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A Redwood Weekend: The Glam Skanks, Will Crewdson, Sloths and Schizophonics Rip It Up Back in DTLA

Glam Skanks Headline a Wild July 4 Weekend

Featured Photos by SUZANNE ALLISON WITKIN

The Glam Skanks, the all-girl rockers who have glitterized their way all the way up the rock and roll ladder, made a  raucous return home with a wild show at The Redwood on Fourth of July Weekend.

Glam Skanks get cozy back in LA – Photo by Suzanne Allison

Successful World Tour

Veronica V, Allie Cat and the gang have come back from a worldwide tour with Adam Ant to play their local haunts at Maui Sugar Mill and The Redwood, headlining with Adam Ant’s right hand man, Will Crewdson. On Saturday, they were joined by the fabulous Schizophonics.

The Schizophonics make anyone crazy – Photo by Donna Balancia

The Schizophonics

The Schizophonics are not to be missed. This is a band that could wake the dead and those who are nearly dead will get a kick out of them too. The trio of wild frontman Pat Beers, drummer Lety Beers and bassist Brian Reilly take punk to the next level. Pat Beers thrashes around, jumps off the riser, falls to the ground and he will indeed get your attention. This San Diego band is one of the best performing bands around, and these guys are a good excuse to get to America’s Finest City more often.

Schizophonics put on a show that is not to be believed – Photo by Donna Balancia

Will Crewdson and The Skanks

Apparently all is forgiven by at least some of the British on Fourth of July. A fast friendship was made between the UK’s Will Crewdson and the LA-based Glam Skanks as they toured around together with Adam Ant.  Will has a unique act with Scant Regard, as he’s got a power guitar and big music, making it sound as if he has a gigantic band behind him.  But, truly, what is stronger than the Power of One?

Will Crewdson of Scant Regard – Photo by Donna Balancia

A One-Man Shredding Machine

Crewdson’s a one-man shredding band and it’s fun to see a big-stage musician roll around in our own backyard.  Keep an eye out for Will’s latest projects via his website Scant Regard.

Will Crewdson almost smiles during a performance at The Redwood here in the U.S. – Photo by Donna Balancia

Maui Sugar Mill and Redwood Bars

Why is it the bands return to the two legendary locales, The Maui Sugar Mill and The Redwood no matter how far and how famous they become?

In the case of The Redwood, it’s a cool place to get a 5-star dinner and then catch a great performance on a tiny stage in the middle of downtown LA.  Maui Sugar Mill in Van Nuys offers everything from great drinks and the blues to punk in a cool, casual atmosphere.

The Sloths at The Redwood – Photo by Donna Balancia

Tighter and Tougher

As for The Glam Skanks, their energy is amazing and the crowd almost overpowered the bar the other night. It’s amazing what going on the road with a top act like Adam Ant can do for a young band. The girls have come back sophisticated, sharp and the music is as good as ever.

Cloaked or not, The Sloths put on a great show – Photo by Donna Balancia

The Sloths

The Glam Skanks’ triumphant return to LA — following a successful tour of the U.S. and Europe with Adam Ant — was a fun affair as the gals took their glitter and antics to a new level. The band is tight!

We were lucky to also see The Sloths the night before at The Redwood. Frontman Tommy is a lively performer who won’t quit no matter that the band has been together for 40 years or so. And no mention that he’s one of the most popular film professors in the country and prolific film director across a range of genres.

Schizophonics – Photo by Donna Balancia

Of Note

NOTES: On Saturday, to show support for his friends in  The Schizophonics, The Mighty Manfred of The Woggles was on hand in the audience. He gave us the scoop that the band has a new album coming out and will be doing some touring soon, stay tuned… Coming up at The Redwood: The Cry on Saturday, Fools on Stools on Sunday and Rex and The Heirs on Monday.

Best LA Concerts of 2016: Big Stars in Small Venues, Young Trailblazers, and California Rockers

Bob Weir, Desert Trip, Eagles of Death Metal, The Cure, Make Beautiful Music in 2016

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Eagles of Death Metal at The Teragram Ballroom

The band members in The Eagles of Death Metal have coped with a lot and keep going. The most recent excellent performance was a benefit for Dave Rosser, held at Teragram Ballroom. Frontman Jesse Hughes AKA Boots Electric, is one of the most compelling performers — or poseurs — today and holds the audience spellbound with his wild maneuvers, great voice and excellent guitar work. We got an extra bonus on this night: Josh Homme debuted a new song.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Eagles of Death Metal

 

 

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Reluctant Apostles at Molly Malone’s

The Reluctant Apostles have come a long way in a short time.  The Katey Sagal and Bob Thiele-fronted band like to play at Molly Malone’s and was formed based on their teamwork during Sons of Anarchy.  The Reluctant Apostles are an offshoot of The Forest Rangers, which came to prominence during the uber successful run of SOA. But new things on the horizon from this star-studded cover band: A new Pledgemusic album and more shows to come.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of the Reluctant Apostles

 

Dick Dale gives his fans all he's got - Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale gives his fans all he’s got – Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale and Se7en Reasons Why at Whisky A Go-Go

Where would modern rock and roll be without remarkable performers Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why and the ultimate surf guitar master Dick Dale?  Dale’s varied health issues seem to fade away when Dale is on stage, never far from the watchful eye of his wife, Lana.  New Year’s eve at the Whisky A Go-Go has never been better. Dale comes from an era when you performed no matter what ails you. He led the way in the development of the California sound and he’s a true California Rocker.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Dick Dale at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring - Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring – Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

On one of three sold out nights at The Hollywood Bowl, The Cure would cover over 37 years of Cure songs including the hits, rarities and two unreleased tracks. Reviewer Craig Hammons noted that the set list changed each night with The Cure digging deep into their catalog of impressive material.  Robert Smith and the crew would cover 35 songs in just under 3 hours.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he's depicted here performing from his Never Twice album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he’s depicted here performing from his Never Twice album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse at The Regent Theater

We can’t say enough good things about Nick Waterhouse and His Tarots.  Every time we see Nick, the performance gets better if that’s possible, as was demonstrated at The Regent Theater a couple of weeks ago.  A multi-faceted musician, who writes, performs, and produces others, Nick is a California Rocker on the rise. Openers Sad Girl and Cutty Flam impressed.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Nick Waterhouse, Sad Girl and Cutty Flam

 

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Desert Daze

Desert Daze, the enduring fest where up-and-comers and veterans alike kick around in boots, bandanas and shorts still reigns supreme.  An eclectic mix of newbies and veterans, the fest offers a chance to hear new music and gives veterans a chance to show their stuff. Television, Primus and Thee Oh Sees mingled with Brian Jonestown Massacre, L.A. Witch, and Thee Commons.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Daze

 

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory - Photo © Donna Balancia

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory – Photo © Donna Balancia

Bush at The Observatory

Gavin Rossdale is a high-energy performer, leaping into the audience and jumping on speakers.  Bush performs all the favorites and this particular show at the Observatory was extremely interactive. After a few rounds of hugs and kisses among his fans, Rossdale jumps onto a speaker and finishes “Monkey” from high above.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bush at The Observatory

 

Robert Plant - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant at Theatre at the Ace

Robert Plant and his audience share a special bond and that was illustrated clearly at the Theatre at the Ace.  Bringing flowers, love letters and gifts, Robert still has the gals on the edge of their seats.  Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters put on a show that is Led Zeppelin inspired, but takes us to a new and earthy place.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

 

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

Dave Pirner keeps going. Whirling around with his guitar and speaking honestly to the audience, with little regard for his sweaty appearance, Pirner is happy to be on stage.  If nothing else Pirner and Soul Asylum are truthful in their performance and the crowd appreciates it. Soul Asylum’s tour started with The English Beat and wrapped solo.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

 

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat at The Canyon Club

The English Beat hits a home run every time.  There is not one song from all their famous hits that goes unheard at an English Beat concert and the crowds are devoted.  Dave Wakeling drives the band that has undergone some changes over the years, but the musicians on board are top talents.  Fortunately, The English Beat plays a lot of dates and 2017 shows are all set.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The English Beat at The Canyon Club

 

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour - Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour – Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Pacific Amphitheatre spreads the message of love and compassion for all. The show was such a warm experience that reviewer Craig Hammons said he felt like he left the stadium with 7,000 new friends.  The crowd interlocked arms, danced and sang songs of inclusion and love.  What’s better than an uplifting performance?

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Michael Franti and Spearhead

 

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

FartBarf, David and The Curse at El Cid

Who would think with name like Fartbarf this band would be amazing?  Something must have happened along the way for three guys in caveman masks to call themselves something so silly but play so good.  The electronic music we heard at El Cid blew us out of our shoes.  This is a talented group that does the creators of the Moog proud.  Opener David and The Curse shows how it’s done as this young veteran gives us a new sound that blends Americana with pure rock.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Fartbarf and David and The Curse

 

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers at The Echo

The Suffers bring you to your knees, they’re that good.  Whether you call it, “Gulf Coast Soul” or good ol’ rock and roll, Kam Franklin and the band bring a blues-influenced power sound to the masses. We caught The Suffers at the Echo, one of our favorite venues, and the place was busting at the seams trying to contain the adoring fans.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Suffers at The Echo

 

Sad Lovers and Giants - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants at The Echoplex

Sad Lovers and Giants put on a show for a lifetime at our well-loved venue the Echoplex, bringing 80s new wave to a young, enthusiastic crowd. It’s sad for fans that this beloved British band may not return to the U.S. any time soon, but we are thrilled to have caught Garçe Allard, Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Ian Gibson and Will Hicks at least once.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Sad Lovers and Giants at the Echoplex

 

The Who - Photo courtesy of Desert Trip for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Who – Photo courtesy of Desert Trip

Desert Trip

Reviewer Bob Busby called Desert Trip one of the best experiences of his life.  That comes from someone who has been to thousands of shows and festivals. Aside from Roger Waters’ rantings, the moon appearing during Neil Young’s performance of “Harvest Moon,” was a highlight.  And how can you do much better than Sir Paul McCartney sharing the stage with the pop princess Rihanna? Stay tuned for next year.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Trip

 

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs put on a fun, upbeat show, complete with cover songs you haven’t heard in a while. Jason Sinay and Campbell play off each other as “Gator” and “Ape” in a band where nicknames are abundant as dolphins in Florida.  The Dirty Knobs is a band to check out when they play their few gigs every year. They haven’t recorded anything so go live or go home.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

 

Bob Weir on tour with 'Blue Mountain' album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir on tour with ‘Blue Mountain’ album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir at The Wiltern

The well-worn co-founder of The Grateful Dead only gets better as the years go on. He introduced a new album and played to a crowd at The Wiltern that was comprised of not only Grateful Dead veterans but young, rainbow-clad and dread-sporting fans. Bob still has the verve and enthusiasm and the sounds ring true.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bob Weir at The Wiltern

 

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive-In at Hollywood Palladium

It’s a rare treat to get to see At The Drive-In, but frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala is one of the most entertaining performers in the business. It’s clear from his leaping at The Hollywood Palladium last summer that he’s got a background in skateboarding and he’s a no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall musician, saving nothing for himself and giving the crowd his all.  See our award winning-shot of Cedric Bixler Zavala.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of At The Drive-In

 

Teri Le Butcherettes Photo by Donna Balancia

Teri of Le Butcherettes surfs the crowd – Photo by Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes at Hollywood Palladium

Teri Gender Bender is the most physical female performer out there and her shows at The Regent Theater, The Echoplex and opening set for At The Drive-In prove it. There are few who can compare to this precious young rock and roll veteran whose demeanor after the show is remarkably calm compared to her rebellious and taunting onstage persona.  Despite personnel changes over the years, one thing remains a constant: Teri’s talent.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for Le Butcherettes

 

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

GRAMMY Foundation Honors BB King at Wallis Annenberg

BB King may be gone, but The GRAMMY Foundation hosted a bevy of blues slinging rock stars to honor him at The Annenberg: Slash, Tedeschi Trucks, Joe Bonamassa and a heavenly host of blues performers sang and played the blues in BB’s honor.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for B.B. King at the Annenberg

 

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors at The Ford Theatres

Wayne Kramer, Don Was and pals put on an amazingly entertaining show at The Ford Theatres to raise money for their charity that serves those behind bars.  The show featured Marshall Crenshaw and a slew of talent to help Wayne raise money for the charity that is close to his heart.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors

 

Bad Boy Eddy - Photo by Donna Balancia

Bad Boy Eddy Rocks Cruefest – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cruefest 2016 at Whiskey A Go-Go

Cruefest Hollywood 2016 brings the kindest hearted metal performers to the Whisky A Go-Go stage each year.  It was a Who’s Who of metal with  Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why; Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Cruefest 2016 at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl - Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl – Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

Brian Wilson never disappoints and his performance at reviewer Craig Hammons said his performance at the Hollywood Bowl was one of his best.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, considered a unique collection at the time of its release, Wilson held the Hollywood Bowl audience enraptured.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop at The Greek Theatre

At a time when most people are slowing down, Iggy Pop is going strong, having his best year yet. The “world’s forgotten boy” has a GRAMMY nomination for Post Pop Depression, there’s a Jim Jarmusch movie out about him, and also a new book released about his life.  He’s a 69-year-old anomaly in the world of rock, proudly resplendent in his hard-earned success. Via his partnerships with the young and hip, Iggy continually adds new admirers to his list of longtime fans. It doesn’t hurt to have the “Ginger Elvis,” Josh Homme and the rest of the crew on stage with you.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Iggy Pop at The Greek

 

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker - Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker – Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear at The Hollywood Bowl

Reviewer Craig Hammons says Burning Spear is one of the best shows of the year simply because Burning Spear is a solid reggae performer.  The legendary musician among a sea of young upstarts bid adieu to his fans as “I Man” takes a step down from the stage. Over the many years, with grace and dignity Burning Spear has brought new fans to the reggae flock.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Burning Spear 

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live

It was a pleasant shock to find Jackson Browne appearing at Lucky Strike, which hosts mostly metal-style rockers every Wednesday night during its weekly Lucky Strike Live events.  Browne is a good-hearted type who shows up for a good cause and for the fun of the performance.  At Lucky Strike Live, he gave the regulars — plus about 600 others — a thrill, jamming with some regular players and he had fun to spare.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Jackson Browne

 

Glam Skanks release new album, "Glitter City" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks release new album, “Glitter City” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks at MIME

Where are the young women in rock and roll? Answer: The Glam Skanks are right in Los Angeles and they put on a terrific show each and every time. Climbing on speakers, throwing glitter, taunting the audience. Their show at MIME in Echo Park put on by Echo Box heated up the room and had fans screaming for more. There’s a new album and they’re going on tour with Adam Ant.  Stay tuned!

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Glam Skanks 

 

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth at The Canyon Club

Say what you will about the in-your-face frontman, but Smash Mouth has made it in a tough rock and roll world. When Paul DeLisle teamed with Steve Harwell, as odd a combination as that may have appeared it worked.  With a little help from a hit animated movie, Smash Mouth reinvigorated “I’m a Believer” from The Monkees and a whole new generation was jumping at The Canyon Club. Openers Paper and Strange Case lit a fire.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Smash Mouth, Paper and Strange Case

Editor’s Note: The “Best Concerts of the Year” coverage only includes the performances CaliforniaRocker.com staff attended during 2016.

Hundreds Turn Out for Music Showcase Featuring New Artists in Echo Park

Glam Skanks, Brothers Collective Take Part in High Quality, Low-Tech Show

Glam Skanks presented by Echo Box Music - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia for CaliforniaRocker.com

Glam Skanks presented by Echo Box Music – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia for CaliforniaRocker.com

By DONNA BALANCIA

It was hot, loud and physical at The MIME Saturday night.

In other words it was Rock N Roll at its finest, as four great young bands including The Glam Skanks and The Brothers Collective hit the stage before a crowd of about 200 fans in Echo Park.

Free admission, free beer and wine, and great new music drew hundreds to Echo Park gallery, The MIME.

The purpose?  Simply to hear some new bands play some new music.

Co-sponsors Echo Box Music and Unison Music want to bring live music from new artists to the masses and they’re willing to spend money to do it. The MIME was truly the place to be rub elbows with musicians, artists, producers, photographers and press and to even have a free beer on a Saturday night.

Glam Skanks - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Was the music hot?  Yes.  Was the place physically hot?  Definitely. There was no air conditioning. But it was OK.  That made it easy to imagine what the kids who paid $350-plus per ticket were enduring at that little festival in the desert this weekend.  Both sets of fans are thirsty for new music.

And if Echo Box and Unison had their way, no music fans would have to pay to quench their thirst.

But really, how often does anyone get free beer and free admission as encouragement to see great bands right in Echo Park?  Basically never. And that’s where Echo Box and Unison come in.

“We want to do this often,” said Nolan Jamora, owner of Echo Box Music. By day, he’s the director of operations for Isky Racing Cams of Gardena.  “This is really about getting the music out to the people. Why should the people listening to the music have to pay?  This is a new model.  We want the people coming to hear the music to buy a CD, buy merch.”

Jaxine Sparkles keeps the beat - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jaxine Sparkles keeps the beat – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nolan is an interesting cat who has had his share of victories, you might say, as he is a Formula 1 racing guy.

But his love of music has brought him to this place — and that place is where he can help spread the enthusiasm for new bands.

“It used to be that the record companies would sign talented young musicians to a deal, but that’s a thing of the past,” said Bruce Witkin, founder of Unison Music.

Bruce is a producer who works with well-known musicians as well as the up and comers. “We just want people to hear the music, buy the merch and if we can do that by spending on beer and wine and having a show that’s free to the public, we’ll do it.”

And the crowds approved.

“This is my first time here and I think it’s great,” said Travis, who relocated to LA from the state of Washington.  “The people are really supportive of one anothers’ music.  This is a great showcase and I’ve loved the bands I’ve seen already tonight.”

Travis was among the 200 or so music fans who attended the Echo Box presentation by invitation only, packing the house and cheering on the bands.

Fans support the music - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fans support the music – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“I like the do-it-yourself style of this event,” said Christi. “It’s like the shows my mom used to go to, they would just say they’re having a show and tell their friends and people would have fun.”

Musicians today are familiar with DIY style in all aspects of music. Not only does a musician have to play, practice and perform, they also have to promote, most frequently through social media platforms.

But this night at The MIME was a throwback to low-tech Rock N Roll, where friends invited friends and spread the news of the event more by word of mouth than by social media.  Even our own CaliforniaRocker.com went low-tech, handing out a typewriter-printed fanzine specially designed for the event.

The Hypnotic Hyenas opened with some cool songs, this new band is an updated new millennium version of power pop and the guys have stage presence.  Their cool music led off a hot night inside the MIME.

The Brothers Collective - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Brothers Collective – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Brothers Collective are really brothers and while they have grown together, so has their music matured. They have been keeping audiences engaged for several years with cool vocals and great beats. Their music is remenicent of the good part of the 1990s.

Kid Bloom look good, play solid tunes and the lead vocals are succinct and exacting.  Their new tune “I Kissed a Girl,” is a new release and from the sounds of things, Kid Bloom has a good career ahead.

The Glam Skanks

Not because they’re all girls — sort of — but it’s hard not to notice that The Glam Skanks really took over on Saturday night. The Glam Skanks have been playing together for about three years. They kick it into high gear every time, only these days they’re showing a lot more stage presence and their act is tight.  They still have the exploding confetti bombs and glitter, but front and center here are brunette vocalist Ali Cat and her tireless lead guitarist Veronica Witkin.  Bassist Millie Chan and drummer Jaxine Sparkles round out this great group.

Glam Skanks leave audiences crawling from the wreckage - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks leave audiences crawling from the wreckage – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Glam Skanks music is wild fun, ranging from mic-hurling punk to faux melodic but it’s the method of delivery that wins.

It’s such a compelling act you can’t divert your eyes even if you try.

The Glam Skanks put on a whirlwind physical romp that captures the crowd, romances them, then spits them out, leaving observers star-dazed and hearing the birdies and yet wanting more.

In the crowd were lots of notables and music lovers alike. Photographers Suzanne Witkin and Heather Harris brought the star power to the event, telling the story through the lens. Suzanne has too many photo credits to mention in the celeb-rocker world, and is known for her work in helping the animals.

Harris said she was impressed with the efforts of the co-sponsors to bring the music to the people.

“The live music scene is so much healthier now,” said Harris, who has photographed up-and-coming bands as well as veteran musicians for many years. “This is a really great live event.”

Veronica the #GlamSkanks guitarist - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Veronica the Glam Skanks guitarist – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It was refreshing how many of the people on hand “heard about” the showcase from a friend. Because while the web has developed into a great way to spread information and distribute music, unfortunately, it’s also used by the record companies to measure the “success” of a band on a quantative basis.  If the record companies don’t see a certain magic number of hits or activity, well then the new kids just aren’t going to the head of the class.  So it’s refreshing that at a time when analytics play such an integral part of all commercial business decisions that the guys from Echo Box and Unison would front these live, “non-quantifiable” showcases and spread the word the old fashioned way — from human to human.

The music community needs more events like this. New artists want nothing more than to perform their work. And the fans want to hear that new music, but for an affordable price. And while the record companies may have forgotten this, those who have not forgotten were together enjoying a great Saturday night.

 

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