Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PETRA HADEN, JAMES WILLIAMSON, GABBY GRAVES and SELF: FASHION FORWARD!




 

First photo: Heather Harris for Leopard Lady Records. I love being a fashion 
forward taste-maker! Here is my cover for Petra Haden & James Williamson's "Blues Jumped The Rabbit" released earlier this year, followed by the brand new look of all of Faustine Steinmetz' runway models for Fashion Week this past month. Gabby Grave's exact, custom shades to my own specification, lighter Wedgewood blue and glamourous, not odd, with light pink lips, plus Gabby's own expert application, have been mirrored exactly. Take a bow, Petra, James, Gabby and self!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

PETER LEWIS and daughter ARWEN LEWIS FOR 9.12.16 BENEFIT at SKINNY'S


Outstanding performance logged in 9.12.16 at Skinny's Lounge by Arwen Lewis and her dad Peter Lewis (one of the three hotshot singer/songwriter/guitarists from the astounding front line of 1960s legends Moby Grape. Not hyperbole: I saw them live. They were the one San Francisco group of all kick ass players.) Nowadays, Arwen and Peter offer a triple whammy of strong singing, strong instrumental performance and strong material, much of it from that amazing Grape debut album. Arwen's clear soprano wraps around Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" or her own Patsy Cline-like "Sweet Dreams," Peter offers his blend of intricate string slinging and singing on his originals like "If Life Were Just A Game," then the two combine for powerhouse duets on classic Moby Grape songs like "Omaha," Sittin' By The Window," "If You Can't Learn From Your Mistakes" and an incendiary "Fall On You."

The show, a MusiCann Cancer Benefit organized by Skinny's Happenin' Harry and Doug Goldstein raised money for cancer patient Valorie McMahon also featured-- wait for it -- The Nine Inch Chili Pumpkins All Star Band featuring Happenin' Harry, Robby Rist (all growed up from actual The Brady Bunch tv show,) Murv Douglas (also on guitar,) plus perfomances by Peter DiStefano, guitarist for Porno For Pyros/Perry Farrell Band and Killing Floor, the Pleasure Burn band, actress/singer Kylie Dakota and comedian Barry Sobel. 



Sunday, September 11, 2016

FELIX CAVALIERE AND THE HAILERS, LIVE 9.9.16 at the CANYON CLUB















The Canyon Club, Agoura Hills
CA hosted a whole lotta all around good music on 9.19.16 with Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and openers The Hailers.

 Cavaliere was premiere singer/songwriter of The Young Rascals (later The Rascals,) the New Jersey born and bred hit-making machine of R&B-tinged pop with an unusually upbeat mien.

 Unlike some phoned in oldies acts, Cavaliere has showed the world how to do a knockout set of one's 1960s hits-- sing 'em with all the teenage passion with which one originally 
wrote them. The Canyon Club lapped up his originals, co-written with Rascal Eddie Brigatti, "Groovin," "It's A Beautiful Morning," "Good Lovin'" and the always incandescent ballad of teen romantic angst "How Can I Be Sure."

Rascal covers of others' tunes like "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" came with preambles of interesting patter of stories behind the songs. Most touching was Cavaliere's tale of an African-American stranger coming forth to bear hug him, who related "You put my song on the B side of one of your big hits. Wilson Pickett heard it and covered it, a movie producer heard it and put it in a hit movie, and now everyone knows it and I have a good life with the royalties, all thanks to you." The man was Mack Rice, the song was the immortal "Mustang Sally." 

Digital light show for Felix Cavaliere's Rascals. 
Openers The Hailers well complemented the show. They are a large ensemble who write and perform original, brand spankin' new, future retro Rock!


















 The Hailers are helmed by lead singer/guitarist Robert Mills and singer/bassist April Carson.
Then we have additional guitarist Aaron Wolfson; drummer Billy DiBlasi; percussionist: Paul Cassarino; keyboards: Richard (Koz) Kosinksi; Hammond organ: Ron Guzek; backup singers: Lori Herek and Adrena Jensen. Total= 9 souls. Have I forgotten anyone?
 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

THE BLESSINGS ROCK SUNSET BEACH 8.27.16


Strange evening for one of L.A.'s best bands of this century, THE BLESSINGS on Aug. 27, 2016. At a dive bar club in the oceanic hinterlands of Sunset Beach CA that we'll call "Parental Unit's" during one this group's most popular songs "Shipwrecked," a Parental Unit's employee that we'll call "Miss Bummer" suddenly darted between the dancers and tried to stop them dancing, then halted the band's set with gestures initially taken to be personal distress on the part of Miss Bummer. 

What sort of capitalist establishment stops patrons from dancing, people from drinking, and the headlining band from playing live? Rumors abounded that the club lacked permits for live acts, making their booking of three loud rock bands all the more puzzling. 

Parental Unit's dive bar should be grateful The Blessings didn't follow the tack of THE DOGS who routinely played until all the plugs were pulled, or Ahab/Rehab who, when told to turn down the volume cheerfully all switched instruments claiming they couldn't possibly play as intensely. It took the management two whole songs before it realized it had been duped.

Oh well, at least I got to hear several brand new original songs amongst their material. Now on to more professional venues...Stalwart troupers The Blessings are: Jeremy White, lead vocals, harmonica, guitar; Mike Gavigan, lead guitar; Jason Upright, drums, Lavone Seetal, vocals and percussion; Jeffrey Howell, keyboards; Lights Out Levine, bass. More info within, click: LINK*.

 Openers Big Rig Dollhouse 
played admirable British boogie 
covers, plus a surprising take 
on Funkadelic's "Super Stupid" 
that translated quite well into 
British boogie! Leader of the
threesome is seen jumping on the bar,
 and above, commiserating 
backstage with Jeremy.

Perhaps it should have been seen as an omen, but on my way to this non-local gig was an entire automobile engulfed in flames, no doubt detaining commuters on the opposite side of the 405 Freeway for a minimum of 2 additional hours.  Here's two seconds of it shot while driving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i07qudDehBA

*http://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Blessings
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