Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Star Spangled Blackhearts

Joan Jett is returning to the Marin County Fair tonight...

It's her second July 4th weekend appearance their since her first in 2006...

Here's a couple pics i took last time she was in the neighborhood...

how about Joan's bubblegum rock relic manager Kenny Laguna?

Kenny produced back in the day 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...

By the late 70's, with those bubblegum daze behind him, Laguna worked with Beserkely Records, producing Greg Kihn and Jonathan Richman.

Around this time he found a former Kim Fowley protege named Joan Jett , who was leaving the dysfunctional mess of The Runaways and the shadows of blonde lead vocalist Cherie Currie to start her own band.

After the Runaway ran from Kim Fowley, and hitched onto Laguna's sage advice train, Joan's career really took off in earnest.

With Lita Ford a retired housewife, she's the last Runaway standing...

At nearly 50, 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.

Few performers have as wide a demographic pull at the boxoffice...

Her family friendly fair crowd will have fist pumping punks alongside patriotic bikers, service men & women, lesbian Moms, old rockers, construction workers, nerds, hipsters and grandmas and every conceivable combination thereof.

Earlier this spring Joan Jett and The Blackhearts added her latest Blackheart Records album Sinner, as well as her classics Bad Reputation & I Love Rock n Roll to the eMusic download queue.

It's nice to be able to legally shop for Joan Jett tunes online...

Like Joan Jett getting down with Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues... a track from her Bad Reputation album...

This was one recorded at the old Media Sound studios in New York circa 1981 at the request of late Casablanca prez Neil Bogart...Joan Jett -

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Summertime Blues

But aside from the easily found stuff, I'm also just as much, if not more, into her rarities...

For example

Here's a fierce one from an out of print Joan Jett & The Blackhearts 7" single from a decade ago...

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Hostility

This one was featured on the soundtrack to Tank Girl circa 1997...

Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg - Let's Do It

And here's one some thang you aren't likely to run across unless you have as bloated and outdated CD collection as I do...

In 1993, with Charles Koppelman still flush with music industry cash and running his SBK label, they somehow thought enticing David Letterman's sidekick Paul Shaffer into the studio was a wise move. Supposedly ol' Paul was ripe for a double CD set... of badly thought out cocktail lounge covers.

What was worse, was that this damnable double disc was chock full of cameo's from some actually relevant music industry mavens who should've known better.

I hope people were at least paid for embarrassing themselves like this... it's like a kid's record for clueless adults.

It was called "The World's Most Dangerous Party" and would no doubt be dangerous to almost any event you played this turgid turd through the speakers at.

Somehow, our fave rock n roll lovin' gal Joan Jett showed up in the credits alongside names like producer Todd Rundgren, and guests like Aaron Neville, Leonard Cohen, Bootsy Collins, and even Phil Spector.

Why Joan ended up being buried in the mix on a tepid lounge rock version of "Don't Bring Me Down" on disc 2, and wasn't paired with the half of L7 who were squandered on disc 1 joining in the shameless execution of a James Brown cover alongside Bill Murray & Mike Myers, I suppose that only Paul Shaffer & Todd Rundgren know.

If I ever get alone with either of them to ask, it may get ugly...

So I'll let ya hear a lil bit of it for yourself, and just be glad that I kept the rest of this travesty offline... before it brings us all down.

Joan Jett & Paul Shaffer's Party Boys Of Rock n Roll - Don't Bring Me Down

and just to keep it 4th of July related... here's Joan Jett singing another cover tune, this is an obscure one written by Francis Scott Key...

It's called the Star Spangled Banner...

Joan Jett - The Star Spangled Banner

and here's one that is particularly poignant for me...

Here's when Joan joined forces with The Gits who were reeling from the death of Mia Zapata and formed Evil Stig...

The group did a quick LP/CD

Evil Stig - Last To Know

Evil Stig - Spear & Magic Helmet

and then a US tour, I recall Kenny Laguna said he lost the tour advance money on Melrose...

It was complicated... It was a sad time for boys from Seattle...

go see the movie...

yeah, that's right... the movie...

Incidentally, in Evil Stig related news, The Gits have an actual film on their saga out now

( )

it has been under production for awhile and is finally screening nationally beginning this week!



If ya can't make one of the screenings, then order this sucker on DVD...

It's a film that's been in production for several years, has tons of unique footage unavailable elsewhere, including tons of interviews with folks like Joan Jett, Seven Year Bitch, Kathleen Hanna etc.

Heck, I think I even made the final cut...

Anyhow, it's worth seeing and supporting ...

The Gits Movie

and here's some tracks you should check out by a band well worth hearing

The Gits

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fire Away - Set The Mood - First, Best, Last

It's been a weird, not very lazy...but downright hazy summer so far

in particular due to lung busting forest & brush fires ( about 1000 ) going throughout the state...

strange days indeed

i'm not in my groove...

even if I knew what that was

there is a smattering of tracks tucked in this post

look for em

as I'm too busy to point em out for y'all

here's the first one, something I've never listened too, and likely won't, but the title sounds appropo fo yo

Justin Timberlake - Summer Love / Set The Mood Prelude

A week or so back I passed through Pasadena on a hot summer day

In the 100+ degree heat, the streets were filled with music, for the Make Music Pasasdena event. Perfomers were stationed on multiple stages includingNortec Collective members Bostich + Fussible

(Bostich + Fussible are authors of this track called Shake It Up uh, that's an actual mp3 link " )

and more Bostich + Fussible tracks for download at Rhapsody

other bands plying their sonic shlep for free in the streets were
The Raveonettes ,


and the multi cultural melange of
Dengue Fever

Venus on EarthDengue Fever
"Tiger Phone Card" (mp3)
from "Venus on Earth"

bonus Dengue not so oldie

Download 2005's
Were Gonna (mp3)

from "Escape From Dragon House"

Download more Dengue Fever at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody
Check Em Out at Amazon

More On The Album

I caught the The Little Ones in some alley

Little Ones - Tallies
Little Ones live in Pasadena

Make Music Pasadena

So while the somewhat verdant but browning rapidly hills of Pasadena were alive with noise...

I had to go get a beer at some brewpub ( seen here in this LA Weekly pic )because the town neglected to offer any refreshments alcoholic or otherwise within sight of the stages I visited...

The one or two "bars" I passed were actually closed on a Saturday afternoon...

I ended up in a swimming pool north of town in short order, headliners be damned...

Hours later I was back up north here in San Francisco, where it was downright cold...which was nice...

But the next day

I was up bright and early dealing with the logistics of helping set up a hippie rock concert featuring Janis Joplin's old backing band...

Big Brother & The Holding Company

Janis was a no show... go figger

(but some chick named Cathy Richardson did an admirable job)

Santana did show up, or I should say a Santana,
it was just the son of Carlos...

Salvador Santana...

This coming week here in SF, with all the hippies safely tucked back into their hacky sacks, I suppose I will look forward to seeing the release of the new album from The Parker Brothers...

First, Best, Last

That's like a heads up for fans of 70's syrupy pop

Lil Mike sez, hey maybe put down yer pet rock, and check it out...

First, Best, LastParker Brothers
"Your California" (mp3)
from "First, Best, Last"
(Middle Slot Records)

More On The album

psst bonus tracks

Parker Brothers - One Bad Apple

( yeah, I was disappointed too when I found out that one above wasn't an Osmonds cover, so here's one more)

Parker Brothers - She Got

I gotta go

Have a Bitchin Hot Summer...