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St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Big Data, Citizen Cope, Ring in 2017 in Long Beach on New Year’s Eve

Annual New Year’s Eve in Long Beach a Wild Party

broken-bones-2-balancia-1-of-1 St. Paul and the Broken Bones enveloped in confetti - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

St. Paul and the Broken Bones enveloped in confetti – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


Lucky concert-goers rang in the New Year in Downtown Long Beach with St. Paul and the Broken Bones putting on a wild performance and adding a final exclamation point to a turbulent 2016. ( st paul broken bones )

St. Paul and the Broken Bones bring rock and roll to a new level. On this New Year’s Eve, frontman Paul Janeway sported a shiny gold leopard suit, and boogied, howled and even rolled around on the stage floor to the delight of thousands of onlookers.  This is gonna be one heck of a 2017!


St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

St. Paul and the Broken Bones Rip it Up

Hordes of fans of the band pushed front and center to see the antics of the flamboyant and passionate singer. St. Paul and the Broken Bones have been around for a few short years but have made a lasting impression with their new album Sea Of Noise.  The band played most of the songs from the September release and performed “Moonage Daydream” in tribute to David Bowie, who passed away last January 10.

The song was a reminder of how many notable musicians died during 2016, but this night was an effort to put the past behind and think of a positive new year.


Partygoers enjoying New Year’s Eve in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Party People and DJs

“We’re really looking forward to 2017,” said concert-goer Angela LaMarca. “We want great things this year and tonight we’re starting the New Year right right here in Long Beach.”

The bands making the night special were the electronic-style group Big Data, Salsa beat Boogaloo Assassins, rock and rollers Delta Bombers, the popular Citizen Cope and DJs Cut/Copy, DJ Taharba, DJ Sizwe and DJ Paul V.


DJs Cut/Copy get the crowd moving on a chilly New Year’s Eve night in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

DT Long Beach a Perennial New Year’s Favorite

Downtown Long Beach is a perennial favorite New Year’s Eve destination for those in Southern California and beyond.  Denise and Rick came from Laguna Nigel, but took a hotel room to play it safe.

“We got lucky, but we were committed; we were going to come out regardless of the weather,” said Denise.


Big Data has no fear of Big Brother – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Clear Skies and Cool Weather

The rainy weather was a threat, but miraculously, Saturday’s downpours gave way to clear skies by the time the impressive lineup of bands took their respective stages.

Big Data, the New York band, made its statement and on its set list was the hit, “Dangerous.”  A few fans said they were following the band around for the last two years.  Wives of the band members enjoyed their time away from the Big Apple for New Year’s, as temperatures have been brutal back East.

Listen to Big Data on Soundcloud


Alan Wilkis of Big Data reboots the crowd’s energy on a chilly New Year’s Eve in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Boogaloo Assassins Keep the Salsa Rythm

Boogaloo Assassins got the crowd hopping with the band inviting the non-dancers to the front to keep warm.  Their lineup is dynamic and the big band style is appealing to the salsa and non-salsa lovers alike.


Boogaloo Assassins – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Citizen Cope, known for his hit “Sideways,” impressed with his dynamic bluesy style and a streetwise voice that is unique in its gravelly style.  Cope, whose real name is Clarence Greenwood is no stranger to the world of music, having written for Santana, Dido and others.  More to come.


The Delta Bombers warm up the crowd in Long Beach to open New Year’s Eve – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Delta Bombers opened the night on the main stage with a rockabilly-punk rock style that brought drew the crowds.  The Delta Bombers are Christ Moinichen on vocals, Andrew Himmler on guitar, Gregorio Garcia on bass and Kirk Highberger on drums.  This is a riveting band that knows how to open a party. Check out their video for “Lock The Door.”

Big Data reaching out - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Big Data reaching out – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

No Glitches with Big Data

Big Data was a crowd favorite, infusing their act with pre-recorded robotic-like instructions and commands that made social commentary in between songs. Lizy Ryan and Alan Wilkis are the heart and soul of this “paranoid” electronic-style band who have enjoyed some success in the two years they’ve been together. Seems they’re not fond of the direction some of the information gathering companies are going — they’re pretty brash and in your face about it.

newyear2017-24-balancia-longbeach-bigdata-1-of-1 Lizy Ryan

Lizy Ryan of Big Data does the mannequin – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

New Year’s Eve in Long Beach has been going many years, but what makes it special is pretty simple: Cool people, great restaurants and super food and bev vendors.  While there were some complaints about traffic, most everything flowed smoothly with event veterans at the helm, including Knitting Factory and Swinghouse Studios.  Check it out next year.

( st paul broken bones #stpaulandthebrokenbones st paul broken bones big data citizen cope)


Boogaloo Assassins get the crowd dancing to create heat on a chilly New Year’s Eve in Downtown Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia



Richie Ramone Plays Paladino’s for New Year’s Eve – No New Resolutions in 2016, Just Good Music

richie ramone-hi-fi-new-years-2016

Richie Ramone – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Richie Ramone will play a New Year’s Eve show that kicks off a new album and a European tour in 2016.

Ramone will play Paladino’s on New Year’s Eve, supported by Cairo Knife Fight, Kyle Gass Band, Kill My Coquette and Fatal Error.

Tickets are still available

Ramone, who played with the legendary group in the 1980s, has a new album, tentatively called “Cellophane,” which will feature nine new, unrecorded songs.

NYEPALFLYERv3“I’m really proud of this record,” Ramone said. “We’re writing the songs right now and we’re touring Europe.”

He’s written songs for the Ramones, probably the most well-known of which is “Somebody Put Something in my Drink.”


Europe has been a welcoming region for Ramone, who with Clare Misstake, Alex Kane and Ben Reagan, have nine upcoming stops in the U.K., a few Ireland shows and then hit Germany, Italy and Holland.  They’ll be back in the USA in the spring.

“You know, it’s half and half how we travel,” Ramone said. “We’ll take the plane, use the van. Touring is what we live and breathe.”

The reception to anything Ramones is huge overseas and over the years, Richie has built a reputation here in the US as well.

“The Ramones have devoted fans and I’m a piece of that,” Ramone says.


Alex Kane – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“And it’s always great that the people come out to the shows.  After the show, I talk to people and I’ve heard more than once —  or more than 10 times really — ‘I didn’t know what to expect.’  They get a good show and then they come back.”

Ramone is recording new material for the album now.

“This album is great I loved my first record, but on this is the bar is raised, I really love this record.  a lot of fast stuff.  I didn’t re-do any of the old songs.  The first record I did four or five songs from before. But these are all new songs – they’re still being written.  They’ve been around less than a year.”

Richie’s using his faithful band on the record. Clare has been with Richie three years and Alex has been with the group for two years.

“I’m using the band on the record,” Richie said. “They’ve been with me a while now.”

Some song titles include “Just To Be Clear,” “Cellophane” and “I Fixed This.”


Richie and Clare Misstake share a laugh at Hi Fi Rockfest last summer – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“We were touring Sweden that’s what they would say,” Ramone said. “If I say ‘I’d like a cheeseburger,’ they’d say ‘I fixed this.’  Funny things happen like that, and  I always put my personal experiences into my music.”

‘The fans lift me up and give me energy’

“‘Cellophane’ is all about how I feel.  We perform night after night.  I feel when I come to these shows I’m kind of tight or worn out.  The fans lift me up and the fans give me energy night after night.”

Right now it’s record time.


Richie Ramone – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“They used to say June Carter Cash would say, ‘Ok honey let’s go make some history,’   and when I heard that I always remembered it,” Ramone said.  “It’s amazing. Music lives forever, until the end of time there will be a copy somewhere.  I’ll see a single with my old band for hundreds of dollars, a little 45.  The stuff lives forever.”

As for the what’s coming up?

“All I can say is I’m really excited about 2016,” Ramone said. “I think it’s going to be a great year.”

Guitar Legend Dick Dale to Play Whisky A Go Go on New Year’s Eve – The California Rocker Interview

The Original California Rocker: Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, to play the Whisky A Go Go on New Year's Eve

The Original California Rocker: Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, to play the Whisky A Go Go on New Year’s Eve

Creator of Surf Music, Dick Dale Still has Many Waves to Ride

By DONNA BALANCIA – Surf Guitar legend Dick Dale says his purpose is to inspire.

Dale, who is drawing more crowds than ever at 78 years old, is one of music’s greatest innovators. His surf guitar sound inspired a range of bands from The Beach Boys and The Surfaris, to The Cure.

And on New Year’s Eve, Dale will be inspiring people to ring in 2016 stronger than ever.  He headlines New Year’s Eve at the Whisky A Go Go in an all-ages show.


“I love playing the Whisky,” Dale said in an interview with California Rocker. “And New Year’s Eve is always special. But I really want families to celebrate together, that’s why I always play an all-ages venue.  Parents bring their kids as young as 5 years old to come and see me.”

The band Se7en Reasons Why will support Dale on New Year’s Eve.

Dick Dale at the first Hollywood Surf Revival, The Hollywood Palladium, 1973 - Photo © 1973 Heather Harris

Dick Dale at the first Hollywood Surf Revival, The Hollywood Palladium, 1973 – Photo © 1973 Heather Harris

Dale, who the media tabbed “King of the Surf Guitar,” named after his second album, has enjoyed a diverse and fulfilling career.

Dale is the innovator of many of the things our culture takes for granted.  He is the creator of the surf rock genre, giving guitar performances a reverb sound that hadn’t been heard in 1960.

He created the “Surfer Stomp,” a phenomenon that started on Balboa Island and caught on throughout the nation.  It is said that Dick Dale and His Deltones drew so many surf-crazed teens in 1961 who jumped around in their sandals and sixties style, the noise was deafening.

Dick Dale’s Innovations Beyond Surf Music

He played his new-style surf music so loud, that he was brought in by the James B. Lansing speaker company to devise a more powerful amp than had ever been heard.  But Dale feels there’s still a lot he has yet to accomplish.

California Rocker Dick Dale: 'Music is my Medicine' - Photo © John Rudolph

Dick Dale: ‘Music is my Medicine’ – Photo © John Rudolph

“They say ‘Why don’t you retire, Dick?'”  Dale said.  “Well, there are two reasons I don’t retire: Playing music keeps me alive, and my music helps others.”

His hit, “Misirlou,” was the theme for the film Pulp Fiction, bringing his music to a new legion of young fans.

Dale said he has a special place in his heart for the Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip.  It’s always been considered The Big Time.

“In the ’60s I performed there and it was exciting,” Dale recalled. “The night was unbeliveable, the owners said they’d never seen a crowd like that. That was the night the late Keith Moon came to see me and we collaborated after that.”

Dale, who was born back east, traveled the world with his guitar and still graces the stage, despite his serious health issues.  While onstage, he plows through the pain.

He has learned to control the pain through his martial arts training.

“I’ve been doing martial arts all my life,” Dale says. “And I would ask, ‘Master, why can’t I be the greatest; Why can’t I be ‘unbeatable?’

“The master would answer: ‘You can, but you must give up your life, my son.’

Dick Dale and his Del-Tones

Dick Dale and his Del-Tones Greatest Hits 1961 – 1976

“So I have to tell you, if you’re a master of one, it’s awfuly dull,” Dale said. “You wouldn’t be able to talk to other people about a range of topics.”

‘Music Is Medicine for King of the Surf Guitar’

Dale still has the will to pursue his music — and his hobbies as well.  Maybe he might have had a wonderful career as an engineer, he says, as he loves to work with designs and blueprints — for everything ranging from homes to appliances — and he loves to putter around his humble Palmdale home.

And while he doesn’t brag, he is indeed a master of the sound of the Surf Guitar.  And in many respects he has —  as his martial arts master said he would have to — he devoted his entire life to that music.

Dale’s health concerns have made it all too clear to him that he is “merely human,” though his music — especially in the day — was out of this world.  He admits he has surpassed his own expectations.

Dale believes the good times are good, but don’t be too worried about the low times, he advises.

Dick Dale still rippin' - Photo © 1994 Heather Harris

Dick Dale still rippin’ it on the surf guitar – Photo © 1994 Heather Harris

“Don’t worry about yesterday and don’t worry about tomorrow,” he says. “Don’t worry about yesterday because it’s used. It’s either good or it leaves you feeling bad.  And don’t waste time or energy worrying about tomorrow.  I could have a stroke and be dead. That’s why they call it the present.  It’s a present.”

“I don’t go on stage to say Whoopie for me, I go on stage to play to the people,” he says. “If I see a country hat in the audience I’ll play country; if I see dreadlocks I’ll play Jamaican style. I play for all walks of life.

“Every note I play is to address the people I’m playing to,” Dale said. “There’s no better feeling than bringing the music to the people.”


Fitz And The Tantrums, Prima Donna, The Knitts For New Year’s

Fitz And The Tantrums California Rocker

Fitz And The Tantrums headline Long Beach New Year’s Eve – photo by Nataworey

By DAVE DALY — LONG BEACH — Fitz And The Tantrums headline the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Long Beach.

Supporting bands are The Knitts, Prima Donna and The New Electric Sound, all playing at The Federal Bar.

The New Year’s Eve in Long Beach is one of the biggest events in the state, with three blocks of Pine Ave. closed off for live music on three stages. The festivities start at 8 p.m. and end at 2 a.m.

Pine Avenue between First and Fourth Streets will be closed off for three live music stages, 12 bars, and more.

The Knitts California Rocker

The Knitts – Photo by Lucy Rendler Kaplan

Tickets are $25 per person at Tickets will be $35 at the gate.

Fitz And The Tantrums take the main stage at Pine and Broadway at 11:20 p.m., they will host the countdown and play until 12:40 a.m.

A live remote of the main stage will be broadcast at The Federal Bar.

The Knitts play The Federal Bar from 9:35 until 10:40 p.m. and they’re followed by Prima Donna from 10:40 until 11:20 p.m.


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