Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: My Hometown - A Tribute To New Jersey

The remains of Seaside Heights, NJ. These homes are barely standing. All are uninhabitable.
How soon we forget. According to CNN, from October 22 to November 5, 2012, Hurricane Sandy, as both a hurricane and a post-tropical cyclone, killed at least 117 people in the United States and 69 more in Canada and the Caribbean. The total death toll is estimated at 285. The cost is estimated in multiple billions.

While various government and emergency agencies, celebrities and even foreign embassies have been doing what they can to help financially ever since, the terrible destruction wrought by the storm is still being felt by many, especially those in New York and New Jersey, who lost their families, homes and businesses.

Since every little bit helps, New Jersey musician Mick Chorba decided to do what he could by assembling an album to benefit his fellow New Jersey residents, so they can continue to rebuild their lives.

"My Hometown" is a collection of 19 songs originally recorded by musicians from New Jersey, covered by an eclectic mix of current New Jersey bands and solo musicians such as Cliff Hillis, The Anderson Council, The Successful Failures, Bastards of Melody, The Cryptkeeper Five, Keith Monacchio, Tim Lee, Janet Labelle and more. The songs being covered include tunes by Bruce Springsteen, The Smithereens, The Shirelles, The Rascals, The Critters, Fountains Of Wayne, Yo La Tengo and more. All proceeds will go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. You can listen to the album and buy it at Mick's FDR Records website. It's only 12 bucks, the music's great and it's for a very worthy cause. Go do it!

Among the many great musicians on the album is one of my favorite bands of recent years, The Grip Weeds, who hail from Highland Park, NJ. They recorded a version of the 1965 hit, "Lies" by The Knickerbockers, exclusively for this album.

"Lies" is well known as the best Beatles song that The Beatles didn't write. It's often said that "Lies" was the first successful cover of The Beatles' sound, which many songwriters do to this day. It's kind of neat to hear any musician who, having developed their own unique sound, intentionally write a song that is a tribute of sorts to the identifiable sound of another band. I think it's a great songwriting exercise, as long as one steers clear of pinching a specific part. Mustn't land ourselves in court over a simple melody, eh?

Anyway, to help promote the album, The Grip Weeds shot this cool video for "Lies". I do wish the band could find a way to tour outside of the northeastern US. I'll bet they are just fantastic live. Enjoy!

And just because we always like to treat our readers to the original version, here's The Knickerbockers, who got their name from Knickerbocker Avenue in Bergenfield, NJ, just a stone's throw from where brothers Kurt and Rick Reil of The Grip Weeds grew up! Small world.

Now get yer Jersey on and go buy this album. You'll get some cool music and you'll be helping fellow Americans dig out of a terrible situation. If you hurry, you can download a bonus track. That'll be good for yer atty-tude! You can also get more info and music from the fantastic Grip Weeds at their website. It's always good to support independent musicians by buying their music directly from them, wouldn't you say?

No comments:

Post a Comment