3- Time WWE Champ, Hall of Famer, and roller coaster enthusiast Mick Foley will be appearing at New Jersey’s premiere comedy club, The Stress Factory, in New Brunswick on January 16th.
4. Miss Sexy Armpit and I missed American Idiot during it’s Broadway run so we’re going to check it out at The State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ.
January 29th – 30th
The State Theatre
New Brunswick, NJ
3. MOVIES!!! – Hipsters will have shit to say about this, but I’m looking forward to Oz the Great and Powerful, Man of Steel, This is the End, and yes…The Lone Ranger. Hopefully I’ll be seeing a couple of these in IMAX!!!
2. Wrestlemania 29 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The entire week leading up to April 7th will be filled with festivities such as the WWE Hall of Fame, WWE Fan Axxess, AND Monday Night Raw…all taking place in NJ and NY!
1. As far as I know there’s no official date other than “Late 2013,” but…CASTLE GRAYSKULL! If you pre-ordered the most ambitious release from Matty Collector EVER, then you’re in for a treat toward the end of the year! I personally cannot wait.
Typically, I’ve been reading my comics through the Comixology app, which I get a lot of shit for. It’s similar to how audiophiles felt when people started buying cassettes and CDs and they remained loyal (and snobby) to vinyl. I had no qualms about moving on from the actual physical comic book to having them beamed to my device digitally. I’m fascinated by technology, what can I say? Many of my comic book readin’ friends still worship the actual book. Not sure if they are trying to be hipsters or counter-culture or whatever, but I’ve moved on. This time though, Mike mentioned that I could find Unbearable at Little Shop of Comics in Scotch Plains, NJ. So I went retro.
I’ve been to Little Shop a bunch of times so I stopped there after work one day. The woman working there directed me right to Unbearable which was highlighted by a small sign attesting to the fact that this is a local book by an indie company. While I was there I picked up a couple of other DC issues that caught my eye and went on my merry way.
Reading Unbearable was definitely not akin to it’s title, although some parts hit close to home (pun intended). The story centers around an aimless, out of work dude named Ben who is living in his girlfriend’s place in New Brunswick, NJ. Ben and his friends chill, play video games, drink beers, and get high, all while he’s NOT looking for employment opportunities – something that royally pisses off his girl Liz.
On a larger scale, whether intentionally or not, writers J.C Luz and Cliff Galbraith bring to life a group of guys who are notoriously “Jersey.” For all the ambitious celebrities and rock stars from New Jersey that I discuss here at The Sexy Armpit, there’s hundreds of unmotivated slackers in this state who talk a lot of shit, but never actually do anything. Kevin Smith wasn’t joking around when he showed us similar characters in Clerks and Mallrats. That wasn’t an exaggeration. It’s not like we’re in the mid-west where a kid with dreams of going to L.A or New York would have to save enough money for a plane ticket before setting out on their quest. We’re merely miles away from the greatest city in the world and we still manage to breed so many slackers. But, that’s not to say we don’t have a high concentration of go-getters, it just makes me wonder why staring at that New York skyline in the distance isn’t igniting even more creative fires. In Luz and Galbraith’s case it wasn’t New York City, but New Brunswick, NJ that set their minds in motion.
There were aspects of the book that reminded me of people who I once knew and some who I still know today. The first issue, while mostly serving as set-up, features our main character in an uncomfortable situation. The dude can’t keep his shit together so I went from rooting for him all the way to thinking “Dude! How could you forget your girlfriend’s BIRTHDAY?” Ben is certainly frustrating, but there’s room for improvement. I doubt he should even entertain trying to win Liz back though, she’s clearly not right for him.
I haven’t read Galbraith’s Rat Bastard, so I can’t compare, but the art in Unbearable shows hints of The Simpsons and even the short lived late ’90s animated sitcom Mission Hill. At the end of this issue Galbraith reveals that Unbearable was originally planned as a possible TV show for UPN, and it certainly has that TV-type quality to it. The art was fun and the book was not hard to follow. My favorite panel is when, in horror, Ben sees that he has 47 messages from Liz on his phone. We’ve all been there.
So, a directionless crew of bros who drink, smoke pot, and play video games sums up about 45% of New Jersey – guys and girls. It’s sad that not much has changed since the early ’90s, but this is precisely why Unbearable works – it’s familiar. A lack of direction has actually simultaneously opened up a world of possibilities for Ben and his friends. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
**The New Jersey references were a bonus for me since I obviously love NJ crap. There were references to The Misfits, a knockoff version of The Court Tavern (The Cork Tavern), and the Englishtown Flea Market.
It’s amazing what a little bit of creativity and simplicity can do for the wrestling business. For the past couple of weeks CM Punk has lit up the pro wrestling world with his controversial segments on RAW. They are only controversial because he’s pointing out flaws of the state of the WWE when no one else had the balls to. Last night he walked out of WWE’s Money In The Bank Pay Per View in Chicago as the new WWE Champion on his supposed last day with the company, which is a no-no in traditional pro wrestling etiquette.
CM Punk has finally established himself as one of the biggest names in WWE history thanks to his mic work, and ring ability, but it was his overall frustration with the WWE that has already ascended him to legend status. However straight edge Punk fits into the future storyline, if the WWE screws it up, then that will deflate the gigantic fiery ball of heat Punk built for himself. In the past several years I’ve lost so much faith in the writing and creative teams in WWE that I have very little left, so I’m hoping they prove me wrong. They have put on excellent shows these last few weeks so I hope the momentum continues.
Chicago may be CM Punk’s hometown, but one of his favorite bands is from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Icons of the New Jersey punk scene, The Bouncing Souls have been together since 1987. CM Punk has made it known that he’s a huge fan, via his Twitter account, and going so far as to tattoo one of their logos on him. Punk has even used 2 Bouncing Souls tracks as his entrance themes “Night Train” and “Ole!”
“Is the Heart of Rock and Roll still beating?” Wendy from Roadside Wonders asked me via Twitter. (Click HERE if you would like to follow me) Well Wendy, the answer is a definitive YES. In what seemed like an impossible task, Huey Lewis and The News rocked the packed State Theatre in New Brunswick last night even while failing to play some crowd favorites.
The diverse audience who came out to see Huey Lewis and The News included older folks, young teenagers with their parents, and thirty-somethings who wanted to time travel back to their youth. But not everyone was bouncing around and dancing like I thought they would be. Sure everyone was clapping, but for some reason whenever I sit in a balcony section of a theater, no one ever wants to stand up and get crazy. Of course, the level of craziness is a lot more subdued at a Huey Lewis concert than in comparison to say…a Slayer concert. Moshing is basically non existent, except for the people in the middle rows just trying to get out for a pee break.
I’m spoiled because I’ve been to so many concerts where everyone is standing and losing their minds. From KISS, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi to Prince and Lady GaGa, people are always standing, dancing, and acting nuts. The crowd wasn’t as loose for Huey Lewis and the News until they started pulling out some of their hits. After performing a few tracks from their 2010 album Soulsville, a tribute to the artists and music of Stax Records, the Lawrenceville NJ High School graduate said that he knew we were probably all getting worried that they weren’t going to play any hits. Everyone started to laugh and clap because they knew it was true. Huey then assured us they would definitely play the big hits.
In addition to cuts from Soulsville, Huey also threw in some deeper tracks from their hit albums, which I thought was cool, but since I had not experienced a Huey Lewis and the News live show I would have preferred hearing more of their popular singles. I wouldn’t have minded hearing more obscure tracks if I had previously saw them in concert a bunch of times.
Some of the big songs they eventually whipped out were “The Heart of Rock n Roll,” “I Want A New Drug,” and “Working For A Living” I knew “Back in Time” wasn’t an option since it’s mostly remembered by fans of Back to the Future. They did perform “Power of Love,” which Huey prefaced with the fact that back when they wrote and recorded the song he had no idea they would be playing that song at every show for the rest of their career.
During their encore Huey polled the audience to see what songs they wanted to hear. A bunch of people were yelling “If This Is It” including my Dad and a boisterous woman in front of me, but to no avail. I thought “Hip to Be Square” would’ve been a definite staple on the set list, but no such luck with that one either. He took a request from a guy in the first row who was begging for “Bad is Bad,” which wouldn’t have been my choice, but I was still cool nonetheless. For the several months leading up to the show all I wanted was to hear them perform “Pineapple Express,” one of their best songs in years. I must have been smoking some Super Red Espresso Snowflake because if Huey didn’t play one of their early hits “Do You Believe in Love,” he sure as hell wasn’t going to play a track that was only featured during the credits of a stoner movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.
Eating in a Thai restaurant with nondescript decor and being served by a teen aged white kid with those huge black circular gauged earrings stretching his earlobes doesn’t make for an authentic Thai experience. Even restaurants in the world showcase in Epcot center employee waiters and chefs from the countries that they recreate. But what makes food authentic? Is it the way the food is prepared, where you eat it, who it’s served by, or all of the above?
Today I’m going to give you directions on how to make authentic Jersey grub. First, grow a five o’clock shadow, grab a cigarette, gain about 30 lbs and begin sweating. As the stereotypes dictate, this is a cook at a Jersey diner. If the stereotypes continue, he only knows how to cook up a pork roll egg and cheese sandwich, or anything greasy that has peppers and onions slathered on top. Despite what many “foodies” (I’m sorry to all my foodie friends but I hate that term) will lead you to believe, Jersey doesn’t really have it’s own cuisine since we are lucky to have a huge mish mosh of everything there is to offer. Sure we have about a half a million diners in our state, but the majority of our signature meals are very basic and nothing to describe as “mouthwatering” or “savory.” That’s not to say that meals at our restaurants can’t be described that way, it’s just that many of them don’t actually serve the type of “Jersey Grub” that THE JERSEY GRUB TRUCK offers.
Started by a Jersey guy who moved to the west coast, The Jersey Grub Truck can be seen all around Los Angeles. We are known for our blueberries and cranberries, but the Jersey Grub Truck serves mostly fat sandwiches. For instance, an L.A Weekly post highlighted that one of the menu items is The Fat Jerz Sandwich, which is hamburger, egg, pork roll, and BBQ sauce. Is it the pork roll that makes it Jersey? Can you incorporate salt water taffy or pork roll into any meal to give it that Jersey zest? Wow, that’s a stretch. The Sexy Armpit has already glossed over New Brunswick’s fat sandwiches featured on Man vs. Food, and that is essentially what the Jersey Grub Truck serves. The Jersey Grub Truck stole the idea of The Grease Trucks and brought it to Hollywood. If there’s one thing that Jersey is NOT, it’s Hollywood, and if you have not left Jersey that is precisely the reason why. Not only are we on opposite sides of the country, but we lead extremely different lifestyles. Regardless of our differences, I’m glad there’s a little more of Jersey being spread around L.A!
To get “real” Jersey grub, you don’t need to sing “Born To Run,” while cooking or stop at a catering truck. For tips on the best Jersey cuisine check out Jersey Bites and also read Pete Genovese’s book, Food Lovers Guide to New Jersey. But the best way to find authentic Jersey cuisine is to discover it for yourself. Your best bet is heading down to that family owned neighborhood dive, it will surprise you.
In the past few years New Jersey has been shoved down TV viewers throats to the extent that I’m sure it makes them want to regurgitate. I doubt the fine folks in North Dakota want to constantly see New Jersey pop up in every show they’re watching. Aside from contrived reality shows, food shows have also been wrapped up in a love affair with the Garden State. I’m not sure why though, since much of our native cuisine consists of deep fried, artery clogging crap just like what Adam Richman encountered in Season 2 of his show (because naturally we weren’t good enough for Season 1), Man vs. Food on The Travel Channel.
Adam Richman responds to food challenges all over the country and this time around he visited The Grease Trucks in New Brunswick NJ, a legendary spot serving the perfect selections to cap off those nights of binge drinking. If you’re not familiar with the local food phenom, it not only serves Rutgers students, but even out-of-staters come to chow down on some deliciously unhealthy food.
In this episode, Richman answered the “Fat Sandwich Challenge” at RU Hungry “The Original Grease Truck,” in which he must eat 5 overstuffed sandwiches in 45 minutes. Some of the renowned sandwich amalgamations pile on chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, pork roll, cheesesteak, french fries, and other heavenly items into a sub roll. To psych Richman out, the owner informed him that only around 16 people out of approximately 250 have risen to the challenge and successfully downed the big 5 before the clock stopped. If Richman wins, he gets to create his own sandwich which will be named after him.
SPOILER ALERT!!! Richman didn’t win, but he went down swinging. I could have done without the little side interviews with the onlookers that the production crew shot and intercut between the tense scenes of him wolfing down the sandwiches. It was obvious that they were fed some terribly cheesy lines.
Richman also stopped at Harold’s New York Deli in Edison, NJ, which serves only monsterous, supersized meals. I’ve been going there since it opened in 1997 and my first reaction upon seeing the waitress bringing me my food is always “No human being could finish this.” In the above picture, Richman is seen with one of Harold’s Deli’s signature sandwiches, a foot tall, 10 pound corned beef and pastrami sandwich!
I couldn’t believe that Richman had more room in his stomach to cram even MORE food into it! There’s not a more appropriately named restaurant to accomplish that than Stuff Yer Face, also in New Brunwick, NJ. Open since 1977, Stuff Yer Face is known for their stromboli or just “bolis.” They have 30 different ones to choose from and the option to make your own. Richman customized his own boli, and after it was finished baking, he sat down to eat it. Let me say that damn thing looked so delicious that The Sexy Armpit is now looking to stuff his face there very soon!