songs, bringing them to the band, arranging them, recording them, and then releasing them."

The band has released four CDs since 1996 with the last effort being Freakin Eureka in 2003. The CDs were released on Facedown Records, a label run by Chorbo. In addition to his own band, the label features other area artists like Bastards Of Melody, Blank Pages, J Horndog, and Taggart.

The Dipsos are currently wrapping up a collection of rarities containing b-sides, live tracks, and songs that have previously shown up on compiliations around the world. The goal is to have the CD, tentatively called Sodds &?Odds, out later this year. They have limited their appearances during the summer in order to finish the CD and work on a new full-length release for 2005.

Chorbo says that all of the members of the band were born in Saint Francis Hospital in Trenton and they still consider themselves very much a Trenton band. They regularly do shows at the Sidestage and have played the Conduit several times as well. In addition to Trenton, the band has played many shows in Philadelphia, New York and New Brunswick.

The changes in the Trenton music scene seem to have soured Chorbo on the immediate area a bit. "Every time it's going somewhere, it takes a step back," he explained. "It actually takes two steps back. I don't know... If you had talked to me maybe four months ago, I'd probably have felt differently but I don't see much of an opportunity in the area. I see some people trying, but I just don't see the interest. I feel like it's kind of a losing battle. Hamilton Township, the suburbs of Trenton, is huge. There's three high schools, Rider University and Trenton State. I just don't understand what everybody does."

With the exposure the band is bound to get this July for the Little Steven Rockin' Garage finals, they may soon add to the list of Trenton Makes and the World Takes. Be sure to catch them while you still can.

For more by this author, click here

South Jersey Pops To Present Holiday Shows On Sunday & Monday
(CHERRY HILL, NJ) -- The South Jersey Pops, the area’s own non-profit orchestra, will take a world view of this magical season as it presents “Celebrate: A Global Holiday” on Sunday, December 16 in Medford. The second of its four performances during its 49th season, the program will feature holiday carols from around the globe including France, Germany, and Spain, local music to warm the hearts of Philadelphians, along with Hanukkah songs and popular and timeless holiday classics.
Experiment 34 To Hold CD Release At Asbury Lanes
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Experiment 34 will celebrate the release of their debut full-length album, "What Dying Feels Like," on Saturday, February 16 at Asbury Lanes. E34 are a hard, heavy, aggressive mix of punk, funk, rap, metal and psychedelic rock with an inventive chemistry and explosive bond to which audiences of all kinds react well. Tickets for the CD release show are $15 at the door and $12 in advanced. Admission will include a free copy of the CD. 
Daniil Trifonov performs Schumann's Piano Concerto in NJSO debut
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Daniil Trifonov, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in his NJSO debut, January 25–27, in the final program of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Winter Festival, “Music Speaks.” Music Director Xian Zhang conducts the program, which also features Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and the NJSO premiere of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. Performances take place on January 25 at 8:00pm at NJPAC in Newark, January 26 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and January 27 at 3:00pm at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.
Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center featuring three musical guest artists throughout the month of January. The series launches on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:00pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Michael Davis and the New Wonders.

Melissa Etheridge LIVE! at the State Theatre
The lobby of the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, is buzzing with activity this Friday, November 30, 2018 evening as rock music fans ready themselves for a special Holiday Show by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge!
Join The Greater South Jersey Chorus For "A Winter's Night" (Or Afternoon)
The holidays bring many special things and, for me, one of the best is the music. It sets a mood, invokes memories, soothes the soul and provides a seasonal soundtrack for my life.
An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.

Event calendar
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018


CHRIS GULLACE BAND - A BENEFIT FOR ST. JUDE @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 2:00pm

SOLAR CIRCUS / DOOBIE DECIBEL SYSTEM @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

ELEVEN ELEVEN @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 2:00pm

SUNDAY JAZZ @ Hard Rock Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 10:00am

Joy to the World: A Christmas Suite @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 4:00pm


Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

A Christmas Story @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

Seussical @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Peter pan @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 1:00pm and 5:00pm

A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

A Wonderful Life @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 5:00pm


Cocktail Hour: The Show Featuring the B-Twist Orchestra @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 6:00pm

NEW JERSEY BALLET’S NUTCRACKER WITH NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 6:00pm

The Nutcracker: The Russian National Ballet @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 3:00pm

Bolshoi Ballet: Don Quixote @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 3:00pm


Shopkins LIVE! Shop It Up! @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 11:00am

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