The Modern Music Academy: Making Grammy Dreams Real on Grove Street

BY  |  Friday, Dec 30, 2011 9:00am

The co-owners of Montclair’s new The Modern Music Academy (MMA), Jarrett and Jenny Zellea, have a long list of music and entertainment accomplishments including drumming with Grammy-award-winner Santana, hob-nobbing with Al Gore for Live Earth, teaching middle-schoolers and high-schoolers jazz and drumline skills in both New Jersey and California, and producing a myriad of television shows – like American Idol – and live-streaming concerts of artists like Jay-Z and Linkin Park.  Oh, and one more thing: Jarrett also has a couple of Grammy awards in there somewhere.  Not too shabby.

These two New Jersey natives, currently living in Ridgewood, have returned home after years in Los Angeles to open a music school for adults and children.  The school’s focus is on helping its students become whole musicians.  Not satisfied with teaching chord and finger progressions, the Zelleas also offer hands-on lessons in song-writing, recording, video and audio production, and even music marketing.  The school’s goal is to help students “identify as musicians,” not just play an instrument.  All instructors at the MMA are credentialed teachers with degrees in music and education, and they are also working musicians. Continue Reading

Riley is Woman, Hear Her Roar

BY  |  Friday, Dec 30, 2011 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (11)

Okay, this little girl named Riley isn’t a woman yet, but she would make Helen Reddy proud.

At her young age she already knows that kids shouldn’t be pushed into gender stereotypes. That, even though some little girls (like my 4-year-old) can’t get enough of princesses and pink, many girls also like trucks, superheroes and LEGO sets — the gender neutral kind. And while many boys go crazy over Captain America and Star Wars, many love to play with dolls and join the tea parties.

The Montclair Post Office is All Out of Madonnas

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 3:30pm  |  COMMENTS (68)

Don’t go looking for any Holiday Baubles or Madonna of the Candelabra 44’s at the Main Montclair Post Office: they’re all out. But don’t they mean Christmas stamps — if they still have Hanukkah and Kwanzaa left?

Oh and by the way, where’s the movement to keep the Ch in Chanukah? Or right, here it is — over on Facebook. Chappy Cholidays everyone!

Where in Baristaville Is Mr. Jingle?: December 29

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Mr. Jingle is thinking of First Night Montclair in this spot which will be the center of the fun, but alas today is his last day in Baristaville. Although Mr. Jingle has thoroughly enjoyed his time here he is now  going to visit some old school chaps staying at Moresby Hall, Parton, Cumbria UK .

Montclair Council Concludes 2011With Minor Kerfuffle Over Pre-K

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 1:11pm  |  COMMENTS (14)

The Montclair Township Council’s final meeting for 2011, on December 29, was its annual finance meeting, with only Second Ward Councilor Cary Africk absent.

The finance meeting, in which resolutions regarding expenditures that have to be paid by the end of the year and loose ends that have to be tied up are addressed, occurred mostly without controversy. Eleven out of twelve resolutions, which covered issues such as canceling a bond ordinance after the completion of public works improvements and the return of a $32,250 performance guarantee to a developer for planting trees in accordance with township requirements, passed unanimously. But a minor dustup was caused when First Ward Councilor Rich Murnick sought to amend the temporary budget for 2012 to include funding for the Montclair Community Pre-K.

Murnick had hoped that an inclusion of Pre-K in the temporary budget would give Township Manager Marc Dashield some direction in preparing a 2012 budget to introduce on February 3. “If we did put it back in the temporary, budget, then we’d still have an opportunity as a council to discuss pre-K and the budget is then introduced by the manager, as we then go forward,” he said.

Continue Reading

The Bedbugs Didn’t Bite … Last Night

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 12:03pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

“The Artist,” the French homage to the silent movie era, was high on Mista Barista’s want-to-see list, and it isn’t playing widely. Besides the Clairidge, which has been off my FourSquare list for weeks, it’s playing in East Hanover, Cranford, Edgewater and, of course, New York.

The last time I bought a ticket to the Clairidge, in mid-November, I stayed just long enough to confirm a tip that there was yellow caution tape in one of the theaters. (The tipster had wondered what it was for until she wound up with bedbug bites.)

Like most of my friends, I’ve taken that yellow caution warning to heart, but my daughter went to see “My Week With Marilyn” at the Clairidge on Tuesday night — and since I let her back into my home, and a bed bug scourge has yet to materialize — I decided we could go see the “The Artist” at the Clairidge last night. Continue Reading

LEGO For Girls

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

Here we go again. Yet another company has determined that the only way to appeal to females—in this case, young girls—is to reduce her to a stereotype. This might not be so surprising if the company were one of the usual suspects—say, American Apparel—but this time around the offender is LEGO, a toy manufacturer we respect and generally love.

LEGO’s new line of Friends, which you’ve surely read about by now, has left us scratching our heads. Friends is a set of LEGO building blocks and figures geared to girls. LEGO created the line because it said it wanted to broaden its appeal to “the reach the other 50 percent of the world’s population,” as CEO Jorgan Vig Knudstorp put it. Presumably all those LEGO Star Wars and fire house play kits are not meant for girls (that, in fact, was the company’s strategy. After it began catering its toys just to boys, revenue grew 105 percent) So what does the new Friends line for girls include? Five figurines who live in “Heartlake City,” a purple and pink hued village that has a beauty shop, a “splash pool,” a cafe. What, no massage parlor?

Continue Reading

Richie Cecere’s Pulls Liquor License Sale at 11th Hour

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 10:52am  |  COMMENTS (7)

Montclair developer Steven Plofker has confirmed a story in today’s Montclair Times, which reported that restauranteur Richie Cecere withdrew his application to sell his liquor license to Plofker in early December — the day before it was to have been approved by the Montclair Council.

“We thought we were purchasing a building that was ideal for the license,” Plofker said. But since that purchase had also fallen through, “we decided to accommodate his [Cecere’s] request.”

Plofker confirmed that he could have sued Cecere over the last-minute withdrawal of the offer.

Continue Reading

Ask Holly: Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles for the New Year

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 9:31am  |  COMMENTS (3)

When I asked my eight-year-old what New Years Eve makes her think of, she simply said, “Bubbles.” Most likely because we love going to First Night Montclair and watching BubbleMania and because I always make my kids fancy bubbly drinks on New Years Eve. Mommy stays far away from adult bubbly drinks, as she and Mr. Champagne had a nasty break-up.

Here are few bubbly things to do with the kids for New Year’s, from blowing frozen bubbles to making “Fancy Drinks” as my four-year-old calls them.

Continue Reading

Wait! Wait! Take Our 2011 News Quiz

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 8:57am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Flash required. If you don’t get it on your device, you may answer the following essay question instead: What was the silliest controversy to take place in Baristaville in 2011? Defend your choice. Use examples.

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information

Baristanet on Flickr