The New 'Jersey Boys': More With Alex Bleeker

In March, Real Estate released its fourth studio album, In Mind, and Bleeker sat down with BERGEN to discuss their new sound, why arts funding was so crucial to their success and why being from New Jersey is “cool.”



How has being from New Jersey influenced you as a band? It’s been really cool to come from Jersey because there’s a lot of pride that people from New Jersey share with one another. It sometimes gets a bad rap, but it’s like people who like a sports team that always loses—you come together and have a lot of pride. And it brings us together with other bands from Jersey. There’s a lineage of music from the Hoboken scene, specifically Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken and WFMU radio. For instance, we discovered The Feelies and loved them, and it turned out they were from a neighboring town. So we got to meet them and play shows with them. It’s cool to be part of that. We are really proud of our Jersey roots.

Bergen County has produced a lot of successful musicians. In what way do you think this area is conducive to creative success? We come from a place of affluence and privilege. We recognize that we are very fortunate that way. We had all of these incredible opportunities with public art education in school, and we had progressive parents who supported our endeavors in the arts.

And that’s an important topic right now with arts programs in danger of losing federal funding. Exactly. We’d like to see those opportunities given to all people. Having those resources to do what we wanted to do had a massive influence on our success. There’s a lot of inequality, and we were just so fortunate to be born into a place of privilege. We are a shining example of what a solid public school education can bring.

Where in New Jersey did you used to play or see shows? I grew up going to Maxwell’s in Hoboken, but honestly, a lot of our local shows were happening in people’s backyards or garages.

What would you say to other artistic kids growing up in the Jersey ’burbs about pursuing a creative career? My main advice is don’t stop, and don’t let anyone discourage you. I used to say, “Have a plan B,” but now I say, “Do whatever you want.” Music doesn’t have to be your source of income or career—you can still do it if you’re passionate about it. To be successful by any measure, you have to just keep going and keep creating. That goes for anything you’re passionate about.

What was your plan B? Actually, I’m doing my plan B. My plan A was to become an actor!

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December 2018

Preparing for Christmas "Spiritually" Concert with Al Barbarino In the past 15 years, Al has recorded 8 CD's with music that just radiates God's love to the listener....

Cost: Free

Where:
Church of the Assumption
29 Jefferson Ave.
Emerson, NJ  07630
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Sponsor: Church of the Assumption
Telephone: 201-262-1122
Contact Name: Father Paul Cannariato
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Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, and Narrator tell Prokofiev's fanciful tale of a boy who meets a wolf when he doesn't follow his grandfather's instructions and goes into...

Cost: free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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Preparing for Christmas "Spiritually" Concert with Al Barbarino In the past 15 years, Al has recorded 8 CD's with music that just radiates God's love to the listener....

Cost: Free

Where:
Church of the Assumption
29 Jefferson Ave.
Emerson, NJ  07630
View map »


Sponsor: Church of the Assumption
Telephone: 201-262-1122
Contact Name: Father Paul Cannariato
Website »

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Just in time for Christmas - a present for a friend or family, or a present for yourself. Design your own earrings! Amy Kanarek of Amy Kanarek Designs will lead a hands-on workshop where...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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Laugh the loudest for your favorite improvisation! In this comedic tour de force, WP students prompt suggestions from the audience and create improvisations that will have you rolling in the aisles!

Cost: More info: stroppele@wpunj.edu

Where:
William Paterson University, Hobart Hall
Wayne , NJ


Telephone: 973.720.2371
Contact Name: Phillip Sprayberry
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Kevin Woyce uses original photography, vintage images, and live music to explore favorite Christmas traditions from the First Christmas to "A Christmas Carol", "White...

Cost: free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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Sketches are written and performed by WP students in a fun-filled evening of laughter. If you like Saturday Night Live, then this is the show f or you!

Cost: More info: stroppele@wpunj.edu

Where:
William Paterson University, Hobart Hall
Wayne , NJ


Telephone: 973.720.2371
Contact Name: Phillip Sprayberry
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Please join us at City Place in Edgewater, NJ for two days of Holiday Mood, Food and Fun! Shoppers will get into the holiday spirit with live caroling, yummy giveaways, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
City Place at the Promenade
225 River Road
Edgewater, NJ  07020
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Telephone: 212-993-5815

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The imagination Movers bring their positivity and enthusiasm to this interactive holiday treat for the whole family. Their live stage show has been praised by Parenting magazine and inspires...

Cost: $25, $55 VIP seating and meet-and-great (limited to 150 tickets)

Where:
Shea Center for the Performing Arts
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
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Sponsor: WP Presents!
Telephone: 973-720-2371
Contact Name: Phillip Sprayberry
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New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents The Nightmare Before Christmas on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2:00 & 7:30 PM. Based on a story and characters created by Tim Burton, 1993’s...

Cost: $39 - $89

Where:
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center Street
Prudential Hall
Newark, NJ  07102
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Join the Bergen County Historical Society for their 35th Annual Colonial Christmas Concerts and Tavern Fare at Historic New Bridge. The Colonial Christmas Concerts featuring Linda Russell and...

Cost: $34 non-members, $27 BCHS members. Tavern fare is an additional cost.

Where:
Historic New Bridge Landing
1201 Main Street
River Edge, NJ  07661
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Sponsor: Bergen County Historical Society
Telephone: 201-343-9492
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Share in the laughter as WP students from the stand-up introduction class take their final exam by performing live at one of New York City's premier comedy clubs!

Cost: Reservations: Gotham Comedy Club 212.367.9000

Where:
Gotham Comedy Club, NYC
NYC, NJ


Telephone: 973.720.2371
Contact Name: Phillip Sprayberry
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