ASBURY PARK, NJ – One of the best musical lineups of the year will help usher in the release of Gary Wien’s latest book, Are You Listening? on Friday, August 12 at the Wonder Bar (5th & Ocean) in Asbury Park.  The book that takes a look at Wien’s picks for the top 100 albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey artists will literally come alive when five of the top 11 albums are represented on the Wonder Bar stage.  

“I really couldn’t have dreamed of having a better lineup help me celebrate the book’s release,” explained Wien.  “The lineup contains the artists behind my #5 album (Brian Fitzpatrick with his solo album “Further Down The Line”), #7 album (Arlan Feiles with “Razing A Nation”), #8 (The Commons with “Come On Get Gone”), #9 (Brian Molnar and the Naked Hearts with “Temperance and the Devil), and #11 (Val Emmich with “Sunlight Searchparty”).  

“The artists involved all have multiple albums featured in the book.  Brian Fitzpatrick, Arlan Feiles, and Brian Molnar each have two releases; while Val Emmich has three and The Commons (who are reuniting for this show) have two plus a solo album by Keith Monacchio, the band’s lead singer.  They are, in essence, among the very best artists in the state and I am honored that they have agreed to be part of the show.”  While doing research for the book, Wien listened to over 2,200 CDs by New Jersey artists released within that decade.  He listened to the good, the band, and the very ugly; yet somehow remained a music fan through it all.  The book represents a diverse look at New Jersey’s rich rock and roll scene with artists from all parts of the Garden State including the music scenes of Asbury Park, New Brunswick, Hoboken, Trenton, and Jersey City.  Artists in the book with Monmouth County ties include Bruce Springsteen, Arlan Feiles, John Eddie, Val Emmich, Jon Caspi, The Bouncing Souls, Wicker Hollow, Lost In Society, The Amboys, Mimi Cross, Rick Barry, Joe Whyte, Divine Sign, Bob Burger, The Contes, Alex Brumel & Janel Elizabeth, Highway 9, Laura Warshauer, Jessie Poland, Status Green, Janey Todd, Michael Brett, Nicole Atkins, Steel Mill, Kill The Alarm, deSol, and Agency.

“With outstanding album facts on everyone from Arlan Feiles to The Gaslight Anthem, Are You Listening? is getting a resounding yes!” said John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian.  “We hear you loud and clear. This is the kind of constant reader that goes right next to my well-worn copy of The Wall Of Fame, New York City’s Legendary Manny’s Music by Henry Goldrich.”


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Are You Listening? is available from and select book and record stores throughout New Jersey including Asbury Galleria and Holdfast Clothing & Records in Asbury Park.  Copies will be available at the show and the author will be signing books as well.  The book costs $19.95 for the black and white version and $40 for a full-color version.  For more information on the book, visit

Wien’s first book, Beyond the Palace, presented a comprehensive look at the history of rock and roll music in Asbury Park.  Since its release in 2003, Wien has gone on to be named Asbury Park’s Top Music Journalist three times and published a successful arts monthly called Upstage Magazine for five years.

This book release party will be followed by one held at Trenton Social (former site of the Urban Word Cafe) in Trenton on Saturday, August 20.  Artists scheduled to perform at that show include The Successful Failures, Zak Smith Band, Jon Caspi and the First Gun, and The Amboys.  Additional release parties are being scheduled throughout the state. 

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...