Sunday, July 6, 2008

I am from New Jersey- Part 2

Click on the map to see it greatly enlarged. This very odd map is from the very interesting blog, Strange Maps. As you can see, New Jersey has many attractions. It also has a musical style. The pop music of New Jersey tends to be operatic and over the top. Think of Bruce Springsteen on Darkness On the Edge of Town, 'Dawn' by the Four Seasons or that damn 'Dashboard Light' song by Meat Bat or whatever. I know Meatloaf is not from New Jersey, but he might as well be. Not all great New Jersey artists are actually from The Garden State.

At it's best the musical heart of New Jersey sounds like Doo Wop meets Italian opera. That's not accidental. Jersey was the heartland of white Doo Wop, an art form mostly practiced by Italian-Americans. Two groups that come to mind are The Elegants and Johnny Maestro and the Crests.

That's not what I'm here for though. I wanted to highlight what I think is the greatest New Jersey song ever written, 'Just Your Friends' by Mink DeVille. There's a problem with this: Willy DeVille is from San Francisco. No matter, it doesn't get more New Jersey than this.

Just Your Friends - Mink Deville


ib said...

Hot damn! Willy DeVille ; "Spanish Stroll" and "Cadillac Walk" are solid gold classics.

Never mind that he's from San Fran - give him honorary NJ status and kick Meatloaf to the kerb!

Anonymous said...

Willy DeVille is from Stamford, CT. His started his band Mink DeVille in San Francisco, but he is definitely an eastern seaboard guy. Read is biography on Wikipedia to get the lowdown.

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