This post is not about learning to play bass. Or learning to play guitar. Or Ukulele.  This post is not about learning at all, so excuse the interlude, but it IS about music.

Spring is HERE, ladies and germs.  How do I know this? Because the concert season has fallen upon us here in New Jersey, and I have already paid for tickets to a few shows I am very excited about.

There are two truly great small music venues in my area (and many, many other notable venues, but I play favorites): the legendary Stone Pony, which is my favorite small venue, really, but one I don’t actually seem to make it to but once a year.  I have no trips down to Asbury planned as yet. I would have liked to see the Pixies, but it’s a bit out of budget given that it falls in May (May is Steampunk season, folks. I’ll have wasted all of my hard earned cash on indie bands the week before, when I’ll be seeing a whole milieu of awesome Punk Cabaret and folk acts, and a few wonderful, wonderful bands that defy description – more on them in a future post, as they deserve their own), and I’d have liked to go see Rise Against, but it’s on a Sunday night, which is just not likely to be feasible for me.

My other venue of choice is a bit rowdier, but just as rockin’ – the Starland Ballroom.  I have two trips there this season, to see two awesome shows I’m supper psyched about:

1. Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

SLASH
It’s on a weeknight! 😦 I don’t care, I planned in advance and took the next day off work. TG for vacation days.)

How excited am I?! I saw Myles with Alter Bridge near the end of last season at the Starland, which is where I discovered Like a Storm – an NZ band who rock just as hard, in case you didn’t know, and I sort of feel like, if Slash is going to be performing 20 minutes from your house, and you have the ability to see it, if you love rock n’roll, you really have an obligation to go.  This show sold out in a matter of hours, and I am one of the lucky folks who gets to go.  It is going to be jam-packed. I’m just praying that I don’t get stuck behind someone ten foot tall so I can actually see something, and maybe get a few decent snaps. (I’m only 5’4 guys. It doesn’t take much to make me completely blind to what’s going on on stage.)

2. Against me!

against me
IT’S A FRIDAY NIGHT? OMG, YES! SO MUCH YES!

Now, I’m going to admit it was only a year or so ago that I even discovered Against Me!, but since then, they’ve been fairly high up the ipod rotation. (Along with the other A’s, Alkaline Trio, Amanda Palmer, and Arctic Monkeys)  I would wonder why there were so many great bands that start with the letter A, but when I was a kid, my dad had a window cleaning business that he very pragmatically named A-1, because that way it would be the first one listed in the phone book. I’m not saying all of these bands were that pragmatic, but I am saying when I’m idly scrolling with no idea what I want to listen to, there are so many great bands under A, that I rarely make it to B before something strikes my fancy.

Now, back to Against me! – this show is a whopping twenty bucks, on a convenient day/time, AND I just got paid.  You KNOW I already bought my ticket.

Outside of those two, I’ll have the Steampunk World’s Faire in mid-May, which I treat like a giant concert.  Very psyched to see Frenchy & the Punk again. I hear Humanwine will be there this year again, possibly the full band this year?). Eli August was just announced. I have my favorites, but every year I hope to discover some new, hidden gem at SPWF. I’ll talk about those acts in more detail after the event.

I’m also hoping to spend a Saturday at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA in August, which is a free music festival that takes over the historic downtown, for those of you who live under rocks and have never heard of it. There are a few paid programs in the evening, BUT there is plenty to do, even if all you spend your hard earned cash on is gas, food, and supporting a few of these artists, who are not paid to perform, unless you buy things.  I haven’t been in a few years, but last time I went my two favorite discoveries were Miracles of Modern Science, and Runa Pacha Wind Rhythms.  The latter, I’m pretty sure is there every year, and good thing, because I’m pretty sure the only way I’ll be able to collect their albums is in person.

I might even find something interesting at the Renaissance Faire, like last year when I happened to catch Vince Conaway playing the hammered dulcimer.

There’s also the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival that I’m hoping to be able to catch this year.

Until Next Time, looking very forward to an inspiring concert season.

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