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.

Perhaps its heresy to write this at The Vinyl District, but I have a secret to share with you. Come closer, I don’t want anyone hearing this. This is strictly between you, and me. The truth is: I’ve been buying CDs again.

I know, I know. Shhhh. Stop reacting like that, people are going to see you!

I love collecting records and I’m in it for the long haul, but during the ’90s, I was also a diehard CD collector. When streaming began to take hold, I traded in my CDs while the going was good. But, I do miss them a little.

The strengths and weaknesses of each format might make for a separate column, but the fact is that I do have many NJ recordings available only on CD, so I thought it was a good time to raid the dusty CD collection.

Hear Jersey favorites like Frank Sinatra, Donald Fagen, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, and Debbie Harry, but also be prepared for some new names: Paul Brubaker, Bob Cannon, Blendre, Freddie Hendrix, The Prime Time Sublime Community Orchestra, and Alfa.

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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.

P.M. Dawn always presented themselves as cosmic and interplanetary, but they did most of their work right here in Jersey City. I didn’t have cable through much of the ’90s, but I recall watching some show on network television that aired that week’s most played music videos, the replays were on Saturday morning.

I’d watch the usual offerings and then P.M. Dawn would come on and I wouldn’t know what to think. This was hip hop? R&B? What did I know? I was 13. Anyway, what I did know was that this was not the usual video, or musical, fodder.

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A Special Fourth of July 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.

Live music is major business here in New Jersey. From the Meadowlands to the Stone Pony, the Garden State has always harbored vibrant and exciting places to witness live music. A New Jersey summer is, however, a magical time to witness a live event, preferably outdoors.

Perhaps you’ve watched Bruce Springsteen sing “Who’ll Stop the Rain” during a torrential downpour in Giants Stadium and glanced at the mass of humanity in front of you and been aware that just outside the stadium, the New York City skyline hovers and the Meadowlands’ estuaries reach out to infinite waterways which connect NJ to the rest of the world. Or, maybe that’s just me.

It’s important to think about these things though; to appreciate your local regionalism but also to be aware of the bustling world happening just around the bend. This week, we explore some outstanding musical moments which took place in the great Garden State and prepare for a fun weekend sure to offer more of the same. Be safe.

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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.

A musician’s vehicle often says a lot about their dedication to the craft. Francie Moon’s well-worn mini-van displays the many miles this young lady has logged in search of a stage and an audience. The vintage bicycle hanging on the back of the van communicates that she likes to explore, and the red bandana hanging off of the lift gate, exclaims that she’s a bit of a free spirit.

Francie is one of those NJ musicians who always seems to be out there, doing a gig somewhere, getting some people together, and making some sounds.

And then there are the sounds that Francie makes: her voice surprises; explodes out of her small frame and fills the room. And her guitar chops: meaty, riffy, and chewy. When coupled with her unique vocals, she grabs you by the lapels and dares you to do something else while she’s performing. Come on in, meet Francie Moon. There is a lot to learn about her. You’ll be charmed.

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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.

Last week, I enjoyed the unique experience of shopping for records at the Archive of Contemporary Music which, twice a year holds a sale to relinquish their library overflow. While I was a little woozy from heat exhaustion, especially after sitting in three hours of NYC gridlock and skipping dinner, some wonderful purchases were made.

On this episode, we delve into those with Jersey connections: Sarah Vaughan, Titus Andronicus, The Rascals, Johnny Smith, and Ron Carter. Bruce, Dionne, Tony Bennett, and even The Band come by to say, “hello!”

Finally, we end this week’s episode with an homage to Marlton, NJ’s own, Christina Grimmie.

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.

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]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

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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