Down To Rock #6 (January 2012)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

Top of 2011. It was an excellent year for rock and roll!!!

5. Cerebral Ballzy- This band is a throwback to good old fashioned punk rock bands like Black Flag. They have been tearing it up all year and their debut release is a must have!!!

4. Nazareth-The veteran band’s latest release, Big Dogz, is a throwback to their classic sound and lead singer Dan MaCcafferty is in fine form with the vocals, amazingly good record.

3. New York Dolls- Dancing Backwards in High Heels, was the release that David Jo and Sylvain wanted to make in the early 70’s. They wear their influences on their sleeves for this release and it is a welcome declaration by the Dolls of who they really are!!! See my full review at this site!!!!

2. Alice Cooper-Welcome 2 My Nightmare marked Alice reuniting with his original band both on this record and on a few live shows. Great production by Bob Ezrin and some good songs, including my favorite, I Am Made Of You!!! Get it now!

1. Michael Monroe-Sensory Overdrive CD and live gig at the Whiskey in Los Angeles. The record is brilliant rock and roll produced by Jack Douglas, so not much more needs to be said and their live show was the best of the year in my book for a club level band (Guns and Roses leads in the Arena size domain). Raw, bloody and brutal!

Live reviews:

Cheap Trick-Mandalay Bay-Las Vegas Nevada
It turned out to be my lucky day in Vegas, I had already missed the Iggy and the Stooges show in Los Angeles due to this trip, but then I read that Cheap Trick were playing a free show down the street from the Aria Resort where I was staying, in support of the Las Vegas Rock and Roll marathon. So I missed one of my favorite groups of all time, only to catch another favorite!

20 to 30 thousand people were out front of the Mandalay Bay casino to participate in the race and for Cheap Trick to get the motors running. I was front and center with a lot of arm room, very comfortable in fact, and with a good sight line and to say that the band played all the “hits” would be an under statement! The guitar player from Pearl Jam even came out to play on Dream Police (he was running in the marathon) even though it looked like he didn’t know the song. Heaven Tonight and California Man were the highlight for me during the 2 hour set. The band looked, played and sounded great and I ended up with a handful of guitar picks to put up on Ebay. I’ve seen this band over the years in stadiums, Clubs, State Fairs, etc. and they never fail to put on a good show. Only bummer is Daxx Nielson (Rick’s son) is still “filling in” for Bun E. Carlos, but he does a great job and this is a must see band before you kick the bucket.

Guns N Roses- Los Angeles Forum- Los Angeles, Ca.

The return of the Mack!!! Axl blew into his hometown like the king of rock and roll that he is!!!! There is a reason why GNR are playing arenas and Slash and the rest are playing small clubs, and Axl and the rest of his band showed everyone why! The place was sold out from the time GNR hit the stage until I left the venue at 2am. But first, everywhere else on the tour is getting Dgeneration, Buckcherry, Sebastian Bach, etc. and L.A. gets Steel Panther, which the crowd showed total apathy towards and I actually saw some people had fallen asleep during their long ass set. I’m still trying to figure out how a “joke” band is signed to a major label and opening for Motley, Def Lep and GNR in arenas. Go figure, but the joke definitely did not go over well in a big arena as L.A. is a rock and roll town and this Guns crowd was all real rock and rollers, so Steel Panther failed to get ‘real” Rock and rollers to laugh at themselves. These guys need to stick to rocking hipsters at the House Of Blues (oh yeah, that’s how they get the major breaks, those same hipsters are now running the labels and booking agencies!)

The intermission music was provided by DJ’s the Crystal Method, who again failed to “rock” the crowd. Play rock and roll at a metal concert, not some thumping noise, please. GNR finally came out at 11pm and played all the hits, well over 3 hours of solid radio hits rock and roll! Axl looked and sounded great and the crowd was on their feet from start to finish and highlights for me included keyboard player Dizzy Reed playing Won’t Get Fooled Again for his solo with the full band kicking in towards the end, and guitarist Bumblefoot doing Another Brick In The Wall, ending with the full band and Axl at the Grand piano and the entire arena singing the chorus. Everyone I talked to that went to the show was amazed at how good it was and that Axl was still the King! A must see show when it comes to your town.

Spiders and Snakes-Key Club- Hollywood, Ca.

The return of the Glitter and Glam to the Sunset Strip! The new and improved SNS hit the Key Club in support of the original Bullet Boys, and the new lineup features Chris Sheridan from Sweet Savage on guitar and a keyboard player along with veterans Timmy Yasui and Lizzy Grey and bassist Phil. These guys are continuing the tradition of Slade and Mott The Hoople with their catchy sin-a-long tunes: Glamour Girls, LA Jets and Party In Hollywood, as well as an excellent cover choice of the Bay City Rollers “Yesterdays Hero”. They closed the set with the Lizzy Grey/Nikki Sixx penned Public Enemy #1, and having seen these guys play numerous times over the years, I was glad to see that they are still rocking at full force and the club was packed to see them. Maybe Timmy will bring back the Glitter and Glam fest nights he promoted back in the day at the Coconut Teazer, god knows this town needs it!

Hollywood 77-On The Rox-Hollywood, Ca.

This band is the Glam Punk answer to Steel Panther, they play covers of the Stooges, Lords of The New Church, Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders, etc., all the cool punk and glam stuff. Featuring vocalist Freekshow and backing vocalist Lenka, these guys had the crowd at this Club Plastic show (put on by famous groupie Lexxa Von of the Plastics) pogoing and singing along, and they brought up Brides of Destruction vocalist London Le Grande for Sonic Reducer by the Dead Boys, which the crowd really dug. Always a good time in Los Angeles with Hollywood 77.

New bands to look out for:

Wildside Riot- Great new trash sleaze band featuring vocalist Rocky Shades from English Glam Rock legends Wrathchild!! Currently independent but whoring on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/Wildsideriot

The Dagger Dates- Straight out of France and sounding like the Lords of the New Church meets Bauhaus! Good Trash N Roll band at: http://www.reverbnation.com/thedaggerdates

Marvel-A cross of Kiss and Turbonegro with a new record out now Warhawks of War, get to them at: http://www.marveltheband.com/

If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

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