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Deadmau5 to Open Pop-Up Store on Fairfax in LA April 28-29 With Cool Stuff, Special Heads Will Roll

By JOHN DALY

After a successful pop-up emporium during his ‘a lot of shows in a row’ run in New York, electronic music producer deadmau5 will open a pop-up store on Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles.

Deadmau5 has partnered with FANCY.com, to recreate the ‘lots of stuff in a store’ pop-up shop experience in Los Angeles during his four-night sold out run at The Shrine.

The shop — located at 346 N. Fairfax Ave. in the Fairfax shopping district between Melrose Ave and Beverly Blvd.–will be open to the public this Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 from noon to 8:00 pm each day.

The Los Angeles edition of ‘lots of stuff in a store‘ will expand on many of the cool and unique specialty items from the NYC store – which ranged from toys to music to mau5 merch. Among the items will be limited edition merch like deadmau5 x Ron English vinyl toys to mau5trap/deadmau5 art prints/posters, W:/2016ALBUM/ vinyl.

Also featured in the store will be many of deadmau5’s personal collection of mau5heads on display, including a one-of-a-kind piece by Ron English created at the lots of stuff in a store pop-up in NYC. The head, available now online at www.omaze.com/deadmau5, was created for charity with proceeds going to Win, the largest provider of homeless shelter and supportive housing services for women and families in New York.

All of this is timed around deadmau5’s four-night sold-out run at The Shrine in downtown Los Angeles.  The shows, which feature his new Cube 2.1 live production, are part of his national ‘lots of shows in a row’ U.S. tour with support act Feed Me.

 

Hold The Champagne: New York Duo Banks and Steelz Put on a Rowdy Show at The El Rey Theatre

By DONNA BALANCIA

Performing the songs off their self-titled album, Banks and Steelz whipped the crowd at the El Rey into a frenzy.

Steelz passed around plastic cups to the audience up front and then proceeded to pour them all a couple of shots of vodka.  That really got the people rowdy.

Steelz must have something great going on because the entire night was like one big celebration. When he cracked open the champagne and sprayed it all over everyone it was clearly the signal to get ready to go crazy.

The self-titled album by Banks and Steels is available. We picked up the CD at the show for $10 and their T-shirts, that feature the two players together in suits looked good if not slightly  overpriced at $30. But today the merch is where bands make the money and Banks and Steelz deserve the support.

We were impressed by the performance of Zipper Club. The front woman — a mere wisp of a thing with a great voice and rockin the red vinyl pants — is unique in her tone.  The band is equally strong at all instruments.

Keep an eye out for the band Zipper Club – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Zipper Club is no stranger to the circuit and they are making a living doing what they love to do, what could be better than that?

Frontwoman Lissy Tullie had all eyes on her as band opened for Banks & Steelz at the El Rey - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Frontwoman Lissy Tullie had all eyes on her as band opened for Banks & Steelz at the El Rey – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Despite a couple of audio problems — someone in the audience yelled out “Radiohead,” opener Zipper Club put on a strong performance.  Sporting plastic red pants and a shorn head, frontwoman Lissy Trullie works with Mason James to create a unique sound that rallied the audience.

Check out Zipper Club here 

Powerman 5000 and the Radioactive Chicken Heads Draw a New Arts Crowd our Favorite Bowling Alley

Powerman 5000, Chicken Heads Come to Lucky Strike

By DONNA BALANCIA

It wasn’t exactly the hoi-polloi, but Powerman 5000 and Radioactive Chicken Heads brought fans of the arts and entertainment to Lucky Strike for a special event, Scratch and Sniff.

Powerman 5000 looks a little different when unplugged - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Powerman 5000 looks a little different when unplugged – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Each band did a stripped down version of their acts with Powerman 5000 playing an impressive acoustic set dressed as The Allman Brothers, and Chicken Heads cutting to their most basic calamitous songs.

Spider One, dressed as Greg Allman performs an acoustic set - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Spider One, dressed as Greg Allman performs an acoustic set – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Powerman 5000 with its flamboyant frontman Spider One, created the art event coincidentally while ASCAP EXPO was going on next door at the Loews Hotel Hollywood. Say what you will about the topics of the pieces painted by Spider One, but the work is excellent and worth the price tag.

Spider One dressed as Greg Allman with a wig of long, white hair, and a bandana, and the rest of the band kept in genre as well.  It was a little odd seeing them in this costume mode, as opposed to their typical metal-style appearance. The evening was put together by Krsy Fox.

Spider One had an art exhibit in the back room, and his works include several robot paintings — from different eras — a James Bond tribute, as well as his renditions of Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein. The artwork is compelling and has a sense of humor to it, but then, would we expect any less from the brother of Rob Zombie?  I hope for the sake of our own further disappointment, that Spider refrains from drinking the foo-foo double lattes preferred by his renowned hard rock, horror-slinging sibling.

Powerman 5000 puts on a good show no matter what style it is, even if it’s with acoustic guitars and a box as was the case Friday night. The sound in Lucky Strike is excellent, so much so that Powerman 5000 recorded a live EP in there that night.  Not a lot of details yet. The proceeds from the album will go to an animal adoption charity.

The Radioactive Chicken Heads wrapped up the night in typical calamity — chasing each other around the stage, singing punk songs and even falling down.  It’s well worth any cost of admission to see this group and it’s entertaining on several levels.

We especially like that the Radioactive Chicken Heads don’t pull any punches. They know they’re punkers and don’t pretend to be anything else.  Their leader, Carrot Top, runs a tight ship and makes sure good conquers evil in the shows.

There’s a bit where a dancing cheese and a Rat Fink-looking Chucky Cheese come out and Carrot Top brings out a knife to — what else? — cut the cheese of course. Then they perform “Pest Control.” We loved El Pollo Diablo, who jabs Carrot Top with his pitchfork.  It is legend that El Pollo Diablo came from a Deviled Egg. They also do a song “I Looked Into The Mirror,” which Carrot Top does and lo and behold his evil twin appears and they do battle.

Anyway, it’s all in good fun. The Radioactive Chicken Heads have been around since the late 1990s and have gotten their fair share of attention in the press and have built a loyal following. Carrot Top’s imagination fueled this band as he said he always had characters in his brain.  He even wrote comic books on his characters.

Watch Coachella 2017 Live Via Webcast On Three Channels All Weekend Presented by Goldenvoice

By JOHN DALY

Can’t go to Coachella? Never fear, there are three live channels from which to watch live performances all weekend long.

Check out Coachella Live on three channels here:

 

British Punk’s Prolific Colin Newman: The Band Wire is Not Just Some Heritage Group from The 1970s

The Drill Fest by Wire Packs the Echo

By JOHN NORRIS and DONNA BALANCIA 

Wire held its Drill Fest at The Echo and Echoplex, and it was a rare opportunity to see some of punk’s originators tell it like it is.

Judging by the attendance at the fest, which ran over three days and included performers like Mikal Cronin, Bob Mould and of course headliner Wire, it’s easy to see punk is very much alive today. Or it’s making a “curated” comeback at the very least.

The Pink Flag Guitar Ensemble – a roaring finale – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Drill Fest is not just Wire playing on tour, founder Colin Newman told CaliforniaRocker.com.

“Drill is curated by the bands,” Colin said. “It’s just another aspect of what the band do.

Colin Newman: 'Being influential is a double-edged sword' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Colin Newman: ‘Being influential is a double-edged sword’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Wire: Not Re-Living The Past

“The importance is it’s partly to us,” Colin said. “One of the things about Wire is we’re not doing the heritage circuit. We’re not trying to relive our past. It’s about us making connections to other artists, not necessarily younger artists, but artists of different genres, with different ways of working and in a way it’s putting ourselves in a situation and saying this is what we are, we’re not just some band from the ’70s living off our past.”

Great musicians curated at Drill - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Great musicians curated at Drill – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Newman On Being ‘Influential’

Wire has been so influential to so many bands, but that’s an interesting conundrum, Colin said in typical fashion.

“It’s a double-edged sword, really,” Colin said.

Why?

“Because you don’t like everything that you’ve influenced,” he said. “But everything influences everything else in music. Music is a dialog.”

Musicians and friends - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Musicians and friends – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

That dialog connected this weekend as the crowds at the Echo and Echoplex appreciated the music of many favorites.

Among those who hit the stages were:  Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (Luna), Jason Falkner (The Grays, Three O’Clock, Jellyfish), Jessica Lipstate (Noveller), and Jess Labrador, and Shannon Sky Madden (Chasms).

Not just 'Part-Time Punks' The Drill is the real deal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Not just ‘Part-Time Punks’ The Drill is the real deal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Other friends and players on hand included Rafe Mandel, Caroline Borolla, Geoffrey Halliday, James Hamblin, Stefan Nelson and Sandy Yang. Wire is Robert Grey, Matthew Simms, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman.

 

 

Outside Lands Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Advance 3-Day Passes on Thursday at 10 A.M.

Outside Lands will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year by giving fans a jumpstart with “Eager Beaver” 3-day passes that go on sale tomorrow at 10 A.M. PST.

Outside Lands, one of the best festivals in the state, takes place Aug. 11-13 in Golden Gate Park. The lineup has not yet been announced.

For more information go to the Outside Lands website.

For passes and ticket information see the Tickets page.

NEW: Rancid and Dropkick Murphys Tour – Five Calif Stops Include Avila Beach, SD, LA and Sacramento

‘Boston to Berkeley’ Tour – The Name Says it All

By JOHN DALY

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys have announced the co-headlining From Boston To Berkeley Tour which will make five California stops, including San Diego, Sacramento, Berkeley, LA and San Luis Obispo in August.

The Bouncing Souls and Jake Burns, The Selecter and Kevin Seconds, support.

“Rancid is looking forward to hitting the road with our brothers the Dropkick Murphys,” said Rancid’s Tim Armstrong.

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys go back a ways. In 1997, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen found a copy of Dropkick Murphys’ original EP at a friend’s house. He gave it to his bandmate and Hellcat Records President Armstrong, who signed the band to his new label.

“It’s a long time coming with these two bands touring together,” said Rancid’s Frederiksen. “There is so much history between both of us that it should make for a great tour. We look forward to seeing all of our friends and family out there.”

Rancid started following the breakup of Armstrong and Matt Freeman’s Berkeley-based band, Operation Ivy. In 1993, Rancid signed with longtime producer, and label founder, Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion and Epitaph Records. Gurewitz stayed on as producer.

Rancid, comprised of Armstrong, Frederiksen, Freeman and Branden Steineckert, has stayed independent. They have their own independent booking agent, they’re on an independent record label, Hellcat/Epitaph, and they make their own t-shirts. The band releases its ninth studio album this year.

Dropkick Murphys are touring in support of their 11 Short Stories Of Pain and Glory album, released through the band’s own Born and Bred Records earlier this year.

The band founded The Claddagh Fund, a charity to help support addiction recovery as well as children’s and veterans’ organizations. Dropkick Murphys–Al Barr, Tim Brennan, Ken Casey, Jeff DaRosa, Matt Kelly, James Lynch– raise funds, mentor, and lend a helping hand with veterans, youth sports, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Dropkick Murphys have become ambassadors for their city. In Boston, it seems like everybody knows someone connected to the band whether by blood, friendship, or the time they shared a brew at a Boston Bruins game.

For more information on the tour check out The Dropkick Murphys  or Rancid pages.

 

MusiCares Raises More Than $8 Million in Honoring Tom Petty as MusiCares Person of the Year

Musical Pals of Tom Petty Come Out to Honor Him as MusiCares Person of the Year

By DONNA BALANCIA

Tom Petty and pals helped raise more than $8 million as the he was celebrated as the MusiCares Person of the Year.

Each year, the MusiCares tribute a highlight of GRAMMY week, as it raises money for health needs of musicians and honors a major artist.

The Red Carpet was packed with music stars ranging from Gary Clark Jr., to Jeff Lynne.

Cage The Elephant keeping it lively on the Red Carpet at Tom Petty Person of the Year - PHoto © 2017 Donna Balancia

Cage The Elephant keeping it lively on the Red Carpet at Tom Petty Person of the Year – PHoto © 2017 Donna Balancia

Cage The Elephant, Stevie Nicks on the Red Carpet

The night was dedicated to Petty with his songs performed  by veterans Don Henley Foo Fighters, Taj Mahal and George Strait as well as young bands The Head and The Heart, Cage The Elephant and The Lumineers.

The ladies did their part in honoring Petty as well with Lucinda Williams and Regina Spektor bringing some flash to the show.

Jackson Browne brought some emotions to the songs “Waiting is the Hardest Part” and “Learning to Fly.”

Stevie Nicks: 'Tom Petty is my BFFFFFFFFF' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Stevie Nicks: ‘Tom Petty is my BFFFFFFFFF’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Stevie Nicks sang a duet with Petty, their famous 1981 hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” as Petty said she was practically family. Nicks told East Coast Rocker that Petty was her “BFFFFFFF” and how he penned at least one or two famous songs for her.

Tom Petty Talks Leon Russell, Johnny Cash

In accepting the honor, Petty recalled that Johnny Cash helped him, and Mo Ostin rescued Petty’s “Free Falling,” and put the song out when MCA turned it down.

Petty said he was on his best behavior as his family was in the audience.

In a speech he made to the elegantly dressed audience of rock and roll fans, Petty recalled some stories of his mentors including Leon Russell and Johnny Cash.

Tom Petty proud to wear his sunglasses at night - Photo courtesy of Libby Kaufman

Tom Petty proud to wear his sunglasses at night – Photo courtesy of Libby Kaufman

He said Russell told him he had to “earn” the right to wear dark glasses at night.

“He said ‘s what the hell you doin’ with the dark glasses,'” Petty recalled.  “I said, ‘I don’t know it feels cool like Jimmy Keltner.’ He said, ‘Wearing sunglasses at night is an honor you earn. Lou Adler had Johnny Rivers and the Mamas and Papas before he put them glasses on. Jack Nicholson made really shitty Boris Karloff movies before he put them glasses on.’ Well,” Petty said as he lifted his sunglasses to his face, “I’m putting my glasses on.”

Jeff Lynne plays at Tom Petty Person of the Year tribute - Photo courtesy Jannie Hillstrom

Jeff Lynne plays at Tom Petty Person of the Year tribute – Photo courtesy Jannie Hillstrom

Petty said he was fortunate enough to know the great Johnny Cash and loved his song “Big River.” He said young songwriters should listen to “Big River” about 60 times and “You’ll write something.”

Petty and the Heartbreakers made an album with Johnny Cash, Unchained, which won a GRAMMY for the best country record of the year “without being played once on a country station.”

“This morning I was looking through a box and a letter fell out, it was from John on my 50th birthday, and it said Happy Birthday, you’re a good man to ride the river with.” That’s all I want to be is a good man to ride the river with and I’m gonna keep riding the river.”

#musicares

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St. Vincent Record Store Day ‘Dictator Selfie’ With Dead Animal Skin on Shoulder Draws Ire

By JOHN DALY

Dynamic musician St. Vincent is taking some social media heat for posting an Instagram photo of herself draped in a dead animal skin.

St. Vincent, who was named Record Store Day Ambassador, posted a photo of herself dressed in a dictator outfit with what appears to be a cheetah skin draped over her shoulder. She captioned the photo: “I was named 2017 record store day ambassador and I take it seriously.”

But her quip has drawn the ire of animal rights fans.

“Due to this post I will unfollow your account as of today,” said one Instagram user.

“You always look amazing, your (sic) one of my favorite artists. BUT come on with the dead animal. NOT COOL!!,” said another.

“Dead animal? WTF,” wrote another Instagram follower.

Each year on April 22. Record Store Day is celebrated and a musician is appointed to be the figurehead for the annual vinyl.

The Record Store Day website also shows St. Vincent depicted in the outfit.

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