Sunday, June 21, 2015



Our rare local concerts by The Ruby Friendman Orchestra inspire great cause for celebration. Images thereof always lean to the dramatic because the onstage emotions penetrate deeply, genuinely, and real. And yes, the high quality of the music/delivery indeed justifies a certain theatricality. 

RFO's gig at The Mint for Hunnypot's (LINK) evening of musical thrills proved amazing as usual, a wonderous set of bone-chilling ballads whose lyrics probably were written in runes (see "Hunt You Down," below*,) plus assorted torch stompers showcasing Ms. Friedman's astonishing songwriting and vocal prowess. RFO also performed a memorable cover of Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive."

Right, Adam Zimmon from The Hit House; not seen in the night's pix, fellow RFO songwriter, arranger and drummer Alex Elena. The Orchestra featured a fulltime cellist as well as the traditional rock staples.


 Whereas to me Ruby's fetching stage attire harkened to (left) Whistler's Symphony in White #1, 1862 (an affectionate portrait of his girlfriend, Jo Hiffernan,) Ms. Friedman herself clarified, "I was thinking Saloon Girl meets Maxfield Parrish."
 Close enough...
 Sharing the bill:
Felice Lazae, Anahita Skye and the sweet singing sounds of The Silver Lake Chorus
Donna Balancia, Editor of California Rocker (LINK), author/singer Orit Arfa, and the inimitable Ms. Ruby Friedman her own bemused self.

*"Hunt You Down" video clip** performed by Ruby Friedman Orchestra at The Mint 6.1.15.  This is an original song by The Hit House for the Playstation game Bloodborne, just released in spring, 2015.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Do I weary of photographing the same bands? Never when they're this great and also the best new band I've witnessed in years. The more one sees Dr. Boogie, the better they seem, hallmark of incipent greatness in all A list bands of The Bigs. To wit: for a band together less than a year, they retain every possible factor going for them-- highly listenable, memorable songs that are referential to the most interesting rock from the past but identifiable only as their own spin on same, amazingly performed with tight prowess by attractive young guys with their own look, singly and collectively.

  Twisted lyrics extoll the admirable qualities of slutty girls somehow without dipping into the misogyny of the early Rolling "Stupid Girl" Stones. Their arrangements remain uniformly excellent, and onstage this lively band sounds just like its demos and EP releases despite the lack of the recordings' keyboards, horn sections, extra percussion and backup singers. Patrick "Frenchy" French did join in on harp for a song at this El Cid gig.

Their international potential remains huge. They get the hard rock right with the roll and swagger hammering any groove, unlike most of their young British or European counterparts who just think they do because they sport guitars. This El Cid gig spotlighted excellent new material just to keep things fresh, Chris P testifying in his voice of liquid gravel, with all members firing on all cylinders, despite the over-heated atmosphere within that (invisibly) almost felled a bandmember. Indeed, they are unstoppable: another bandmember arrived on genuine crutches! The show must go on, because audiences always love Dr. Boogie. Improbably for someone who's documented the best of the hard rock genres for the last five decades, so do I.

Check out California Rocker's interview with Dr. Boogie r.e. their future plans:


The occasion also showcased Shipwrecked, a new release by their chums The Blessings who preceded their set. Singer Jeremy White and friends' rootsy rock always prove a great complement. Pictured below right, Lavone Seetal, Jeremy White and Mike Gavigan. By the by, Facebook friends of the lead singer can check out his own excellent photography therein...



Sunday, June 14, 2015


LITTLE CAESAR revved up for their forthcoming summer European tour with a gig/pre-tour party at Paladino's, Reseda CA  May 29, 2015. Seen here, singer Ron Young reaching out to a fan responding to Ron's characteristic emotion-packed soul/rock vocals.

Little Caesar's Ron Young, Tom Morris and Loren Molinare 2015 welcomed Cary Beare on guitar and Pharoah Bennett on bass, (the latter eventually celebrating when American Pharoah, his throroughbred namesake spelling his name similarly, won the Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing.)  All rocked hard, soulful as before, characteristic onstage camaraderie intact. No wonder all Europe loves them... Little Caesar's two and half decade history here: LINK and LINK.

 Above, Tracy Marshall Isaacs, Danny Isaacs, Tony Matteucci. Years ago Danny was in Loren's other band, Detroit/Hollywood's legendary THE DOGS when Danny was seventeen: Tony has been THE DOGS' drummer since the mid-1980s.  Below, Donna Balancia, editor of California Rocker (LINK) and new friend.

Here's the Europe Tour 2015 dates:
19/06/2015 Puerto de Sta Maria - Spain @ Puerto Sherry - Harley Davidson HOG Weekend
20/06/2015 Weert - Holland @ Bosuil w/ Jared James Nichols
21/06/2015 Selestat - France @ Fête de la Musique (open air) w/ Jared James Nichols
22/06/2015 Krefeld - Germany @ Kulturrampe
23/06/2015 Verviers - Belgium @ Spirit of 66
24/06/2015 Frankfurt - Germany @ Nachtleben
26/06/2015 Zaragoza - Spain @ Sala Lopez
27/06/2015 Aviles - Spain @ Centro Niemeyer
28/06/2015 Cangas - Spain @ Salason
30/06/2015 Madrid - Spain @ La Boîte Live
01/07/2015 Estepona - Spain @ Louie Louie
02/07/2015 Cartagena - Spain @ Sala Budokan
03/07/2015 Spain tba
04/07/2015 Barcelona - Spain @ Razz3

This gorgeous poster is by Angela Martinez Martinez. Lucky Spaniards get even more Little Caesar!

Monday, June 8, 2015


By extraordinary coincidence, Los Angeles' four best local live (and recording) acts kicked summer tours off playing within 8 nights of one another for one helluva thrill-packed week+1, May 30, 31, June 1 and 6, 2015.  Photofeatures on each to follow momentarily. For now, a preview of sorts with a hands on theme-- from upper left clockwise: Little Caesar, Dr. Boogie, Ruby Friedman Orchestra and The Dogs.

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