Top 10 NJ arts events of the week: Garbage, NJ Festival of Ballooning, more

Garbage performs at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, July 27.


Garbage performs at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, July 27.

A guide to notable arts events taking place in New Jersey, through July 31:

The Shirley Manson-fronted band Garbage, known for their distinctively moody brand of pop music,came back from a seven-year hiatus with their 2012 albumNot Your Kind of People, and followed it up, relatively quickly, with this year’sStrange Little Birds. The group will perform at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, July 27, withKristin Kontrol (best known as a member of the bandDum Dum Girls)opening. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The great tuba player Howard Johnson will be the guest performer as well as the guest composer when Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band performs at Trumpets in Montclair, July 27 at 8 p.m., in a show celebrating Johnson’s upcoming 75th birthday(see video below). The show will feature Johnson’s big band charts of his music, plus music hehas performed throughout his career, including Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream.”

Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington,a key contributor to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album, will play tracks from his own acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic and other material at a free Sounds of the City concert, outdoors at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, July 28 at 5 p.m., with DJ Jihad Muhammad opening.

The veteran Jersey punk-rock band The Bouncing Souls will present an unusual two-night stand at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, this week, performing indoors on July 28, and outdoors, on the club’s Summer Stage, on July 29. Beach Slang and Cayetana will also performon July 28, with doors opening at 7 p.m.; Rocket From the Crypt, The Explosion, The Flatliners and Creeper are the July 29 support acts, with doors opening at 5 p.m.

The Center for Investigative Reporting and WFMU-FM have teamed up to produce the Toxic Comedy World Tour, in which five comedians are being commissioned to create new material about contamination in New Jersey.Four of the five comedians have been chosen, and will debut their acts at Monty Hall in Jersey City, Sept. 10. But the fifth comedian will be chosen from among participants in a contest, July 29 at 8:30 p.m. at the same venue. The project is part of Dirty Little Secrets, a collaborative initiative about local contamination, featuring contributions from many New Jersey media and educational organizations.

The free 11th annualLincoln Park Music Festival at Lincoln Park will offer a variety of gospel, jazz, hip-hop and dance music, July 29-31. Performers throughout the weekend will include Vickie Winans, Cissy Houston, Ann Nesby, Rahzel the Legend, Miss Nana, James Gibbs III & The Brick City Soul Collective andTom Browne, and dancer Savion Glover.


Third Eye Blind will be the featured band on the first night of the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Readington.

The 34th annualQuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning takes place July 29-31 at Solberg Airport in Readington. In addition to the balloons, there will be amusement park rides, children’s entertainers and an assortment of bands, including Third Eye Blind, July 29 at 8 p.m.;The Girl and the Dreamcatcher (Cameron Dove and Ryan McCartan), July 30 at 1 p.m.; KC and the Sunshine Band, July 30 at 8 p.m.; Foghat, July 31 at 2 p.m.; and John Kay and Steppenwolf, July 31 at 4 p.m.

For those looking for a little “Christmas in July”-style entertainment, the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story” will screen outdoors, at theJack Alter Fort Lee Community Center, July 30, following a 7 p.m. performance by the band Slambovian Circus of Dreams. Both the concert and the screening are free.

Metuchen-based singer-songwriter Sharon Goldman will host and perform at the next concert at the Schoolhouse Songwriter Series at the Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen, also featuring Michael G. Ronstadt (Linda’s nephew and a veteran performer in his own right), Aaron Nathans and Amy Soucy, July 30 at 8 p.m.

From July 31 to Aug. 7, the sixth annualAxelrod Israel Jewish Film Festivalwill present screenings of eight films at three venues: The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, The Jewish Heritage Museum in Freehold, and The Monroe Senior Center in Monroe Township. The Natalie Portman-directed and -starring “A Tale of Love and Darkness” (see trailer below), based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz, opens the festival, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center.

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