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)