Thursday, May 27, 2010

Black Cat Entertainment's 10 year anniversary show this Friday, May 28 with The Quakes and more

Don’t miss your one and only chance this year to catch The Quakes in SoCal. This Friday at The Music Box in Hollywood, they’ll headline Black Cat Entertainment’s 10 year anniversary show, rounding out a great night with The Grims (from Los Angeles), Human Flys (a Cramps tribute band), Evil Devil (from Italy), and a Coffin Case fashion show. Click here for more information on why you should see The Quakes this Friday.
Since this is the 10 year anniversary of Black Cat Entertainment, I got a chance to ask owner Rich Vreede about the ups and downs of promoting psychobilly and rockabilly events over the past decade. Black Cat also hosts the Hollywood Showdown Weekender, the Valentine’s Ball, and the Cinco de Mayo Fest, among other events.


Psychobilly legends The Quakes this Friday (May 28) at The Music Box

The Quakes are considered to be one of the first American psychobilly bands, having formed in New York in 1986. They first played modern rockabilly with a new wave twist à la Stray Cats and The Polecats, but soon added a faster and harder edge to their music and fashion style to cater to the Buffalo punk scene. Of course, there wasn’t much of a psychobilly scene here in the States in the late 1980s so they tried their luck in London, eventually landing a gig at the legendary psychobilly venue The Klubfoot and signing with Nervous Records.

The history of line-up changes and trips back and forth across the Atlantic will make your head spin, so let’s just say that this Friday you have your chance to catch The Quakes in their current line-up: Paul Roman is the original guitarist and vocalist who has remained with the band throughout its 24 years; Kenny Hill on bass was added in 2007; and drummer Juan Carlos has been with the band since 2008. If you want the complete history, click here.

Friday’s show in Hollywood will be the only SoCal appearance for the band this year as they support their seventh studio album Negative Charge (Orrexx Records).


Upcoming rockabilly/psychobilly events this weekend: The Quakes! The Rocketz! Moonlight Cruisers!

There’s plenty to choose from this Memorial Day Weekend.

Click here for the article with flyers for most of these shows.

- Meet and greet pre-event for Black Cat Entertainment’s 10 year anniversary show: Meet Italy’s own Evil Devil. Dr. Bizarro's Victims and The Grims will be playing. Win anniversary tickets, or buy them if you don’t win!
Thursday 5/27/2010, 6:00 PM to close
Red Zone, Panorama Mall, (818) 891-1446
8401 Van Nuys Blvd.
Panorama City, CA 91402
Click here for more information on the anniversary show

- Psychotonic: meet and greet with Evil Devil from Italy. With special guest DJ Dog Paw (Modern Kicks) and DJ Satoki spinning the best trashy rock 'n roll, rockabilly, psychobilly, rhythm & blues, soul, garage, girl groups, doo-wop, surf, punk, stomp, and more!
Thursday 5/27/2010
Big Foot Lodge
3172 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
10 PM, 21 and over, no cover
Click here for more information on the anniversary show

* Black Cat Entertainment’s 10 Year Anniversary Show, featuring The Quakes (only 2010 US appearance), Evil Devil (from Italy), Human Flys (a Cramps tribute band), The Grims (Los Angeles psychobilly), and a Coffin Case fashion show
Friday 5/28/2010, 7:00 PM
The Music Box
6126 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
All Ages!
Early arrival suggested. Limited ticket availability at the door (cash only).
Click here for more information from Black Cat Entertainment…
or here for my most recent interview with Black Cat’s owner/concert promoter
or here to find out why you can’t miss this rare Quakes appearance.

- Rev It Up with Angel City Outcasts, The Royal Highness, Bastard Winos, The Warlords; hosted by resident DJ Von Badsville
Friday 5/28/2010, 9:00 PM
Spike’s Bar and Billiards
7813 Garvey Ave.
Rosemead, CA
21 and over, $5

* Orange County Marketplace Rockabilly Showdown: Blue Collar Combo, Becky and the Blacktones, The 454s
Saturday 5/29/2010, 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM
Orange County Market Place
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Swap meet admission free with a canned food donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
Click here for an interview with Becky & The Blacktones.

- Shakn' Bones featuring The Rocketz, The Black Rose Phantoms, The Faraway Boys, The Devils Advocats, Coffin 83 and a secret band TBA
Saturday 5/29/2010, 9:00 PM
Bamboo Club
14304 Telegraph Rd.
Whittier, CA 90604
21 and over, $10

* Brando von Badsville Presents Memorial Day Weekend BBQ featuring Moonlight Cruisers, The Faraway Boys, Rudy G y Los Hi-Tones, Pachuco Jose’s Jubilee Train, and The Riff Raffs
Sunday 5/30/2010, 7:00 PM
Spike’s Bar and Billiards
7813 Garvey Ave.
Rosemead, CA
21 and over, $12

- Bowl-a-Rama featuring 7 rockabilly-influenced bands, including Becky & The Blacktones, The Rip Em Ups, Badluck Bandits, Phil Friendly Trio, The Sidewynders, The 454s, Blue Collar Combo
Sunday 5/30/2010, 8 PM.
All Star Lanes
4459 Eagle Rock Boulevard North
Los Angeles California 90041
All Ages.
$15 in advance, $20 at the door, free bowling, full bar with id, burlesque show, and record hops.
Click here for an interview with Becky & The Blacktones.

Are there other Rockabilly or Psychobilly shows you know of this weekend? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Did you go to any of these shows? Please come back and leave a comment about your experience.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Becky & The Blacktones: fusing billy music with blues, jazz, and swing

I got a chance to sit down and talk to one of my favorite So-Cal bands, Becky & the Blacktones – a quintet with members inspired by diverse genres including rockabilly, psychobilly, jazz, blues, punk, country, big band swing, cumbia, and norteño.

It’s impossible to categorize them. In fact, that’s exactly what makes them so unique and interesting. Just take a look at the wide spectrum of tunes they cover, both older and more recent: Imelda May’s “Johnny Got A Boom Boom,” Rosie and the Originals’ 1960 doo-wop single “Angel Baby,” Roy Orbison’s “Ooby Dooby,” the rockabilly classic “Fool I Am” by Pat Ferguson, the jazz-pop hit “Turn Me On” (originally penned by country singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk but famously covered by both Nina Simone and Norah Jones), Morrissey’s “The Loop,” and the R&B/pop standard "Fever."

Brad Paisley, Tiger Army, Django Reinhardt, Mike Ness, and Billie Holiday all came up in the conversation. They even convinced me to start listening to 105.1. CLICK HERE TO READ ON and find out why it's hard to play music when you're dressed up like a zombie, or the difficulties associated with playing gigs when you’re under 21.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Upcoming rockabilly and psychobilly events this weekend - May 14-15

Top picks for this weekend:

* Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
Friday 5/14/2010, 9:00 PM
Tropics Lounge
1842 W Commonwealth
Fullerton, CA
21 and over

- Come see some awesome hearses at the Phantom Coaches Hearse Club Car Show, featuring appropriately named bands The Ghastly Ones, The Embalmers, and Thee Swank Bastards, brought to you by D.J. Von Badsville and Baron Von Shivers.
Saturday 5/15/2010, 9:00 PM
Spike’s Bar and Billiards
7813 Garvey Ave.
Rosemead, CA
21 and over, $10

- Cold Blue Rebels
Saturday 5/15/2010, 8:00 PM
Bar Sinister
1652 N. Cherokee Avenue
Hollywood, CA

Are there other Rockabilly or Psychobilly shows you know of this weekend? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Did you go to any of these shows? Please come back and leave a comment about your experience.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Upcoming rockabilly and psychobilly events this weekend - May 7-8

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know you’ve already taken your mid-week tequila shot or a Tecate or two, but don't let that stop you from getting out this weekend. There are so many great shows Friday and Saturday... Below is my top pick for each night, but there are plenty more options.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE LIST.

* The Chop Tops, Cold Blue Rebels, The Loner Troubadour, The Barstool Saints
Friday 5/7/2010, 7:00 PM
The Dome
2201 V Street
Bakersfield, CA
All ages, $12 at the door
Read an interview with Cold Blue Rebels here or check out a CD review here.

* “Rev It Up” with The Chop Tops, Gamblers Mark, Los Duggans, The Southerners, Craic Haus, Johnny Dahmer
Saturday 5/8/2010, 8:00 PM
276 E. First St
Pomona, CA 91766
21 and over, $10
The Chop Tops opened for Chuck Berry at Viva Las Vegas and are known for killer live shows.
Read about Gamblers Mark here. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cold Blue Rebels: bringing blood, guts, zombie make-up, and harmonica to SoCal psychobilly

If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to suffer from Halloween withdrawal about this time of year. But I’ve got the cure for you - a band that is morbid and macabre enough to help you last until October. Cold Blue Rebels offers good old-fashioned rock’n’roll with a coffin on stage, sexy zombie rebel dancers, and songs about devils, an undead hooker, and a pumpkin king.

Cold Blue Rebels support their crazy live stage antics and shocking lyrics with impressive musicianship. In fact, every member hails from previous or concurrent punk, rock, glam and/or metal bands: Mickey Finn on lead vocals and harmonica from Jetboy, guitarist Joe Normal and upright bass player Danny Dangerous from the purple-haired band The Zeros, and drummer Spazz Draztik from Glamour Punks.

They fit the psychobilly genre by combining their love of vintage rock & roll/rockabilly and classic punk with dark and dirty horror lyrics, but there are also significant doses of blues, honky tonk and cow punk. It’s as if they’ve got a Herman Munster-Bill Black hybrid monster on bass, Slim Jim Phantom on drums, a Chuck Berry-Brian Setzer lovechild on guitar, and Spike from Pickled Punks/Barnyard Ballers mixed with Jim “Reverend Horton” Heath on vocals.


Interview with Cold Blue Rebels: playing Bakersfield this Friday, Hollywood next weekend

I was so impressed with the Cold Blue Rebels album “Blood, Guts & Rock n Roll,” I had to ask guitarist Joe Normal some questions about the band’s influences, shows, and of course zombies.

How do you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you before?
Blood, Guts, n Rock & Roll!

Which song do you think best represents your sound?
Probably “Worm Hole Hooker.” It shows we can embrace the genre and has some good guitar solos. Also, the tongue in cheek lyrics are pretty classic!

Which song is most meaningful to you?
I’m partial to “Big Boss Man” because of the musicality of the arrangement. It goes beyond the conventional psychobilly song and offers the listener something we all relate to: wanting it ALL in life!

Which song on your most recent album are you the happiest with how it turned out?
All the songs are exact representations of what you get when you come to see us live. We actually captured the energy in our performances, so I'd have to say I am equally happy with them all.

What’s your favorite artist to cover, and why?
Johnny Cash... because he’s the MAN! We prefer to cover some of the older rockabilly dudes, but are considering covering “Tie Your Mother Down” by Queen because it rocks and nobody else has thought to do a Queen cover yet.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a show?
During “Worm Hole Hooker” our singer Mickey took one of the rebel dancers into the coffin and made it look like he ate her p*$$y, then spit out blood after! That was quite funny!