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Crooked Flower Demos its Flower Power with its Video Album, Legalize Me, Love Me

By Jerry Del Priore 

Crooked Flower

The alternative indie rock band Crooked Flower decided to do a little something different when it released Legalize Me, Love Me, a collection of 10 tracks from previous recordings, on April 20th, 2019. 

Crooked Flower put together Legalize Me, Love Me, a cool, innovative video album, which contains a distinct message, as guitarist Daniel Ingberman, speaking behalf of all members of the band, said: “This video album seeks to create a defined visual and musical aesthetic, tied together with what we think of as some “messages” of Crooked Flower.
 
“Our music and imagery are perhaps best described as a substance-free LSD-trip,” he continued. “The substance-free LSD-trip aesthetic and ethos is another part of the discussion, really an observation that substances are not required to elevate consciousness….that is what the videos are for!”

To add some illumination and further explanation on his aforementioned statement, Ingberman said: “Just to be clear, we are not advocating drug use for anyone. Or any form of irresponsible behavior, including sex or love. Certainly not for kids. But we do believe that adults should have more freedom.”

Musically sounding like bands No Doubt, Spin Doctors, The Cure, Nirvana and Pretenders, great songs on the video album include The Belt, from the 2017 disk On My Mind.

The tune was scribed by Ingberman and lead singer Angelina Dang and is about a friend of Ingberman’s, whom lives far away and is struggling with the pangs of drug addiction, a habit he cannot drop by the wayside.  

Go Back, Go Back, from the group’s 2018 “live” disk, Blooming: Live at Light Rail Studios, was written by Dang, an accomplished and gifted musician in her own right. 

The tune is about reaching adulthood and harkening back to your childhood, realizing how magical and special it was to be a kid. 

Hit It, from Crooked Flower’s 2017 disk, The Moon, Anyway, is arguably my favorite track. Dang, who sounds like Gwen Steffanie on this particular tune, lends her velvety vocal talents to this song, an homage to the timeless art of puffing and passing for the first time. 

Please don’t forget the funky bonus track, Came to Me in Dreams, from Live at the Mint. Ingberman noted that it’s “possibly existentialism at its best/worst? But it’s a true story. About life and karma, and what it’s all about.”

Are you looking to own Crooked Flower’s video album, or just listen to it? I’m glad you inquired.

You can purchase a 32 GB USB with approximately six GB USBs of super high-quality versions of the videos, plus images, at www.crookedflower.com, for $16 for one; $26 for two; $36 for three. Hurray, as supplies are limited. 

Additionally, you can buy downloads of Crooked Flower’s albums on a pay-what-you-want basis on its website at www.crookedflower.com.  Plus, if you desire physical CDs, the band can do that, too. Just message dan@crookedflower.com. 

The good news? You can also view it for free. The band is publicly releasing each video one-by-one on YouTube. And Crooked Flower has a number of other videos there, too.

But it would behoove you to follow the groovy group on social media, as you receive early access to videos if you like Crooked Flower’s Facebook page and subscribe to its YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/CrookedFlowerTheBand.

Crooked Flower is:

Angelina Dang: Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Daniel Erik: Bass, keyboards
Dan Ingberman: Guitar
Will Kyriazis: Keyboards (on Coming Back to You, Came To Me In Dreams, and Go Back, Go Back)
Patrick Shields: Drums, percussion
Drew Southern: Guitar (on Around and Around, Freedom, Coming Back to You, Came To Me In Dreams, and Go Back, Go Back)

You can read some of the Crooked Flowers’ members’ side project, The General Maynyrd Band, by following this link: https://nynjentertainmenteats.com/2019/05/02/review-the-general-maynyrd-band-by-the-general-maynyrd-band/

 

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Review: “The General Maynyrd Band” By The General Maynyrd Band

By Jerry Del Priore 

The General Maynyrd Band

The General Maynyrd Band

What do you get when you blend classic and southern rock sounds with a hard-funking vibe, played by seasoned, talented musicians from the San Fransico Bay area? 

Well, you end up with The General Maynyrd Band, which released its self tilted, ten-track album called The General Maynyrd Band (what else?) in April. 

This musical journey started when Dan Ingberman (guitar) had amassed a bunch of classic/southern rock songs that just didn’t fit in with his band Crooked Flower’s sound. 

One day after a Crooked Flower rehearsal, two of his bandmates — Daniel Erik (Tenenbaum; bass) and Pat Shields (drums and percussion) — suggested that they form a cool side project with Drew Southern (guitar), who was making videos and also plays on some Crooked Flower recordings.  

Thusly, The General Maynyrd Band was born.

Fronted by Dave Combs of Stang, the psychedelic, progressive indie rock band’s first album delivers with kickass songs, such as the opening track, Talkin’ to My Fish, followed by Sinner

Reminiscent of the band Blues Traveler’s sound, in my opinion, due to its opening smooth harmonica play and groovy bass lines, Catch a Pirogue pulls you in and flings you onto to dance floor with its undeniable drum beat. Try not to dancing to it, I dare you?

All Six Members of TGMB

The General Maynyrd Band

The song Can’t Stop Rockin’ features more hard-driven guitar riffs and a first-rate guitar solo, lending itself to Southern Rock iconic groups like the Allman Brothers and Leonard Skynyrd, not to mention 38 Special.  

I can even hear influences from Meatloaf, Gov’t Mule, Living Color and King’s X shining throughout the album. 

The General Maynyrd Band includes musicians — Dave Combs: Vocals; Daniel Erik (Tenenbaum): Bass; Will Kyriazis: Piano and keyboards; Dan Ingberman: Guitar; Tom Relling: Slide Guitar; Patrick Shields: Drums and percussion; and Drew Southern: Guitar. 

For more information on The General Maynyrd Band and to listen to its music, log into www.generalmaynyrd.com, Facebook and Soundcloud. 

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Gavin DeGraw Set to Play Five Concerts in the New York/New Jersey Area from May to September

By Jerry Del Priore 

gavinwalk

Gavin DeGraw is coming to the NY/NJ area this summer.

It seems like yesterday that Gavin DeGraw first released his debut album Chariot — which spawned the hit single “I Don’t Want to Be,” as it became the theme song for the popular television drama series One Tree Hill — in 2003. 

Well, 16 years later and DeGraw’s latest tour will take him to the New York/New Jersey area, and I couldn’t be happier. The first show in the area is on Saturday, May 25th, at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York.  

Then, on Sunday, August 4th, the 41-year-old “Chariot” singer will be on stage at the Mayo Performance Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey.

I am hoping to see that performance with my beloved girlfriend Maggie, as we both texted each other at the same time when we found out he’s scheduled to play there on that date. True story! 

Tickets go on sale this Friday, May 3rd, at 10:00 a.m. 

DeGraw will play three more dates in New York:

First one is on Tuesday, August 6th, at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island, followed by a concert on Thursday, August 8th, at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York. 

The last is on Monday, September 2nd, at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. 

DeGraw sports numerous hits to his name, including “Not Over You,” “In Love With a Girl,” and my favorite, “Soldier.”  

For more touring dates and tickets to the concerts, log onto http://gavindegrawtour.rtouring.com/.

Watch the music video of Soldier below. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: “Love & Change” By Todd Warner Moore

By Jerry Del Priore

Love & ChangeOriginally from Kansas City, Kansas and now living in Hong Kong, Todd Warner Moore has penned a diverse catalog of music over his long-standing career as a singer/songwriter. 

Presently, Warner Moore is back with his 13th full-length album called Love & Change, a 13-track release, which is folkish in nature and largely driven by acoustic guitar, melodic violin accompaniments and pleasant, sweet and poignant lyrics. 

If you’re a fan of music with Irish overtones, such as the ones featured in Song Universal, Golden Life, and the album’s title track, Love & Change, you’ll really enjoy Warner Moore’s Love & Change album. 

My favorite song on the album is See That Way, which reminds me of Jack Johnson’s music. Its upbeat tempo, along with backing vocals from Leah Hart, is a nice change of pace from the slower paced tunes on Love & Change

Todd Warner Moore

Todd Warner Moore

However, indie music insiders liken Warner Moore to music legends Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. It’s easy to see why, as you can clearly hear his seventies’ musical influence throughout Love & Change

Too Late is another quality song, with very real and relatable lyrics, and Move In features a cool, twangy country music feel, with fantastic steel guitar work from Roberto Diana. 

You can hear more of his music on Spark, his 12th full-length album, which was released in 2018.

For more information on Todd Warner Moore and to hear his music, log onto his Website at ToddWarnerMoore.com, follow him on Twitter, listen to him on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and watch his music videos on his Youtube Channel.

 

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Four NJ Eateries that Make the Garden State Proud

By Jerry Del Priore

In my recent rounds of devouring splendid New Jersey fare, with awesome company, my girlfriend, Maggie, I would be remiss not to grab some great Italian food, which included three places that offer up fantastic pizza, pasta, riceballs, and salads, and another eatery the serves one of the greatest food mainstays today — bagels, carbs notwithstanding.

La Pastaria — 327 Springfield Avenue, Summit, New Jersey

Penne

Penne Puttanesca.

My first stop on my list was La Pastaria, an Italian joint in downtown Summit that specializes in good, old-fashioned, homestyle comfort food.

Maggie ordered the Penne Puttanesca — imported plum tomatoes sautéed with capers, black olives & a hint of anchovy over penne pasta. She loved it, so I felt the overwhelming urge to sample it for myself.

The anchovies and black olives brought out the decadent flavors and aromas of the dish, making me want an order all to myself.

However, I had a wonderful spinach stracciatella soup and salad combination coming my way that, by the way, didn’t disappoint.

Chatham Bagels — 260 Main Street, Chatham, New Jersey

Chatham Bagels

Have you ever tried to get a good bagel outside the New York/New Jersey area? Yes, I know, good luck with that.

Well, Chatham now has Chatham Bagles, which opened its doors a few months ago to rave reviews. And for good reasons: fresh, warm and delicious, not to mention topnotch service from Chatham Bagels staff.

We had a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and lox, and it couldn’t have been any fresher and tastier. 

Clemenza’s Gourmet Brick Oven Pizza — 382 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, New Jersey

Pizza

Being from Brooklyn, where pizza is known to be the best, I’m always on the lookout for formidable slices and squares.

I happened to attend the Millburn-Short Hills Street Festival and stumbled upon Clemenza’s, which turned out to be another New Jersey pizza place that delivers quality pizza. 

I enjoyed a slice, with its crispy crust, savory sauce, and fresh mozzarella, the pizza is baked to perfection in its coal-fired brick oven. What you end up with are all the required elements that make for a delicious experience.

Don’t sleep on Clemenza’s salads, pasta, wraps, and sandwiches. 

A friendly side nugget: the owners’ uncle is the late Peter Clemenza, an actor who was in the timeless, iconic film “The Godfather.” He was also an Academy Award-Nominee for the 1970 film, “Lovers and Other Strangers.”

Therefore, they would never disrespect La Famiglia by serving bad food.

Capisci? 

The Little Sicilian Food Truck 

Rice balls

The Little Sicilian Food Truck was another food establishment — rolling, albeit — I hit while at the Millburn-Short Hills Street Festival. 

This colorful, animated-looking food truck brings Palermo’s world-renowned street food scene to the New York, New Jersey, and Pennslyvania areas, according to its website. 

If you like rice balls, then you’re in luck, as TLSFT makes 30-plus different versions of the riceball, and I’d like to gorge on each and every one of them.

TLSFT

The Little Sicilian Food Truck.

But I had the Classico (risotto ball stuffed with meat sauce, fresh, melted mozzarella, and sweet peas). Plus, the Broccoli Rabe & Sausage (broccoli rabe, pork sausage, melted mozzarella, and pecorino romano cheese). 

Yes, they were both mouthwatering and absolutely delicious. 

Additionally, TLSFT serves pizza, baked ziti, egg and chicken parmesan, eggplant rollatini and lasagna. Also, tiramisu, vanilla and chocolate cannolis for the sweet lovers out there. 

TLSFT also caters private events. So, if you’re interested, you can contact them at https://www.thelittlesicilian.net/contact for more information. 

 

 

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Daughtry Set to Rock MAYO In Morristown, NJ, in August

By Jerry Del Priore

220px-Daughtry_Band_Cover_Album.jpgOn Tuesday, August 27th, at 7:30 p.m., one of my favorite rock bands of today will be heading to New Jersey — Daughtry. The band will be headlining a show at the Mayo Performance Arts Center (MPAC) in Morristown, with special guest Augustana. 

I’ve seen Daughtry before, and the band puts on an amazing performance. 

As the frontman for the band bearing his name, Chris Daughtry has become one of the most visible and consistent rock & roll torchbearers of the 21st Century.

After rising to rockstar status on the fifth season of American Idol, Daughtry and the band have released four albums, all of which reached the Billboard Top Ten and have combined sales of over 8 million copies in the U.S.

Daugherty has numerous chart-topping hits to its name, such as “”It’s Not Over,” “Waiting for Superman,” “Feels Like Tonight,”  “Over You,” and “Home.”

For its overwhelming outstanding performance, Daugherty has garnered several accolades, including: American Music Award for New Artist of the Year (2007) · American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group (2008) · American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album (2007) · American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist (2007) · People’s Choice Award for Favorite Rock Song (2008).

Members include: Chris Daughtry · Josh Paul · Brian Craddock · Jeremy Brady · Josh Steely · Joey Barnes · Robin Diaz · Elvio Fernandes

Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 am. Log onto https://www.mayoarts.org/shows/daughtry. 

 

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NJ Organization for People with Autism Offers Unique Programs

The month of April marks Autism Awareness Month in the United States, with the goal to educate the public about autism spectrum disorder, a developmental condition of various degrees that’s characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.

As diagnoses of children on the autism spectrum rises, with New Jersey having the highest rate of in the country, at one in 34, according to a Center of Disease Control (CDC) report in 2018, the need for quality schools and institutions which serve this population increases.

One such organzation is Spectrum 360, formerly known as the Children’s Institute — a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit NJ State Board of Education-approved private agency for students and people on the autism spectrum (which ranges from high to low functioning) and with behavioral and related disabilities for ages three to 21 and up.

On the Academy360’s Livingston campus, there’s the Upper School, in which students engage in a typical full day of high school academic instruction, aligned with national and state standards.

In addition, there are vital services including speech, clinical, occupational and physical therapy, and behavioral intervention, as well as psychological and psychiatric consultations.

However, while most traditional autistic schools are limited curriculum-wise, Spectrum360 goes beyond the norm, educating the whole child and focusing on each individual’s abilities rather than their disabilities.

One such example is its FilmAcademy360 (Livingston), a unique, hands-on educational experience designed to help diverse students, ages 14 and up, explore and learn through filmmaking, video editing, game creation and graphic arts, including training in how to use all different Adobe visual art programs.

Not limited to just students on the autism spectrum, FilmAcademy360 permits mainstream pupils to enroll in the program, too.

“It’s open to generally anybody in the Livingston community,” said Jennifer Miller, a former social worker and the Public Information/Family Liaison at Academy360. “We thought to integrate it with other students, to create inclusion,” adding a real-world element to its program.

The students went as far as creating a film with program director David Di Ianni called “Deema and Amir,” a short documentary filmed in Israel about the story of Jewish and Arab children attending school together and breaking down long-standing barriers between the two groups.

Miller said this particular movie project was close to the hearts of the student filmmakers who attend FilmAcademy360, which operates after-hours, weekends and in the summer.

“The reason they did this movie was because it’s about acceptance,” she explained. “And that is all people on the spectrum want.”

Miller said they also created a web-based series called “The Studio,” a spoof on the TV show “The Office.”

Additionally, Spectrum360 offers CulinaryAcademy360 (Livingston), led by program director Chef Michael Matthews. The program is more than “simply making cookies,” Miller said. “They make pasta and pizza dough, all from scratch.”

They also learn kitchen safety techniques and mathematics, as in learning how to adapt different recipes for multiple portions, she noted.

Plus, Spectrum360 students engage in its Community Based Work Experience Program (CBWE), in which they gain pragmatic work-oriented experience that permits them to apply life skills and academic subject matter outside the classroom setting and features hands-on learning and application.

The final goal is to have students placed in paid positions within their home community with minimal or no support, and to hold more than the basic job when feasible.

“The problem is with kids on the spectrum is there aren’t any high-vaule jobs (out there),” Miller lamented. “Just because a kid has autism, doesn’t mean they should be bagging groceries if they’re capable of more.”

Overall, between schools in Livingston (10th grade-age 21) and Verona (pre-K-ninth grade), and its adult day habilation program in Whippany, Independence360 (21 and up), Miller said Spectrum360 serves approximately 350 families, and between 95-100 school districts.

For more information on Spectrum360 and its programs, go to http://www.spectrum360.org and contact Jennifer Miller at 973 509 3050 x271.