Review of Fiona Apple Concert

Fiona Apple is on tour!

Review by James Cowart and Live Photos by J.D. Brumback from the show at the Luther Burbank Center.
Check out some samples from her new album – “Tidal”

The long awaited tour of 19 year old Fiona Apple brought us to the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa. The venue itself doubles as a concert hall by night and place of worship by day. The setting reminds me of a place where MTV’s “Unplugged” show could easily take place. The crowd of nearly one thousand people ranging from ftwelve year olds to fans in their mid-forties were treated to an intimate evening on Fionna’s tour of her debut CD, Tidal.

The stage consisted of a baby grand piano, drums, a xylophone, a stand-up bass, numerous guitars, organs and keyboards. Enourmous candles and incense covered the stage, setting the tone for Fiona and her band.

As Fiona made her way on stage, the audience gave her a warm welcome. She sat at the baby grand and instigated the first song of the evening – a slow moving composition that left the audience simultaneously stunned and amazed. The young, sultry musician then moved to center stage to exchange words with the crowd. “You know what . . . Sometimes I just get so pissed off. I mean REALLY pissed off!” Immediately, a drum kick and bass roll-off commenced, which led the audience into the familiar “I tell you how I feel, but you don’t care.”

Fiona performed her number one hit single, “Sleep To Dream”, with an intense passion that sent a flow of emotional energy into the crowd and back to the stage in waves. Along with the multi-talented Patrick Warren, Fiona and company displayed their ability to create music that can affect an entire culture. These messages are part of a new musical movement that tells us not to be so passive with OURSELVES rather than with government or everyday complaints. Let the light that we all hold, shine and shine brightly. The audience was obviously moved and entertained as Fionna belted out ballads such as “Never A Promise” and Sullen Girl” and then the emotionally powerful songs like “Shadowboxer” and “Criminal”.

SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing


“Criminal”
153k RealAudio

“The First Taste”
140k RealAudio

“Sleep To Dream”
134k RealAudio


“Shadowboxer”
124k RealAudio


Web Production Features Business Sites Events



All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.



A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Interview with The Brand New Heavies

Interview with Andrew Levy and samples from the New Album.
 
SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing

 


“I Like It”
134k RealAudio


“Day By Day”
97k RealAudio

“You Are The Universe”
134k RealAudio


“Once Is Twice Enough”
97k RealAudio

CitySites Interview With Andrew Levy

By James Cowart.

Hi Andrew, Thanks for taking time-out from your busy schedule to talk with me.
Andrew : It’s my pleasure.James : As a bassist, who were your influences?
Andrew : I think that it all started with James Brown and Miles Davis. They really influenced me at a young age. That is when I picked up my first instrument, the bassoon.James : What is one of the earliest memories with the original “Heavies” crew – (you and Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew)?
Andrew : When we first started playing together, we used to jam a lot in our own bedrooms. After a couple of those “Bedroom Jams” we just knew it was meant to be, and then everything just happened.

James : Tell me about the period between the new album “Shelter” and the previous album?
Andrew : Maturity, we definitely matured. We learned a lot about arrangements, melodies and structures.

James : You seem really enthusiastic about how thing are going with the new album “Shelter”. Did positive change occur with the addition of Siedah Barrett?
Andrew : Well Siedah stepped into the studio and we recorded a track in one day. Immediately, we all knew that this could really, really happen.

James : How do you feel about the bands you are playing with at the Smokin Grooves Tour?
Andrew : Well, we are playing with a great bill. I’m really enthusiastic about the bands we are playing with. But, we are definitely going to be the funkiest band on Tour.

James : If you weren’t a musician Andrew, what would you be doing?
Andrew : Well, (laughing), I went to college for five years, and I’d like to go back. I want to be an Architect. I’ve always been interested in achitecture. After all, I don’t want to jump around on stage the rest of my life.

James : Are you familiar with the Internet?
Andrew : We all have our own websites, so we’re definitely internet friendly.

James : Thanks again for taking time-out Andrew. Any last words for your fans?
Andrew : World – get ready for some serious funk.

 

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.

 


 

Home Web Production Features Business Sites Events

 


A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Interview with John Mayall

 

John Mayall on the “Blues for the Lost Days” Tour
San Francisco show at Slim’s.
Concert Photography by J.D. Brumback
Interview conducted June 22, 1997 at Slim’s Night Club by Mike Somavilla
(research by Gordon B. Hull & Mike Somavilla)

 

John Mayall was born 11/29/33 in Macclesfield, England. His father was a jazz guitarist with a huge blues/jazz record collection. John began playing guitar at 12 and piano at 14. In 1955 he formed his first group called the Power House Four. In ’62 after moving to london, Mayall formed the band “Blues Syndicate”. Turning professional in ’63 with encouragement from Alexis Korner, the first of the Blues Breakers bands recorded its first single “Crawl Up A Hill”.

Over the next 30 years, Mayall recorded over 40 records and the list of talent he discovered and fostered reads like the who’s who of jazz, rock and blues – Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Joohn McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Aynsley Dunber, Jon Mark, Andy Fraser, Keef Hartley, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Ernie Watts, Dick Heckstall Smith, Hughie Flint, Jack Bruce, Tony McPhee, John Almond and many others.

Q: You’re known as a strict task master who runs a tight ship; you once kicked out John McVie and Mick Fleetwood for excessive drinking; are you more tolerant these days? A: You’re reading quotes from magazines and articles, you know, which is not really fair. I’m having trouble answering something like that – that’s written and read out off of a magazine. I’m not a hard task master – John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were sometimes too drunk to play – so obviously they had to go for that reason and they would tell you the same thing. It was justified and as for the tolerance these days, that doesn’t really apply because I’ve never been a hard task master. I’m the easiest guy to get along with, providing I have the right musicians and I think that history shows that I have.

Q: Regarding your “Blues Alone” album in 1968, did you really lay down all the tracks in one day?
A: I can’t remember – it probably was a bit more than that. If it says so on the album. It was probably done within a week, anyway but it was a pleasureable experience. Keef Harley came in and did the drumming on it because my timing was terrible when it came to playing the drums. It’s one thing I’ve never been able to deal with.

Q: On “The Turning Point” your recorded a tribute to J.B. Lenoir entitled “I’m Gonna Fight For You J.B.” Can you talk about his influence on your music?
A: Well, I’ve always liked his music; his lyrics always struck me as being a little off the beaten track for a standard blues fare and he had a lot of great musical ideas and his voice was terrific too.

Q: “Blues Breakers John Mayall with Eric Clapton” is one of those classic, seminal albums of our time (a “must have” for all collectors), but it seems to be better known because of Eric Clapton; does that bother you?
A: It’s a great album. It put Eric on the map and put me on the map. (It sure did.)

Q: Your only U.S. charting single “Don’t Waste My Time” reached #81 in ’69, but “Room To Move” seems to be your most requested song – Is it your favorite, too?
A: No, it’s more of a signature tune really. Luckily, it’s translated very well to any particular instrumentation that I’ve had ever since. It started off as a big band number and translated into what we had on Turning Point.

Q: Are there any recordings of Powerhouse Four or Blues Syndicate?
A: No.

The liner notes for your first album were written by Alexis Corner – Can you talk about his influence, and did you ever perform together on stage or informally? A: Did Alexis write the first one? Q: For Klooks Kleek? A: Oh, did he . . . I can’t remember that. . . Yeah, maybe he did . . . obviously, you know about that. We played on the same shows together, but not at the same time. Q: “USA Union” is your best selling album in America, hitting #22 on the Billboard Charts in ’70; are you still in touch with Harvey Mandel (guitar) and/or Larry Taylor (bass)? And how did they come to join your band in the first place? A: It did? (according to my researcher, yes) Sounds very suspect to me. Yeah, Larry lives pretty near me. I see him quite a lot – but Harvey was here at the last gig, but he had to work tonight. I chose them – I’m the band leader, so I pick the musicians.

Q: In ’88 you recorded, remixed and remastered 8 songs from “Back To the Roots” (1971) and releasted it as part of archives to Eighties; Do you have any plans to do this with other recordings? A: No, not right now. Maybe something with the bottom Line if I can ever get my hands on the master tapes, but that particular album – the producer kind of mixed it so that, so . . . . I do remember playing on it, but there’s no evidence of it. I’d like to be able to get that one and hear what is on the actual tracks.

 

SAMPLESfrom their latest CD
“Blues For The Lost Days”


Click &
keep surfing

 


“Dead City”
83k RealAudio

“How Can You Live Like That”
182k RealAudio

“Sen-Say-Shun”
158k RealAudio

“You Are For Real”
124k RealAudio

Q: You have guested on albums by Rod Stewart, Eddie Boyd, Albert King and Shakey Jake Harris. Have you played “session man” for anyone else? A: Oh, very few and far between. I think you probably named them all there, I can’t think of any more off hand. (Buddy Guy is another)

Q: You featured a woman – Dee McKinnie on vocals on “New Year New Band and New Company” in 1975 – What brought on this change in direction? A: That was part of the band you know, the band I had then. Dee McKinnie was from Memphis and she worked with Jet Spell who was the keyboardist on that particular outing.

Q: You and Allen Toussaint did an album in ’75 – “Notice To Appear” but there were only two songs that you penned; would you say Allen had more control in those sessions? A: Yeah, he was totally in charge of it. It weas proposed I work with him. So we had to do it his way. It was his studio production entirely. I was lucky to get two songs on it (laughing)!

Q: You released 5 albums on ABC and 3 on DJM between ’76 and ’80, with none of them seeing much action; what would you say was the reason for this? A: It’s hard to tell, I think there was a general recession in the record industry at that particular time. there wasn’t that much interest in blues records – who knows what happens with these things but I know the late 70’s and early 80’s were a pretty rough time for not just me, but for a lot of blues players getting record deals. We were still doing our live gigs with no problem; to get record interest was difficult.
Q: The 1983 audio fidelity release “Casa Blues” featured Blue Mitchell and Freddie Robinson on four long instrumentals. How did this record come about? A:Well, Blue was in my band. Freddy was in my band and Blue had another album to do, so I got ROLLED into that one – it was nice.
Q: Why was there never a record release of the excellent video “Blues Alive”, taken from your June ’82 show at the Capitol Theatre in New Jersey? A: Like I said, That was the time when there was no record interest, so the video was out, so that really tells the story.

Q: “Chicago Line” (1988) featured two superb guitarists – Coco Montoya and Walter Trout. Are you still in touch with them and what do you think of their solo projects? A: Sure, yeah, Coco just released his 3rd album and Walter has about 6 albums out and Walter’s really big in Europe, not so big over here. Yeah, in fact he’s in England (touring) right now.

Q: A sense of Place (1990) is an appropriate title for your return to the charts – Do you have a perspective on this? A: Well, I don’t know about the charts. As far as I’m concerned, no album of mine has been in the charts since probably “The Turning Point”. I don’t really know. And as far as I’m concerned I’ve never had a gold record, so I don’t have any knowledge of these things.

Q: Your current label – Silvertone has released 3 stellar albums “Wake Up Call” (1993) “Spinning Coin” (1996) and the recent “Blues For The Lost Days” Do you feel that you are finally getting the treatment you deserve from a record label?
A:Well, it’s nice to be able to get support from the record company thiat is behind too, so I’m very happy with that. (Sure is, and it looks like they’re doing a good job for you.) Yeah.
Q: Your guitarist, Buddy Whittington is your latest discovery. How did you meet and what is his background? A: He’s from Texas and we had him in an opening act that we did in Dallas a few years ago. That’s how we came to meet and when Coco left, I contacted Buddy.

Q: I understand that you went to art school and at one time you were involved in advertising graphics. You’ve even had a hand in the layout and design of some of your album covers. Does art still play a part in your life? A: No so much, there’s not much time for anything else but music and family life these days, but occasionally I do some painting.

Q: Have you ever played any solo acoustic gigs? A: No, I’ve never been into that. that’s why I’m a band leader and work with sparking off other musicians.

Q: Fairport Conventions have put on shows where all the members from their various line ups converge and perform on stage in chronological order. Have you ever thought about doing a similar adventure for the Blues Breakers to reunite Clapton, Taylor, Green, Mandel, McVie, Dunbar and countless others from the John Mayall School of Music?
A: Don’t even finish, it’s total insanity.

Q: You’ve played with a lot of people – Is there anyone in particular that you would like to work with in the future?
A: I’ve got it now. This is the line up. This is the right one.

Q: In 1972, Cleve (a small label from Texas) released the album “John Lee Hooker, John Mayall and the Ground Hogs”, recorded in London. How much involvement did you have on this this project?
A: None at all. Somebody put my name on it. Ihad nothing to do with that. I don’t even know anything about it except somebody pretended I was on it, but I’m certainly not on it.

Q: I read that you lived in a tree at one time; can you describe the humble abode you once called “home”.
A: I’ve never been one for humble abodes. I’ve alwaays been one for luxuray. And if I built a tree house it was becasue it was my own building and it would be my own decoration and the place to p;ut all my stuff, but humble abodes have never been part of my life (laughing).

Q: Were you ever able to reconstruct your “library” after the fire in Laurel Canyon?
A: No, I was never able to reconstruct anything, some unbeatable photographs, records, tapes, books, magazines – everything is gone, so it was a big loss and nothing could be retained.

Q: “Blues for the Lost Days” is described as your “the best album of John Mayall’s career” in your record company press statement. How do you feel about that?
A:Well, I hope so, I hope they do.

Q: What was it like to live with Frank Zappa and Canned Heat in the ’60’s? Did you and “The Mothers” or Canned Heat ever jam together?
A: No, I never lived with them. I spent a couple of nights at Frank Zappa’s house once and maybe a night at Canned Heat’s house at the time. No I never played with them.

Q: Your wife Maggie sang with the Harvey Mandel Band before joining your band – Does she still sing?
A: No, she had a band – Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs and when they started to split up there was no replacing the excellent musicians that sparked that off, so she’s just doing the family life now.

Q: It seems to me that without you, Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Graham Bond and Long John Baldry there would have been no british blues and rock scene – Just about everybody passed through the ranks of those groups and went on to great success. Would you agree that you guys were sort of the “Blues Godfathers” and forefathers, not to mention a proving ground and training school for talent?
A: Well, that’s how it worked out. We didn’t think of it at the time as being like that. We all had to work and we were all enthused and that’s what happened.

Q: On Blues From Laurel Canyon, you wrote a song “Miss James” about Katherine James from the band “Groupies”. Did you hang out with the Groupies, G.T.O’s or Plaster Casters who were all part of that music scene?
A: Yeah, they tended to gravitate around Frank Zappa’s house so throught them I met everybody.

Q: On “Blues for the Lost Days” there seems to be a lot of songs dealing with tributes and love themes – love for your wife (You Are For Real), love for your mother (One In A Million), love for life and family (I Don’t Mind), loe for old times and friends (Blues for the Lost Days), love for the hate of war (Trenches), love for mentors and heros (All Those Heros) and just an overall love for the blues throughout the album. Any comment?

A: Well, I think you just described the whole album right there (laughing).

Q: How is your current tour going?
A: It’s great as always, we never have any trouble touring.

Q: Your new CD kicks ass – how is the audience reaction to the new songs?
A: Well, you heard it tonight and there was a double encore and they still wanted more, so I think you can say it was totally excellent. (I think so. I can agree with that.)
Q: You’re turning 64 this year; how much longer do you see yourself touring?
A: As long as I’m doing what I’m doing now, you know – kicking ass. (As long as the fans are still there?) Yeah, well the fans will be there as long as I deliver.

Well John, on behalf of CitySites Magazine, I want to thank you for your time and thank Silvertone for this opportunity. We wish you much success with your new CD and the tour.

I have to say that it wa a real pleasure talking with John Mayall and the performance was outstanding. His current killer band of Blues Breakers include Buddy Whittington (guitar), John Paulus (bass), and Joe Yuele (drums) and they all put on one helluva show. I highly recommend that you check out their show whenever you get a chance.

 

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.

 


 

 

 


A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Review of U2 Concert

Impressions of U2 @ the Oakland Coliseum

by Darrow Boggiano

Live Concert Photography by J.D. Brumback

plus samples of the new album Discotheque



The U2 show couldn’t have been held at a better place. Even in the hugeness of the Oakland Coliseum, somehow the audience was made to feel close to the performers. Bono (in white hooded cape) and the Edge mysteriously appeared in the center of the arena to start the show with “Walk Away, I Will Follow” as they went back up the long catwalk to the stage.

It was apparent from the jump that there was a new image being projected by the band, quite different from the rock/leather that we’ve seen in the past. Bono seemed to be loving the photo opps during the first three tunes and was funny to watch when he was jumping around like a mad but happy orangutan, in spurts throughout the evening.

If not close to dragging, he was definitely in a more fashion conscious state than we’ve seen from him in the past. With Adam Clayton clad in a “pop tart” labeled t-shirt and bono in “elton johnish” sunglasses, clockwork orange hat, and super tight spandex, it was rather obvious that a bi-sexual / gay image was being promoted or at least displayed.

The new tune “Gone” from Discotheque sounded beautiful live – the words seem to tie in with what the band has been going through as a “mega-musical corporation”: ‘what you thought was freedom was just greed’.

Bono was somewhat apologetic stating to the crowd: “You turned us into a big rock band. We got kind of scared of the big corporation. You, start a band to make music, it becomes a huge corporation. Then you have to decide if you are going to eat the monster before it eats you.”

The Pop Mart Tour has some oddities, like a segment in which The Edge karaokes to “Cheer Up Sleepie Jean” (Day Dream Believer) and a coupla’ other tunes while old videos play on the enormous screen.

We heard “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Only To Be With You” and “Stand By Me”. The new tune “Last Night On Earth” (You Got To Give It Away) was a definite crowd shaker.

The Oaktown Coliseum accommodates fabulous effects for these gargantuan events.

There was a huge lemon balloon floating beside the stage from the beginning that was later transformed into a huge shining disco ball. It floated into the center of the air space and twirled lights onto the entire crowd, making the place a mega disco joint from the 70’s.

There are a few good tunes on the new album, but it’s no “Achtung Baby”. It seems as though the promotions are teeny-bop shopping gimmicks that either the band was “semi-pushed into” or is not totally pleased with. Since they are going along with this utterly commercial crap, (what’s up with the half-a-McDonald’s arch?), I think they decided to say “what the hell” in expressing homosexual nature that they had not previously exposed so blatantly.

Maybe when all people (are you listening, “Mr. Don’t ask/don’t tell.”; give me a break) understand that bisexuality would be common practice if society and religion didn’t tell us to refuse it, then the superstars won’t have to bother getting over a rainbow that’s been camouflaged by a golden arch. Props to them anyway, for adding some positive to this project that seems to be much more about “mega-money-media-madness”, than music.

SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing

 


“Staring At The Sun”
67k RealAudio

“Last Night On Earth”
99k RealAudio

“Gone”
89k RealAudio

“Discotheque”
67k RealAudio


 

 

 

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.

 


Home Web Production Features Business Sites Events

 


A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Interview with George Thorogood

Interview with George Thorogood

by Frisco Floyd Van Gogh

plus samples of the new album:

SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing


“Living With The Shades Pulled Down”
118k RealAudio

“Manhattan Slide”
67k RealAudio

“My Dog Can’t Bark”
99k RealAudio

“Rock & Roll Man”
89k RealAudio

George: Floyd of Frrrrisco?

FF: yes!

G: Right, (chuckles)

FF: Thank you for your time, and welcome to my phone line.

GT: Pleasure, San Francisco Bay Area. .. the giants, the giants man, the giants are doing it.

FF: Of course, they are a great team.

On to the interview . . .

FF: So this is your 20 year aniversary since your first release. What was the name of that first label?

GT: Rounder records. they were a blue grass label. They mostly featured bluegrass, kind of old time music. Some how we hooked up w/them,…

(On the track “Liven with the shades pulled down” – new album, you can hear George’s blue grass roots sort of creeping through.)

GT: ……we did a couple albums w/them, and then moved on to EMI American in 1982 and put out the “Bad to the Bone” album..

FF: Which is still an awesome album . . .

GT: Thank you, and now we’re doing this “Rockin’ My Life Away” thing.

FF: Yeah, it’s (the record) something else. You’ve had lots-o-road time, “pluggin the ol’album” scene?

GT: Well,…that’s what it’s all about, i mean stayin’ with it. That’s pretty much what the story has been about,.. uhmm perseverance

FF: Tell me about the “fifty days, fifty states”.

GT: Well that’s kind of interesting and humorous history of the “Destroyers”. There was this guy working with us on a tour, and he said, “Why don’t you play all fifty states?” . . . I said yeah that sounds like a good idea, so we lined it up as all fifty states in fifty nights with no time off. So we were like two days into it, and the guy says “Ya know I really admire you playing all these staes right in a row….every night,…
I went “Huh? . . .is that what you meant? . . . all in a row?…”

And Bill Grahm, God rest his soul, asked us if we would like to play at Madison Square Garden with the Stones (during that tour). I said no, we gotta play these fifty states, we’re comitted to that…. real wise management move on my part.

FF: You did later tour with the Stones, correct?

GT: Yeah, that was about as good as it gets.

FF: Hey, the new record/album – this is a very nice compilation of songs.

GT: Thank you.

FF: starting w/”Trouble every day”, great job mahhhn’. That was wonderful.

GT: Yeah, that’s a Frank Zappa classic, kind of a tribute to him.

FF: and “The Usual”, John Hiatt’s tune?

GT: that was actually done first by Bob Dylan of all people, that’s supposed to be a movie… but Hiatt is realy an exteme lyric writer. He’s out there, we picked up on the lyrics, and tried to make it into a rock song.

FF: Fabulous.

GT: Well you can thank our producer, Watty Watell for that. He put together all the music for that.

FF: and “Rock and Roll Man” is every bit as hot . .

GT: That’s us, thats the destroyers.

FF: So, that’s your tune.

GT: More or less a follow up to “get a haircut”.

FF: That was alright!

GT: You got it man.

FF: Then there was “Jail Bait”, the tune had me giggling.

GT: That idea was kind of a tongue in cheek wording there. Sometimes i’d say, “oh this one’s a little too serious for me….”, uh kind of a Randall Patrick McMurphy.

FF: Now you have said that the rock and roll of today, is not as fun as it once was. Sort of a Life and Death mood now vs. the “fun” of rock in years past.

GT: It might be that everything might have been more fun. The word fun comes from the word funny, and it’s seems to be kind of lost. Sometimes when you go to see a comedian, and you walk out feeling worse than you did when you walked into the place. So i say, lets get these people up on their feet, get ’em laughing and dancing for about ninety minutes or two hours. Let ’em know that there is still a good time to be had.

FF: Right on, was it you that said all of the good songs have been written?

GT: No, I didn’t think that i did (write all the good songs), . . . i was not talking about other artists. I’ve never fancied myself as any kind of song writer. When I made that statement, I was only talking about myself, in particular. I was not qualified to do that (write any more good songs). However, something must have rang true with that statement. I said that in 1978, and if you listen to rock classic radio, about 85% of the stuff they play, is all stuff that came out before 1980. So I must have had some kind of insight to that thing. I was only talking about myself….

FF: ..the 1-4-5 blues riff?

GT: Exactly, that’s what i do, and in that bag, most of the good songs have been done. The peple who are the qualified good writers,..MaCartney, Dillon, Niel Young, Paul Simon, even those people, the bulk of their stuff, all happened before their time.

FF: Now how was the three week’s w/ZZ top?

GT: Great.

FF: Do you have any plans to come back through this way?

GT: Always, nothing firm, but when it is, you’ll be the first to know.

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.





A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Descendents Concert Review

Impressions of the show at Trocadero Transfer

DESCENDENTS BONUS CUP EXTRAVAGANZA by Gary X. Indiana

Live Concert Photography by J.D. Brumback

plus samples of the new album:

Never mind the SEX PISTOLS, who cares about KISS, the greatest rock and roll reunion of these reunion-happy times has got to be the DESCENDENTS!

And who the hell are they, newbies might ask? Only one of the most kick-ass punk bands of the early-to-mid-’80’s Southern California scene, one of the all-time classic favorites whose stupendous comeback to sellout crowds proves that their popularity didn’t wane over the years.

On the contrary, their legend continued to grow, with bands such as SUBLIME dropping Descendents covers into their sets, and continuous college radio airplay of their classic records.

SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing


“Everything Sucks”
118k RealAudio

“I’m The One”
67k RealAudio

“Hateful Notebook”
99k RealAudio

“Eunuch Boy”
89k RealAudio

The Descendents were never a bunch of hardcore jocks; rather, led by the lanky, spectacled singer Milo Aukerman, they were the nerds of punk, playing beach-pop inflected tunes about adolescence, insecurity, girls and the inevitable heartbreak, and fishing.

In sum, songs that just about anybody can like. Despite their popularity, Milo realized that the life of a rock star can’t compete with science, so he dropped out in ’82 to study biochemistry at UC San Diego while drummer Bill Stevenson hooked up with BLACK FLAG. The band re-formed in the mid-80’s and released more classic records, until Milo left in ’87 to pursue his Ph.D. Bill and the boys continued as the band ALL, while Bill also established himself as a record producer.

’96, however, was the unofficial 20th anniversary of Punk Rock, and with its resurgence still chugging along, the old heifer was being milked for every drop. Milo, apparently bitten by the punk rock bug again, returned to the fold and the Descendents recorded their brilliant Epitaph release “Everything Sucks”.

Fans proclaimed it an instantly classic Descendents record, singles (such as the title song, also “I’m The One” and “She Loves Me”) swamped radio and MTV, and the band packed clubs worldwide in the Winter and Spring.

Their show at the Trocadero last December was full to the rafters with rabid Descendents fans singing along to the tunes both old and new. Their June 2nd return was eagerly awaited, and once again it was sardine city.

Fashionably late, I arrived in time for GUTTERMOUTH, who struck me as too damn dorky. Watching the singer, I kept having these weird mental images of Buddy Hackett.

The perfect party band LESS THAN JAKE got the big E for effort, doing the ska thing with dancing horns and the whole bit while simultaneously being covered in Silly String. Of course Milo and the boys, what can I say, they were at least as great as the show in December, blasting through a slew of old and new songs, everything any Descendents fan could want to hear, only slowing along the way for their goofy ceremony of reciting the “All-o-gistics” creed, complete with commandments (“Thou shall not commit hygiene/Thou shalt not partake of the dreaded decaf” etc.) written on a duct taped scroll which was chucked into the mob afterwards.

Last time their encore included guest vocals from the guitar roadie and one of the SWINGING UTTERS; this time they topped that when they all switched instruments, Bill on guitar, Milo on bass, and a mysterious guest singer came out and out-Henryed HENRY ROLLINS on a medley of Black Flag songs (I lost it completely at that point) including “Six Pack”, “Wasted”, “Nervous Breakdown”, and “Jealous Again”. Awesome. A very, very happy crowd was left in their wake.

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.





A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

 

Rooster Concert Review

“Rooster”

Impressions by Petra Arnold on camera
and Darrow Boggiano on pencil.

CitySites checked out Rooster in San Jose a couple weeks ago at the downtown block party and again this weekend at Slim’s. Some true hip-hoppers; they are comprised of James D’Angelo (left)who writes about 70% of all their tunes; Smash (right) mo’ than backs up on vocals and adds an energetic stage show to their soulful rap vibe; Ben Eastman booms on drums keepin’ things live and Mark Casqueiro is found on the thumpy stand-up bass. Sean Moody is guitarist and co-song writer who does a cool sounding “Dobro” thing with the guitar in his lap. Yes, I know I spelled dobro wrong (they left that one out of the spell checker). James calls himself an ‘indignant civil rights child who tends to get motivated “in the here and now” to write about either a current news story or more often, his sex life which he labels ‘unrequited’. D’Angelo has received numerous rave reviews over his writing for the band “Goats”, which he led back in Phillie.

He has recently hooked “Rooster” up with a publishing contract at Chrysalis even though they don’t have a recording deal just yet. Chrysalis must think they are pretty special, since the publisher usually only steps in after the record deal has been signed. They got in with Chrysalis after James sent a copy of his tape to his brother in L.A. who was playing it so loud that his neighbor heard it. She had just gotten a job at Chrysalis and liked it so she brought it in to her boss and voila! . . . they were signed.

SAMPLES


Click &
keep surfing


“Summertime”
134k RealAudio


“Train I Ride”
97k RealAudio

“Donut Holes”
134k RealAudio


“Virgin Record Sto'”
97k RealAudio

D’Angelo and Sean Moody started putting Rooster’s tunes together a couple of years ago, after Moody came down to Frisco from Oregon. Their lyrics are sharp, political and often funny – “I met a Ho’ at the Virgin Record Sto’. . . ” “The guy’s say her love for me is phony, but her ass is so fine, it’s worth the palimony”. “You be the cornish hen, I’ll be the rooster; if you’ve had a tetanus shot, I’ll be the booster”. D’Angelo told us he finds excitement in women he can’t have and says the best cure is to tickle them a lot and cook them pasta fungill. On the ride to San Jose we asked James what it is he raps about. He puts on this “heavy, homey, brotha’ rappa” voice and says “’bout politics. . . ’bout people tryin’ to keep white folks down in the suburbs. . . and people tryin’ to confuse da issues ’bout bein’ real wit’ yo’self or playin’ wit’ yo’self and I’d just like to say that I wanna’ play wit’ myself, but I don’t wanna’ stay wit’ myself. So keep it on da’ real.”

Smash said jokingly that he’s the token black guy in a rap band and that sometimes they say “Smash, it ain’t black enough for me, can you make it any blacker? . . . I’m doing the best I can, ya’ know”.So, like it or (obviously) not, we asked Smash some race issue and romance questions. . .
James butts in to say “We’re into fractions, not ratios.”

Q: “A lot of brothas’ and sistas’ consider it to be defecting if they go out with a white guy or girl. Do you date white women and if so, do you feel pressure from others because of that or because you are in an otherwise “white boy” hip hop band?”

A: “I don’t buy into the theory that one black person can speak for an entire race and you can date whoever you want, even guys – right. Folks who choose to be involved in whatever way interracially are not defecting from their race. Let me put it this way . . . right now, black pussy is exotic!”

Q: “What are some of your best or favorite lines?”

A: “She might be asian, but that don’t make her less fun, cuz when it comes to dumplings, she’s all that and dim sum” and “I’m the freckled face rooster, cruisin’ in my limo; pullin’ up to the curb and hangin’ panties out the window.”

Next time you hear about an upcoming show – check out Rooster – we think they’re all that AND a bag of corn meal!

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.





A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

Spearhead Concert Review

“Food for the Masses”Impressions of the Spearhead Show
and the “Chocolate Supa Highway” Album

Photographs by Petra Arnold

Words & Digitization by Darrow Boggiano


“Rock Rock Ya’ll” – Spearhead comes alive” at the Fillmore. The “Chocolate Supa Highway” show sold out and the joint was packed from front to back and top to bottom with hyped fans.

Franti has a stage presence that mesmerizes. With him under the spots, its hard to notice the rest of the group, but listening to the CD confirms that the variety of voices and musical talent is a big part of why he comes off so impeccable on stage and in the studio. Phunky rasta style from Ras I. Zulu, bumpin’ bass and keyboard from Carl Young who writes with Franti on 7 of the 15 songs on “Chocolate Supa Highway”. and glorious vocals from Trinna Simmons add a refined touch to the straight-up messages of Spearhead.

We played hell getting in to the show, but after missing just a few songs, I was able to get the feel of what the latest from Spearhead is all about. Drifting up to the balcony during “Tha Payroll” I saw some sisters nodding to each other and I could actually see pride gleaming in their faces over a brotha’ standing up for them rather than rappin’ bout “bitches, hos and when I dip, you dip, we dip”. Most of the songs discuss injustices by government, individual, and corporate oppressors. The casual wisdom of his words, and numerous ear-catching phrases are not only fun to listen and dance to, but should inspire people to be more conscious of what is really going on around them. The tunes on the new album take you many places. . . from love of family “it stops with the flowers in your own backyard”, to a society that makes money from imprisonment and doesn’t take their kids with them on vacation.

This guy was chosen to jump up on stage and
shake his groove thing with the band.

SAMPLESThe tunes speak for themselves,
so take a listen.
You can click &
keep surfing


“Food For The Masses”
148k RealAudio

“Rebel Music”
148k RealAudio

“Madness In The Hood”
185k RealAudio

“U Can’t Sing R Song”
174k RealAudio

“Africa On Line”
174k RealAudio



If you don’t have Real Audio yet – get it now!

David James plays guitar on much of the new album, and although she’s not mentioned on the CD I’m pretty sure Dawn Penn was the other voice/guitarist on stage at the Fillmo’, since they did a taste of her jammin’ tune “You Don’t Love Me” (no, no, no).After listening to the CD more than a few times, it makes one realize the shit that brothas and sistas are still dealing with and dying from, on a daily basis.

The song “Gas Gauge” is about a brother who gets stopped for no reason and killed by a cop on his way to a job interview because he was reaching for his wallet in the glove box where someone had left a gun. The story is told in a fairy tale manner as though he’s talking about a woman who lives in a shoe and it takes a while for the truth of it all to ring through. But when it hits, it’s a powerful blow. Definitely makes you think about how many times you’ve gotten away with having shit in your glove box, but the cop didn’t stop to check you out if they saw you as ‘non-threatening’.

“Food for the Masses” epitomizes the album focus and rocks with a supaphunky dance beat. It sounds like they are warning the world that the protest will continue against all forms of oppression and government control. The food is “truth”, and if that’s what the masses are buying, Spearhead oughtta’ make a bundle. The CD’s layout is comfortable as that song slides into “You Can’t Sing R Song”, which starts with a melodious Marvin Gaye style that melts into a soulful rapbeat; smooth as buttah.

“Madness In Tha Hood” is melodic and peaceful even though they are singing about hookers on Leavenworth Street, Johnny Cochran, the SFPD and crack freaks. Listening to the soothing instruments combined with vivid words picturing harsh realities sends your emotions up, down, east and west. The variety in both tone and lyric between Zulu, Simmons and Franti on this track make for a fresh combination.On the non-political front, “U Can’t Sing R Song” is more of a romantic, love song – Sensitive rap is hard to come across, but it sounds easy here. . . “long hot kisses and summer wishes. . . I mistook all your lovin’ for captivity . . . I still want you and I’m sad we had to let it go”.


“Comin’ To Gitcha” may be referring to an addiction to a lover or to dope, but since they aren’t much different, I guess it doesn’t matter. Franti sounds like he’s soothing an addict who’s coming down. Trinna Simmons and Marie Daulne add sultry and dramatic vocals that are so real, they take you back to sometime and place where you felt the same lonely desperation. Michael’s sexy ‘I’m here for you’ tone reassures that there is hope and sends chills. On “Why Oh Why” you get some autobiographical look at Franti and his basketball days. It gives a few more hints as to why he’s pretty pissed off at the world some times.. . “These memories be chasin’ me”.
Chocolate Supa Highway is a megabyte of intellect and musical masterpiece packed in to one little CD.

The beats will keep us dancing and singing along while the power of the word comes through to help Frisco and Franti lead the way in looking at whassreallyup’ in the areas of police brutality, bigotry, false imprisonment, and

“Hey – the herb’s a gift ya’ll”.

“Rock, Rock on Chocolate. The Supa Highway”

“Gotta’ go. Stay solid.”

Spearhead knows how to get people moving and maybe that’s a step toward a better world.

D. Boggiano


 

All material at this site is protected by Copyright, so don’t try to swipe it.





A CitySites
Production

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange