Plus Singer-Songwriter Event in Cape May, the Album of the Week (The Shins) and Drew Toonz
Third World Booked for June Festival
The City of Atlantic City is planning a massive Multi-Cultural and Heritage Festival, which will take over the resort town for three days, June 1-3. According to Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, there will be nine components to the festival — three events each day. On Friday, June 1, the nationally-syndicated radio program, the Tom Joyner Morning Show will broadcast live from the former Bernie Robbins Stadium (Surf Stadium). Also on Friday, there will be a multi-cultural parade (likely on the Boardwalk) and an “R&B Gone But Not Forgotten,” event in the evening. Atlantic City City Council recently approved funding for the city’s annual summer concert series at Gardner’s Basin. The first concert of this year’s series will be Saturday, June 2, and will be one of the nine components of the Multi-Cultural and Heritage Festival, according to Langford. Expected to play at the Saturday, June 2, concert are the reggae band Third World, which has the date on its Web site tour schedule, in addition to Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes and Evelyn “Champagne” King. None of the acts have been officially confirmed. Further, on Saturday, June 2, there will also be a multi-faceted all-star boxing-salute gala, which may include Mike Tyson. Sunday, June 3, will feature a gospel-music event and bazaar, and the festival will close out with a jazz concert at Gardner’s Basin. Langford says that on Monday, April 2, a formal press conference will be held to officially announce all of the the components and star-studded events with regard to the festival. — JS
5th Annual Singer-Songwriter Event in Cape May
Cape May will be hosting its 5th annual singer-song writer event, spanning two afternoons at the historic Congress Hall on March 30 and March 31. The program includes business panels and mentoring with music professionals, workshops, and demo listening sessions. Artists of every genre are encouraged to attend, with a strong emphasis on local new and emerging artists to help jumpstart their networking skills with music professionals. Both nights will include selected independent artists to perform in showcases, which are free and open to the public at 15 various venues in the area. Featured artist Christine Martucci plus special guests will be performing on Friday. Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth will be featured on Saturday in the Congress Hall’s Grand Ballroom. Both shows begin at 8pm, with ticket prices at $10 for Friday, and $15 for Saturday. During the day, the event is open to the public, but prospective attendees need to register for the event, which requires a $75 registration fee. For those artists that register, they will be able to have an all-access personalized pass that grants access to all singer-songwriter event business sessions, showcases, VIP receptions and industry meet-and-greets. It also includes a program/directory of the event and a Cape May compilation CD. Selected venues and restaurants will be giving discounts. Discounts will also be given to students, military, NARAS, BMI, and SEASAC members. All information regarding venue locations and event details can be viewed on their Web site (sscapemay.com). — Samantha McCorry
‘Port of Morrow’
James Mercer is the only remaining member of the Shins, and the band’s latest grand statement, Port of Morrow (Aural Apothecary/Columbia), picks up less from 2007’s smash hit Wincing the Night Away, and more from where Mercer’s 2010 collaboration with Brian Burton (Danger Mouse), Broken Bells, left off. Phenomenal and compelling songs, lush, experimental soundscapes and Mercer’s wide-ranging voice make this album an irresistible treat that goes beyond expectations with each listen. After playing to this album for days non-stop, as with Wincing, every song has become a favorite, not just the immediate stand-outs such as “Simple Song,” the epic “It’s Only Life” and the 1970s-radio rock-meets-Tex-Mex gem “For a Fool,” but the haunting “40 Mark Strasse” and the Prince-on-acid title track. It’s a short album, clocking in just over 40 minutes, but it’s been a long journey for Mercer to get to this phenomenal port of creativity. — Jeff Schwachter
This year’s Multi-Cultural Heritage Festival weekend gave us an early start to what Mayor Langford anticipates as a great summer season.