Author Archives: Evan Toth

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Look, I’ve done over 75 episodes of “Garden State Sound” and before I start crafting another episode I think to myself, “Are there enough New Jerseyans to keep this thing running?”

However, once I get started, the connections flow freely. That’s what happens this week as we explore The Rascals, The Roches, we compile a new wave set including Blondie, The Catholic Girls, and The B-52s, and check in with the Deafening Colors, Real Estate, and Desir Decir, and of course Frank Sinatra and The Monkees.

Most importantly, we have a pair of tickets available for you to see The Smithereens at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in West Orange, NJ on Saturday, June 18th. Enter for your chance to win by emailing your contact information to [email protected]

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

New Jersey is rife with jazz; always has been, always will. This week we go from the obvious (Count Basie and Frank Sinatra) to some more obscure choices (Emily Remler and a Direct-to-Disk recording of “Jersey Bounce”).

There is something for everyone on this edition of Jersey Jazz. Part two might not be too far behind.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

All sorts of new, wonderful, New Jersey music come to you on this week’s episode of Garden State Sound—many genres and sounds: Readymade Breakup, Thank You Scientist, Candy Hearts, TV Tramps, Titus Andronicus, Mree, the Amboys, and many more!

Click play to discover your new favorite band.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This is what I love about New Jersey. In some ways Avi Wisnia epitomizes the NJ musical experience—born in Princeton, spends formative years in the temple, becomes a talented singer-songwriter, finds a new home in Philadelphia, falls in love with Bossa Nova, and immerses himself in his grandfather’s Holocaust experience. That is, of course, the abridged version of Avi’s story, but it reflects the diversity found in many artistic Garden State stories.

This week, Avi will tell us about his latest excursions, we’ll talk the music of Brazil, and he’ll even be kind enough to perform on the new Garden State Sound piano which was in dire need of a tuning. It didn’t scare him away though, he’s a pro.

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The Best of Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This week, on “Garden State Sound” we get into the car and drive all over the state before the snow starts falling. That’s right, this episode was taped while Jonas was out there lurking and preparing to dump two feet of snow on the New York City metro area.

Let’s take advantage of the snow-free streets and sample all the best that NJ has to offer: Melody Gardot, The Battery Electric, Spiraling, Wyclef Jean, Chris Barron, A Girl Called Eddy, and more!

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Here on Garden State Sound, it’s fine to highlight the musical monsters of New Jersey. However, another goal of this program is to highlight and champion bands who are on their way up, as well as pay homage to the stalwarts. On this week’s episode, we do both.

We analyze something new from Paul Simon and then dig in a little deeper. If you don’t know them yet, now is a great time to meet, The Vaughns, Roadside Graves, River City Extension, Modern Chemistry, and The Front Bottoms. Also featured, Screaming Females, The Doughboys, The Insomniacs, and more!

So, join us this week for a little bit of the old and a big chunk of the new!

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Rob Fusari is a young man but he’s already accomplished so much. After scoring major hits with Destiny’s Child, Will Smith, and others, he connected with Lady Gaga which culminated in co-writing and producing a few—umm, I guess we’ll call them—monster hits.

After forays into a few alter-ego musical acts, Fusari is now ready to step behind the writer’s keyboard and mixing console—a talented singer and multi-instrumentalist performer, this Wednesday (4/27), he performs a solo show at New York City’s Cutting Room. The show, a William Paterson University music event where Fusari is an alumni, is a mix of his own music and music of the Beatles.

Tune in and sit down with Fusari and me as we talk the Grammys, multiplatinum records, Lady Gaga, writing, producing, and how hard it is to resist the temptation of the music industry no matter how difficult of a road it may be.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Not only was Sarah Vaughan one of the greatest female jazz singers of all time during the height of the early 1940s, she continued to lend her voice to jazz standards—and popular music—until her death in 1990.

Born in Newark in 1924, Vaughan wasn’t merely a jazz singer, but a fan of all kinds of music. The music on this summary of her career focuses on all of those facets: the early career, her forays in Brazilian music, her unique versions of popular tunes, and more. Tune in and celebrate the sound of Sassy.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Good friend of the show, Lay Lustig from NJArts.net, reminded us all that this week is the 30th anniversary of an important record label from right here in Hoboken, NJ, Bar/None Records, that’s from way back in 1986 for those of you keeping score at home. At that time, Hoboken was the Williamsburg of the NYC indie scene. Bar/None has been known for releasing some wonderful—and important—music and can be looked upon as certainly embracing the jangly Hoboken sound.

So, tune in this week to hear a generous helping from the Bar/None records catalog—both old and new—and put this unique and longstanding label into perspective. We could do several shows featuring Bar/None performers, but let’s start with: The Feelies, They Might be Giants, Richard Barone, The Db’s, The Front Bottoms, Yo La Tengo, Speed the Plough, and many more.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Like any good shoregoer returning from a long walk on the sand, I return with some trinkets and interesting bobbles which I didn’t have before I left. I’m back from the Cape May Songwriters Conference and here I share with you this year’s new discoveries: Mycenea Worley, Craig Greenberg, Pat Foran, and Charlotte Berg.

Also present on this program is Bruce, A Girl Called Eddy, Avi Wisnia, and many more. We even say a few words about the untimely passing of Frank Sinatra, Jr. The beach might be a little chilly, but the weather is always right for some great NJ tunes. Join us.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Even though forecasters are predicting a final winter snow blast this weekend, it feels like spring in NJ—the birds are chirping, a warm wind can be found blowing, and there was even a thunderstorm this week. So, what better time to head to Cape May to attend this year’s Cape May Songwriters Conference. That’s where I’ll be this weekend, and where you—if you’re in the vicinity—should consider going.

This week, we don’t rely too heavily on this year’s roster of performers, we’ll do that in the future. But, we do revisit some old friends that we’ve met there. There is also music from some other underrepresented NJ favorites: Shirk Circus, The Feelies, and others. Come on in!

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Needle Drop: Esperanza Spalding, Emily’s D+Evolution

Thank God for performers like Esperanza Spalding—well-honed, masterful musicians confidently exploring new musical ground. Ms. Spalding’s new album, Emily’s D+Evolution on Concord Records is soulful, heavy, jazzy, melodic, proggy, challenging, and sure—let’s just say—kinda psychedelic. The vinyl copy this reviewer received was flat and mostly quiet.

Many tracks on the album are basically flawless (“Elevate or Operate” is a song in a league of its own)—heavyweight musicianship supports Spalding’s melodies and compositions. But, things move so fast! Many times I found myself saying out loud (to nobody, of course), “what was that?” Before I could catch that lyric, chord change, or musical phrase, it was long gone; part of me yearned for the pace of the record to just slow down—there’s so much good here, but it goes by in a flash, almost rushed. Repeated, close, listening allows a listener to fully immerse themselves in and appreciate this work.

Producer Tony Visconti wisely allows Spalding and her crew do their thing—most songs sport a tightly knit guitar, drum, and bass arrangement, albeit with intensive vocal supports. Playing is superb, Spalding is, as you know, a standout bassist, but she doesn’t let her bass playing steal the show—she wants you to appreciate these compositions and arrangements. Even though the personnel is barebones, there is still occasionally the feeling that things might go off the rails. The digital guitar effects and busy rhythm section of “Rest in Pleasure” are exciting, but nearly overwhelm.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

First of all, thank you—everyone—for your patience during the recently concluded fundraising season. It’s not easy for me, and it’s not easy for you, but anything worth maintaining requires a little sweat equity once in a while. It looks like we’re safe for another year. Thank you for your support.

What better way to get back into the groove than by delving into the 45 rpm bin and digging out some New Jersey goodies? That’s what we’ve got here for your listening pleasure: NJ on 45. So, put a quarter on the tonearm, and let’s have some fun. You’ll hear Blondie, The Ramones, The Shirelles, Dr. Hook, Connie Francis, and many more. Here comes spring!

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

It’s been a long five weeks and we thank you for sticking with us. This fundraising season has now come to an end, but it’s not too late to pledge your support and put your weight behind a program which features carefully curated music with connections to the great state of New Jersey. We need to fill the till!

So, click the link to hear a man fundraise with a stuffy nose: what could be more entertaining? We’ll also spin some Sinatra, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Dr. Hook, and many more. This is your last shot to help us stay on the air: visit www.wfdu.fm, click donate, and pledge your support now!

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Needle Drop: Emitt Rhodes, Rainbow Ends

Nearly half a century has passed since fans have had a chance to hear new music from Emitt Rhodes, but Rainbow Ends has made it worth the wait.

Backed by a crack group of in-demand musicians, Emitt returns to lay down new compositions and sings with a surprisingly spry and smooth voice. Chris Price turns in a solid production job—he stays out of the performer’s way and helps to provide thick drums and meaty guitar parts.

Price explains his take on the project in a press release saying, “I view this as a continuation album, meaning it isn’t meant to be recreating the sound from his first record, but instead what he might have sounded like after his third album, Farewell To Paradise, if he kept making music in the mid-to-late ’70s.” In that vein, both Price and Rhodes succeed in doing so both sonically and compositionally.

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