Options Aerial View: Playlist from July 7, 2015 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options July 7, 2015: 4th of July, Asbury Park
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Tonight: 4th of July, Asbury Park
Like Henry in Eraserhead, I'm on vacation. But that won't stop me from bringing you a new Red, White & Blue Aerial View! Join me, Mrs. T. and our friends Jim and Jen as we bicycle over from Ocean Grove to Asbury Park for a rendezvous with fireworks and WFMU favorites Dave The Spazz and Glen JonesYou'll hear horns blowing, heavy breathing, Methodists, crowds galore, fire alarms, fireworks and more on this very special "from the scene" Aerial View.

Asbury Park holds a special place in my heart. I've been coming here since those great Glen Jones/X-Ray Burns remotes at the old Howard Johnson restaurant in the mid-90's.

Asbury is also dear to me because it's the place I met my sweetheart, Mrs. T., during the 2005 Weird NJ Halloween Party at the Stone Pony (MC'd by Glen Jones!). It turned out we lived five blocks away from each other in Hoboken. When we got married in 2005 we held our reception at the Asbury Lanes (that's us, below, at the Ocean Grove Independence Day Parade).
This year we were determined to see the fireworks, as mentioned in the Bruce Springsteen song 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), from his album The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle. It seems MANY other people were also determined to see the fireworks.

Listen as we head out to Ocean Grove and quickly run into a sea of humanity, rolling toward the boardwalk in wave after wave. I provide running commentary from my bike, using both an Audio Technica lavalier microphone, clipped to my shirt, and a mid-side microphone on my Zoom H6.

Here's a picture of the recording rig on my bike:
My Zoom H6 recorder, attached to my handlebars.

I tried to do little to no editing, so the hour is as I experienced it. If you can listen with headphones it'll have that real "you are there" quality.

Thanks in advance to Devon of Morricone Island for making sure you can hear tonight's show. I'll be back in the studio and will SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY!
Here are some other pictures from Independence Day, including a shot of me in the crowd from an Asbury Park Press article about the Ocean Grove Independence Day parade:
Thanks in advance to Devon of Morricone Island for making sure you can hear tonight's show. I'll be back in the studio and will SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY!
Last Week: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Last week's show was all about the uproar over that symbol so beloved by Dukes Of Hazzard fans, the Confederate Battle Flag.

Here are some choice playlist comments:
  • Buckle your seat belt when you jump over the creek, Chris.
  • The flag is an easy symbol to attack and despise for the unforgivable system of slavery it represented. Let's look at dealing with the much harder to deal with hatred and insanity in young white men. What is at the root? why does it persist? Certainly it is much more complicated than a flag on a sleeve...
  • Have you watched "Blackish" lately?
  • A cousin of mine in northern VA is defending the Confederate flag on Farcebook and saying the Civil War was because of "states' rights" and not slavery. Gross. NoVA isn't even really the South! That's practically D.C. I haven't had to deal with this before. It's crazy-making. At least my closer family members have more sense.
  • I live in the south. Actually, there are a lot of progressives in larger southern cities. The South is rapidly changing and urbanizing. We've wanted for a long time to get rid of Confederate flag displays. Unfortunately, it took a terrible tragedy to create momentum on this issue.
  • As a graduate of the University of South Carolina, I can tell you that the "debate" over the flag has been going on at least since I was there in the early 90's. People were well aware of what the flag meant and why it was put there. Bear in mind, the flag went up over the state house in 1961, ostensibly to celebrate (no, I don't get celebrating a loss either) the 100th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
  • The fact that it coincided with the Civil Rights era? Just a coincidence...Really, it's not about hatred or marginalization.
  • This is the best and quickest explanation of the horrors of the TPP: www.newyorker.com... It goes unbelievably far beyond just IP. UGH.


Listen to this show: | Add or read comments

Click the pic to see some Asbury Park 4th of July Fireworks.
The Fourth
I'm not crazy about the Fourth of July. When I was younger I looked forward to it with pimply anticipation. The attainment and hoarding of contraband fireworks was a religion in my house. There were rules, protocol, tradition. There were hidden stockpiles checked and added to daily. There was friendly competition amongst brothers and friends to amass the biggest, the best, the loudest, the most colorful. There was implied agreement not to shoot off more than one item at a time, so maximum enjoyment could be wrenched from meager supplies.

Setting up and lighting off fireworks was truly a communal thing in my neighborhood. All were welcome. There were no distinctions honored amongst us initiates. Just bring a source of ignition, that was the only rule. Don't glom some other guys matches. Bring a punk, if you can.

Punks are much better than matches or lighters for igniting fireworks.  They are pinpoint precise and don't need to be re-lit constantly. You can put one down and rest assured it will stay lit. Bringing a punk along said that you were serious about your fireworks. I always brought a punk on the fourth.

I felt it was my birthright to set one to a fuse and create my own destruction. I exalted in my ability to blow things up. I marvelled at the gaudy display of fire and flash. I'd sniff the air for the lingering note of gunpowder and smoke, make ready with the next bomb and let it fly.

My favorites were lady fingers, set off a pack at time. There was a real skill to finding that master fuse, the point at which all fuses were intertwined - and digging it out of the wrapper so the paper was still intact. Any dumb kid could tear through the flimsy red covering, release the whole pack, light the master fuse and toss the pack in the air. What that got you was a bunch of firecrackers taking off in a dozen directions, most unlit, some careening dangerously close to your face, blown there by the force of its brother's explosion. The mark of a real craftsman was to leave the wrapper on. Leaving the wrapper on meant the pack could sail through the air as one. The fuses would burn at roughly the same rate. The residents of the pack would go off in unison and you'd be rewarded with that rat-a-tat machine gun simulation you sought.

I lost my taste for fireworks some years ago. My oldest brother got himself a bag of blockbusters - those big, silver tubes that are supposed to be equal to a quarter stick of dynamite. He must have been mad about something or maybe he wanted to be noticed but he waited 'til the fourth was pretty much over to get going. It was probably around 2 in the morning when he started setting these monsters off at the corner, one following the other by a minute or so. These were loud, reverberating blasts, the sort of explosion you feel. The vibrations shook through your body, upset your nervous system, interrupt your metabolism for a moment. Loud, very, very loud. And he kept setting them off at these intervals. But you could never be prepared for the blast. He paced them so you couldn't really be sure when the next one would come. You'd brace yourself and - nothing. You'd relax for a moment and - BOOM! It was nerve-wracking. I felt what it must have been like to be shell-shocked. I WAS shell-shocked. I just wanted it to end but he had a mighty full bag and wasn't letting one go to waste. It went on for forty-five minutes until he ran out or got bored.

I always wondered why the cops never came. Why didn't somebody say something to him or try to stop him? Where was my mother during the episode? Was everyone completely terrorized? I know I was. I can't stand explosions now. I mean, I like fireworks now, I like the Macy's shows and the shows they do at ballparks and so on. But I don't think I want to go to Chinatown and go looking for whistling tanks or lady-fingers or M-80's or anything else. I'd rather not be solicited on every corner of the city by some kid eager to unload his Taiwanese wares.  

And most of all I don't want to be around grown men acting like children and setting off firecrackers. It won't help you recapture your youth. It makes me feel stupid and sad. It's among the more pathetic sights I've seen. Don't do it around me, if you can help it.
Obligatory Throwback Pic
Me, a Gorilla and my brother Marc, at South Of The Border, circa 1973.
We even bought fireworks.
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Artist Track Year
Chris T.  4th of July, Asbury Park   Options 2015 

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:04pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Evening, Chris!

Spazz, Jonesy, Asbury, fireworks…I am totally jealous of your 4th.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:05pm Greg from Bloomfield:

...though I was there on the 5th.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:08pm Marcel M:

Oh boy fireworks on the air! Andy Breckman's dream!

Yo Greg!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:08pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I, for one, am in favor of bicycle-sourced programming on WFMU. How many miles did you cover in this hour recording?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:09pm steve:

the tent city on the big lawn in Ocean Grove seemed so weird and creepy to me the one time i walked by it.
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:09pm somethingyeah:

hello
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:20pm LES:

These on the scene shows are great Chris.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:22pm steve:

Silverball must be packed to the brim on the 4th, no?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:29pm Chris T.:

Thanks everyone! I covered probably two mikes on the bike. Yes, fireworks on the radio rule!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:31pm Polyus:

Brakes sound a little dicey, Chris.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:38pm Ken From Hyde Park:

There was some problem with the fireworks display up here Saturday - www.poughkeepsiejournal.com... They only went for 18 minutes. Luckily, wasn't the big mess like what happened in San Diego in 2012.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:45pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Yo Marcel! Happy belated 4th!

I have a vague goal of biking the entire shore by Septemberish. Knocked out LBI on Sunday. I think Cape May to Ocean City is next.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:48pm bobdoesthings:

hear the beautiful sounds oooooooooo aaaahhhhhhhh
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:48pm Old Dave:

Greg- do you mean OC Maryland?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:48pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Now it just sounds like Bryce's show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:49pm Greg from Bloomfield:

@Dave: Oh God no! OCNJ.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 6:49pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Sounds like popcorn popping. Pass the salt, please.
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:50pm Dave Z:

Nice try Chris. I'm on to Spodify.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:50pm JakeGould:

I like bombs bursting in air. Less people hurt that way and prettier to look at.
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:54pm Old Dave:

That's okay. A noble goal.
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:58pm Becky:

Do women ever blow off limbs wth fireworks?? Answer is no.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:58pm JakeGould:

@Becky: Men are showing off, right?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/7/15 6:59pm chris:

awesome with the gif, ChrisT :-)
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:59pm P-90:

I enjoyed this. Thanks Chris.
Avatar Tue. 7/7/15 6:59pm cosmic matrix:

Chris, this was SOOOOOO fun to listen to!!! You, the DJ's, the fireworks, the crowd.... I MISS NYC
  Tue. 7/7/15 6:59pm Old Dave:

It sounds like a drum solo from the 70's- great! Thanks for such a fine show, Chris!
Avatar Tue. 7/7/15 7:00pm cosmic matrix:

WOW!!!!! what a pro choreography
Avatar Tue. 7/7/15 7:00pm Paul D:

What a great show, i wish I went to asbury park instead
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 7:00pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Thanks, Chris!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/7/15 7:00pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Fun....thanks, Chris!
Avatar Tue. 7/7/15 7:00pm cosmic matrix:

oh shit this was NJ!! my bad. i miss nj too. :/
  Tue. 7/7/15 7:01pm P-90:

Next year take a listener meetup group with you ;)
  Tue. 7/7/15 7:01pm LES:

Good show Chris.
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