Monday, July 31, 2006

Clearly Absolute Monster Weekend

Well it's all over but the hangover, and is unlikely to reoccur in that order, but gimme about 5 days and we'll see what happens. I'm talking 'bout the weekend of course, and like Janes Addiction once said "Summertime Rolls" and I guess we'll just have to take their word fo it.

Janes Addiction - Summertime Rolls

I squoze in a number of events over the course of the last few daze, but due to general late night fatigue we'll spare ya all the hoary details of Alcoholocausts gone by & whatnot...

Howz about I just update ya with the most recent info from Sunday's sunny grand finale...

We'll pick up shortly after I left the lovely waterfront chaos of the finish line of the San Francisco Marathon, bought some new Florsheim's for my feets and headed to North Beach.

The images below are from a performance lasterday afternoon in Washington Square Park by Jon Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen ensemble at the North Beach Jazz Fest.

For the uninitiated, Cleary is a funky white boy keys player via the British Isles who set up shop in New Orleans, and has emerged an unlikely expert on de musique dey calls 'FUNK'. He's actually got a part time gig as Bonnie Raitt's touring keyboardist, and ya may have seen him late last month on Conan doing a duet with her on his composistion Unnecessarily Mercenary. Cleary's got hs own band as well & their Alligator Lips & Dirty Rice sound is the grittier stuff than that with Bonnie.

Jon Cleary has been plying his trade in the funky nightspots of the city that care forgot for more than a few years and even before his debut LP in 1989, he has mastered the art of Loose Booty motivating. He can play a mean piano roll ala Professor Longhair, and work up some Meters like funk doing overs of 'People Say', and other neccessarily mercenary deep cuts.

You know it's a good time party sign when ya see Joe yer local brewpub brewmaster gettin' down to the funky sounds ... and he introduces ya to his cute lil' sister...

Anyhow, check out the Cleary musique below ... i gotta go... to work that is...I can hear the early commuter trains starting down the hill... damn!

No Rest for the Wicked... or Cleary either, he snuck down to Pier 23 and played another set...

here's a video of Cleary with some old school stars like Lulu & Jeff Beck doing the classic Cry Me A River

WINDOWS 300k | REAL 300k

Here's a Jon Cleary profile/preview from a podcast, Long Island's cajun hippie stop on the web

Jon Cleary & Absolute Monster Gentlemen - Podarama Podcast Profile

here's a video for the track More Hipper & another studio cut:

WINDOWS 300k | REAL 300k

mp3 download:

Jon Cleary - Pin Your Spin

streaming real audio of Bonnie Raitt & Cleary from a recent appearance on NPR

Bonnie Raitt & Jon Cleary - Unecessarily Mercenary

upcoming Jon Cleary & Absolute Monster Gentlemen tour dates

August 2, 2006

Chicken Box
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Nantucket, MA

August 3, 2006

Chicken Box
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Nantucket, MA

August 4, 2006

Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

New York, NY

August 5, 2006

West Kortwright Center
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

East Meredith, NY

August 6, 2006

Ram's Head
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Annapolis, MD

August 9, 2006

Mountain Village/Sunset Concert Series
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Telluride, CO

August 10, 2006

Snowmass Village Free Summer Series of Music
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Snowmass Village, CO

August 11, 2006

Quixote's True Blue
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Denver, CO

Friday, July 21, 2006

International War Criminal etc

I tried to find just a couple minutes to squeeze in some info for this post...

But my work day was long, not particularly arduous, but one in which time for lil' moment for personal reflection was severely limited.

With the politics & murderous chaos around the world reaching a horrendous boiling point, i can't even begin there, and it's all enough to make ya more than sick . So I will not even begin to speculate on any of it...

Been rambling, rolling and not getting much sleep this week... so in a tribute to sleep deprivation, here's a few things rolling off the top of my dome...

So, somehow that Jersey fat ass Kevin Smith talked some flush wth funds Hollywood idiots into throwing even more money his way. The latest end result is the bigger budget, with an even weaker plot, sophmoric sequel to his cute black & white debut flick Clerks. Ten years in the making, this thing ain't exactly Return of The Jedi. But, in the tradition of Jaws & Rocky, the followup is entitled engagingly"Clerks II". This is a movie that I do not recommend y'all be rushing out to see. But I suppose fans of minimum wage toiling, fast food, dead end relationships, and an interest in IRRITATING imitation stoner & slacker behavior will love it. I myself see enough of that sh*t for real up close and personal, and going to a multiplex to indulge in a facsimile of it is way worse than the real deal.

I could give a rat's ass about Dante & junkie Jay & silly ass silent Bob, as the only Slackers with Jersey roots I wanna check out are the ones that Vic Ruggiero & Dave Hillyard hang out with.

Ara Babajian - Drums
Marcus Geard – Bass
David Hillyard – Saxophone
Jayson Nugent - Guitar
Glen Pine – Trombone, Vocals
Vic Ruggiero – Lead Vocals, Organ

The above mentioned fellas comprising one of the prime ska acts of the last decade...

Listen up y'all, as I don't whole heartedly laud acts undeservedly...

But these travellin' troubadours are so soulfully satisfying, with a musical finesse and sweet sense of style that's real & unrivaled in these dark days & trying times...

This summer, The Slackers are promoting a new release that features the ultra fine track "International War Criminal".

It's a tune that pertains to the global game, and could perhaps be appliable to yer favorite "groper in chief"...

It's a track that has also circulated on a Slackers EP from 2004, and the song first appeared on Vic Ruggiero's second solo album, "Alive at the Ladybug House".

This version here had the rhythm tracks recorded live in Holland at their fave club Ernesto's, and was later overdubbed and re-recorded at Version City Studios in New Brunswick NJ with King Django at the controls and is the one featured on the latest Epitaph CD from The Slackers called "Peculiar" .

This is the Slackers CD that could make yer long hot summer a much much more enjoyable experience, and ya''ll should have it laying around at the moment in yer high rotation pile.

The Slackers - International War Criminal

here's some older tracks as well :

Slackers - Watch This

Slackers - Rude & Reckless

Slackers - Axes

Here's their latest related upcoming tour dates with their solo projects etc


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Crude Bush + Sweet Crude Bill + Lil Mike's B-Day ...

You may have heard the president was caught unfiltered & unscripted on a live mic left on at the G8 summit laughing at his own jokes, and anxiously trying to get out of there. At one point he was interrupting Tony Blair's earnest interest about reaching trade agreements to joke about the birthday sweater Bush received from Blair on his 60th B-day. Then the village idiot is heard offering his Monday morning quarterback opinion with his mouth full of buttered bread, irritated about the mid east situation.

“What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over,”

Bush - "...Stop Doing This Shit"

It's good to know th the leader of the free world acts like an 8 year old in front of his peers... here's a transcript


I gota get going here for an appointment and then head northward in a bit towards SF from LA...

But, If Yer Anywhere near SF this week
I cordially invite ya to stop by this versy special shindig I'm involved with:

Wednesday, July 19

A Rock and Roll Stomp & Benefit
for Junipero Serra Elementary, SF

Sweet Crude Bill & The Lighthouse Nautical Society

with their magnificent, indefatigable allies:
The Jank & Tiny Power

plus maestro of silly-monies
Lil Mike

at The Elbo Room
647 Valencia St.,
San Francisco, CA

Show some support for the kids! Cover is $5-$20!
All band door proceeds will go directly to the school.

While the world spins WILDLY OUT OF CONTROL, and everything sensible is TURNED UPON ITS HEAD, there is a LIGHT that shines through the darkness with a RESILIENCE that no shadow can swallow. This Wednesday, July 19th, THREE MERRY BANDS will join forces to bring this mighty sound to the Elbo Room for the pleasure, excitement, and honor of ALL who hear the call.

They are:

Sweet Crude Bill & The Lighthouse Nautical Society (11pm)
From the smoke and ashes of the last century comes a rock icon for the people - Sweet Crude Bill! Walking tall among the high rises and freeways of the concrete landscape, he comes singing the message of joy and rebirth at the end of the Oil Age.

Traveling with Bill on his journey, a merry band of wayward swashbucklers known as "The Lighthouse Nautical Society. Together they deliver honest American rock music drenched in sweat, sex and alcohol.

Sweet Crude Bill - * (We Got The)Power Station

The Jank (10pm)
The Jank was formed in late 2004 by four individuals with diverse backgrounds and a singular vision: booze up, rock out, grab a nap, repeat. Pick two and join us.

"The only thing more annoying than white people with dreadlocks is a rock band without a sense of humor."
-Sam Donaldson, ABC News Correspondent

The Jank - Losing My Cool

Tiny Power (9pm)
Tiny Power are a fresh co-ed pop act outta W. Oakland that aremore addictive than crack rocks. One guitar, bass, synths, two girl vox, 1 guy vox and drums. It's some tender vitals jedi mind trick indie, alternative, punk, rock n roll. Check them out for yourself. The self titled debut CD is in the works. Stay tuned

Tiny Power - Now That You Are Gone

Come partake of the dignified MADNESS and GLORY that surrounds these musicians!

For the benefit of all, a guest appearance by Her Royal Clowness Miss Zusi the Marvelous Balloonist and her splendid inflatable creations!

Master of Ceremonies: that Lovable Bastard, The DJ with the Ouija, the Host with the Most and Remarkable Jerk of All Trades, SF's one and only Lil' Mike.


Now All You Gotta Do Is Show Up
Drink, Chill & Give A Lil' Back For The Kids

so stop by & lay down some bread for the youngsters coming up in one of San Francisco's most DRASTICALLY UNDERFUNDED public schools.

Take in some dancing, drinking, balloon animals, hijinx, prize giveaways, and sweet, sweet rock and roll in the company of the free and the brave on this very special summer evening in the Mission.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Strange Things Happening Everyday


Haven't Updated Since I Hit The Road to Ruin A Few Daze Back & I Suppose A Lot Has Happened... Uh, Around The Mean Old World, and even in my own meager lil' whirled...

Pay Attention, As This May Be Your Only Communication With My Lil Azz For Awhile...

This is mainly cuz my phone was absconded by Richmond bound ghetto rapscallions at around 3:30 am Saturday Morn in downtown Oakland. I tried in a futile effort to get custody back, but after a cash for my hostage phone situation deteriorated into furtive negotiations, I decided to just turn service off and get a new one at a later date when I have time...

and time is hard to spare lately...

Currently this broadband cast is
Coming At Ya From The Top Of LA... courtesy the 13th floor elevator of a Marriott just off the freeway... plus it's filled with thousands of conventioneers here for some sort of school nutritional conference...

basically it's salesmen from the various canned crap & meatpacking industries, and a gaggle of overweight lunch ladies. Think midwestern cafeteria menu maker types piling in and out of minivans and shuttle bussses...

Depending on the time of day, ya might catch me hiding out on the deck or in the pool pictured on the right... Ironically I'm reading the new paperback edition of a book called "Diet For A Dead Planet" that all these idiot instituitional food prep mavens should be checking into more than myself...

Of course by the time you read this, I might actually have just relocated to Culver City to escape the expanding presence of the cafeteria clan...

But little did I know my next hotel is a vortex of a different sort...

In actuality it turns out the hotel I've just blindly booked va Priceline, is owned by the notorious Carlyle Group... and is apparently well known amongst game show contestants...

I'm not sure if Gong Show king Chuck Barris' reputed CIA ties have anything to do with this, but at least Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune are known to put their future losers up here... and now me, the ultimate loser...

(at least of cell phones...)

The last thing I did on my cellphone in the wee hours of Saturday was take this picture and fortunately I managed to send myself a copy...

I was helping out at Valley Schwag 3, a fab event where I served hundreds of Speakeasy beers, cases of vino and many gallons of various whiskeys to the delighted dot com masses who gathered South of Market for this party....

A company called EventMagic I co-founded with my pal Eddie that provides event services and has branched out via Ed's new division to build props & whatnot was responsible for providing the handpainted backdrops and western style atmosphere that lended a lil' saloon feel to the funky festivities...

Since I was too busy annointing the thirsty with beverages to take many images, here's some more proof via pix on found on Flickr including many by by Scott Beale of the always amazin' Laughing Squid...

As the pictures might tell, It was a full on festive occasion, the way I like 'em, but damn it was busy...

and just when I would think maybe I might get a chance to rest from pourin & mixin, maybe to get a bite of some of those tasty Askew Grill kabobs or perhaps just piss, another busload of folks would show up...literally

and then I'd have to put it all back in gear and get that boze flowing even faster to meet the insatiable schwagaholic thirst...

here's a song that woulda been good on the soundtrack at Valley Schwag... from a release on the always obscure way cool Numero Group label...

Fern Jones - Strange Things Happening Every Day

In a few hours I'm heading to the ridiculously early industry screening a theater of the documentary American Hardcore. This film played Sundance earlier this year, and was based on a book written by former East Coast punk concert promotor Steve Blush who worked with bands like Bad Brains, Minor Theat, Black Flag in DC & NY.

From the trailer I anticipate lots of grainy old transferred video footage of 80's dudes with short hair running in circles & banging into each other, while bands good at playing blistering riffs while screaming provide the soundtrack. Apparently the director has spliced in clips from hours of old 8 and 16 mm footage that he shot back in the day.

In honor of the school nutrition conference going on I'll toss in some nutritious downloads of hardcore classics that are packed like tasty time capsules of gnarly nutritious chewy goodness and feisty food for thought...

Here's a classic hardcore cut from an album celebrating it's 25th year with a new DVD documentary called Fresh Fruit for Rotting Eyeballs that's packaged with the CD. It's all about the making of the album. From "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables" here's the incomperable DK's.

Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles

and a few more hardcore hits, (as if there were any...)

Black Flag - Black Coffee ( 1982 Demo)

Circle Jerks - Paid Vacation

here's a speacial blast from my old housemate Dave "Dead Cops" Dictor for all the nutritional experts out there reading today

MDC - Corporate Deathburger

Anyhow, I guess Sony Pictures Classic division is in on the American Hardcore Movie distro now and is getting the flick primed for a theatrical release in New York & LA in late September.

The screening I'm attending is some sort of media & industry type pre-release prequalifier to get eligibility for the potential awards circuit or something...

Anyhow since it's 4:30am already and I gotta be there & still manage to sleep , shower & check out of this corporate glass tower in less than 5 more hours... better go...


If ya wanna get down and party with me again B Day is coming up and the party is Wednesday...

Wednesday, July 19
A Rock and Roll Stomp & Benefit
for Junipero Serra Elementary, SF

Sweet Crude Bill & The Lighthouse Nautical Society

with our magnificent, indefatigable allies:
The Jank & Tiny Power

mutant master of ceremonies
M.C Lil Mike

at The Elbo Room
647 Valencia St.,
San Francisco, CA

Show some support for the kids! Cover is $5-$20!
All band door proceeds will go directly to the way underfunded school.

More details for y'all soon !!!

p.s here's a teaser track from Sweet Crude Bill
Sweet Crude Bill - Satan Is The Pilot On Airforce One

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Do You Believe?

Gotta go folks, the weekends pretty much here...

another few hours here at the slave pit and I'm off to LA for a few daze

X - Los Angeles

the southland is burning of it's the "High Desert" area

imported bark beetles are chewing up the scarppy remaining trees ... and the area is ripe for more forest fires

Smoke Or Fire - California Is Burning

Can't wait to get down there and breathe some fumes y'all !

Was calling tech support yesterday for a DSL issue and ended up talking in a call center to a guy in Mumbai India ( formerly Bombay) whose coworker just lost his family in the recent train bombing...

I Guess It's A Small World After All... but despite the fact the world may be smaller than's also getting more tightly packed.

That train line alone in metro Mumbai carries 6 million people a day. That's in a single DAY !

In my entire metro area of the San Francisco Bay including the cities of Oakland & San Jose, there's still barely 6 million people...and our municipal public transit rail system known as BART carries less than 350,000 people on a typical day.

In the Mumbai area, according to my call center pal, there's close to 100 Million souls ... Official figures are 20%-40% of that... but hey do you really believe the official story on anything these days?

Someone else whose challenging the official story these days is our pal and plastic surgery and C-Span afficionado Cher...

The gal called up C-Span's current political issue orientated morning talk show so many times recently that they invited her on the air.

Her latest cause is to get proper helmet armor for the American troops who are being forced to fight in the dangerous conditions of Iraq.

Here She Is...

Cher & Operation Helmet on C-Span June 14th 2006

here's some tunes from the lady herself, who is a legend, and the only artist to ever score #1 single in all the 5 decades of her storied career... from the 60's , 70's, 80's, 90's, and new millennium...Cher has been there & done that!

Do You Believe ?

It's something that her increasingly limited peers like Paul McCartney, or Tina Turner could not say .

You Go Girl !!!!

Cher - Megamix

Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time

Cher - Dark Lady White Label Mix

Cher - Believe

Enjoy Yourself - It's Later Than You Think

Just got back from a gig at Annie's Social Club in SF where I visited the merch table of the rejuvenated L.A punk act known as Butt Trumpet...

I recall being frightened of my copy of their old "Primitive Enema" CD a decade back... and then later hearing of the tragic demise of band member Bianca Butthole in an aftershow car crash on tour in New Orleans a few years back.

Bianca was on tour in 2001 with her new band featuring ex-patriettes of Butt Trumpet called Betty Blowtorch.

Betty Blowtorch - Strung Out

The band was roking, on the rise, with an album out that was gaining momentum.

I cught em just a few weeks before Bianca went down in a ball of fast moving metal, driven into a guardrail by a speeding drunk driver...

and instantly, the world lost a fierce indie rock n roll queen.

Her memorial was held at the Dragonfly, a club off Santa Monica Blvd in L.A, where her ashes were kept in a Kiss lunchbox, while AC/DC songs pumped from the speakers.

Now I find there is a film/DVD out telling te story of Bianca and her bandmates, the notorious Sharon Needles, Blare N Bitch, and Judy Molish...

plus cameos from members of Guns & Roses, and even Vanilla Ice y'all...

rawk on...

see clips etc at

now Thom & her old outfit the ye olde Butt Trumpet are back on the road, likely missing the old Bianca in person, but reviling the timid & tepid audiences in her spirit.

Butt Trumpet - Classic Asshole

Butt Trumpet - Shut Up

more butt trumpet info & music at

here's a couple more tunes that I'd write something clever about if I had the time...

but I got home so late and half to be back at work before I know it... and all my braincells are tapped...

I'll just say this one's from Rick Rizzo's longtime Chicago alt rock band from their Zeros & Ones release out now on Thrill Jockey...

Eleventh Dream Day - Lately I've Been Thinking

and this one is a classic that has been a live staple for 40's big band leader Guy Lombardo & even late 70's ska act The Specials ...

here's The Louis Prima version recorded in NYC on a cold Jan day in 1950 and released originally on Mercury Records...

I could go on & on about the amazing Louis Prima, but first I'll just let ya have the tune...

Louis Prima - Enjoy Yourself ( It's Later Than You Think)

And because the title expresses my dreaded sentiments exactly ... I'll do an in depth Louis Prima related post at another time when we can do the man and his fantastic career some justice.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Been busy as heck this week... and as you can see below, getting volunteers to help out with the chores & keepin things clean as a whistle...while I'm supervisin' & taking pictures... and waitin' on those piss test results...

I'd add maybe a thing or two here on current events or a thing or two there on whatever , but I'm too busy just realigning my home entertainment component world currently. Not only am I knee deep in coaxial cable, but I'm putting away some produce and half a bottle of red wine.

I'm just hoping that chasing these connectors & resetting my satellite transponder will get the signal back into the 2nd TV upstairs after the well paid electricians "fixed" everything while I was gone at work...

So far I finally unhooked half their work, and suddenly got a feed of Tracy Chapman on the downstairs set from a Austin City Limits broadcast and it looks like my old pal Mr. Joe Gore is rocking out on geeetar behind her... cool...

I know Joe from back when we used to help srt up events at a wherehouse space / art collective & music studio called Komotion International in the Mission District a decade or so back...

Joe is a great guitarist, who has collaborated with lots of great artists ranging from Tom Waits to PJ Harvey. He's apparently all over Tracy's 2003 release "Where You Live".

Tracy Chapman - Change ( feat Flea & Joe Gore)
One of the cats that would DJ on nights at Komotion when guys like Joe would have their bands play was Cheb I Sabbah, and now he's a renowned recording artist in his own right

Cheb I Sabbah -

from his latest release
La Ghriba: La Kahena Remixed
available from Six Degrees

La Ghriba: La Kahena Remixed

Cheb I Sabbah

Today I was hanging out on Market St in SF and gave a lot of stray tourists directions to places around town. The most obviously lost were the pierced , tatooed and blackend squads of teenagers looking to attend the Warped Tour. Oddly enough many streams of alterno-youth were heading towards downtown and obviously away from the water, even though their tickets were clearly marked Pier 30...

Not the brightest bunch I guess...

hope they got there in time to catch Joan Jett at least...

now here's some more tunes with ties to the Bay Area & beyond I'm pretty sure nobody heard at The Warped Tour...

Another guy I have utmost respect for is Paris... I got a chance to hang out with him a couple years back at a Hip Hop Film Fest event I was helping out with... He's one of the brightest, and bravest guys in Hip Hop...and that doesn't mean he's been shot in a radio station parking lot by another rapper's bodyguards...

He's not someone whose playing into that negativity, and is instead someone whose music has been a strong and influential presence for years...

His Guerilla Funk label & website is a source for alternative media information, links with Guerilla News Network, as well as a source to buy & download his politically charged indie hip hop beats.

According to the Guerilla Funk website:
There now exists a harmful double-standard at most record labels of endorsing artists who only espouse misogyny, mindless violence, and drug culture references in their music -- while at the same time ignoring artists who strive to enlighten and inspire. It is our pledge at Guerrilla Funk Recordings not to follow suit.

Paris recently produced & added one of his own influences to his label Guerilla Funk...

The infamous Public Enemy
Rebirth Of A Nation

PE w/ Paris : Rebirth Of A Nation

Another artist that Paris has recognized is T-Kash. He's been a co-host with Davey-D of the long running Nor Cal Hip Hop show "Friday Night Vibe" which can be heard every Friday night from 12-2:00 a.m. PST on the Bay Area's listener supported 94.1 KPFA, 96.5 KNOZ (916 Radio in Sacramento), and simulcast via web streams on and

In person he's a jovial brother with an amicable presence, but onstage can spit a mean batch of verse. For years he could be seen onstage traveling with Boots & Pam The Funkstress of Oaktown's The Coup, and heard on their discm's like Party Music and Steal This Album but recently T-Kash moved to Sacramento and has launched his solo career in earnest with a new release on Guerilla Funk called Turf War Syndrome....He recently completed tour with the Coup that hit spots from New York to North Kackalacky...

T-Kash - Made In America

Here's a rare cut from an earlier release T-Kash put out himself in 2002 called "Molotov Music".

T-Kash w/ The Coup - What the Po Po's Hate

plus don't forget to
  • Download Public Enemy w/ Paris (plus Dead Prez & Jesse Jackson)- Can't Hold Us Back (MP3, 192kbps)

Public Enemy Featuring Paris

Guerrilla Funk Recordings

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July Chhhh-erry Bomb Zydeco Explosion Etc

My annual foray to Marin for their county fair is always topped off by catching a slightly faded in rank live act working the fair circuit, but last night's provided the most rocking set of any act I've seen there ever.

Over the years I've caught the Temptations, Peter Frampton, Grand Funk, KC & The Sunshine Band and even Johnny Cash in the lil' white tent next to the lake. The main event is always preceded by a stroll through the carnies and their colorful lighted rides and of course a look at local blue ribbon winning pies, floral arrangements , arts and crafts. A mandatory stop is the local agricultural exhibits, which was complemented this year by the color commentary of the lead judge checking out all the fresh young cows. He was in the middle of the corral wearing the mandatory garb of plaid shirt and dusty oversize blue jeans while intoning into a wireless mic " Look At The Excellent Teat Placement On That One, Perfectly Plump Mammaries and A Stylish Rump..."

Then after some Cajun Shrimp On A Stick, I got a chance to catch Joan Jett again, and I'm happy to report the broad is rocking as hard as ever...

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts took the stage at 7:30 sharp , with group tuning up while Joan danced around to a pre-recorded track from her new album"Sinner". I was glad she had lost the blonde skinhead look of awhile back and was sporting some dark bangs, a sleeveless leather mini vest top and got down to business. I noticed her longtime manager Kenny Laguna on tambourine & keyboards behind her, looking a bit like Letterman's sidekick, Paul Shaffer.

Laguna has a bit of rock n roll history to him, being part of the bubblegum rock scene back in the 60's, performing with the Archies, 1910 Fruitgum Co, as well as Tommy James and The Shondells ( where Joan's live set staple Crimson & Clover originally started life).

Archies/Ohio Express - Yummy Yummy Yummy

Kenny went on to produce for Tony Orlando, Darlene Love, Bill Medley of the Righteous Bros. as well as The Lemon Pipers, and Ohio Express. By the mid 70's and stabs at the charts with David Essex and Edwin Starr his only real production success was a Dr. Demento show novelty hit by Little Roger & The Goosebumps called "Stairway To Gilligan's Island", that predates the popular mash up concept by about 25 years...

Little Roger & The Goosebumps - Stairway To Gilligan's Island

By the late 70's, with those buublegm daze behind him, Laguna worked with Beserkely Records, producing Greg Kihn and Jonathon Richman. Around this time he found a former Kim Fowley protege named Joan Jett , who was leaving the disfunctional mess of The Runaways and the shadows of blonde lead vocalist Cherie Currie to start her own band.

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb

Suzi Quatro - Daytona Demon

Joan had been a big fam of glam rocker Suzi Quatro ( aka Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days) and was eager to rock her way to the top with a group of gals that loosely coalesced around the scene at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. However after a few years of slugging it out on the dismal club circuit the Runaways had run their course and Joan, the most road ready of the bunch, was ready to keep on rockin... and to this day almost 30 years later, she's the only one still rolling.

At 47, she has more onstage energy than slew of performers half her age, and has a legacy of hits and near misses that make her a true queen of the scene. Whether playing for the troops at USO shows overseas, a Warped Tour crowd in Phoenix , a Biker Convention in Sturgis, or a Gay Parade gathering in San Jose, Joan has a huge and diverse audience. She's also resisted the efforts of marketers to get her music for commercials and endorsements, refusing to waterdown or corrupt her image by taking money for something she can't in good conscience sell. She once mentioned in an interview that no one thanks you when you go to bed at night for turning down an easy, but sleazy million dollars.

Joan Jett - You Don't Know What You've Got

Her first solo record featured "Bad Reputation" a track whose video came out on MTV blatantly mocking all the labels that turned her down, forcing her to start her own label Blackheart Records just to get the album released.

Joan Jett - Bad Reputation

Joan Jett - Cherry Bomb

Joan Jett - Roadrunner

Over the years she's always had to work on a DIY basis, and lately has developed a slightly more political outlook with her new album. One of her songs goe about blatantly tackling the geopolitical sh*tstorm on "Riddles" with soundbites from the poetry/press conferences of one Donald Rumsfeld. Another song to look for from her new album is "Change The World", which could go right along with anything from the Pete Seeger back catalog, just with a more metal bite to it. Five is another edgy track co-written by Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill/Le Tigre.

Amongst the cover songs chosen for inclusion on her new "Sinner" album, are Sweet's "AC/DC" and Paul Westerberg's "Androgynous". The Replacements cover has been a staple of her live sets over the past few years, and Jett duetted with Westerberg some years back on a Cole Porter tribute of "let's Fall In Love" on which Brian Baker played guitar as well. "Androgynous" is just one of the four songs featured in this live concert excerpt mp3 lifted from a live DVD she put out a few years back.

Joan Jett - 4 song live excerpt

featuring Paul Westerberg's "Androgynous", her own S&M theme "Fetish", Iggy Pop's "Wild Child" & and Sly Stone's "Everyday People"
from "Live In The Rockies DVD"

remaining tourdates for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts this summer

07/04 Peoria Sports Park Phoenix, AZ
07/06 Coors Amphitheatre Chula Vista , CA
07/07 Fairplex Park Pomona, CA
07/08 Pier 30/32 San Francisco, CA
07/09 Save Mart Arena Fresno, CA
07/11 Seaside Park Ventura, CA
07/12 Dodger Stadium Lot Los Angeles, CA
07/13 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Lot Marysville, CA
07/14 Idaho Center Amphitheatre Boise, ID
07/15 Gorge Amphitheatre Seattle, WA
07/16 Columbia Meadows Portland, OR
07/18 Thunderbird Stadium Vancouver, BC
07/20 Roseau County Fair Roseau, MN
07/22 Utah State Fairgrounds Salt Lake City, UT
07/23 Invesco Field Denver, CO
07/25 UMB Bank Pavillion Maryland Hts, MO
07/26 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnattii, OH
07/27 Post Gazette Pavillion Burgettstown, PA
07/28 Toms River Festival Toms River, NJ
07/29 Comerica Park and Street Detroit, MI
07/30 Tweeter Center Tinkley Park, IL
08/01 Darien Lake Fields Darien, NY
08/02 Fitchburg Airport Fitchburg, MA
08/03 Tweeter Center At the Waterfront Camden, NJ
08/04 Montage Mountain Scranton, PA
08/05 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY
08/06 Englishtown Raceway Old Bridge, NJ
08/08 Verizon Wireless Amp Lot Charlotte, NC
08/09 Verizon Wireless Amp Lot Virginia Beach, VA
08/10 Nissan Pavillon Lot Bristow,VA
08/11 Tower City Ampitheatre Cleveland, OH
08/12 Park Place Barrie, ON
08/13 Parc Jean Drapean Montreal, QC
09/01 Woodstock Fair Woodstock, CT


The night before last I was scanning the local listings looking for something to do, and who to my surprise should I come across but Lil' Brian and The Zydeco Travelers. This band first came to my attenton almost some years back with a release on Rounder that highlighted their fun & uniquely American blend of funk & zydeco. Well it was time for Lil' Mike & Lil Brian to meet...

Based out of Barrett Station Texas near Houston these bayou bred cats are unabashed fans of the down and dirty south funk & hip hop, but also can work a mean traditional accordian / scrub-board vibe with the best of 'em. They call this blend of Zydeco & Funk " Z-Funk " ...Check em out if ya get a chance, as they are great, hard working and energetic live act that can kick out the serious jams . The music is like a bastardized blend of The Meters featuring Zigaboo Modeliste & the ghost of Clifton Chenier...

The scrub board guy is worth the price of admission alone, I'd have to call him Scrub Doggy Dogg for his look, and his onstage demonically possessed demeanor is somewhere else altogether...

Here's the title track from their latest release on Tomorrow Recordings "Funky Nation"

Lil' Brian & The Zydeco Travelers - Funky Nation

Summer 2006 Tour Dates

5-6 Crystal Bay, NV Stage Lounge
7 Mount Shasta, CA Stage Door Cabaret
8 Quincy, CA Black Hawk Solar Cookout
12 Evergreen, CO Little Bear Saloon
13 Santa Fe, NM WilLee's Blues
14 Durango, CO Scoot'n Blues
15 Telluride, CO Telluride Cajun Festival
20 Pisa, Italy (Calcinaia) Blues Festival
21 Atri, Italy (Teramo) Green Hills Blues Festival
22 Brindisi, Italy Brindisi Blues Festival
23 Potenza, Italy Good Morning Mr. Blues Fest
24 Pontedera, Italy Musicastrada Festival
26 Zara, Croatia TBA
27 Macerata, Italy (San Severino) San Severino Blues Festival
28 Pula, Croatia Castle Blues Festival
29 Forli, Italy (Modigliana) Strade Blue
30 Citta' Della Pieve, Italy (Perugia) Trasemino Lake Blues Festival

August 2006
6 Decatur, IL Decatur Celebration
10 Sioux City, IA The Chesterfield
12 Galena, IL Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
18 Richmond, VA Inn of Virginia "Arthur's"
19 Cockeysville, MD Hot August Blues Festival
24 Huntsville, AL Humphrey's
26-27 Atlanta, GA Six Flags Over Georgia

September 2006
13 Rochester, NY Dinosaur BBQ
14 Syracuse, NY Dinosaur BBQ
16 Stamford, CT Blues on Bedford
17 Bladensburg, MD Chick Hall Surf Club

Sunday, July 02, 2006

La La - I Can't Hear You

Just saw that the Cornerstone RAS crew has released a follow up to last year's "Look At All The Love That We Found" compilation. The original was a tribute to Sublime, one of the most loved and rowdy bands to ever rock a party and no longer with us since May 22nd 1996...

The new dealio I just came across on the shelves at Virgin Mega Store is a combination DVD / CD called "Look At All The Love That We Found: Live"...

The DVD interviews acts about what they thought was special about Sublime like The Living Legends, Los Lobos etc , and then combines footage from a show at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater in LA last fall.

You'll see great footage of The Ziggens, Fishbone, Bargain Music, Blackalicious, Ozomatli, Unwritten Law and dueds like Ikey Owens of Mars Volta, and Stephen Perkins of Jans Addiction/Banyan etc all getting down to some great music slideshows, rehersals, extras, and all that jazz...

Also a CD is included with even more cuts that didn't fit on the first tribute album
and some of em are better than stuff that was included the first time around...

Here's Ozomatli and Fishbone off the audio only Tribute project released last year
Ozomatli - April 29th 1992
Fishbone - Daterape

(click to listen to the rest of the tribute album from last year)

Here's a couple Sublime songs by acts that are on the new CD/DVD release that came out last week...

Obviously these aren't Sublime versions, and that is just the way it goes...

I had the chance to hang with those Sublime dudes, travel with 'em a bit and set up some of their shows and recording sessions as they were on their way up and outta control... and they are still some of the most memorable, fun & reckless nights of my widdle life...

In a few minutes I'm getting in the car, and on my way to Thanh Long, and I'll be passing the motel where Brad OD some 10 years ago...

That's a bummer, but his music always uplifts me, even if it's somebody else doing it...

It's hard to take solace in new mixes of old faves, but at least it's fun...

Now these aren't the real thing of course, but they are good enough to stir some memories and drink a brew or two too...

Plus I think Brad would be beyond stoked to know Chuck D of Public Enemy was spittin his lyrics !

Chuck D & The Banned - Ebin

Bedouin Soundclash - Waiting For My Ruca

order a copy here

I gotta go and catch some some crab...then I'm a bee rawkin in the Joan Jett pit tommorrow

see ya and have a happy happy 4th o Jew-Lie