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Articles By Gary Wien

Jersey Shore filmmaker Steve Herold has been working in film and television since graduating from the film program at New York's School of Visual Arts. His award-winning films include H.R. Pukenshette, Bum Runner, and Death Of An Umbrella Salesman. In total, his films have screened at over 75 film festivals worldwide. ... READ ON

​​​​​​​The Alarm is a band from Wales led by Mike Peters that arrived on the scene in the early 1980s with a run of anthemic rock songs that resonated with millions around the world. Many of the lyrics were about fighting to survive. In the 90s, Peters fought a battle with lymph cancer.  He’s since fought rounds with chronic lymphocytic leukemia as well.  Looking back, it’s almost as though he’s been fighting cancer through his lyrics long before his first diagnosis.  One such example is their breakout hit for America, “Strength” which opened with the lines, “Give me love / Give me hope / Give me strength / Give me someone to live for.”... READ ON

There’s something about being a rock and roller in your youth that is hard to let go. The adrenaline of being on stage, the groupies, the fame - even when there isn’t much fame - is hard to forget while you work each day in your cubicle. The Incoherents is a comedy about a guy named Bruce Flansburgh who gets the itch to return to rock and roll years after breaking up his band.... READ ON

Irish artist Ben Reel released The Nashville Calling, his ninth studio album, at the end of March.  The plan was to promote the record with a month long tour of Holland and Germany, but the tour was cancelled when the world basically shut down due to the pandemic.  Instead, he’s been promoting the record with live concerts streamed from his house each Friday on Facebook with his wife Julieanne.  It’s a shame because this is his strongest album to date.... READ ON

Imagine you could go back in time and relive a particular moment. Fans of the British television show Doctor Who might remember an episode called “Turn Left” in which the future of one person’s life depended on whether she turned her car left or right at an intersection.  Sometimes life is that simple; where one incident holds the key to our future.  In the independent film ReRUN, such a moment occurs for the legendary actor Christopher Lloyd.... READ ON

Radio Troubadour is a radio show hosted by John Godfrey that plays the best new releases from Independent artists mixed with classic tracks from some of your favorite artists. Radio Troubadour plays a mix of Alt Country, Americana, Country & Western, Folk, Rock, Roots, Singer Songwriters. It's one of several shows available each day on The Penguin Rocks - an online radio station run by New Jersey Stage.  When we learned his latest show was a special edition featuring songs from Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album (all covered by different artists), we reached out to him at his home in Scotland to learn more.... READ ON

Sometime in February events started getting cancelled or rescheduled throughout New Jersey. For the past five years, New Jersey Stage has been running an event calendar which regularly listed 5,000-7,000 events a year. We tried maintaining the calendar for a few weeks, modifying and deleting listings until it became both too big of a job and a fruitless one. It was clear events would not be taking place any time soon. So on March 20th, we made changes to our calendar's programming code to make it easier to list virtual events and our virtual event calendar was born.... READ ON

Because of COVID-19, most of us have had to learn how to adapt to the changing world, and sometimes that's difficult. In the midst of social distancing and quarantine, things can seem disheartening, but ultimately we know we're all taking these precautionary measures so we'll be better off in the long run. But for those on the front lines of this crisis, social distancing isn't always an option. Sara Barry of the band Teen Idle has organized Songs from Quarantine - a compilation of quarantine songs that is meant to benefit those impacted by and on the front lines of this crisis. New Jersey Stage spoke to her for more information on the project, which is available online.... READ ON

It’s a strange time to be releasing a new album.  While a release show is still scheduled for June 5 at City Winery in Chicago, Michael McDermott doesn’t know if it will take place or not.  Nevertheless, he feels this is a good time for the album which features a title and opening single perfect for the absurd, terrifying, quarantine world we find ourselves in. ... READ ON

“I feel like I’m burying my father again,” said jazz guitarist Ed Laub. Laub was talking about the legendary New Jersey musician Bucky Pizzarelli who passed away from complications of COVID-19.  Laub was friends with Pizzarelli for decades from the days he was a teenager studying guitar with Bucky to playing as his partner in a guitar duo for well over a decade. Pizzarelli died at his home in Saddle River, New Jersey on April 1st at the age of 94.... READ ON

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