Dream Syndicate Still Got A Groove


THE DREAM SYNDICATE play the El Rey Theatre Dec. 15; photo Chris Sikich

The Dream Syndicate will wrap up 2017 on the west coast stopping at the El Rey Theatre Dec. 15 before heading up to San Francisco. They’ll be playing select songs from their history along with many from their current record How Did I Find Myself Here?

“We’re playing a lot of the new record because we’re really excited about it and also it fits in with the older stuff really well,” Steve Wynn said.

Of course, there will be long, spur-of-the-moment, psychedelic jams, too, something the band is known for, with the eleven-minute title track being Wynn’s current favorite song to play live.

“I think right now that’s my favorite one because I’m always surprised,” Wynn admitted. “I don’t know where it’s gonna go and it’s exciting. It’s thrilling to be on stage and really not know what’s going to happen next. Usually it works and when it does work it’s a rush. It’s an adrenaline feeling that’s fantastic.

“And the great thing is when you take chances in front of an audience you can feel the tension. And when it works I think everybody is relieved all together. I think audiences respond to that. That you were there for a moment that never happened before and will never happen again. It’s almost like the audience is in the band with you, “come on, you can do it,” and then you do and it’s great!”

Although The Dream Syndicate played live and released several records throughout the 80s, they eventually broke up until re-uniting in 2012. Yet over the years Wynn continued to play Dream Syndicate songs in his solo bands and now he’s having fun reinterpreting them.

“These days we’ll take an older song and find new ways of doing it,” Wynn mentioned. “That’s kind of fun.”

How Did I Find Myself Here?
is like finding a favorite shirt and it still fits perfectly. The new songs compliment the older tracks seamlessly although they were written recently and specifically for The Dream Syndicate. Wynn approached the songwriting in the same way as when the group first started out which meant “finding a groove and digging deep,” as he put it.

“I think the thing that we did when we started out, which we’re doing again now, is we’re using a lot of repetition and simplicity and grooves and just hypnotic approaches to music,” Wynn explained. “It’s something that we’re known for and it’s fun to write that way. It’s surprisingly hard to write a song where nothing much happens because you have to find ways to build the story without a lot of chord changes.

“In my solo work sometimes there’s a lot more verse, chorus, bridge, hooks, chord changes, all those kinds of things – pop songwriting. The thing about The Dream Syndicate, for everything that people say they were, a guitar band or a feedback band or this or that, we’re really a groove band. All the way from Days of Wine and Roses to the new album.”

Reaching fans in a more intimate or personal way has always been an important part of touring and being in a band for Wynn, starting long before the internet, up to and throughout the rise of social media.

“I’ve always tried to find a way to connect with fans beyond just “here’s our show, see ya later,” Wynn revealed. “In the 80s I used to write postcards to every fan that would write to us. It sounds crazy, but I did that. I meet people all the time at shows who will say, ‘you wrote me a postcard.’ That’s probably true.”

During the mid-90s when he first became aware of the internet, Wynn started a tour diary, writing about the tour every day on the road.

“I thought it was a fun way to kind of reach the fans and at the same time glorify the touring life and also demystify it,” Wynn recalled. “I would write about what we ate on road stops, who we met along the way and stories that happened. And this was before of course social media. Before Facebook and twitter, etc. It kind of trained me early on how to be finding ways to reach fans more directly.

“I appreciate the people that make the effort and stuck with us all these years. It’s the least I can do. The great thing now is it’s easier. Writing a postcard, you had to buy a postcard, put a stamp on it, and now you just type a few things and “click” you’re there.”

Psychic Temple, one of Wynn’s favorite “new” bands, will be the opener at the El Rey.

“They put out a record this year called Psychic Temple IV that’s probably my favorite record so we’re really excited to have them on the bill.”

Meet London’s Dirty Thrills


DIRTY THRILLS press photo

Raunchy, bluesy London band Dirty Thrills may not have hit this side of the pond, yet, but don’t wait to check out their music. Featuring strong, signature vocals ala the Small Faces Steve Marriott or any other old-school rocker, the songs are catchy, full of swagger and high-energy.

Since forming in 2013, the charismatic and fun-loving quartet have released several EP’s, and a couple of albums including 2017’s Heavy Living not to mention over 100 shows including both headline tours and arena support tours.

Concert Guide Live reached out to the band who shared tales of getting banned from venues and hotels, their latest album and so much more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Your band name is quite evocative, how was it chosen?
DIRTY THRILLS: After many names were thrown about, we had a long list of names many of which were song titles from particular artists. We couldn’t find any common ground so after a long debate, Louis (James/vocals) suddenly came out with Dirty Thrills.

CGL: When/where was the first Dirty Thrills concert? How did it go?
DT: Well, amazingly our first ever show was at the world famous 100 Club in London. We were real excited about this and it was a dream come true to play there. It went better than ever, and we won over many fans that night, and realized we had a good thing going here. We did however have a dispute with the venue which went onto us apparently being banned from playing there again. Not sure if that still stands ha! If so then 100 club… water under the bridge guys, we love ya.

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage?
DT: We are quite the energetic bunch of lads on stage, that takes a bit of preparation beforehand. A lot of mental preparation, we each warm up our instrument (wink). 😉 Then maybe a beer or whiskey to wet the whistle. We leave everything out there on that stage so no matter how much we prepare, we rarely come off alive. Ha!

CGL: Tell us about an interesting/unexpected/funny or surprising situation that has occurred on the road.
DT: While touring with Europe, which was real exciting for us and it was our first taste of a big tour in several countries and staying in various hotels. We got a little too sassy on the last night of the tour, didn’t end up doing the cliché ‘trash the hotel room’, don’t worry. But Louis did end up very drunk walking around the lobby in search of his and his girls room, totally naked with a kettle full of whiskey in hand. He must have knocked on about 20 different rooms that night, greeted with shocked customers at every door. Haha. Needless to say, we aren’t allowed back there anymore.

CGL: How long did you work on the latest album Heavy Living from writing to recording the songs?
DT: About seven months, give or take. We had a couple songs already that we wanted to add to the album as we felt they needed to be on it. As far as the rest, they kinda wrote themselves really. We recorded it at the famous Monnow Valley which was amazing! And we did the entire thing pretty quick actually. All in all, it took about a year to write, book studio time and pre-production to finally cutting the record.

CGL: Which song was the most challenging and why? Did any of the songs seem to write itself?
DT: Ha! As said before, many songs wrote themselves. Once in the flow, we seem to get shit done pretty quickly. There were no real challenges as such, some songs are harder to perform due to their lyrical content and meaning, but apart from that, we are a well-oiled machine.

CGL: Is there a primary songwriter or does everyone contribute?
DT: Lyrics and melody are usually Louis and Jack (Fawdry/guitar), as with riffs, then we go into the studio and put all our heads together, work on the arrangements and tweak any parts we feel need a little TLC.

CGL: What inspires your songwriting?
DT: Anything really. Can be a drunk jam, to hearing a song you dig, even from hearing a tv advert jingle. A lot of the time I (Louis) will just hum or whistle a tune and something will come out of it. There’s never really any regular process.

CGL: How did the four of you meet and was there a specific moment when you realized you wanted to do music?
DT: Louis, Steve (Corrigan/drums) and Jack all met at uni [university]. Louis dropped out and immediately wanted to form a rock band. He called up Steve, who was up for it. Steve then contacted Jack and that was that. Aaron (Plows/bass) came along about a year later after our original bassist had other plans. DT was complete after that.

CGL: Do you all have similar tastes in music? What’s the last “record” anyone bought?
DT: We do, and we don’t. I can’t stand some of the stuff the guys dig, as I’m sure the same goes for them. We have a love of rock and whether that be metal, hard or classic, it’ll find its way, and the eclectic mix bodes well for us when writing interesting tunes. The last Record I (Louis) bought, was Rival Sons Great Western Valkyrie.

CGL: What is on the horizon? Are there plans to tour the U.S.?
DT: The Horizon is forever changing, we can never know, but we are constantly heading toward it, at great speed. We are excited about the future and we can’t fucking wait to tour across the Pond! We love you guys and I’m sure you will dig us too!

CGL: Is there anything you’d like to add?
DT: Check out our album Heavy Living – OUT NOW – if ya dig that classic rock vibe with a modern bite!

Black Pistol Fire Add Madness To The Good Vibes


BLACK PISTOL FIRE play The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18, The Casbah Nov. 19; photo Charles Regan

Deadbeat Graffiti is the latest release by the wild and stimulating rock duo Black Pistol Fire who will be playing The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18 and The Casbah Nov. 19. Melodic, and at times soulful, and at times frantic, Black Pistol Fire should be on your radar if they aren’t already.

Concert Guide Live talked to drummer Eric Owen about the California music scene, the new album, the story behind the name and more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: I imagine you must have played in Southern California before –
ERIC OWEN: We played recently at a semi-private show in Mission Viejo, but it’s been about 2 ½ years since we played a proper show in Southern California. We’re pretty excited to get back.

CGL: What do you look forward to when coming out here to play?
EO: Some of the best music coming out now is happening there – the whole kind of garage, psychedelic scene is pretty amazing. What Burger Records is doing, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall. A lot of good vibes out there and great music.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing, which songs from the new album?
EO: You know that changes night to night. But the couple that are seemingly getting played every single night would be “Lost Cause” which is the new single, a song called “Bully” and a song called “Speak Of the Devil”. Those three are getting played every single night. And we’ve been rotating a bunch of other ones sort of in and out like “Blue Dream”, “Yet Again”, “Fever Breaks”, and “Eastside Racket”.

CGL: What’s one of your favorite songs to play live?
EO: I like playing “Bully” because it’s got that soft chorus then sort of soft verse then that chorus hits so, so hard. If someone hasn’t heard it before, it might take them by surprise. I like that aspect.

CGL: When did you realize you wanted to be in a band and play in front of people?
EO: I think it was watching music videos as a pre-teen. Seeing bands like Nirvana and Weezer. And then the music station we had in Canada growing up used to play a lot of concerts. Seeing those crowds, the way they reacted to a band was something appealing that I didn’t know if it could ever be possible necessarily, but it was something very attractive and looked like a lot of fun and emotional.

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage; do you get a little nervous?
EO: It depends. If everything is sounding good in soundcheck and if everything’s going well on the technical side of things, that definitely takes away some of the nervousness.

There’s a different feeling, of course, when you’re about to go on as opposed to just practicing. It’s kind of a feeling of excitement. Both Kevin and myself stretch and try to loosen up a bit. It’s a pretty physical show so we try to just be quiet and warm up for the madness that’s about to happen.

CGL: How did the band end up being a duo?
EO: Just over the course of several years, it ended up being a lot of trial and error with different people and us just clicking and working and here we are.

CGL: What’s the story behind the band name?
EO: Years ago, we were trying to figure out a name and Kevin read it somewhere that in firefighting there’s a term called a black fire which means it’s something that can’t be put out. No matter how much water or anything you do, the fire can’t be contained, and you have to let it run its course. It’s kind of a powerful word and image. And then going through a bunch of other words and so on and so forth we eventually went from black fire to black pistol fire. You got a color or shade, a weapon and element. A powerful image there.

CGL: Do the two of you write the songs together or is Kevin (McKeown-guitar/vocals) the primary songwriter?
EO: No, Kevin does the primary, for sure. He is the pilot, the captain, the creative genius behind the whole operation.

CGL: How did you gravitate to playing the drums?
EO: I think it was watching Dave Grohl of Nirvana. And then two of my friends in elementary school – one was playing guitar and the other was playing bass and they didn’t have a drummer. I heard they were jamming and I thought that would be my in. I could try to learn to play the drums and I eventually did. I think we learned three or four songs over the course of a couple of years – they were mostly Nirvana songs and one Stone Temple Pilot song – and probably not done very well. But we learned them any way and that’s how it came to be.

CGL: What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while touring?
EO: The one that sticks out most to me is last October in Monterrey, Mexico, there was a pretty big festival and we knew there was going to be a good amount of people there, we thought we had some fans in Mexico.

Then playing the set and seeing the crowd of several thousand people just growing and swelling and having it be crazy by the end. Then to not really be able to go out in the crowd because you’re getting your picture taken. It was just surreal and strange but interesting. Something we hadn’t really felt before or since for that matter. It was a whole different world down there which is cool. It’s pandemonium.

Meat Beat Manifesto Celebrates 30 Year Catalog


MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO play Cold Waves Festival at Regent Theater Nov. 11; promo pic

Industrial music legend Meat Beat Manifesto will be performing on Day 2 of the first Cold Waves Festival in L.A. along with Revolting Cocks, MC 900 Ft Jesus, Crash Course In Science, Boy Harsher and Not Breathing on Nov. 11 at The Regent Theater.

Original mainstay Jack Dangers has continued to create and evolve musically over the years, but for this performance, he will primarily play a lot of the older stuff.

“Some of the songs I haven’t played live, I’m not gonna say which ones, I’ll let that be a surprise, but some of them we haven’t played on stage for 25 years,” Dangers teased. “I had to get all new video for that. We use a lot of video and samplers live.”

Sampling has always been a part of the music since the beginning, often using spoken word samples from films. So, Dangers went back to the original source films where he got the samples in the first place.

“Like when the technology came up to speed about 12 years ago, you could miniaturize these bits of video into computers and have them to play live – project them,” Dangers explained.

“It’s even more fun being able to go back and get the film and turn that into a video sample and mess with it. You can speed it up, put it in reverse, you can chop through the sample itself. Originally, I would use tape machines and then when samplers became available I would be using those.

“We use the audio as well as the image. That always makes a difference as well rather than just spinning out images.”
For example, in “Helter Skelter” there’s a scream that goes off and on all the way through the song which is from the film “A Clockwork Orange”. It’s from the scene where the main character is experiencing the Ludovico Technique.

“I used that as just an audio sample,” Dangers said. “The Helter Skelter sample is Lydia Lunch. She’s saying that on one of her spoken word records she did back in the 80s.”

Another memorable sample from that song is “it’s in my brain now” which comes from “T.V. Mind” off Big Sexy Land by Revolting Cocks who coincidentally will be performing the album at Cold Waves.

“Maybe I’ll run on stage and have a mic,” Dangers chuckled. “You know Luc Van Acker was the guy who originally did that, so I’d have to run on stage and grab the mic off of him.”

As the song came together it included a bit of Lydia Lunch, a bit of Revolting Cocks and the famous beat from “Hot Pants” by Bobby Bird (produced by James Brown).

“I actually spent a day messing around with that beat making it sound different,” Dangers said. “If you played it next to the original you’d see that I changed it quite a lot.

“At that point, 1989, we didn’t really have the technology like a few years later what you could do with drum and bass and jungle. We’d cut the rhythm track up. So back then I was using different chunks and playing them back a different way and using effects.”

Considering the current political climate, one would think there would be a virtual treasure trove of samples to draw from, but Dangers thinks it’s almost too much and too obvious.

“It’s like this nightmare has happened,” Dangers stated. “I’m more interested in the way that Twitter and Facebook were used to make this all happen. Rather than the usual right-wing talking points and misinformation.

“It’s obvious all the misinformation and fake news that’s put out there by the Russians so Trump would benefit. It wasn’t the other way around. These things always take time to come to the surface.

“This is such a surreal level that I think you could address it in a surreal way more than an obvious in-your-face political stance.”

Impossible Star is a new album ready to be released in 2018 which Dangers has been working on for a couple of years but don’t expect to hear too much of the new stuff played this time around.

“We’re looking to do that next year,” Dangers promised. “We’ll be doing some live shows next year – me and Ben Stokes – that’s the lineup when we play live. The two of us. We use a lot of multi-media, a lot of video.”

Cold Waves Festival has been running in Chicago for a few years, bringing together classic industrial-type artists. It’s unique and thrilling for both fans and musicians alike.

“I’m excited to be playing with the other acts,” Dangers noted. “I’ve always liked Crashed Course In Science and I’m good friends with Not Breathing – worked with them on and off through the years.

“I’ve done some remixes for MC 900ft Jesus – got to see him [Mark Griffin] actually when we played in Dallas last year. He came to the show. That might have been some inspiration for him to get back on the road because we hadn’t been doing it for a while, like him. Not as long as him, though (laughs).”

“And Revolting Cocks – Big Sexy Land was a big album for me when it came out – getting to see that live. It should be a good night. It’s the hottest show in town!”


GWAR Fight Their Way To California


GWAR to destroy HOB/SD Nov. 21 and Fonda Theatre Nov. 22; promo pic

Obnoxious, loud, funny, frightening rock band GWAR may still be AWOL from the Masters Army but you can catch them if you dare at House of Blues/San Diego Nov. 21 and the Fonda Theatre Nov. 22.

“You can expect to get your fucking head chopped off if you get too close to the front row,” Pustulus (guitarist Brent Purgason) invited. “You can expect to be covered in blood and god knows what other bodily fluids … But you can expect to have your fucking sox rocked off, literally.

“What other band are you gonna go see that would show such appreciation for the fans that we expel a lot of bodily fluids on to them? I don’t think other bands would do that for you. We sacrifice life and limb to bring you entertainment. And I doubt you’re going to get that from Nickelback.”

In fact, a memorable good time at one of their shows involved throwing a fan into a barricade.

“Have you ever seen Uncle Phil throw Jazzy Jeff out the fucking door at Fresh Prince Belair?” Pustulus asked. “Well, I got to do that to a guy in Edmonton, Canada during a show and that was pretty fucking cool. I got to Jazzy Jeff him right into the fucking barricade.”

It is well-known that GWAR are not of this world, and were part of the elite fighting force, The Scumdogs, before arriving here on earth.

“We all got frozen in Antarctica during the ice age, but the problem was I was doing some bong rips in the closet and I was trying to hot box it out,” Pustulus admitted. “Everybody else got thawed out and got whisked away to join a rock band, while I got left in there for another 50 years. It sucked but I’m here now so it’s all good.”

Not being very good at doing military stuff, each member of the Maximus Clan earned a reputation as an intergalactic fuck-up.

“Well you know the raping, the pillaging, the constant imbibing of various substances throughout the galaxy, that kind of put a damper on us doing what we’re told,” Pustulus noted. “Self-gratification is one of the things we tend to revel in. Quite frankly that didn’t fit into anybody else’s work schedule.”

Speaking of work, coming to California to play isn’t really what they look forward to doing while here.

“We look forward to just watching the vagrants walk the streets,” Pustulus said. “You know, everything smells like weed out there. Definitely, don’t look forward to the actual performance other than the after party and the getting paid part.”

October saw the release of Blood Of the Gods, the first album since 2013’s Battle Maximus and without founding member/vocalist Oderus (Dave Brockie).

Battle Maximus was a record put out more or less under duress,” Pustulus explained. “It was important to us that we weren’t viewed as something that could falter. I don’t think it was rushed but I think we could have taken more time.

“As for Blood of the Gods we were absolutely not going to rush this record in particular. A lot of times we’re just fighting and kicking and screaming and biting and fucking each other through the album process. People were involved and included the entire time which is not always how this band has functioned in the past.

“We all work together when we’re not fighting or when we’re not stealing each other’s girlfriends or drugs or pawning each other’s TV’s we’re writing great music together.”

But, don’t forget the killing. That’s something else Pustulus likes to talk about. Killing things that you love.

“You know, if you’re going to kill something, the best way to do it is to have it trust you first. So that way when the life is fully drained from it it gives you that look of ‘why?’.

“And plus, you know, if you care for something and you take its life that’s a way to feel emotion. Because when you’re as emotionally de-void as I am at this point in time, you have to do things that make you feel alive. And you know, stuff like that will do it.

“That’s not too dark, is it?”

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Perform Iconic Wax Trax! Albums

Thrill Kill Kult play Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4 and The Casbah Nov. 5; promo pic

Celebrate 30 years of high energy craziness with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (TKK) at 80’s Bar Nov. 3, Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4, and The Casbah Nov. 5. They’ll be performing their first two iconic Wax Trax! albums I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits and Confessions Of A Knife.

Forming in the late 80’s, TKK was one of the early Wax Trax! Label bands alongside Ministry, Front 242, KMFDM, Frontline Assembly and others who were part of the early industrial music scene. However, TKK was also known for their tongue-in-cheek, sometimes hilarious, lyrics and samples and nods to B horror films. Not to mention outrageous live sets and props.

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits album cover

Songs such as “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan,” “Sex on Wheelz,” “The Devil Does Drugs,” among several others became alternative radio hits.

Concert Guide Live caught up with founders Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy on a recent tour and this is what they had to say.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: What do you remember about the first TKK live show?
THRILL KILL KULT: Our first show was a Halloween show at the Riviera in Chicago. Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger was there to introduce us! We had no idea what we were doing. We put the band together literally within a week or so of the performance and practiced in our drummer’s parent’s basement! The show itself is kind of a blur.

Confessions Of A Knife album cover

CGL: We take the computer for granted now but in the early days, touring must have been quite different. Any particular mishaps or surprises come to mind?
TKK: Our set up remains basically the same. We’ve just replaced the old drum machines and sequencers with a laptop now. A bit less to set up and a lot less midi cables to deal with. Actually, we had more mishaps when we first started using a computer on stage because it would freeze up sometimes. Luckily those days have passed and laptops and associated software are much more reliable now.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing? Do you have a particular song you look forward to playing live?
TKK: It will be a very dance oriented set list, with some remixes thrown in. Our favorite song to play changes nightly, depending upon our mood. Some nights they’re all our favorite, other nights we’re sick of them all!

CGL: Lyrically, do you consciously set out to push the limits, or is it more of a natural process, writing what comes to mind and what you like?
TKK: We don’t consciously set out to push buttons or be provocative. It’s just the way we write.

CGL: Do you have any new favorite B movies from the last few years?
TKK: There was a film called “Sexy Evil Genius” which wrote TKK into the story line and used a couple of our songs. That was cool, and a bit flattering.

CGL: As a final question, do you have any pre-show routines/rituals?
TKK: Besides alcohol? Haha. No. No séance or prayer circles for us.

Sun Worship With Allah-Las


ALLAH-LAS play Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21; photo James Christopher

Local scenesters Allah-Las play their unique, psychedelic, dream pop at Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21. The group is known for playing their interpretation of retro 60s rock a la The Troggs, The Standells and The Grass Roots, full of catchy choruses and guitar hooks.

Now with three albums under their belt, the songwriting continues to evolve while hinting at previous influences. Songs such as “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind” and “Don’t You Forget It” are crowd favorites from their self-titled 2012 debut, while newer tracks “Could Be You” and “Famous Phone Figure” are quickly catching on.

Although notoriously a band of few words, Concert Guide Live managed to get a few words out of them in a previous interview prior to the release of Worship The Sun and this is what they had to say:

CGL: It looks like you have a handful of dates lined up so far this year. What else is in the works?
A-L: We’re working on finishing our second record, new songs etc.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How did everyone in the band meet, did some of you meet while working at Amoeba Records?
A-L: Matt (Correia, drums) Miles (Michaud, vocals/guitar), and Spencer (Dunham, bass) went to high school together in Los Angeles. Later on Matt, Spencer and Pedrum (Siadatian, guitar) all worked together at Amoeba. We had a lot of interest in various types of music back then, working at Amoeba allowed us to spend time digging for more.

CGL: What is everyone listening to these days?
A-L: Aww lots of stuff. The search never ends.

CGL: Working with Nick Waterhouse sure seems to be a good fit for your sound. Do you record your songs then give them to him to produce, or do you all collaborate on the production?
A-L: We always work together. I’m sure it’s annoying for Nick to have to listen to us argue our points on the mix but he’s patient. He’s an amazing producer and a great friend.

CGL: What is the status of a new album?
A-L: Should be coming out on a Tuesday sometime.

CGL: it seems like you play quite a bit and all over the place, any good road
stories you can share?
A-L: Nothing to mention really.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How would you describe Allah-Las to someone who isn’t familiar with your music?
A-L: Aww well. I try my best to avoid it and let people decide. We get some pretty funny comparisons though.

Featured Video – Messer Chups “Magneto” (The Open Stage Berlin)


The Cribs And Rock Star Shit


THE CRIBS play Teragram Ballroom Oct. 6; promo photo

English indie rock band The Cribs return to SoCal with a stop at Teragram Ballroom Oct.6. in support of their recent release 24-7 Rock Star Shit.

Growing up in a small town in the UK, bassist Gary Jarman and his brothers eventually started to make music as a way of finding something to do.

“There really wasn’t a great deal going on,” Gary explained.

“Me and my twin brother, Ryan, being the same age, we just thought it would be fun to try to be in a band. Originally it was more fantasy than reality. It was kind of just planning the ideas of what you were going to do without actually doing anything.

“And then we pretty much harassed my younger brother in to learning how to play drums. So we had a band by default, actually. But me, and Ryan were catalysts for Ross playing drums.

“He was a little kid, he’s four years younger than we are, so he was pretty young when we wanted him to start. We built him a little drum kit. It was pretty rustic but that’s how he learned.”

With seven studio albums under their belt, they have a ton of songs to choose from for their setlist.

“When you’re playing songs that you’ve had for so long, it’s cool that people still want to hear them, but for me personally I much prefer playing the new stuff,” Gary said.

“We’re not like Bruce Springsteen who will play forever but we’re the sort of band that we like the people that come to see us to be satisfied and we want to make sure everyone has a good time.

“But by that same token, I think playing too long can actually be detrimental to the gig experience.”

The brothers grew up listening to garage bands including all of the Nuggets bands so they thought it would be funny to come up with a similar type of name for their band.

“The original story was we were studying at a music college and they had a studio,” Gary began. “Then we got kicked out of the class but we still wanted to use the studio so we had to book it under an assumed name so they wouldn’t know it was us.

“We just tried to think of a garage band name off the top of our head and that’s what it was. The first demo we ever made was under this assumed name, “The Cribs”, so we just ended up keeping it. It was just a little joke between the brothers, you know?”

The Woggles Celebrate Music And Get Wild


THE WOGGLES play Wine Bar Oct. 4, The Echo Oct. 6, The Casbah Oct. 7; photo James Christopher

The Woggles bring it back to the people by performing their rock-n-roll antics at Wine Bar Oct. 4, The Echo Oct. 6 and The Casbah Oct. 7. Following is an excerpt from an earlier interview with frontman Mighty Manfred and his tales of audience participation.

“If we’re out doing a show, and playing live, you want to engage the people that are there,” claims lead singer Mighty Manfred.

“I mean otherwise there’s no reason to be up on a stage, at least from my point of view.”

The Woggles put on quite a show with Manfred stepping into the crowd while singing catchy, hip-shaking tunes. The audience can’t seem to resist dancing around him while grinning from ear to ear.

“Feeding off the audience, the audience feeds off you and it just makes everything that much more exciting, that much more exhilarating, that much more thrilling, with everything building on itself,” Manfred said.

Somehow while singing and shaking a tambourine, Manfred finds a way to get down off the stage, over any barriers, across any trenches, and onto the club floor to celebrate music amongst the audience.

“When you’re right there in front of people they’re no longer watching a spectacle, they’re a part of it,” Manfred explained.

Of course, mishaps have been known to happen. Take a show in Pensacola, Florida.

“You know, before doing anything stupid, I check things out ahead of time,” Manfred unconvincingly stated.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t still do stupid things.”

During sound check that particular evening, Manfred tried his weight on a curtain next to the stage and thought, “Oh, this will be great. I can swing out from this.

“So, during this instrumental song the band is playing I scampered up there and jumped off of some amps to reach this thing. As I committed myself to this forward swing, you know with the idea I would let go and go sailing, the rod came out before I had swung far enough. I couldn’t get my arms behind me so I landed with my full weight on my back.

“People have asked, ‘Did it feel like it was happening in slow motion?’ And my answer to that is, ‘Man, the ground moves really fast!’

“The guys in the band, though, didn’t know that was going on. So, I’m rolling around, and I stand up and I’m in immense pain.

“I slowly get back on the stage and I remember the drummer, Dan Eletxro looking at me and I could see him mouthing, ‘Shake it off! Shake it off!’

“He knew something had happened but you know, ‘Get with it man. Get back into it.’ Yea, that was terrible.”

After the show, Manfred went to the emergency room to get stitched up and somehow escaped bodily damage.

“I had cut my face on the nails coming out of the rod, as it came down and hit me in the face.

“But people loved the blood, though. They loved the blood.”

Music may hold a different meaning for different people, but to Manfred, it’s a celebration of life.

“You’ve got to bring it to the people!” he said in anticipation of the next live shows.