April 2004: Alisha Amnesia recaps on Viva Las Vegas #7 and various Hollywood shows

Hey everybody! A whole lot has been going on. So much, in fact that the prospect of sitting down to catch up and write it all makes me want to do anything but! OK, I am going to buckle down and get it done cause I actually have people waiting for it! I’m going to start with the most recent shows and work my way backward.

I saw a favorite punk band of mine, The Stitches, last weekend again, and it bums me out that people in LA don’t seem to go as crazy for them as they do in San Francisco. I said it last time I saw them in January or February that their hometown doesn’t seem to appreciate them as much as other towns do. Granted, I am new here, and maybe LA is tired of them. I’m not though! I think they are great in an old school 77 first wave English Punk kind of way, and I doubt I will ever tire of seeing them.

So both Kastle (LA @ Nite), and Frankie (OC @ Nite) have mentioned how much they love the new indie radio station in our neck of the woods, Indie 103.1. I love it too, but hadn’t really planned to mention it and make everyone outside the LA area annoyed at what they are missing… the best radio station ever. On Tuesday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. is ‘Jonesy’s Jukebox,’ a lunchtime show that Steve Jones (from the Sex Pistols) hosts. I love it becaude he tells stories about the bands he plays and invites guests like Johnny Ramone, Billy Idol, Keith Morris (Circle Jerks), and Ian Astbury (The Cult) to co-host and chat with. It’s amazing. One day on Jonesy’s jukebox, Paul Cook, the drummer from the Sex Pistols called in from England and he was listening online, so maybe you can too. http://indie1031.fm

Anyway, Indie 103.1 recently put on 2 events I had to see. On Tue Apr 13 at a venue called Avalon Hollywood, to celebrate 103 days on the air, they had a free concert that was unbelievably star studded! The band is called ‘Camp Freddy’ and is fronted by the actor, Donovan Leitch with Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison, Matt Sorum (from Guns and Roses and Neurotic Outsiders) on drums, and Chris Chaney. Their special guests who got up to perform kept surprising the crowd, as we didn’t know who might come out next. It was very exciting. The first guest who came out to sing was Juliette Lewis, the actress, who also has a band called Julliette and the Licks. Juliette rocked out like a true cock rocker– no inhibitions, just balls out. She was great. Then came Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes, as well as writer/ producer for Pink and Christina Aguilera among others), with Chad Smith, the drummer from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Chad and Matt did a drum challenge kind of thing, outdoing one another, which was really great. Billy Duffy, guitarist from The Cult, joined in as well, with some long-haired fellow named Jerry Cantrell (who I don’t know about). Then came Lisa Marie Presley. I was thrilled! I would never pay to go see her, but I’ve always been rooting for her, as I know it’s probably hard to live in the shadow of Elvis, and she actually has a great voice and is quite pretty. She is very shy it seemed, and didn’t wait for cheers, just left the stage as quickly as she could. My camera battery died, and then came Billy Joe from Green Day and Steve Jones on guitar. That was a lot of fun. Next came Lemmy from Motorhead! He said “This is the best fucking show you’ll ever see!” Well, as far as having that many surprises and talented musicicians together on one stage for free, he was right! It was awesome and I am so glad I went.

Indie 103.1 also put on a “Liquid Lunch” show on St.Patricks day with Flogging Molly. Since noon is a bit early for a show, I didn’t get there til about 12:45, and I missed the bulk of the show. I entered the Key Club on the Sunset Strip, to a dark packed show, and all of a sudden it felt like it was midnight! Flogging Molly were amazing and I cursed myself for being so slow that I only saw 5 songs. (photos of the show: http://www.indie1031.fm/liquidlunch_floggingmolly.html)

So, now on to Viva Las Vegas! This is an annual Rockabilly weekend event thrown by Tom Ingram, held the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino on Easter weekend. It was 4 nights of music and more. Tom also does the Rockaround, and this years will be held Sept. 24-26. rockaround.net, vivalasvagas.net. I have said it before that Tom Ingram’s music weekenders are the most well organized of any weekenders I attend, and I go to about 3 or 4 every year. I absolutely loved the Rockaround last September, and plan to go again this year.

I had been to the first 2 Viva Las Vegas weekends in 1999 and 2000, and it has really grown since the beginning. 2004 marked the seventh Viva Las Vegas, with 3800 paying guests, plus several thousand more who showed up in Vegas and hung around the casino and its bars but didn’t go in to see the bands. The all day car show Saturday had 500 cars this year. There were also a bunch of tattoo artists set up at the Palms, who did that on their own, but attracted a lot of business as well.

The reason VLV was so well organized is: first, the check-in goes very smoothly. There are several lines set up and a person directs you to the correct one. You show your ID and registration number, and you get your wristband, which takes about 10 minutes at the most. (Some of you may remember the LA Shakedown, which Kastle and I both wrote about 2 summers ago. The (pre-paid) check in was four hours, and people had to wait in the hot LA sun and miss a bunch of bands. That one was organized by a promoter who will remain nameless, but it was NOT one of Tom Ingram’s painlessly smooth events!) Second, there is a schedule you can pick up when you get there that you can put in your purse or pocket and know what is going on at all times. Third, the hotel gives a discount to people who mention Viva Las Vegas, and we all get a special discount. Nice, eh?

The whole weekend was so packed with people that I only ran into my friends every once in a while. I spent the entire weekend meeting new people. I met a lot of guys from San Diego, Huntington Beach, and London. I also met people from Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and New York. A guy I met from Finland looked like the Rockabilly Steve Buschemi. It was weird!

My favorite part of the weekend, besides hanging out with a bunch of heavily tattoed people by the pool, was the car show. There were so many gorgeous cars and motorcycles. I photographed my favorites for all of you to see. My favorite band of the weekend was The Extraordinaires from England. They were a traditional do-wop 50s style group reminiesent of the old Motown groups. They were really fun to watch and their positive energy was infectious. I also really enjoyed Ray Sharpe, from Dallas. He’s an old black guy who was dressed in a head-to-toe 70s getup. He was amusing as well as extremely talented. Johnny Dilks from the San Francisco Bay Area was really good and had the most sparkling suits of the weekend. I also enjoyed Gene Summers, Lloyd Tripp, and Marti Brom. But for me, this weekend was all about meeting new people, drinking, dancing, lounging poolside, and just enjoying myself. I wasn’t there for the music this time. I was there to soak up Vegas! I must have met about 200 guys (and 2 girls)! The Rockaround is really more my taste, since it is more Garage Rock. I look forward to going to that this fall.

I saw a band called “I’m a Robot” at the El Rey Theatre a while back and that was a ton of fun. The singer reminds me of a geeky Adam Ant wanna-be. (I’m sure he is not, but I couldn’t help thinking it.) They are an indie band that has keyboards and a heavy electronica influence. They are quirky and a lot of fun.

I also went to a Psychobilly weekend event in LA called the Road to Macabre. This was a preview for a summer weekender that will happen in June called the Macabre Fest. The previewer was pretty good, with The Meteors and The Hellbillys being the absolute high points of the weekend. The Hellbillys where about the best I have ever seen them. They have a new drummer who is awesome, their Bass player Rick is great, their guitarist, Dan is amazing, and singer Barry is fun to watch as always. I was very impressed at how good they sounded that night. There were also a lot of talented up-and-coming psycho bands. One I enjoyed was Speedcrazy from New Jersey, who has a female stand up Bass player who is adorable and also sings. I also liked a band from the SF Bay Area who are very young called Tabaltix. Calavera, The Slanderin, and Lobo Negro were also pretty cool. I am really looking forward to Macabre Fest because Batmobile from Rotterdam are supposed to play and they are my favorite Psychobilly band. They quit playing a few years ago, but hopefully they will be reuniting for this show, like I heard they are.

The Coolgrrrls CD release in Hollywood happens on Thurs Apr 23, so that’s what is next for me.

Until next time,

XXXOOO- Alisha Amnesia

Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Donavan Leitch and CChaneyDave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Donavan Leitch and Chris Chaneyve Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Donavan Leitch and Chris Chaney)

October 2008: Alisha Amnesia’s 2008 Wrap-up: Punk and Electronica in S.F. & the first U.S. Rockabilly Rave and Billy Idol in Vegas!

Hey readers! The end of the year is upon us, and I’ve seen a lot of great shows that I want to catch you up on. It’s been too long since I’ve updated you, so I’m going back quite a bit. I’ll start with Seattle’s The Cute Lepers, whom I saw at Thee Parkside on Friday, July 18.

I mentioned seeing The Cute Lepers in Austin during the SXSW music festival. I really like this band a lot. Frontman “Steve E. Nix” and Bassist “Kicks” are from The Briefs, and their drummer, “Kaptain Kirk,” is from The Spits. Their brand of catchy pop punk with 2 super hot girl accompanying vocalists, adds a bit of blues into the mix, and reminds me of artists like Lou Reed. They have a punk-meets-Motown kind of vibe. They are extremely fun to see live, and really got the crowd amped. I was absolutely thrilled when they did a Generation X cover, “No, No, No,” because I am obsessed with Generation X. Some gems on the album are ‘Terminal Boredom,’ and ‘So Screwed Up.’ Check them out on myspace, and go see them if they come your way. http://www.myspace.com/thecutelepers

On Sept. 12, I flew to Vegas for the third time this year, to see Billy Idol perform at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I was so happy that I went to this show. Billy Idol looked and sounded great, and the venue was pretty cool, as were the crowd who I interacted with. I was able to get right up front and really enjoy this show, unlike my experience earlier this year seeing him at The Fillmore in San Francisco.

He seemed to do the same set, which was a crowd pleaser, although I really wish he had included ‘Catch my Fall.’ He did ‘Dancing With Myself,’ ‘White Wedding,’ ‘Rebel Yell,’ ‘Shock to the System,’ ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ ‘Blue Highway,’ new songs ‘John Wayne’ and ‘New Future Weapon,’ and of course many more which have now slipped my mind.

As I’ve said before, guitarist Steve Stevens is an amazingly talented rock and roll God as far as both his talent and performance. He totally rocks and makes it look effortless, and his hair is still awesome– big, Johnny Thunders-style rock and roll.

I also give big props to Billy Idol’s stylist, because his clothes and style were hot, but also appropriate for his age and punk rock roots without being cheesy. When I saw him around 2001 or so, he was wearing a lot of tacky shirts– iridescent, see-through, poly blend and bowling shirts, which were just not cool. From about the early 90s till then, his stage clothes and clothes he was photographed in often looked kind of low-grade. He has definitely found the appropriate clothes for the old school hot punk rocker that he is, and although it sounds silly to mention and critique, he is a hot rock and roller who has a very recognizable style and image, and I think that having good style is important for a performer like him. His clothes are great now, and he wears them well. Being hot as hell, and in good shape doesn’t hurt him either. Billy Idol has still got it (meaning talent and sex appeal), unlike a lot of rockers his age still touring.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, I went to the Thrasher Race to Hell Tour at Thee Parkside featuring Throwrag and The Lower Class Brats. Having seen them on bills many times over the years, I had never been a Throwrag fan, but they finally started to get through to me a bit. I listened to their new CD, ‘Second Place,’ and actually enjoyed it, as well as the live show. Their show was a lot of fun and people seemed to love it. The standout band of this tour in my opinion though, was The Lower Class Brats. I absolutely love them. I got their CD and am addicted to it. One lyric on a song called ‘P.G.L.’ that I love is, “We’re gonna quit our jobs, cause they don’t make no money, you act so serious, we think you act funny!” Ha ha. For some reason, I just love those lyrics. I also love their song, “I’m a Mess.” If you like punk rock, check out their myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/38807129

On Sunday, Sept. 28, I went to the annual SF Folsom St. Fair, which is the biggest Street Fair here, and caters to the gay leather culture. Despite this, many walks of life and many heterosexuals attend, because they book great bands. I went down there with my adorable new dog, to see The Presets and Berlin. The English Beat also played, but they played at the same time as The Presets, and I have seen the English Beat in the past. Since the current band doesn’t have Ranking Roger, and I am interested in cool new music, I chose to see The Presets instead.

It was a choice well made, as The Presets were a blast to watch. They sounded great, and the crowd loved it. They are an Australian Electro-new wave/ pop sort of band, whom I really enjoy. If you like that sort of music, check them out. Their page has one of their best songs on it, called “Talk Like That.” http://www.myspace.com/thepresets

Berlin were also awesome to watch. Singer Terri Nunn looked amazing. She is in her late 40s, but looked early 30s. They sounded as good as ever, and everyone really enjoyed it.

Oct. 3-5, I went back to Vegas for the fourth time this year, to attend the first US Rockabilly Rave, put on by Jerry Chatterbox (UK) and Tom Ingram, who does Viva Las Vegas every spring. I really enjoyed this event. It was held at The Orleans Hotel and Casino, which has the coolest hot tub I have ever been in. I love it because it is really big, with a rock volcano fountain in the center. It could probably seat about 40 people.

The event was so well planned. Everything actually happened on a tight schedule, which I really appreciated. I attempted to see as many bands as possible. There were 4 bands that were the standouts of the weekend for me: Luis and the Wildfires, Jack Rabbit Slim, Deke Dickerson, and Big Sandy and The Fly Rite Boys (who’ve been a favorite of mine for a decade, and just keep getting better). http://www.myspace.com/thewildfires

http://www.myspace.com/jackrabbitslimuk

http://www.myspace.com/dekedickerson

http://www.myspace.com/bigsandyandhisflyriteboys

Both Luis and the Wildfires and Jack Rabbit Slim are great Rockabilly bands whose front men have crazy, contagious energy. They both had their greased locks flying and hips shaking all over the place like Elvis, and were tons of fun to watch. Big Sandy and Deke both have more of a cool demeanor with a lot of humor thrown in, and they both have a more Western flavor to their sound.

Luis and the Wildfires are traditional Rockabilly with a bluesy wild ferocity. Luis has a nice voice, and the band are all very talented musicians. During their show, some guy kept throwing beer all over the band, soaking their vintage clothes and their expensive equipment, and causing the stagehands to have to work really hard unplugging and replacing monitors. It was totally causing concern and pissing me off, so I ended up pouring my watered down drink over the responsible culprit’s head! I was scared he might come after me and get violent, so I moved pretty fast to ensure he didn’t see me. Later, I found out 3 more girls poured drinks over his head after I did! Ha, ha!

After they played, I told the band the story, and they knew the guy spewing beer all over them. Apparently he’s a friend of the band who often does that to them, and they don’t mind! I met the guy later, and admitted it was me, and he was really cool about it. The whole thing was pretty funny.

 

Jack Rabbit Slim seem like a good-time rockabilly band… meaning the subject matter is mostly light, much like popular rock and roll in the 50s. Their sound is bass-line driven and makes you want to move. Their sound and energy really got the crowd going. I want to thank Brad Graves from Canada for sharing pictures with me. (Photos of Jack Rabbit Slim, Luis & the Wildfires, Tom Ingram and I, and me with the ‘passed out guy’ by Brad Graves. Check out his band, The Grave Mistakes: http://www.myspace.com/thegravemistakes)

Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys are one of my favorite Rockabilly bands. Their lyrics vary from amusing to insightful and many invoke familiar feelings, like he’s singing about universally relatable human experiences—cheating companions, love, good times, and the like. Frontman Robert has a beautiful velvety voice, and the band are all insanely skilled musicians.

One (older) song that I really enjoyed live called ‘Let Her Know,’ reminded me of what was happening around us all weekend. The lyrics encourage a guy to go and talk to the bewitching stranger he has his eye on instead of letting the moment pass. I think more people need to take that advice. Carpe Diem! The song talks about going for it, which I support. (It was fun hanging out with Robert from Big Sandy, whom I coaxed into letting me take photos of him drinking a glass full of cigarette butts. He’s such a good sport.) Their new release, ‘Turntable Matinee’ is great. They are playing in SF at the Red Devil Lounge on Dec. 12, and I look forward to seeing them again.

Deke Dickerson is immensely talented, and has been at it forever, like Big Sandy. They both have large catalogs of recordings. Deke’s latest recording, ‘King of the Whole Wide World,’ has a song on it that I got the biggest kick out of, called, ‘Misshapen Hillbilly Gal.’ It’s about pudgy girls in low jeans with ‘muffin tops.’ It is so clever and funny. The whole album is really good. Although Deke is a little more country than the rockabilly that I typically go for, his talent is absolutely undeniable, and he’ll likely make a fan out of anyone with an open mind—and ear.

In all, the Rockabilly Rave was a lot of fun. These events always are. As usual, there are always a few people who overindulge. See the photo of me with a guy who was passed out asleep right in front of a stack of huge loud speakers! I met people from all over; I enjoyed the Orleans Hotel and Casino, the Vendors, and the general vibe of the weekend. I know this event will grow to be a success, and I’m glad I was there to be a part of it from the beginning. http://groups.myspace.com/rockabillyraveusa

Back in San Francisco, I went to a super fun monthly 80s night on Saturday, Oct. 25, and again on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 111 Minna Gallery called Barracuda. I’ve been a few times now, and always have a blast. The energy and the music are always positive and fun. There are 2 rooms with DJs, one is 80s dance, and the other is old school hip-hop and 80s. I always enjoy Barracuda, and will definitely go again. It’s held every fourth Saturday. http://www.myspace.com/barracudasf

On Tuesday Oct. 28, I went to see The Damned at Slims. They were really great. I hadn’t seen them in several years, but Dave Vanian’s voice sounded great. He wore an old style tuxedo and had a pencil mustache. He reminded me of a 30s black and white silent film star. Captain Sensible on guitar kept the crowd highly amused between songs. Patricia Morrison is no longer playing bass with the band. (She and Vanian were married. I have no idea if they still are.) Their website makes no mention of it, but someone named Stu West is the current bass player. They did all their crowd pleasers, and I’m so glad I went. They haven’t lost their luster. www.officialdamned.com/

On Halloween, I went to see Yelle at Mezzanine. Yelle is a French electronica/ pop dance band, and I really like a lot of their music. They were fun, and the Halloween partygoers were really into it. I like their faster songs. Since they’re French, I have no idea what they are singing about, which makes this band a unique change of pace for me. They are very catchy and I’m definitely a fan, even though I don’t know what they are saying! Check them out. http://www.myspace.com/iloveyelle

All right readers, that’s all for now. Enjoy the Holiday Season! I hope that 2009 will bring positive changes to the USA now that we have a new President, Obama, and I also hope we will bring you some new Coolgrrrls to read about from all over the globe! Until next time,

XXXOOO Alisha Amnesia

Aug 2004: Alisha Amnesia visits San Francisco where the Angry Amputees need your help and reports on some L.A. shows

Hey readers. I’m still like a fish out of water out here in LA. I can’t seem to afford to go to a lot of the shows I want to see, and I have been out of work, and looking for seven months! I have been missing the music scene in SF, and then I got some bad news about a friend from the Bay Area.

Dalty, who is well-known in the Bay Area Punk Scene as the bass player (and amputee) in the Angry Amputees, is in the hospital. The Angry Amputees are a great band with a female singer and drummer who are absolutely loved by all who have seen them. Dalty, (their bassist) is an amazing guy who survived Airborne Meningitis (flesh eating bacteria), which caused him to lose his fingers and his legs from the knees down so he uses a wheelchair. He still manages to rock out on the bass, drive all over San Francisco; and do just about all the things that people might think he can’t do. Now he has an infection that spread to his heart, and he also found out he has a heart murmur, which makes it even harder to fight off the infection. He does not have health insurance, and now he needs open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. He has to stay in the hospital for one month on IV antibiodics to try to fight the infection, after which he needs the surgery.

Bookers and bands in the SF local scene are putting together benefits for him, and the band has also set up a Pay Pal account through their website which is accepting donations to help with his hospital bills. Check their website for updates or to make a donation. http://www.theamputees.com If you or anyone you know would like to help, please do whatever you can. (You can also join their friends list on Myspace.com, under their username, Angry Amputees, and check there for updates.)

When I got the news about Dalty, I decided to drive up to San Francisco to see him in the hospital and to attend the first benefit at “Camputee,” where some of the band lives and they also practice. I heard they raised around 500 bucks, and obviously there is a long way to go from there.

While back in San Francisco, I had such a wonderful time seeing old friends and great bands. I saw The Radio Reelers (who have great Ramones-like energy) play a free show at Molotov’s, and I saw The Silencers and The Lustkillers at Lost and Found Saloon. All the bands put on great shows, and the weekend made me realize how much I miss SF and how at home I feel there. I wish I still lived there, but I moved to LA because there are a lot of jobs in Music and Entertainment Publicity, and San Francisco doesn’t have that. It is tough to leave the city you love and adore to move somewhere else that you don’t like as much just to work; but in today’s awful US job market, you had better do whatever you can to find work. I will always love San Francisco, and if I can find a way to live there again, I will do it. In the meantime, I will visit often.

As far as good shows in LA, I went to 3 since my last update. I saw The Partisans at the El Rey Theatre on Thursday July 22, and they put on a great show. They sounded just like their records, and had the energy of young guys, even though they aren’t anymore. They were selling shirts that said, “The Partisans… 17 years of hell,” which I thought was pretty funny. I didn’t dig the crowd there though. It was 90 percent underage punk rock kids, and maybe only 10 percent people over 21. The door staff wouldn’t let me come in with my bullet belt, or let my friend wear his wallet chain… all the typical bullshit that is annoying at punk shows.

The next night, Friday July 23, I went to see Bow Wow Wow at the Key Club. I actually really enjoyed the show. Adrian from No Doubt played the drums. Anabella sounded and looked very good. Her voice was perfect, just as it was when she began at 14; and she jumped around a lot and put on a very high energy set. I never owned a full album of theirs. I only have a few songs on compilations, but I discovered I like them more than I thought I did. They have sort of a Hindi- influenced New Wave sound, which is quite unique.

(Aug.) Friday the 13th, I went to see a band I really like called The Deep Eynde at The Derby. I have been seeing this band for about four years. They are based in LA, and just got signed to Dwayne Peters’ record label. (I don’t know the name of the label though.) They are heavily Goth influenced, with a punk rock edge. The singer, Fate’s, voice sounds a lot like Dave Vanian’s (of the Damned). The turnout at the show was excellent, completely filling up the Derby; and the crowd was at full attention for their set. I have always been a fan of theirs, and they seem to get better and better. I think this band will gain further popularity after they release the new record. http://www.deepeynde.com

I wanted to see Stiff Little Fingers recently, and the following week, The Damned, both at the House of Blues. Unfortunately, there is no way for a penny-pinching punk rocker to be able to afford a show there, so I have re-named it the “House of Expensive.” A show is $15.50+ a $2.00 Building Fee + a $6.25 Convenience Charge, + it costs anywhere from $7.00 – $15.00 to park on the Sunset Strip where the club is located. (This BS is my least favorite thing to get accustomed to in LA.)

I will probably be going to the Las Vegas Rockaround Sept. 24-26, so be looking out for that. http://www.rockaround.net

Until next time…

XOXO- Alisha Amnesia

Sept 2004: Alisha Amnesia gets her feet wet in the local L.A. scene with free punk shows

I had one of the most fun weekends I have had yet in Los Angeles recently. I was able to see 2 free shows, 2 nights in a row, and both were great, amazing bands!

First, on Friday Sept. 10, I got to see Zeke play a free show at the House of Blues. The reason it was free was because they were touring with Motorhead, who had to cancel. I would not have been able to afford to go to that, but when Zeke played for free without Motorhead, It was TOTALLY AMAZING, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to witness it. http://www.zekeyou.com/

Zeke are hard rockin’ balls-out, kick ass Rock N Roll! (Think Motorhead… there is a reason they tour together). I didn’t even care when an entire beer ended up all over my shirt! (Well, it was a bit sticky so I cared a little, but not that much!) I’m also glad I got to see the House of Blues, since I have been too broke to attend any shows there. I finally got to at least see what I’ve been missing. I also ran into a couple of guys from an L.A. band that I used to love to go see when they would come through San Francisco, called Hollywood Hate. They are a great punk band that unfortunately broke up shortly before I moved here. They were so good; I wish they were still together. Damn them!

When Zeke left the stage, I decided to rush over to the Troubadour where The Briefs (from Seattle) were headlining. I did miss the show, but I found out they were playing a secret free show the following night at Zen Sushi. I was so excited, and really glad that I went to say hi even though I had missed their show. Had I not stopped by, I wouldn’t have known about the free show the next night.

So Sat Sept. 11, I went to Zen Sushi to see The Briefs. (This is the first Setember 11th that I have had a rad time since you-know-when.) The Briefs just continue to get better and better, with more new songs, and they never seem to lose any originality. Many bands that I get excited about record a couple of albums that are great, and then I get bored with their follow up. This isn’t true of The Briefs. Their new album, ‘Sex Objects’ is even better than the first two. I highly recommend that people into punk rock and new wave, BUY THEIR MUSIC! The band seems to have tireless energy, constantly touring, and putting on high-energy shows night after night, as well as continuing to record new material. They also have great graphics and great merchandise! I can’t say enough good things about them. I am a huge fan and supporter of theirs. If by chance, you haven’t heard this band, they remind me a lot of the Buzzcocks. Check out their website, which unlike a lot of bands, they seem to keep updated! http://www.thebriefs.com/

A few weeks ago, I saw another great Seattle band, The Girls, (also at Zen Sushi). Contrary to their name, the band is made up of guys. I saw them in San Francisco back in 2000, the first time they came to play California. They have gotten a lot better since then, but I knew even back then that I liked them. I could just tell that they had that certain something that got me excited about them, even though they played at a shitty dive that hardly anyone was at. Because of that first impression several years ago, I was excited to go see them when they came through town. They did not dissapoint me. They are very 80s New wave-influenced, which I really love. They have some similarities with the Briefs as well, and I believe they have toured together. (Where the hell was I at the time?!) Check out their website, and go see them if they come through your town! http://www.thegirlsseattle.com/

The Girls had really great energy, and played on a good bill with The Checkers (an LA band I wrote about a few mos. ago) and The Chopsticks. The Checkers have a girl singer who sounds better than last time I saw them. They seem to be getting tighter too. I already thought they were good in the first place, and I know I will go see them again. They are also New Wave, and they made me almost feel like I didn’t miss out on the 80s music scene. Seeing them is like being in the movie Valley Girl if you close your eyes. (OK, maybe that’s going a bit far, but if you like that sort of thing, check them out!)

The Chopsticks were all right too, but I didn’t get as excited about them. I think that they have potential to get better though. I loved it when they threw chopsticks at the audience, and their musical style is good– new wave with some Ramones thrown in.

Coming up: On Satuday Sept. 18, there is a fundraiser for the All-Girl Roller Derby here in town, “L.A. Derby Dolls.” The event is called “Hellraiser II- a Night at the Carnival!” The event is to raise money for them to get their act together. It sounds like a blast. There will be a Pie-Eating Contest, Sumo Suit Wresting, Dunk-a-Doll, a Velcro Wall, Djs, Performers, Prizes and more! It starts at 8pm. More info: http://www.derbydolls.com

1460 Naud St. Downtown LA, 90012

$10 before 10pm, $15 after 10pm, 21 and up.

Also that same day is an all girl skateboard event where Cool Girls Skateboards will have a booth set up and I plan to stop by to check it out.

The following weekend, Sep 24- 26 in Tom Ingram’s Las Vegas Rockaround! I can’t wait! There are tons of bands, and I plan on having fun in the sun! Our NYC Coolgrrrl, Kitty Kowalski will be there too! Check out the website- it is not too late to book! http://rockaround.net/

Also coming up: Hammerlock comes to Hollywood! SF Bay Area “Outlaw Musicians” Hammerlock play the Viper Room on Sept. 30! This show is not to be missed!

If you are a band playing the L.A. area that is my cup of tea (punk, garage, new wave, psychobilly, or rockabilly) please send me an email and invite me to come see your show. Please do not add me to your band’s email list unless you are a local band who is in one of the genres I listed though. Due to spam, I recently had to change my coolgrrrls email address.

RIP Johnny Ramone. Another great contributor to the music I love is gone.

Until Next time…

XoXo Alisha Amnesia