GB21 by glambone

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunset Strip comes alive again for one night only...

Like back in the glory days when the stretch from Gazzarri's to The Whisky was littered with hairsprayed frolickin' rockers, 2 shows on the same night this summer in June is as close as we're gonna get to those yesteryears.  Hey, Key wanna get in on this?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

SXSW 2012 Recap

Could SXSW 2012 possibly top itself from last year?  Everytime it’s a spectacle... and for the music industry that’s still suffering, you wouldn’t know it judging from the attendance this year.  It just goes to show that people do want to seek out new and exciting talent.
Highlights were BP Fallon’s performance at the Saxon Pub, Austin’s answer to The Troubadour.  His opening number “I Believe In Elvis Presley” is a swaggering r ‘n r stomp that sticks with you from first listen.  Joined onstage by Nigel Harrison on bass, and Aaron Lee Tasjan from Semi Precious Weapons as his back up band.  Scott Asheton from the Stooges also got up for the last song, a cover of “Gloria.”  This is where BP comes alive as a performer, letting his guard down.  He often appears as the frail poet, which can be enchanting at times, but it’s even better to see him cut loose when he does, and only wish he did that more during his own material than on a Van Morrison tune.

The Biters return to South By with a handful of showcases.  We caught them on their Friday night show at Rusty’s on East 7th.  Just as expected, the band is fully energized, and rips into a brand new tune.
Tipping the hat to KISS with it’s title “Nighttime World.”  Singer Tuk (pictured above) then notices familiar faces in the audience from it’s previous gig, and compares it to that of going back to a prostitute that must’ve felt real good.  Their set only got better as it went on.  Tuk takes off his guitar to jump into the audience to dance with a Biters fan.  A strong asset the band has going for them is that they are a gang of brothers.  When you see all 4 members in the same room together, there’s no denying that they are from the same band.  But what we’ve noticed is, the crowd is also starting to look like the boys on stage, dressing up in their jean jackets and Mick Ronson hair-do’s, and when that happens, you know you’re doing something right.

Other notable showcase highlights was power popster Brendan Benson doing new songs from his forthcoming record “What Kind of World.”
Jonathan Daniel spoke at one of the day panels discussing all the elements involved in breaking a new act these days.  He also reminisced about what he was thinking when Candy first came on to the scene.  “We thought oh we’ll get a following, we’ll get a record deal and then we’ll be huge.  What I realised after 4 record deals was that wasn’t the case.  That’s how I actually started to become a manager.  I was like oh I get it, you need to work, you need to do all these other things, and you need to perservere, and you need to hone your craft, and then if record deals and radio play come into play then it can get bigger & bigger, but getting a record deal should not be the goal.”

SX was not only about music.  A slew of cool films were also making their debut at the festival.  Although Keith Varady of Ruby Slippers may’ve been on track with the story of a transgender, director Jordan Roberts beats him to the punch with getting it to the big screen with Frankie Go Boom, in which Phyllis played by Ron Perlman makes this movie rise with it’s story about 2 brothers, one that has been humiliating the other most of his life by uploading embarrassing video footage of his brother online for all to see.  

Jonas Akerlund returns to US screens with his latest film Small Apartments.  Most known for his video work with Madonna, Metallica, and others, we caught up with Jonas to discuss the new project.  No doubt about it, we did learn Jonas is a “rocker at heart.”  Full interview coming soon on the next GB podcast.
Last of the film screenings was the documentary Sunset Strip, produced by Matt Sorum & Donovan Leitch (Nancy Boy, Camp Freddy).
Hollywood stars Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves to Tommy Lee and Slash all get screen time declaring the fascination of the Sunset Strip.  When I asked Kim Fowley (who makes several appearances in the film) about what the appeal of the strip and L.A. is, and why so many songs have been written about such, he replied “we don’t have a royal family in America, we have celebrities instead.  Hollywood is the enchanted paradise,  everyone aspires to it because Hollywood, California dictates  technology, fashion, sin and everything else.”
In regard to what the Sunset Strip means today compared to the hair heyday, Matt Sorum tells me “it’s kinda become like a museum in a way because so much has happened in the past.” But sums it up more eloquently by saying “L.A.’s like a girl that you can’t figure out why you gotta keep going back to have seconds with her, she drives you fucking crazy, but she feels so good, so dirty,” he laughs.

Once again SX closes with a bang at Jimmy Quill’s Red Horse Ranch.  The Pig Vicious food truck was on hand serving up BBQ goodness to the party crowd of rock ‘n rollers, artists, foodies, and Texas locals.
Vicky Hamilton’s new band The Art came all the way from Australia for their showcases and performance at Jimmy’s ranch.  
Lengendary photographer Bob Gruen was on hand, and if you haven’t seen his New York Dolls book yet, pick it up...  dressed in a pink satin hard cover, documenting killer shots from the vintage years.