D.J. Dennis Elsas Shares Music and Memories at MAM, 11/1

BY  |  Monday, Oct 20, 2014 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

dennis-elsas-studioFor more than 40 years, radio personality Dennis Elsas has been one of the most influential voices on FM radio. He was one of the pioneers of the progressive FM radio revolution on WNEW-FM, where his guests included Elton John, Pete Townshend, Mick Jagger and, most famously, John Lennon.

Elsas’ 1974 interview with Lennon, a two-hour discussion ranging from Lennon’s new album to his immigration issues to rare Beatles memories, is now part of the permanent collection of the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio). It’s also an important part of the award-winning 2010 PBS American Masters film LENNONNYC.

Elsas currently hosts a weekday afternoon program at WFUV. On his show, an eclectic mix of rock, folk, jazz and blues, he has interviewed artists ranging from Ringo Starr to Elvis Costello to Edie Brickell. He can also be heard Saturdays and Sundays on Sirius XM’s Classic Vinyl station, not to mention on numerous commercials, documentaries and promos.

He recently chatted with Baristanet about the early days of FM radio, the Lennon interview, and his upcoming multi-media show, “Rock ‘n Roll Never Forgets.”

How and when did you realize you wanted to be a DJ?

I don’t think I realized I could do this for a living until I was doing this for a living. I went to (Queens) College thinking I would be a lawyer, but a group of students started a radio station while I was there. I had always loved radio—I literally had a transistor radio under my pillow as a kid—so I auditioned to be a host. From all that listening to my transistor radio, I had learned how to both ask questions and listen, so they liked me. After I graduated, I was hired by a small station in Westchester and then WNEW.

What was WNEW like at the time?

It was seen as a very cool station; it had a definite swagger. When I started there in 1971, WNEW was at the forefront of the progressive FM radio movement. We were an eclectic bunch of DJs who had the freedom to pick the songs we would play. We were expected to play some hit songs, but we could also champion whatever obscure artist or music we felt passionate about.

Talk a bit about the John Lennon interview.

John was originally coming on the station to promote his new album, Walls and Bridges. I respected that that was why he was there, so I asked questions about it. I prepare a lot for an interview, and I think that must have made him feel comfortable on-air. Off-air, we chatted about the Beatles; it had only been four years since their breakup. I asked him if he would mind discussing the topic on-air, and he was happy to do so. He even took over as guest DJ for some of the interview, playing some 45s he had brought with him. The whole thing was unbelievable but actually unfolded very naturally.

Any artists you’d still love to interview?

Bob Dylan would be a fascinating subject, although very challenging. Likewise Neil Young. I’m sad that I never got to speak to George Harrison, since I interviewed the other three Beatles. And there’s a younger group called The New Pornographers that intrigues me. They obviously know their pop music history; latest album, Brill Bruisers, is an homage to the Brill Building in NYC.

Tell us about your upcoming show.

The title, “Rock ‘n Roll Never Forgets,” is actually the name of a 1976 Bob Seger song. My show is about friendship, loyalty and karma. Basically it’s highlights from my most memorable interviews, with visual accompaniment. There will also be a q-&-a with the audience at the end. It’s a very personal evening.

“Rock & Roll Never Forgets” will take place Sat. Nov 1 at 7 PM at MAM’s Leir Hall. Tickets are $15, $12 for MAM members.

Montclair Bread Company is the Donut Showdown Champion

BY  |  Monday, Oct 20, 2014 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Montclair Bread Company

Chef Francesco Palmieri, Winner Rachel Crampsey, and her husband Kevin Crampsey

On Thursday night when The Cooking Channel aired the “Fiesta” episode of Donut Showdown, we learned that Rachel Crampsey, baker and owner of Montclair Bread Company, won the competition and took home the $10,000 prize. Last night, she celebrated in style hosting a viewing party at The Orange Squirrel in Bloomfield, with her friends and family cheering her on, and enjoying drinks, Chef Francesco Palmieri’s food, and Rachel’s winning donuts— Fried dough puffs with a marshmallow black licorice filling and a red fruit glaze, a Sangria doughnut with red wine dough, fruit filling, a Margarita donut with lime filling and a tequila glazed rim and Tres Leches donut with triple milk filling, avocado whipped cream.

“Winning the show was the most gratifying experience of my career, Rachel says. “It felt like every sacrifice I’ve made to get this far was finally worth something.”

Check out some photos from the party and enjoy Rachel’s amazing donuts at Montclair Bread Company:

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Holsten’s Celebrates 75 Years With Free Ice Cream

BY  |  Monday, Oct 20, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (4)


Holsten’s, famous for its delicious homemade ice cream and being in The Sopranos, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary with a big Ice Cream Party on Sunday, October 26.

According to Holsten’s co-owner, Ron Stark, the establishment opened its doors as Strubbe’s Ice Cream parlor in 1939. After a number of successful years the business became Martin & Holsten’s, and then Holsten’s. Holsten’s became incorporated as Brookdale Confectionery in 1964 and continued doing business as Holsten’s, which was owned and operated by Rudi Stark and Gerhard Kaiser. William Bartels became Rudi Stark’s partner from 1970 to 1980. Christopher Carley became Rudi Stark’s partner in 1981. Ronald Stark also became an owner as well in 1990.

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Montclair’s Community Service Unit Hosts First “Coffee with a Cop” Event

BY  |  Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 8:44am  |  COMMENTS (0)

MPD CSULast Friday morning, from 8 a.m. until just past 10 a.m., the Montclair Police Department’s Community Service Unit (CSU) chatted with residents outside Trend Coffee House in the first “Coffee with a Cop” event. All four of the CSU officers were present, as well as Sergeant Tyrone Williams, who commands the CSU. The beautiful weather encouraged locals to peruse the literature available as well as ask questions about pedestrian safety, recent crime reports, firearm safety, traffic policy, and other community concerns.

Officer Cook, the CSU liaison officer assigned to the Second Ward, said that the Montclair PD hopes to hold these casual and community focused events once a month in different areas of Montclair. The goal is to widen the avenues of communication between Montclair residents and the officers charged with protecting and serving the community. Officer Allen, the Fourth Ward CSU liaison, shared that she and other officers who both live and work in Montclair feel a great connection to the community and its residents.MPD CSU School's Open Continue Reading

Baristaville Open Houses: Sunday, Oct. 19

BY  |  Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

More than 130 properties are showing this weekend, in line with recent weeks. Here are six:

montclair1019237 Christopher St., Montclair

List Price: $899,000

Taxes: $27,355

Acreage: 0.47


This just-listed, 11-room colonial has an updated kitchen, hardwood floors, central air, a fireplace in the living room and a solarium. There is a master suite with a sitting room and two closets. There are numerous architectural details as well, including leaded glass flanking the front door and dining room with a beamed ceiling, molding and corner built-ins. There is a stone patio in the backyard. And, there is a partially finished basement and a three-car detached garage. The house was built in 1912. Open 2 to 4 p.m. Continue Reading

Clybourne Park, Still Relevant, Deftly Explores Race, Class

BY  |  Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 8:55am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Clybourne ParkMontclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and director Susan Kerner delivers a hit with Clybourne Park, exploring race, class and the tensions that arise, now through October 19 at the L. Howard Fox Studio Theater.

Inspired by watching the 1961 film version of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in seventh grade and also basing his piece on events Hansberry’s parents actually endured, playwright Bruce Norris wrote Clybourne Park as a response to the classic. He expands the story beforehand and afterward, with Karl Lindner from A Raisin in the Sun as a prime character. The award-winning play received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2011 and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2012. Continue Reading

Beautiful Night For Montclair Center’s A Little Night Art XIV

BY  |  Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 8:31am  |  COMMENTS (0)

art walkStrolling through Montclair Center on a balmy Friday evening is always an enjoyable experience, but last night, there was a feast for the eyes, courtesy of A Little Night Art XIV. The annual autumn art walk featured art galleries, retail stores and restaurants who welcomed visitors to exhibits by a variety of artists. Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Huguens Noel

BY  |  Friday, Oct 17, 2014 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Huguens NoelThe latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Huguens Noel

Where do you live? Montclair, NJ

When did you move there? A few months. After visiting a friend 12 years ago, my wife and I decided it was the perfect place place to raise our kids.

Where did you grow up? Brooklyn, NY

How do you make a living? I’m the Founder of HAACIDS, LLC.

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee (with goat milk, cacao and cinnamon) does the trick for me.

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Vaudeville is Alive and Well at Maplewood’s The Speakeasy

BY  |  Friday, Oct 17, 2014 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The SpeakeasyIn the 1920s, Maplewood was known throughout New Jersey for its Vaudeville. Long before it became a six-plex, the Maplewood Theater was a hotbed of talent; audiences were regaled with musicians, magicians, the beautiful, the sublime, and the surreal.

Studio B is bringing that tradition back with The Speakeasy on Saturday, October 25.

Studio B, an arts organization based in Maplewood and South Orange, has been producing vaudeville-style entertainment for the past 3 years. Among its regular line up of shows, The Speakeasy Series has served to showcase exceptional talent, entertain modern audiences, and – in Studio B honcho Marcy Thompson’s words, “tip our hat to a grand – and local – tradition.”

“Vaudeville belongs in the 21st Century. It’s perfect for today’s audiences and performers,” says Thompson. “The acts are designed to delight – and it give exposure to multiple performers at every performance. The best part is, anything goes.”

“Vaudeville is the grand daddy of pop culture. If you didn’t like an act, all you had to do was wait 10 minutes,” says Jenny Turner Hall, the other Studio B honcho.

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Local Businesses Think Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness

BY  |  Friday, Oct 17, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Parlor hair studio In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, several local businesses are helping to raise money and awareness by thinking pink.

Parlor Hair Studio on Glenridge Avenue in Montclair will make you “pretty in Pink,” with pink hair extensions or highlights during the month of October. All profits will go to The American Breast Cancer Research Foundation.




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Featured Comment

Holsten's is a favorite of my 3-year-old daughter. She asks for it whenever we say "Where do you want to go for dinner?" And she prefers their homemade candy to their ice cream. I think she especially loves the family memories we've made there since she was a baby... and the stuffed animals don't hurt. Congratulations to our friends at Holsten's on 75 years!

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