California Rocker Names Top Shows of the Quarter: Pandoras, Marley, Hearts

Kim Shattuck © Donna Balancia
Kim Shattuck © Donna Balancia

Veterans and Young Performers Whose Recent Shows Brought Out The Best

By DONNA BALANCIA – There’s so much to do in Los Angeles – let alone the state of California –  no one person can possibly see every great band or memorable performance.

California Rocker has hand-selected some solid performances of the last four-to five months (a fiscal quarter give or take a month) that may possibly have flown under the radar.  The talent didn’t escape us.


The Pandoras and the Woggles

Photo © Donna Balancia
Kim Shattuck – Photo © Donna Balancia

THE SATELLITE — The Pandoras have undergone a host of band member changes but the current lineup is tops in our books.  Kim Shattuck has got what it takes as a powerful and compelling front gal; she’s had a lot of experience having played in a host of great bands including the Muffs.

In theory, girl bands shouldn’t be differentiated from guy bands — or mixed gender bands — but they are, let’s face it.  We don’t know when it became a crime to use your good looks to help propel the music.  But in an effort not to be sexist let’s just say it’s an attractive group of fun people who play some great tunes. Women or not these are true musicians who have a natural affinity for one another and a love of the performance. (See the Pandoras’ Facebook page)

The Woggles have been around for years, but it’s amazing how they never fail to delight the audience.  Tamborine-banging perpetually tow-headed front man Manfred leaps to the highest heights and drops to the lowest lows in his performance.  Physically. It’s hard to keep your eyes off these guys and even the squarest of square can’t help but groove to the beat. Learn more about The Woggles at their page.

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Tommy Keene and Eyelids

Tommy Keene - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
Tommy Keene – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

THE SATELLITE — Tommy Keene is a perpetual favorite and has amassed an impressive collection of fans who have remained faithful through the years. He’s a perfectionist with some great upbeat powerpop tunes that get you grooving.  His latest album is a great listen with some high energy hits done in great Tommy Keene style. See Tommy Keene’s website

Not to be outshone in the same night at the Satellite were The Eyelids whose avant garde but extremely melodic songs knocked out the crowd.  Onstage antics, like flying hair and guitars on the ground keep things interesting.  Can’t say enough good things about Eyelids.

The Eyelids are John Moen Chris Slusarenko, Jonathan Drews, Jim Talstra and Paul Pulvirenti. They really pack a punch as their lively show is full of surprises! See Eyelids website.

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The Flamin Groovies and The Zeros

Flamin Groovies © 2016 Donna Balancia
Flamin’ Groovies © 2016 Donna Balancia

THE BOOTLEG — The Flamin Groovies are an example of longevity and success. Cyril Jordan Chris Wilson George Alexander Victor Penalosa put on a show that’s fun and uplifting in purely American fashion.

(See the Flamin Groovies Facebook Page)

They’ve toured the world since the 1960s in one iteration or another, but they are all-USA in their approach.  The Flamin Groovies have had their share of hits, notably Shake Some Action and they’re still going strong.

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Daniel Bambaata Marley and Fishbone

Daniel Bambaata Marley - Photo © Donna Balancia
Daniel Bambaata Marley – Photo © Donna Balancia

THE ROXY — Daniel Bambaata Marley has more going on than being the grandson of Bob Marley. He is a musical talent with wit and — despite his young years — he shows a good deal of wisdom. A singer-songwriter, Marley has a range of topics he covers in his music and he takes us with him through his life’s journey. (See Marley’s Facebook page)

At the Roxy, warming up for Fishbone, he showed a mixed-age audience his musical capabilities and the crowd reveled in the experience.

See our Fishbone coverage in the story ‘Fishbone Takes Stage Diving to New Levels.’

Marley has the lineage as the grandson of Bob Marley and the son of Ziggy — but he is carving out a style all his own.  Marley marries the enthusiasm of hip hop with reggae and the results are compelling.  He’s got the right stuff and We expect more to come from this young talent.

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 Space Cream

Space Cream - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
Space Cream – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

THE VIPER ROOM — With a voice like a rock n roll angel, Savannah Pope of Space Cream belts it out like few others can. Pope has a flair for the theatrics and puts all her passion into the songwriting and the show. Space Cream marries rock and roll and glam, but adds a Gaga-esque front woman who can actually write interesting songs. Pope is surrounded by top musicians –Dizzy Joan on guitar, Saul Slotnick on bass and Zak Ryan on drums — and has a new album, Pterodactyl Sky (see their website). We’re not alone in our fandom for this band: SpaceCream won the gold medal at 2014’s LA Battle for Vans Warped Tour at House of Blues Sunset.


Turbulent Hearts and Barb Wire Dolls

Turbulent Hearts by Donna Balancia
Suzy Moon of Turbulent Hearts – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

THE WHISKY A GO GO — Turbulent Hearts is one of the best up-and-coming bands in the L.A. area and you can expect a lot out of this group. Suzi Moon, Mark Johnson and Jay Skowronek put on a wild show and bring back the excitement of a true frontwoman-led punk band reminicent of the 80s.  Suzy Moon will go to great lengths to get a reaction out of her audience and the crowd swoons over her looks and talent.  Turbulent Hearts (see their website) has a new album out, check out their Facebook page.

The Barb Wire Dolls (see their Facebook page) has a solid gig with Whisky as the house band, but is taking a break in their native Greece.  Must be nice. Comprised of Krash Doll, Isis Queen Doll, Pyn Doll and newest member JJ Doll, the band is expected to return in October.


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