NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 103: Restore The Shore

TEXT REDCROSS to 90999 on your phone or
 visit The American Red Cross Donation Page to make a donation.

We don’t waste a minute here in Jersey. Well, I sure as hell can waste minutes, but the state as a whole didn’t even wait for Hurricane Sandy to be over to start formulating plans to Restore the Shore. It’s already a well known catchphrase. So many people lost their homes and nearly 30 people lost their lives in New Jersey alone during this colossal storm. The damage along our coast is so extensive that it will take so much time and labor to get it to look remotely like how we are used to seeing it. We’ll need all the help we can get!

Immediately several companies jumped in to lend their help. Local independent t-shirt and graphics companies took to the Internet to sell t-shirts featuring original designs that would donate all proceeds to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief effort. Some of the various tees are shown here in this post, but there’s even more floating around. Beware of knockoffs and companies that don’t seem like they are on the level. Some sites are scams capitalizing on this disaster – while many of them are totally legit and up front about where the money is going. Do some research before you buy! The ones listed below are the real deal!

Gotham Shore by Bill Walko

Gotham Shore by the phenomenal Bill Walko

Jumping the shark is an understatement – they fist pumped the shark. MTV’s Jersey Shore had it’s time in the sun, but it’s soooo time for it to come to and end. This week the show will begin it’s 6th and final season to the joy of loads of New Jerseyans. Let’s just hope Abed from Community doesn’t ask for it to get 6 seasons and a movie.

It was nice to have the show draw attention to our state, but the stupid stereotypes were and still are annoying. We were the brunt of jokes way before Jersey Shore premiered, and we’ll be the brunt of them 100 years from now, so it doesn’t matter either way. Now we have to deal with lame shows like Made in Jersey. In the future we’ll probably look back fondly on the Jersey Shore and get all fuzzy and nostalgic. Kids in future generations will say “What the hell is a Snooki?” to the amusement of their parents and then score millions of hits on YouTube.

*Artist Bill Walko who created the Batman/Jersey Shore mash-up above will be appearing at this year’s New York Comic Con. Stop over and check out his Deviant Art Page!


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0hWkIR0kn0?rel=0]
Thanks to Funchase.com and YouTube user agr8dj for the info and video!

The Stone Pony, The Capitol Theatre, Brendan Byrne Arena a.k.a The Izod Center, you name it KISS has played there. Since they are usually associated with huge arenas and amphitheaters, it may come as a surprise to know that some tracks from an early KISS concert in Wildwood, NJ were actually used on their monumental ALIVE! album. Now, please join me as I shatter the conceptions of some of the more casual KISS fans…from Detroit.

ALIVE!, the monstrous breakthrough KISS album will eternally be connected with Cobo Hall in Detroit, now known as Cobo Center. Sure that’s where the bulk of it was recorded, but other live recordings were incorporated from performances in Ohio, Iowa, and at the Wildwood Convention Center in New Jersey.

We all know that you gotta lose your mind in “Detroit Rock City,” but whoa whoa whoa whoa what about those Wildwood Days”? Michigan was a favorite stop for KISS in their early days, but the New York area is where they are originally from, so aside from playing in New York clubs, playing shows across the river in Jersey was probably the ultimate convenience for the band. Can you picture KISS on the Jersey Shore? Neither can I, unless they facing the Phantom of the Pier…Morey’s Pier of course.

It made sense that KISS played a vital show in Widwood, NJ. The doo-wop style shore town has always been a tourist attraction and KISS will play any venue where people are shelling out wads of cash. Originally the show was set to take place on July 5th, 1975, but was rescheduled to July 23rd, apparently due to the band being in a car accident.

All this information was culled from a website that just makes me drool with all it’s Jersey nostalgia called Funchase! Check it out and you’ll see all kinds of cool stuff and memories of Wildwood including photos, concert tickets, and newspaper clippings of pop culture goodness. Above is a video from YouTube user agr8dj that offers some photos he took of the concert as well as pics of the concert ticket from Funchase.

*KISS plays PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel NJ tonight 9/21 with Motley Crue!

Vacationing With THE BRIGANTINES!


Are you planning on soaking up the rest of the summer at the Jersey Shore? Maybe you say “F*ck the Jersey Shore” because you live in Malibu, CA? Well, whatever the case may be – you only have a short time left to wring out the last drips of awesomeness the summer has in store for you. I suggest you do it with The Brigantine’s full length debut, Vacation!, loaded on your iPod.

New bands that do the whole surf-rock thing usually get lost in obscurity. And to say that I’m an authority on surf-rock is a bit of a stretch, but I am probably more of a fan of the genre than most people you know. The Beach Boys may have brought surf rock to the forefront, but their music was bubbly pop compared to some of the other more pure surf rock bands that hit since the style’s inception. Truthfully though, there are a lot of bands that consider themselves “surf rock” but play a confusing mixture of garage rock and second rate rockabilly. But that’s not surf. You want examples? Start up a search on ReverbNation and you’ll hear what I mean. It’s rare to hear a modern day band capture the surf sound so dead-on. Simply put, The Brigantine’s do it most excellently.

There’s an ethereal quality in the best surf rock tunes and that texture is all over The Brigantine’s debut Vacation! A couple of weeks ago, the album hit local record stores as well as digital stores like Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, and iTunes (and streaming on Spotify). I gave Vacation! a few thorough listens during my version of surfing – navigating New Jersey’s Route 287 on my daily commute, and I got really into it. Not every single track blew me away, but there’s much more good than bad here. Let me tell you what I thought about some of the songs.

First, I found it very cool that they kick off the album with the title track “Vacation,” but they also include the instrumental version of the track at the end of the album. It’s a nice book end and it also emphasizes the scene that the title track sets. It makes me feel like I’m back on the beach in Brigantine gazing at that pink sky.

The bouncy and humorous “Ray-Bans” may be the one track that I associate with most. It’s about losing your sunglasses (possibly while surfing) which is something I do a lot (not while surfing). It’s a huge disaster for me so I know how it is. I love the line “…Maybe I should put up a sign,” have you seen my Ray-Bans? HAHA. Love it. Word is that the band has filmed a video for this song which is premiering soon!

For the surf rock aficionado’s out there, look no further than “Brigantine Barrel” and “Reeferone” – songs you can confidently fit into a playlist beside any classic surf track like “Miserlou,” “Penetration,” and “Pipeline.” If you’re not into the surf genre than these guys aren’t going to be for you, but maybe you’ll dig their cover of “Then She Kissed Me,” the re-worded version made popular by The Beach Boys and later by KISS. “Next Summer” is quite possibly the strongest track overall. The head bopping beat and yearning harmony is reminiscent of Jersey icons, The Smithereens.

I’m happy that New Jersey has a new surf rock band on the scene who has delicately produced an album that will go down in the Garden State’s rich musical history. Like I said, I feel that I’m qualified to recommend these guys to you for a few reasons. I once drank 4 Stunned Mullets in 10 minutes down on the beach in Asbury and came away with merely a slight headache. I once interviewed Dick Dale and he talked to me for over an hour and a half about everything you can possibly imagine. And last but not least, I don’t surf, but if I ever do, I’ll be bringing my Shark Repellent Bat-Spray because I’ve seen “Surf’s Up, Joker’s Under” about 346 times and those sharks ain’t nothin’ to f*ck with.

The songs on Vacation! remind me of those laid back summer days you get all nostalgic about. That said, if you’re in the mood for some tasty waves and good tunes, check out The Brigantine’s. If you can’t get to the beach, turn on the album, put on your headphones, and use your imagination.

*I’m hoping this is true: Their bio states that they are working on a Halloween single which is making me flip out. I want it NOW! I love when bands release Halloween tracks. I nearly passed out when Alice Cooper released “Keepin’ Halloween Alive,” so these guys will be on my annual Halloween playlist!

The Brigantines are: Aaron Leonovich, Vincent Minervino, Scott Saint Hilaire, Don Tojeira and they’ll be playing at the bonfire in Asbury Park this Friday night 8/24!  RSVP HERE: http://www.facebook.com/events/322097011214545/
Official site: http://thebrigantines.com
Twitter: @the_brigantines

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 100: Jersey Royalty

It’s fitting that the 100th installment of this column sees us presenting a shirt by Jersey Royalty. I think I deserve some sort of crown for writing 100 posts on t-shirts of NJ pop culture, even if it’s a cardboard Burger King crown, I’m cool with that.

Miss Sexy Armpit and I decided to take a stroll on the Seaside boardwalk over the weekend…and yes, we did that intentionally. It still surprises me how overrun with tourists that area has been since MTV’s Jersey Shore premiered. It’s probably been seeing some of it’s highest visitor rates ever. In general there’s been a surge in popularity for our state thanks to that show and that’s reflected in the store fronts on along the boardwalk.


In a sea of many ridiculously stupid t-shirts, many of them asking you to tell that cool story again, there’s also about a hundred different variations on New Jersey slogans as well. I never had any interest in a tee that said “New Jersey: We Go Hard,” or any of the like. But I did stop in my tracks when I saw a little store on the side of the boardwalk that sold “Jersey Royalty” tees.

The Jersey Royalty shop offered tees, sweatshirts, and tanks for men and women, and most of them incorporated the outline of the Garden State. Miss Armpit treated us to shirts because we just felt like we HAD to have them. That’s a feeling we seem to get often!

The t-shirt was basically custom designed since they didn’t have my size in the version I wanted. The front of the tee is the same and the stars on the shoulders were already there, but I made 2 other requests. I asked that they put the JR military style shield on the sleeves because it’s their initials and mine as well, and their cursive logo is printed across the upper back of the shirt.

The sales girls at the shop were from Ukraine and it was pretty funny to talk to them about how they are here selling Jersey t-shirts. They told us they were here only to work and then they have to go back to their country. They seemed to prefer to be in Jersey though. The girls were definitely giving the hard sell, but they were very helpful and eager to make my custom t-shirt dreams come true. Miss Sexy Armpit should be the one crowned though, since she shelled out a lot of dough! Thank you!

1989 Batmobile Sand Art in Belmar, NJ!

1989 Batmobile Sand Art in Belmar, NJ photo courtesy of The Bat-Blog

Tommy over at The Bat-Blog is known for consistently providing cool Batman stuff to his readers on a daily basis. Over the weekend the Bat-Blog reported that the “Junior Bat-Squad” created sand art on the beach in Belmar, NJ in the shape of the 1989 Batmobile! These kids did a fantastic job and if you want to see more pics check out the link and the story here:

Gotham City, NJ: More Evidence!

After my post GOTHAM CITY, NJ? last year became one of the most popular here at The Sexy Armpit (excluding this one of course), I found yet another piece of evidence to back up my theory that Gotham City is actually in New Jersey. If you haven’t seen the Star Ledger Live/NJ.com video where they interview me about my theory, check it out right here: http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2011/11/could_batmans_gotham_city_real.html and here http://www.nj.com/ledgerlive/index.ssf/2011/11/gotham_city_new_jersey_yes_bat.html

If you aren’t familiar with this, there is quite a lot of evidence to prove that Batman actually operates out of New Jersey rather than New York. The trend seemed to start in the mid to late ’80s and early ’90s. As I detailed in the original post there were several occasions that dropped clues and even blatant facts that Gotham was indeed meant to be in NJ. Now, with the release of The Dark Knight Rises upon us, there’s even more of a reason to finally let go of the past and embrace change.

New York City is the greatest city in the world, there’s no doubt about it. It’s sickening amount of notoriety and fame will last eons. Let us, The Garden State, be proud of our connection with Batman – whether it’s a theory of an underground blogger or not. We in Jersey didn’t ask for MTV’s Jersey Shore. How much do you like guidos? That’s exactly how much New Jersey likes them. No silly MTV show being filmed here can ever compare to the fact that The Dark Knight Rises was filmed literally right down the highway in Newark, NJ.

Sandy Hook - Gotham City 

Onto the further evidence that has been collected. I initially discovered this information back in December 2011, but I kept this one under wraps until we arrived at July 2012, in time for the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. The excellent horror blogger and movie reviewer Chuck Conry over at Zombies Don’t Run posted several pictures he found of a package containing promotional materials from The Dark Knight Rises marketing campaign. The package included a Bane T-Shirt as well as a map of Gotham. Posted above is a shot of this map that depicts a very familiar HOOK.

I’m not referring to Captain Hook or the memorable part of a song…I’m talking about my favorite barrier island: Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is clearly labeled on the promo Gotham map. While this is simply Batman’s movie continuity, there’s still lots of clues in the comics as well. Take for instance Nightwing’s ‘hood, Bludhaven. The crime infested city has been pinpointed by DC Comics as southern New Jersey, possibly Little Egg Harbor, Brigantine, or Atlantic City. There we have hints in the movies and the comics, but what about the ’60s Batman TV show? Yep, we have that covered as well!
In New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments 27 you can read how BATMAN AND NEW GUERNSEY are PURRRFECT TOGETHER!!! 

I was in Newark while the filming of the movie was taking place and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had (Thanks to @BrianDonohue). Walking the streets and seeing Gotham City street signs and passing police cars with Gotham City license plates was incredible, especially since I’m a life long Batmaniac. Needless to say I’ve got my tickets for The Dark Knight Rises and this film is going to be memorable for me for a couple of reasons. Not only is it the last film starring Bale as Batman, but it features plenty of scenes in the subways of Newark and a big fight scene on the steps of Newark’s City Hall! 

I don’t think you can argue with the piece of evidence posted above. If I convinced my man Eric and his young daughter from all the way across the country in Cali into believers, then that means it’s the real deal! Follow him on Twitter Twitter.com/BubbaShelby ! And if all of my research has proven true, then The Dark Knight Rises is truly a homecoming for Batman. Please feel free to weigh in with your opinion on the actual location of Gotham City!


Jersey Shore Shark Attack…Finally!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eACzpD2FNos?rel=0]

That title might seem completely insane, but it’s not what you think. I’m not saying “Damn, FINALLY someone came up with the idea to merge movies like JAWS and Piranha with MTV’s JERSEY SHORE type buffoonery. I’ll reiterate: that’s NOT what I was saying. When I say finally, it means that it took so damn long to get a trailer for what at first glance looks be quite a piece of shit. Now, when I say possible…there’s like a 6% chance that it will totally kick ass. OK, I’m exaggerating. The truth is, it looks terrible in the most awesome way possible and I’m glad that we finally have a trailer after nearly 2 years of it’s initial announcement.

In the trailer we see all the typical stereotypes of how the country views people from New Jersey. Actually, we aren’t all mongoloids. I speak normally and don’t sleep in a tanning bed. These errors are inconsequential when I think about what an event this movie will be for me. I’m always excited to watch an unintentionally funny, shlocky horror movie takes place in New Jersey. As you can see, the clones of the Jersey Shore cast get guns and hunt sharks at the end of the trailer. The effects are terrible so I’ll be going in with extremely low expectations.
The casting bemuses me though. If I was a kid on Twitter I’d probably tweet this in reaction to the trailer: “That moment when you realize Joey Fatone is in Jersey Shore Shark Attack.” I was taken aback for a moment when I realized Fatone shows up on the scene. Including the heftiest member of N’Sync, all the main stars were born in Brooklyn, NY. What the hell is that crap? The casting director should’ve taken care that they hired Jersey born actors and actresses considering there’s a ton of them. It would’ve made it more authentic. One huge misconception is that people from Jersey do NOT talk like they are from Brooklyn unless they are from Brooklyn and moved to Jersey. We aren’t all Tony Danza clones here contrary to popular belief.
Joey Fatone, Jack Scalia, Paul Sorvino, Tony Sirico, and hold up a second…WILLIAM F*CKING ATHERTON!?!?! NOW I’M IN. I’M SO F’N IN. I’m front and center for what just turned into a magnificent piece of entertainment. Sold. *SPOILERS* Vinny from Jersey Shore plays a news reporter who spills the beans that Joey Fatone’s character GETS EATEN BY A SHARK! I bet the shark is TEARIN’ UP HIS HEART as we speak. No release date has been announced yet, so until then “Bye, Bye, Bye!”

Move Over NYCC – It’s The Asbury Park Comic Con!

For more information visit:

Finally a comic convention for the Jersey Shore! One of the coolest, most legendary spots in Jersey,  Asbury Lanes, will be hosting a comic book convention on Saturday, May 12th. Can’t beat the Free Admission either! That’ll give you more of an excuse to buy Batman #14 when you’re there.

So hop in the Family Truckster and head down to Asbury Park for a day full of comic books, comic artists, vendors, a DJ, and a full service bar (for the adults…) Personally, I have an early afternoon wedding to go to, but if I was free, I’d be there dropping Hamiltons.

May 12th, 2012
11am – 6pm
Asbury Lanes
209 4th Avenue & Kingsley
Asbury Park, NJ

If Disney Made MTV’s Jersey Shore

Stumbled onto this parody while on YouTube. Many of you might just say…”wow, this user has too much time on their hands,” but xXCaraTabrettXx actually did a pretty damn good job. I’m surprised Disney hasn’t yanked it off yet.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oACE-zw6nE?rel=0]