Nice Jewish Boy
©The Hudson Reporter 2003 The basement of the Ristra Lounge on Washington Street was packed on a recent night with Hobokenite Dave Lindenbaum's friends - a group that, because of his effusive personality and songwriting talent, has come to include people who have performed with him, people who've met him, people who've met people who've met him, people who've met people who've met people who've met him, and even a homeless woman who hangs out by the PATH station. That's right - Lindenbaum was randomly spotted a few months ago helping a local homeless woman up Washington Street with her bags, smiling his usual goofy grin. He bought her dinner at McDonald's, completely unaware that a local reporter happened to be passing by. Lindenbaum likes to reach out. Usually he does it in a humorous or melodious way. When he pops into the Ristra's popular Tuesday open mic nights - a hotbed of local talent on the verge - he elicits laughs and cheers. The Friends of Dave (FoD) have learned the words to his humorous songs: 'I've Got A Jewish Mom,' 'Let's Make Love (Even though Your Roommate's in Bed Sleeping'), and 'Beer Goggles on.' Sometimes, he phones his Jewish mom in Long Island from the stage. There are also running gags with the audience; for instance, whenever he mentions the number nine, his friends say 'ninenineninenineninenine...' 'He's got some kind of charisma,' a regular at the lounge said before a recent performance. The night of July 17, Lindenbaum threw a party in the Ristra's basement at 230 Washington St. To celebrate the release of a 5-track demo CD featuring three humorous and two serious songs. One hundred and thirty five fans crowded into the room. Lindenbaum had played with a band at Delaware, 'Dynamite Dave and the 'Baum' Squad' ('We were rated the best band in Newark [Delaware],' he noted proudly). When on his own in Hoboken, he was looking to try out some of his original songs, but wasn't sure whom to perform with. The release On July 17, the basement was packed with Ristra regulars, along with Lindenbaum's co-workers, former classmates, and neighbors from his beach house. The crowd was treated to a resounding performance in which Lindenbaum mixed original songs, cover tunes, and comedic comments. Lindenbaum played the Black Crowes' 'Hard to Handle,' then launched into 'Jewish Mom,' Sublime's 'What I Got,' and Lynard Skynard's 'Sweet Home Alabama.' But he added some ad-libs. He changed one of the lyrics in 'Alabama' to 'Mother ----- Tony Danza' and, toward the end of another song, launched into a long spoken riff involving characters from Beverly Hills, 90210. Lindenbaum's mom, who was there for the show, joined him on stage for 'Jewish Mom.' A good sport, Sheryl Lindenbaum sang and smiled. 'I was proud of him,' said Mrs. Lindenbaum after the show. 'Everything in the song about his Jewish mom is true. And at least he won't end up in a psychiatrist's office, because he got it all out of his system.' Friends of Dave The friends of Dave praised his extroverted personality, friendliness and willingness to entertain. 'He's a free spirit,' said Sue Baranski of Nutley, whose boyfriend shares a beach house in Belmar with Lindenbaum. 'He'll get down and dance.' 'He's never embarrassed,' chimed in boyfriend Chris Luca of Belleville. Lindenbaum's co-worker, Kevin Moran of Bayonne, said, 'It's genuine. He tells it how it is. He's a great singer, and he's got funny lyrics. And he has the heart of a lion when it comes to music.' Friends said their favorite song was 'Beer Goggles,' about believing someone is much more attractive when you're drunk. Ristra regulars frequently request the song and sing along. 'It's just so truthful,' said Toni Catanzaro, a female co-worker from Secaucus. Lindenbaum said that people relate to his songs. ''Jewish Mom' can go for any mom,' he said. 'An Italian mom, a German mom, any time you have an overprotective mom. You figure anyone can relate to it.' Lindenbaum likes it when friends sing along with the songs and get in on his act.
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