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  • Article

    Bands, Review Thyselves!

    Photo by James BunoanMonroe/Coming Close/Ferlin/847 Chain Reaction, Anaheim Sunday, Jan. 11 Short-Attention-Span Night at Chain Reaction--six bands, 25-minute sets apiece, all within four and a half hours. Buy 'em by the sack! First up were a ...

    by Rich Kane on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    Tuning in, turning on

    The storyline of local commercial music radio is euphoria punctuated by heartbreak. Witness the gory death toll of much-beloved stations that have been shit-canned for something far more sonically flaccid in the past 20 years: KMET, KEDG, Groove Rad...

    on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    Going Out of My Head - Sneezes and stupid pen tricks at the Continental Room

    Photo by Jessica Calkins "So, you know any neat pen tricks?" asked my new friend Nico, eyeing the blue Bic pen I'd been absent-mindedly tapping on the bar. "Not really," I replied, before taking a sip from my amaretto sour--the new, improved 2004:...

    by ELLEN GRILEY on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    PsychobillyPsuperstars - The return of the Guana Batz

    "Gonna get me religion, gonna join the Baptist Church/Gonna be the best preacher, so I don't have to work." --Robert Johnson, speaking through late Gun Club leader Jeffrey Lee Pierce Guana Batz lead singer Pip Hancox may not turn his collar aroun...

    by THEO DOUGLAS on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    James Brown is Innocent - His crime is that hes James Brown

    "JAMES BROWN! WHO'S HE?" --Gary Burger, 1966 James Brown! Born in 1928 with his sun in Taurus and his moon in Leo in Barnwell, South Carolina; educated at the Alto Reform School; dodged the cops by ducking into a canal and sipping air through...

    by STANLEY LAUGHNER on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    No More Big-Haired Operatics - Trolling for whatevers next with Eric Johnson

    Photo by Max CraceThere's just no way poppy rock guitarist Eric Johnson can be as miserable as he says he is. But who am I to contradict him? "I think a lot of the original ideas I have aren't [pop], but they get funneled into this pop concept at ...

    by THEO DOUGLAS on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    Pop Off the Tops - Ten to score in 2004, plus a few more

    Photos (top three, respectively) by James Bunoan, Matt Otto, ChickenhawkIf nothing else in 2004, we wanna start some bar fights. Here's the first punch: our picks for bands who, while "best" had all its meaning sucked away by American Idol, are gon...

    on January 15, 2004
  • Article

    Another Year With Nothin To Do

    Photo by James BunoanRevo/Palisade/Black Tie Optional Dipiazza's, Long Beach Sunday, Jan. 4 What better way to kill our seasonal optimism than to get tanked on two-buck Chuck, head over to DiPiazza's and sit among the Bukowski fantacists while w...

    by Rich Kane on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    Kings of the Otherworld

    Odelia The Angel as an Imposter (9-song CD) Fullerton's Odelia aren't a band as much as they're sonic constructionists, mood-setters and atmosphere-crafters--four guys who operate in swaths of mystery and melancholy, with a unique canon of other...

    by Rich Kane on January 8, 2004
  • Article


    Vicentico Vicentico BMG Argentina This eponymous tour de amor by Vicentico, the former leader of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, is finally appearing in the States over a year after its initial release in Argentina. But anyone hoping for LFC screeds wi...

    by GUSTAVO ARELLANO on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    Send Me an Angel - Looking for love and more in 2004

    Photo by Tenaya HillsEvan was bleary-eyed, fresh-faced and a big fan of my column. Or so he'd been telling me over rounds of whisky-Cokes and the occasional Cars ditty at the Red Room. It was Saturday night, precisely four eves before New Year's Eve...

    by ELLEN GRILEY on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    Its part science, part destiny - It is biologically impossible to dislike Neil Diamond

    Illustration by Kathryn Hyatt In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, "Ask what you wish me to give you." --1 Kings 3:5 I wish for you all you wish for yourself, Mr. Diamond. --Marianne, Neil Diamond Dreambook...

    by STANLEY LAUGHNER on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    To Major-Label Hell and Back - Handsome Devil are much happier now

    Handsome Devil's impossibly coiffed frontman, Danny Walker, has run the rock & roll gauntlet in reverse. His first brush with fame came when he played guitar in Wank, a once-hot local band that released a Mike Ness-produced single, "Forgiven," a rel...

    by ALISON M. ROSEN on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    El Zelig - Despite a Decade of Unfulfilled Hope, El Pelos builds a rock en espanol scene

    Photo by Matt OttoJes?s "El Pelos" Olvera trudges into Lee's Sandwiches one recent Sunday morning bundled in a coat, his eyes puffy but lucid with optimism. He had spent the previous night at South Gate's decrepit Allen Theater hosting an all-ages r...

    on January 8, 2004
  • Article

    Winter Formal

    Photo by James BunoanDios Chain Reaction, Anaheim Sunday, Dec. 21 The kids were slow-dancing the way kids always slow-dance--babyfaced and sullen, eyes bolt open, barely shuffling their shoes off the floor--and we were at prom all over again, th...

    on December 25, 2003
  • Article


    Brook Lee Losing Esperanza 10-track Full-Length CD Nice guy, this Brook Lee. We met him a couple of months ago, and he handed us this CD and politely--respectfully, even, in a total non-ass-kissing way!--asked us to give it a listen. And, if ...

    by Rich Kane on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    Making It Up - Sleepless nights with Willie Waldman

    It may be New Year's Eve in Long Beach to you, but to trumpeter Willie Waldman, it's amateur night in an amateur town--fun, but child's play. Maybe that's a good thing. "Shit, if you play around midnight, it's the cleanup slot. That's what Mike Wa...

    by THEO DOUGLAS on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    Out of the Shadows - The Funk Brothers sweetest fruit

    The revolving group of musicians known as the Funk Brothers--Motown's house band from 1959 through 1972--created more enduring radio classics than any assemblage of studio cats in history. The group labored in anonymity by design of label massa Berr...

    by BUDDY SEIGAL on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    This Charming Bar - Pampering lifes complexities during Memphis Definitely Maybe

    Photo by Tenaya HillsWell. It had at least sounded like a good idea at the time. A date with my mom to the opening night of The Nutcracker? And she'd pop for dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill beforehand? A piping-hot dish of creamy pasta, gratis, wh...

    by ELLEN GRILEY on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    Poet as Prophet - Mike Barnets call of the wild

    Photo by Steve MayedaBack in the day, prophets wailed in the wilderness. History tells us that most people ignored the prophets-- until it was too late. Such mystics still walk among us. Take Fullerton singer/ songwriter Mike Barnet. The 28-year-old...

    by Joel Beers on December 25, 2003
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