The seaside town that supported Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Bon Jovi, the Gaslight Anthem, and many other musical heavyweights is set to host the inaugural Asbury Park Music in Film Festival April 10–12.
Sixty films will be shown across eleven venues with accompanying concerts, panels, and workshops. Spawned by the partnership between the Asbury Park Music Foundation and the Asbury Park Press, the festival aims to celebrate the richness of Asbury Park’s creative community while providing musical education for children throughout the city. With so many screenings and events to see, here’s a brief introduction to festival highlights so you won’t get lost in the flood.
The leading event is the documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. 1980–1990, which explores the decade of DIY in punk music where no labels meant no rules for how legendary acts like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and Fugazi released and promoted their music. Salad Days screens at the Paramount Theatre at 6:30 p.m. on April 10.
The weekend’s headliner is Jaco, a documentary on the revered bass maestro Jaco Pastorius, whose virtuoso style influenced and changed the instrument forever before his tragic death at age 35. Produced by Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo with Passion Pictures (the company behind 2012’s smash hit Searching for Sugar Man), Jaco will feature testimonials from inspired bassists, including Rush’s Geddy Lee and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, and will be showing at 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre on April 11.
Known by few but heavily cherished are New Jersey boys Rye Coalition, whose hard rock of the late Nineties and early Aughts earned them opening slots for monsters like the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Despite that support and acclaim, they never encountered their big break. The Story of the Hard Luck Five details Rye Coalition’s wayward journey and ability to smoke any band, as Dave Grohl explains. Asbury Lanes will host both a screening of the film and an after-party and performance featuring members of the band starting at 1 p.m. on April 11.
Smaller events and film nuggets sprinkled throughout the three days, including a discussion with acclaimed music photographer Danny Clinch (who was profiled by the Voice last month) and the Jersey Shore Rock ‘n’ Roll Tales Panel, featuring a local Asbury reporter who’ll recount anecdotes of historical concerts and musicians. Other perks in programming include Yorkville, which explores Canada’s version of Greenwich Village, and La Vie Selon Morgue, a French documentary that treads into the darkness of black metal.
Celebrating the Doors’ 50th anniversary is guitarist Robby Krieger for a Friday-night show at the famed club the Stone Pony. Creeptones, the Hive, and other indie bands from around Asbury will perform cuts from various movie soundtracks that same night at the Wonderbar, and the Stone Pony will host a Saturday-night tribute concert for Jaco Pastorius.
Springsteen wouldn’t reference Asbury Park so frequently if it weren’t a place to be admired. Though there’s a lot to unravel within its waterfront past, the inaugural Asbury Park Music in Film Festival will surely begin to dredge up some fascinating shells.
The Asbury Park Music in Film Festival begins on April 10 and concludes on April 12 with the documentary Made in Japan. Ticket information is available here.
BBQ Films and Rough Trade NYC Toast Twenty Years of Empire Records
Bruce Springsteen’s Biographer on the Boss’s 10 Most Pivotal Moments
Danny Clinch Finds His Fire in the Flash With ‘Walls of Sound’