Local Music: The Sounds of Union City

Photo from share.america.gov

Photo from share.america.gov

BY MATTHEW HEARON-SMITH

Working as a music supervisor in television and film, sometimes people assume I know everything there is to know about music. It's flattering, but it's nowhere near the truth. Not even close. The history and depth of this cultural art form is literally limitless - rooted in individual and shared experience, a specific time and a particular place. To make up ground on this impossible task, I've learned to be a great listener, a meticulous notetaker, and to soak in as much as I can learn from each new experience. 

My new life in Hudson County has been no different. As a guy that most people would call 'really, really white', my family's new home in Union City has opened my eyes to so many new sights and sounds. I've learned some things too - that Cubans like their coffee really really strong, or that every well-dressed man needs a good guayabera. I've also become a big admirer of the music that floats through the shared outdoor spaces in my new neighborhood - whether from the backyard cookouts of the Ecuadorian family on the corner, or from the old Cuban Jazz records streaming out the kitchen window of the Grandmother across the street. I can even appreciate the reggaeton and Puerto Rican hip hop vibrating through the cars of the kids revving their engines on my block. These sounds are so new to me, so refreshing and so exhilarating. 

To document my musical experiences here in Hudson County, I've compiled a playlist of some of my favorite tracks that I've overheard on Summer evenings, from backyard parties or in the corner bodega. The sounds are as diverse and unique as Union City itself - and are a small glimpse into the depth and history of this amazing little town. 

Matthew Hearon-Smith is a Union City based Music Supervisor currently working on Film, TV and Ads. He is a three-time Guild of Music Supervisors Awards nominee, a Hollywood Music In Media Awards nominee and winner of "Best Use of Music in a Film" at the 22nd Chlotrudis Awards. His specialties include music curation, licensing and clearances, creative placement and deliverables management.

You can follow Matt on Twitter here.

Jersey City Business: Another Man's Treasure Vintage

My day at AMT Vintage was basically a fashion fantasy. I think it may be as close to that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie gets to try on clothes in the Vogue closest as I'll ever get. A staple in Jersey City for 12 years, and having been at 2 previous locations, AMT Vintage is one of the best known Jersey City businesses. It's no wonder why, either. Owner Meika Franz has spent years making relationships with collections, owners and attends vintage trade shows regularly. 

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The store is a huge 2 story space, that's beautifully organized, making finding the perfect vintage piece easy. They sell mens, womens and children's clothing, along with records and accessories (cufflinks, glasses, patches, scarves, cigarette holders, etc.). There are Victorian lace dresses, 1940's gowns, 1950's rompers, leather bombers, and even 1990's Levi's. 

When you meet Meika, a woman who's whole life is about vintage clothing, I expect to meet a cheeky, Bette Page pinup looking vintage aficionado. Instead, it's clear that she wears vintage, but in a classic and everyday way. I immediately knew that I was going to the right person to learn how to incorporate vintage into my everyday look. I myself, have been wearing vintage t-shirts for years, and also went through a phase in high school where I wore a lot of 50's cocktail dresses. But I wanted to expand my horizons. I tried on a gorgeous 1980's silk Chanel blouse, a pair of high waisted Chloe slacks, and a men's Hawaiian print button-down-- all things I would HAPPILY wear in my everyday life.

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But for our next episode I really lived my dreams. With Meika's help, we pulled all kinds of fashion fantasies. The kinds of pieces that make you wish you lived in certain time periods. I tried on a pristine The Who t-shirt, a red 1960's cocktail dress that may have been made for me, and a 1950's prom dress. But the piece that has long been a dream was an ivory robe with feather trim-- a piece I have long fantasized about wearing as an older woman living in a 1930's Manhattan penthouse, with lots of perfectly groomed poodles, all sitting with me on a velvet chaise lounge, as I eat bon-bons and drink vodka martinis. Too specifc?

AMT Vintage has pieces for whatever you're looking for. They'll have whatever you need for a costume party, an AMAZING selection of vintage wedding dresses for the bride looking for something a little different, but don't forget all the amazing pieces you can wear everyday!

Make sure to follow along with their Instagram, as they post new pieces weekly. Plus they's offering 10% off of purchases for HudsonCounty60 viewers.

Happy shopping!