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The Friday Morning Listen: Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – Reach Up And Touch The Sky

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You know, if you get all of your 'information' from the regular sources — meaning things like network television, newspapers (the ones that are still around), and the big websites (CNN, FoxNews, etc. etc.) — you get this picture of the world that makes it look like a kind of current events centrifugal force is blowing things apart. But hasn't the world been going to hell ever since we've had debates about heaven and hell? Of course it has.

Well, I'm here to say that there are tiny bits of good news, flying completely beneath the national radar, keeping the parts of us from pulling free of our human hub. It's true. Those little chunks of positive energy do their best to reverse the negativity. No matter how down I get, I still believe in the butterfly effect.

Sometimes, I get a sense that the good bits are working together, or maybe they have their own natural attraction. That makes sense. In any event, after my own long year of emotionally contorted weirdness, certain forces are doing their small part to put things right. The forces appear to be emanating from Asbury Park, New Jersey.

It all started with the Bruce Springsteen show that me and TheWife™ attended in Boston last month. Now that I've had some time to think about it, that show was indeed the best one I've ever been to. Things went over the top during the "request segment," during which they played the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" followed by the Asbury Park duo of "For You" and "Spirit In The Night." Let's call that "PositiveMojoBit #1."

And then there's tonight. Me and TheWife™ will be seeing Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes with a couple of dear old friends. I'm feeling very good about this because it has taken me decades to convince Tyler of the Southside Johnny thing. Well, he has recently checked out Better Days and has moved a bit closer to understanding. Tonight, he'll know for sure. To add to this evening's positive vibe, I found out that we have a mini-Asbury Park connection here as Ty's wife Meg used to work at at Mrs. Jay's Beer Garden (PositiveMojoBit #2). Hmmm, I wonder if she has any stories to tell….?

I've said before that it feels a little weird seeing Southside any time before the end of the summer. It's true. He used to play over on the New Hampshire seacoast every year right around the Labor Day weekend. For whatever reason, that hasn't happened in a while. Yesterday, I caught the announcement that they'll be coming back to the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach in early September (PositiveMojoBit #3). Truly the proper way to close out the summer season. And just look at that photo of Mrs. Jays. It looks just like Hampton Beach!

So yes, I do get the sense that the bits of PositiveMojo™ are keeping things together. Tonight, during "I Don't Want To Go Home," I'll raise my hands overhead when Mr. Lyon sings "…reach up and touch the sky," and know, in that moment, that that kind of bliss is radiating out to do its part.

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About Mark Saleski

  • Gotta love the good Karma. Enjoy the show!

  • I’m gonna go sit in one of my favorite places for awhile and send you some more good vibes: the library.

  • bring on the good vibes, people!!

  • The Church of New Jersey Shore Soul completely converted me. I’ve been saved!