Each spring and fall, Hoboken hosts one of the most popular street fairs on this side of the Hudson: The Hoboken Arts & Music Festival. The fest usually boasts more than 300 artists, photographers and craftspeople; nonstop live music; and more than 30 international food vendors. It's a time when Hudson residents can get their Thai, Indian, Greek French, Mexican, Cajun, zeppole and deep fried Oreo fixes in a single afternoon. Some of the live musical performances on the two outdoor Washington Street stages this past year included Ronnie Spector, Patti Smith, NRBQ and Hoboken's own Health & Happiness Show and True Love. Each year, the festival attracts thousands of people, and each year the same question is posed: Where to park? Oh, where to park?
Indie enthusiasts were treated to the CMJ Music Marathon this October. More than 1,000 bands played simultaneously at over a hundred different venues throughout the New York and New Jersey area, and two of the New Jersey locations participating in the marathon included Hoboken's own Maxwell's and Lovesexy. Bands like the Waco Bros, Ocean Blue and Ultrababyfat all came into town to jam for lucky badge holders. Also, as a result of CMJ, Maxwell's was able to get a few bands that came for the event like Broadcast, Pram and Le Tigre. Right after CMJ came the Fourth Annual Hoboken Independent Music Festival. During the first of week of November, over 100 indie musical acts from as far as Gainesville, Fla. to as nearby as New Brunswick came to the mile-square city to become part of a cooperative outside the traditional confines of the music industry and to network with other bands for gig-swapping and resource sharing. Some of the participating bands were the El Conquistadores, Freedy Johnston, Matt Witte's New Blood Revival, Haywood Trout, bobfields, Cropduster and Tragik.
For 30 years, Hoboken and Jersey City artists have made names for themselves painting, molding and sculpting pieces that equal or exceed the quality of work done across the river in Manhattan. While most of their work tends to take place behind closed doors, visitors are invited to take an up-close look at the artists and their work one day a year during the Hoboken and Jersey City Art Studio Tours.
During this year's tours, pieces from more than a hundred artists in each town were displayed in artists' studios, in local businesses, at artists' lofts and in City Hall. Jersey City's event again spanned an entire weekend. The events were co-sponsored by the Hudson Reporter.
The year 2000 was also a great year for the Hudson Reporter's own Current, the weekly arts and entertainment newspaper for Hudson County. (Check it out on the web each week at www.hudsoncurrent.com!) Not only did the entertainment paper interview greats like Luna, Evan Dando, Alex Chilton, Yo La Tengo and Budd Schullberg, they've also included polls as one of their features. As a result, we know how Hudson residents wear their underwear, have sex and hook up with other singles. It was a good year, indeed. -