Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Implosions, the New Waves at Zia Records, Saturday April 21, 2018


Since we do so much shopping online these days, we don't get out to any brick'n'mortar store very often, so we try to make a point to get to Zia on Record Store Day, even though we never buy any of the RSD special releases. This particular RSD though, was special in that a bunch of friends were playing in the stores. Unfortunately, we missed the earlier gig on Zia on Eastern (sorry, Unwieldies!) but we made it to the Sahara store for this one.

Our good friends, the Implosions, started off the day here with their unique brand of Vegas-themed rock'n'roll, with musical influences ranging from the blues, the Cramps and 70's punk rock. Songs like the poppy "Las Vegas Summer Nights", the punky "Blue Angel" and "Elvis" mixed with bluesy/ Cramps-y numbers about imploded casinos, Block 16 (the original drinkin'/gamblin'/prostitution area), and playin' the ponies. The Implosions are still new to the scene, but are already gainin' a reputation and a fan club and are tons of fun with plenty of talent'n'style with tight'n'tasty playin' from everyone and some fine pipes on singer Adrienne. See 'em!






The New Waves are Vegas' instro super-group who are fast becoming one of the more popular acts in town with their surf-styled interpretations of 80's new waves songs from bands like the Go-Go's, Gary Newman, the Cars, the Knack and plenty more! Always a hit whenever they take the stage, their playing is stellar all around, they are stylish in matching black'n'red outfits and the equipment is ultra-cool and period-proper. They vary their guitar sounds somewhat to fit the original song, but keep the surf tones'n'reverb throughout. More Saturday afternoon fun!




Due to other obligations, we weren't able to stick around for the other acts (sorry guys!), but this was a totally enjoyable Record Store Day! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

recommended gigs

Thursday April 19 - the Terrorsaurs, Psyatics, Swank Bastards at the Double Down
Thursday April 19 - the Dream Syndicate at the Beauty Bar

Friday April 20 - Bogtrotters Union at McMullan's Irish Pub
Friday April 20 - the Scoundrels at the Dive Bar

Saturday April 21 - Fuzz Solow at the Golden Tiki
Saturday April 21 - the Unwieldies at Zia Records on Eastern for Record Store Day at noon
Saturday April 21 - the Implosions, the New Waves, Franks'n'Deans, All the Rage at Zia on Sahara for Record Store Day - starts at 2:00 pm

Monday April 23 - the legendary Rev Beat Man with the Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics at the Beauty Bar

Tuesday May 1 - Jenny Don't and the Spurs with Paige Overton at Evel Pie

Sunday May 6 - the Burly-Q Revue at the Double Down with the Scoundrels

Saturday May 12th - the Unwieldies record release party with Melanie and the Midnite Marauders at the Huntridge Tavern

Saturday May 19 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday May 26 - the Dead Boys with the Schizophonics at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday Sept 7 - Hot Tuna at Brooklyn Bowl

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Thursday, April 05, 2018

recommended gigs

Thursday April 5 - the Legendary Shack Shakers with the Rhyolite Sound and Shanda and the Howlers at the Beauty Bar
Thursday April 5 - Wanda Jackson at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday April 6 - Durango 66 at the Double Down

Saturday April 7 - The Psyatics, the Pluralses, Better Broken and the Whining Pussys at the Dive Bar

Sunday April 8 - Dead Meadow and the Acid Sisters at the Bunkhouse

Monday April 9 - the Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday April 11 - Destroy all Gondolas with Guitara KYO at the Bunkhouse

Friday April 13 - The Swank Bastards with Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down

Saturday April 14 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Monday April 16 - the Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday April 18 - Peelander-Z, Time Crashers and Illicitor at the Beauty Bar
Wednesday April 18 - the Terrorsaurs at the Bunkhouse

Thursday April 19 - the Terrorsaurs, Psyatics, Swank Bastards at the Double Down
Thursday April 19 - the Dream Syndicate at the Beauty Bar

Saturday April 21 - Fuzz Solow at the Golden Tiki
Saturday April 21 - the Unwieldies at Zia Records on Eastern for Record Store Day at noon
Saturday April 21 - the Implosions, the New Waves, Franks'n'Deans, All the Rage at Zia on Sahara for Record Store Day - starts at 2:00 pm

Monday April 23 - the legendary Rev Beat Man with the Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics at the Beauty Bar

Saturday May 12th - the Unwieldies record release party with Melanie and the Midnite Marauders at the Huntridge Tavern

Saturday May 19 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday May 26 - the Dead Boys with the Schizophonics at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday Sept 7 - Hot Tuna at Brooklyn Bowl

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

No Regrets - Ace Frehley

I had probably heard something about KISS before they appeared on In Concert, but watching them on TV that Friday night in their leather outfits, with their wild antics and heavy, guitar-based 70's rock, I was hooked! I was able to experience them several times during their first few tours (they would play everywhere, including the small towns and venues near me, and I got close enough to literally touch them) and dug their music throughout most of the original line-up (although things like "Beth" turned off most of their early fans). I'll still pull out the early albums and can always appreciate the over-the-top outrageousness of their marketing and live shows and am fascinated by how it all came about.

Growing up in NYC, Ace had a lot of opportunities early on to see great r'n'r - from the early package tours with the Who and the Cream to festivals with all the giants of the early 70's. One of my favorite of his reminiscences is that, due to the much more lax security of the day, he was able to walk backstage (he looked like he belonged in a band at the time) and hang out with the likes of John Kay! He was even put to work at times and helped set up drums for - and with! - Mitch Mitchell!

He played with whatever band came along for a number of years and honed his chops and then one day he happened upon a want ad for a guitarist and went down to meet Paul, Gene and Peter. He won them over, they did some gigs and was able to record a 5 song demo at none other than Electric Ladyland studios with the incredible Eddie Kramer engineering! With the help of a manager, they got a record deal with the brand new Casablanca Records and put out four albums within 18 months! I thoroughly enjoy Ace's reminiscences about the process of recording, although I think he gives the band a bit too much credit on the popularity of live albums. Yes, their live record shot them to superstardom, but many bands had used this tool before, with Deep Purple being an obvious example of a band getting a major hit from one of these. I know I'm being picky, but it is funny how people remember things like this.

As he was spiraling downward into addiction (alcohol and cocaine), he gives less and less details about recording and tours, although he was happy with his solo album that was released while the band was still together. After a few more records, he leaves the band and here the story becomes fairly depressing, as he lives the bleak life of an addict, with no regard for the safety or property of himself or those around him (driving a car into his baby's nursery is just one example). While he seemed to be a happy-go-lucky rock'n'roller previously, at this point, he's pretty much an ass. Throughout the rest of the book, he mostly just recalls cringe-worthy stories of stupidity and excess and multiple near-death experiences. It is fairly amazing that he is still alive - he did become sober - but this part of his life is anything but fun and wasn't very enjoyable to read, but hopefully it will serve as a warning to some.

As often happens for me, the stories of the 60's and 70's are highly entertaining and engaging, but the later years are pretty horrible, more so than those 70's icons who simply became "normal" and settled down to boring lives. Ace didn't become boring, but I'm glad he wasn't around me!


Monday, April 02, 2018

The Unwieldies and Shanda and the Howlers at GarageMaHall, Sunday April 1. 2018

After a night at the Double Down, it can be difficult to become upright again the next morning, but somehow we managed and got out to the GarageMaHall for this weekend benefit for the Howlers drummer, Keith. The GarageMaHall is actually more-or-less on our side of town, so that made it easier, although we still didn't make it down until after the Unwieldies had already started their 11:30 am set!

I've ranted'n'raved about this acoustic quartet many-a-times, and they always deliver. With the Psyatics own Rob (here on stand-up bass) and Jack (here on violin) providing musical accompaniment to Rob's wife Dani (on guitar and lead vocals), along with dobro-player Richard, the group has their own style of folk/Americana that really sounds like no one else, due to their own eclectic tastes and musical contributions. Dani's sweet, lilting voice is just damn purty and when Rob's gruffly melodic vocals come in for counterpoint and harmonies, the songs really come alive. Great stuff for a mellow morning! Oh yeah, they did get some help from Pitchfork's banjoist for a couple of numbers off of their new, upcoming album, as well.





Shanda and the Howlers provided a more electric, bluesy, danceable set with none other than Keith Alcantara providing the rockin' rhythms for the group once again. He was in fine form, despite his recent illness, and it was great to see him playing a full set with the group again. With songs from their current record, Trouble, as well as their upcoming new release, they got the crowd of kinds'n'adults up'n'dancin' and whoopin'n'hollarin' as they gave up their own brand on bluesy, old school R'n'B. Another one of my favorites bands in town, with a stacked line-up of terrific players and singer, they're always a blast to see'n'hear. 








I know there was a lot more happening here all weekend, but we were a bit partied out by this point and headed home for some much-needed rest'n'relaxation. A great time and a very cool venue though!

The Psyatics, The Pluralses, the Swamp Gospel at the Double Down Saloon, Saturday Mar 31, 2018




The Swamp Gospel had been on hiatus for various reasons since last December, so we were happy to be asked to be part of the Psyatics record release show at the DD. While the audience was fairly sparse for our opening set, it was get to be back selling soul salvation to old and new congregants.


(SG pic by Nikki Ruffling - thanks, as always, Nikki!)

The celebrants themselves, the Psyatics, were up next and the Saloon magically filled up to a packed crowd of unruly spectators to help honor the release of the new record, Much Worse Things Happen at Sea. To help fill out the sound on a couple of new songs from the record, the boys recruited Micah from Shanda and the Howlers on saxophone and he wailed appropriately right from the start. The band rolled through tunes from all of their albums, with Jack shakin' his butt, wagglin' his tongue and assaulting the audience while setting off sonic waves over Rob's rollickin' bass lines and Mark's tight, surf-styled drums. Yours truly sat in on their cover of the Hives "Two Timing Touch" from the new record, as well as Lou Reed's "I Can't Stand It", which appeared on the previous Famous Monsters album, before the trio closed their set with their own "Gentlemen of Four Outs". Great set and great response from the crowd that was obviously there to support them! Of course, the lovely Ivana Blaize was shimmin'n'shakin' throughout their set for added visual appeal!









(Photo of me sitting in by Melanie Coffee)

Every time I see the Pluralses, their goof-ball punk-pop tunes are tighter and bouncier than ever, blasting through the numbers at sonic speed, while maintaining melodies and harmonies and, yes, offensive, wacky lyrics about celebrities like Guy Fieri and girls who ask for it. Fun stuff!



By this time, this old man was past the point of staying up and missed Stagnetti's Cock - sorry! Thanks for being part of the night and big thanks to DJ Atomic (Hanson) for the great vids during the sets and the great tunes between! 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

recommended gigs


Friday Mar 30 - Dominiki at Evel Pie
Friday Mar 30 - Franks'n'Deans and the All Togethers at the Hard Rock on the Strip
Friday Mar 30 - the Darkness at Brooklyn Bowl

Saturday Mar 31 - the Swamp Gospel with the Psyatics (for the record release show!) and more at the Double Down

Sunday April 1 - Garage Ma Hall Takeover benefit for Keith Alcantara with:Shanda & The Howlers,FLUX, Superstar Bingo, Pitchfork, The Unwieldies, Dr. Vibus,Donzo’s Cosmos,Gravity Surfer and the Cosmic Bus Ride,Drums with Community Productions,Flame Troupe 'Flameology'

Monday April 2 - the Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday April 4 - Dickies, Queers, Jerk! at the Beauty Bar
Wednesday April 4 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast with All the Rage at the Double Down

Thursday April 5 - the Legendary Shack Shakers with the Rhyolite Sound and Shanda and the Howlers at the Beauty Bar
Thursday April 5 - Wanda Jackson at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday April 6 - Durango 66 at the Double Down

Saturday April 7 - The Psyatics, the Pluralses, Better Broken and the Whining Pussys at the Dive Bar

Sunday April 8 - Dead Meadow and the Acid Sisters at the Bunkhouse

Monday April 9 - the Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday April 13 - The Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Saturday April 14 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Monday April 16 - the Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday April 18 - Peelander-Z, Time Crashers and Illicitor at the Beauty Bar
Wednesday April 18 - the Terrorsaurs at the Bunkhouse

Thursday April 19 - the Terrorsaurs, Psyatics, Swank Bastards at the Double Down
Thursday April 19 - the Dream Syndicate at the Beauty Bar

Saturday April 21 - Fuzz Solow at the Golden Tiki
Saturday April 21 - the Unwieldies at Zia Records on Eastern for Record Store Day

Monday April 23 - the legendary Rev Beat Man with the Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics at the Beauty Bar

Saturday May 19 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday May 26 - the Dead Boys with the Schizophonics at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday Sept 7 - Hot Tuna at Brooklyn Bowl

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pitchfork at Aces and Ales Bluegrass Brunch, Sunday Mar 25, 2018


This Las Vegas bluesgrass combo consists of 2 guitars, stand up bass, banjo, mandolin and Richard, the dobro player from the Unwieldies. Aces and Ales was jammed this afternoon for their appearance at the Bluegrass Brunch and the crowd was highly enthusiastic - yelpin'n'cheerin'n'singin' along with their combination of old school bluegrass and more modern tunes like their covers of the Doobie Brothers, Eagles and Grateful Dead. Great playing all around and fine 3 part harmony vocals. I would personally prefer more straight-forward bluegrass, but I think I was in the minority here! A good time was certainly had by all!