Above, Frank Meyer of The Street Walkin' Cheetahs, multi-tasking: singing, playing guitar, jumping on tables and drinking a beer with the bottle hanging out of his mouth like a Frenchman with his Gauloise.
Above, the best new band I've seen in years, the mighty Dr. Boogie: left to right- Jeff Turpin, Chris P, Dustin James and Luis Herrera
Above left, Lavone Barnett-Seetal and Jeremy White of The Blessings, best Stonesy/rootsy band of this decade; above right, The Two Tens, exuberance incarnate.
Two successive Saturdays in September featured these top flight bands at the Redwood Bar in downtown Los Angeles. The Street Walkin' Cheetahs celebrated their (on and off) twenty years of napalmed punk havoc with a peripatic set that found lead singer/guitarist Frank Meyer and Dino Everett strolling through the crowd (see below) while rhythm section Bruce Duff and Mike Sessa helmed the stage, plus throwing their 20-year-old 45 rpm vinyl singles to the audience. (And what of the "off years?" Well, Frank is a tv and documentary film director of much acclaim, see LINK* and Bruce Duff is an author, composer, and onetime record company publicist.)
Believe or not, this set was topped in a few weeks in San Francisco, wherein the S.W. Cheetahs backed not only Cheetah Chrome (as is their mutually symbiotic wont, see LINK**) for the PUNK 40th year extravaganza at Verdi's, but also Iggy and The Stooges guitarist James Williamson along with Cheetah for a rousing "Raw Power" and "Search And Destroy" encore. There is a connection (and it's certainly not drugs.) Frank Meyer sang at Williamson's All-Star solo Re-Licked gig earlier this year in Los Angeles, see LINK ***
He with his Phil Lynott hair and attitude, she with her super energized drumming, Adam Bones and Rikki Styxx of the Two Tens proved worthy openers to the Street Walkin' Cheetahs show. Styxx remains the most fun and hard-hitting drummer personally witnessed since (sadly disbanded since 2010) Awesome Color's Alison Busch.
Much as I'd like to devote every column inch of every post to Dr. Boogie, it will be saved for a write-up of another gig of theirs in the next post. Suffice it to say, their rock and roll mission to skewer this decade's mid-tempo pop apathy and replace it with bigtime rockin' a la The Faces, Stones and Aerosmith remained secure. I can't wait to hear their forthcoming full album, Gotta Get Back to New York City due to be released this November on Deadbeat Records (LINK****)
If you miss the early to mid-1970s Rolling Stones but can't bear to replay things you've heard a thousand times, then the great, new songwriting and live performance of The Blessings is for you (and me too.) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeremy White, guitarist Mike Gavigan, bassist Frank Scimeca, drummer Jason Upright, keyboardist Jeffrey Howell and Lavone Barnett-Seetal on backup vocals and percussion sounded especially fantastic with the Redwood's emphasis on fine audio qualities (with post-birthday boy Emil Edinger far left jumping onstage.) Every Blessings song features grooves and hooks galore. Their newest 5-song EP Shipwrecked and its material definitely matches the high caliber of their previous two releases, Tomahawk Inn and Bare Bones.