Down To Rock #7 (April 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!

New Band Alert
Velvet Condom– from the ashes of French Glamsters, Sparkling Bombs, comes the electronic duo of Velvet Condom, now based in Berlin, Germany. This band is right up my musical alley, two man and electronic, just like NYC’s Suicide. I ran into the lead singer while hanging in Hollywood recently, and I had booked his previous band on some L.A. based live dates, so he brought me up to date on his latest project. We were both elegantly wasted at the time, but when I got home, I had a listen and was pleasantly surprised that this group was not a rehash of past glories (which I loved), but rather a bold leap in a new direction into a cool electronic sound that is both 80’S retro synth pop and contemporary indi rock, with an early Bowie in Berlin visual approach. An aspect of this group that I like is the video imagery that they are putting out and they most recently have played shows in NYC and all over Europe (over 200 shows) and lead singer Nico informs DTR that the new release is available at www.velvetcondom.com

Villains of Vaudeville-Representing Los Angeles comes the new group from ex Beautiful Creatures bassist Kenny Kweens. He’s stepping out up front with the fronting and vocals from this Goth/Glam/Sleaze band! Currently my fave song of the month is the VOV cover of the Alice Cooper song “Is It My Body”, very cool version done in a very heavy/industrial vibe. The rest of the tunes are like the Beautiful Creatures on steroids, but with enough of a twist, with Kweens personal style. Side note: Kenny has the best wardrobe in town, hands down, every time I see that guy he is rock and roll to the nines, so I’m looking forward to seeing this band live very soon! Hear all the tunes at: www.villainsofvaudeville.com

Live Review
Ankhesenamen– Live at the Hard Rock Café Hollywood, Ca.
I finally got a chance to see my boy Billy Blade’s (Peppermint Creeps) band as they have been playing around for a few years now in So Cal., and I was glad to see a glam contingent of fans still there waving the flag. The band is made up of some vets from the Hollywood Glam scene-Billy Blade on bass and Macy Malone on Guitars, both from the Peppermint Creeps, and Kevin Starr from the Zeros and Stars From Mars on drums, who have teamed up with TV personality Gretchen Bonaduce on vocals to play 80’s New Wave cover tunes. The set list consisted of Devo, The Cult, Prince, Berlin and every other band with a hit in the 1980’s. The Hard Rock Café has a large stage and good sound and the place was packed to the gills with tourists and old glam heads like myself! There was a lot of dancing and drinking and good times, all clean fun, which I guess is the point of being a musician in L.A. these days, play some good tunes and give people a good time and chance to forget about this crazy world we live in, even if just for a couple of hours, which this band managed to do. Good band of some cool folks, check them out if ever in Los Angeles.
The biggest unknown band in the world
L’Arc-En-Ciel– These guys are a super famous Japan based super group which features Hide from X-Japan, which is the band that initially influenced my band Rebel Rebel’s liberty spike hair styles! They showed us you could have long hair and punk spikes on one head. This side project has sold some 40 million records and plays stadiums in Asia for the last 20 years, and their music is lush hard rock pop and they have just released a new record, Butterfly, made up of some new songs and previous singles and B-sides, which you can get on Itunes. This band is of note, not because they are a Glam Punk band, but because Hide and X shaped my visual image back in the day! Check them at www.larc-enciel.com

Bands to look out for:
Model Saints– Los Angeles based and tearing up clubs like the Roxy in Hollywood, this band features ex Killing Bird, Scum Of The Earth and Prong members and they are following in the 80’s hard rock tradition-loud, dirty and catchy tunes and sleazy image. Hit them up at www.modelsaint.com
Fatal Smile– Sweden based hard rock/sleaze band that has been kicking up the shit on tour with the likes of Lordi and W.A.S.P. and they have a new CD that was mixed by renowned rock and glam producer Michael Wagener. Check em out at www.fatalsmile.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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