Hello Readers! It’s been a while! Since the last time we met, I’ve had a warrant out for me, gotten back on the right side of the law, had many of your boyfriends hit on me when you’re not looking (don’t worry I turn them down and they always go home to you), seen lotsa great shows on the both coasts ( The Thermals are my best friends forever and Mark Lanegan’s still got it!), been interviewed, played a show in Brooklyn…oh yeah and I’ve been big pimpin’ too out here on the AP Boardwalk, almost over my head in the eddying whorl that is the wild world of getting the AP Oceanfront restored to its’ futuristic/former beauty…Whew!
Let me apologize for being out of touch so long! I’m gonna try and keep it on the up and up here in The Vinyl District, so I’ll start off by attempting to redeem myself with a little info on the first of many great events coming at us this week…Overall, though there’s so much going on this season, it’s kind of unbelievable. Old 97’s, They Might Be Giants, Bob Dylan, Fountains Of Wayne, STP, ATP Fest, The Pixies–they’re all slated to be here soon!
When I lived in AP in 2003, you had to be cautious when walking along the boardwalk in the middle of the day in the middle of the summer!
Now, less than a decade later, I got worry ( as Jon Spencer said), but it’s a different kind—will I fall off of my longboard and into the throngs of traffic as I drunkenly cruise from one show to the next? Will I be able to get second billing for any of my heroes as they come through and rock AP at one of a dozen amazing venues? Will I be able to make out with one of my heroes after opening for their band? And should I be worried that I’m consuming more alcohol than food for days at a time? (That’s normal, right?)
Take a look at how we’re kicking off this week, alone! Tomorrow, Tuesday July 12, famed frontman of The Bouncing Souls (yes, I love them and am in love with them) Greg Attonito will be performing right here in Asbury Park to celebrate the release of his solo debut, Natural Disaster. Brooklyn, New York, L.A.– I mean, this guy could do this show to a sold out crowd in any city, but Greg has chosen AP for this incredibly special performance. That’s a ringing endorsement if I’ve ever heard of one!
So what does a solo effort from the frontman of a seminal punk band sound like? Natural Disaster is a departure from the Souls’ knock-down-drag-out force, to be sure, but these 6 songs are so sweet, honest and unfettered, that they hit you deep down inside immediately, albeit by a different route than you might be used to with Greg’s membership in The Souls.
Sparse arrangements let Attonito’s confessional vocal performance and straight-from-his-diary lyrics sit right up front, allowing you to appreciate his experienced voice in a way that louder arrangements and songs simply do not permit. Listening to the album sort of makes you feel like you’re sitting on the floor in Greg’s bedroom while he plays for you and you alone. (On Sexiest Girl, when he sings, “sexiest girl in the world/ it’s true/ it’s you”—that’s to me, right?)
Simple, country/folk guitars, airy horns and ethereal harmonies round out the sound, giving the space created in the songs a whimsical, summery, laying-in-a-field–with-your-lover-watching-the-fireflies-light-up-in-the-settling-dusk sort of feeling. It’s a collection of songs that’s at once touching, intimate, and universal. Natural Disaster shows the other side of this frontman, giving his work a depth that some might have not had the pleasure of knowing before this visit to the House of Attonito.
You can stream the album here, but be sure to pick up a copy when you come to the record release party, where your admission will be free with a purchase of the (definitely worth it) album. It’s 5 bucks to get in for the rest of you non-believers (who will become true believers by the end of the night.) Released on The Souls’ own Chunksaah Records, the EP is available from the label as a 10″ Limited Edition Colored Vinyl, which includes a Digital Download Card.
Whether you’re a seasoned Souls fan or your new to their sphere, I encourage you to make it out to this show tomorrow night, at Watermark. The doors are at 7:30 PM, but you might want to line up a tad early, as this promises to be a wildly popular evening.
It’s going to be one of those magical once-in-a-lifetime shows where you have the pleasure of enjoying a powerful musical experience in an uniquely intimate setting. The eclectic mix of fans will set off the evening ( gay, straight, black, brown, white, boys, girls, and everyone in between– in AP we all hang together) and we all know that cool crowds of nice people always make a show that much better.
It’s going to be an unforgettable night, no question. Consider this your formal invitation, and be sure to join us for this, the best in DIY, right here in my favorite town, Asbury Park!