Joe Normal releases new video/single “Setbacks”

The Aquarian Weekly (New Jersey, USA) – “Celebrating the underdog and the average in the most heartwarming and melodic way possible – through song! … Authentic, underground, glam rocker with a storyteller heart.”

Boot Music (UK) – “Setbacks” is a swagger filled retro swirl!”

After playing a reunion show with The ZEROS at the Whisky a Go-Go, Joe Normal offers us his new solo video “Setbacks”:

Download & Listen to “Setbacks”HERE: https://joenormalusa.com/single/42280/setbacks

Stream it on all platforms HERE:
https://joenormal.hearnow.com/setbacks 

The Claws – Gut-level Rock’n’roll!

Let’s start 2022 with one of the most interesting rock’n’roll bands from L.A. Chad Cherry (lead vocals) and Gary Martin (guitars & vocals) tell us about the release of their new album “Stars and Broken Stars” and new EP “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” and much more!

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?

C.C.: It all started with Gary and I. Gary was living out here in Los Angeles and Sarah and I were out here visiting around 2013/14. We were staying at this place on top of Laurel Canyon. It was right next to an abandoned house that some producer from Walt Disney owned back in the 60’s. Place was trashed and cool. We’re checking it out, sharing a bottle of scotch, moonlight creepin, and we came up with the idea of us getting together to make some kinda noise when I moved out to Los Angeles. In the beginning we were just two guys with an acoustic guitar.

G.M.: Soon, Terry Love (bass) came into the picture, and this formed the core of the band. We recorded the début EP in 2017, and the ‘No Connection’ LP was released in early 2020. With the addition of Tony Pacheco on drums in 2019, and Mike Gavigan on guitar in the lost year of 2020, we began the recording of the follow up LP, which was released in late 2021.

You have two new releases, “Stars and Broken Glass” (album) and “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” (EP). Is this because you wanted the album to be released on vinyl and avoid having too many songs on it?

C.C.: We would’ve had a quadruple record on our hands if we didn’t break it up. There’s no lack of creativity with The Claws.

G.M.: It’s true. At this point, we have more than enough tunes for another full length (& EP!) Sonically and thematically, it made sense to do it the way that we did.

Was it easy to choose which songs were going to be used for the album and for the EP?

It was not a case of the “best 10” make the LP. The sequence needed to flow. The sound of the songs can tell a story. We tried our best to make that happen.

Can you tell us about the recording. Where and when did it happen?

G.M.: We recorded the new music at the same place, with the same producer & engineer as the last LP, 2020’s ‘No Connection’. It’s a cool little studio in the Hollywood Hills called Fox Force Five studios. We began the process in late 2020 and finished in the summer of 2021. The LP & EP was mixed and mastered during the autumn of 2021.

C.C.: That Beechwood Canyon studio is magical.

C.C.: That’s like asking a falling star where it’s going to land. There’s not really a rhyme or reason for anything that we do musically. Gary comes up with nonstop songs and we’re all over the place. We never talk too much about it, we mostly just blend together, push and pull melodies into place. I really don’t think we have a specific anything besides some good synergy going on.. we just do whatever it is we do.

Did you know how you wanted the album and EP to sound before recording them?

G.M.: Our surroundings, our adventures, and our personal relationships between the 5 of add spice to the tunes. Everything has an effect. The studio itself has a great feel, along with some excellent vintage equipment, that really helps bring out the nuance in our tunes. Gabe Lowry (producer/engineer) did a fantastic job of capturing The Claws at our best.

While the 70s influences are obvious, there’s also some 80s ones in the songs. Do you like both decades the same?

G.M.: The keyboard during ‘When The Nighttime Comes’ and ‘Strange Rumblings’ is a vintage synthesizer from the mid-1980’s. Totally. Strictly from a songwriting point-of-view, there’s so much great stuff from the 1960’s through the 1990’s that it is impossible to pick a favorite decade, but I do tend to prefer the production values of the 1970’s.

C.C.: I kinda love all decades, man. But let’s face it.. the 70’s ruled!

Some songs like “High Noon”, “A Song For You”, “Seven Medicines” or “In The Dust” could definitely be featured in series or movies. Did you get any interest from Hollywood film makers?

C.C.: We’re too expensive for them.

G.M.: Yeah, we’re open to collaboration with film makers, but they need to cough up the bread. Besides, we’re telling our own stories, so who needs ‘em?

How is the rock’n’roll scene in L.A. These days? Any new interesting bands? What are the best clubs these days ?

C.C.: L.A. still has just about everything happening musically. Nothing will ever be the past but there’s so many great bands here. Any club that you don’t have to pay to play is a good club.

G.M.: I love the current rock n roll scene in L.A.! Much like the city, it’s spread out. You may find yourself in the suburbs at the Maui Sugar Mill one weekend, and downtown at the Redwood (our favorite) the next. Great joints like Alex’s in Long Beach and the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena always have killer shows. There are many talented players in L.A., so you never know who is going to impress on any given night. Someone just needs to open a genuine rock n roll joint in Hollywood!

It seems like a lot of people are moving out of L.A, especially musicians who seem to have found a new home in Nashville…

G.M.: Don’t believe the hype. L.A. has always been a city with people arriving or leaving. Here today, gone today.

C.C.: That’s news to me.

Chad, you also sing in The LAST VEGAS but you have a couple of other projects. Can you tell us about them?

C.C.: I have some new TLV demos somewhere. Let’s see, everyday is Halloween with the spooky synth/guitar pop sounds of Razor Candy. I’m also doing synthesized music with my director pal, D.M. Cunningham in our outfit called Dreaming In Neon. We’re busy scoring his new film, “3 Demons” at the moment. But I do The Claws on the daily. Gary keeps me busy.

Do any of you play in other bands/projects?

G.M.: I don’t play in any other projects or bands, as everything that I write I consider for The Claws. If my tunes get too weird for The Claws, then maybe I’ll do some acid-jazz solo trip.

Will Europe be on the map when things finally start getting better in the world?

C.C.: Question is, will The Claws ever want to leave once we get there.

G.M.: Would love to do a European swing! I heard that many European rock n rollers have moved to Nashville..true?

Oh! That might explain why I haven’t seen any in almost two years! Haha

https://theclawsrock.com/
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Down To Rock #15

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!

Ten Bands that got me through the pandemic

Like most, I’ve been working from home due to the pandemic for coming up on one year. I’ll be honest, I’ve been out and about during the pandemic with trips to the beach with friends, RV trips, motorcycle trips, living room shows at my house with all my bands, vacation to Hawaii, visiting Mom in New Mexico via plane, trips to the mountains and Las Vegas with family and friends, etc. Also writing tons of new songs, thinning out the storage space of music gear and memorabilia, home projects, new pedalboards, and on and on. The only things I’m not doing is playing in bars and clubs, so it has not been too rough for me. But I did listen to tons of music and watched bands play live online (LA Guns, Westbound, Pretty Boy Floyd, KISS), and these are the Ten Bands that got me through the pandemic.

KISS-Alive record is my favorite “live” record of all time and the reason I play guitar today!

Hanoi Rocks-Two Steps from The Move Record is classic and shows a good blend of glam and punk rock attitude.

Manic Street Preachers-Generation Terrorists Record is another that is a good blend of style and attitude.

The Stooges-Debut record is powerful and loose, and Ron A. was the guitar player that showed me where it was really at.

FEAR-Debut record really summed up the punk rock spirit for me.

Motorhead-Ace of Spades is another good blend of metal and punk smashing together.

Sigue Sigue Sputnik– Flaunt It Box set that came out recently is brilliant, Suicide on Steroids, and way ahead of their time!

Angel-Sinful record is a guilty pleasure for me, although the Live without a Net Record is also worth a spin.

Sex Pistols-Never Mind Record needs no justification!! Johnny Rotten is the best punk rock vocalist/frontman ever.

Van Halen– David Lee Roth era box set displays some of the best hard rock tunes ever written.

Joe Normal releases “Thank You Girl” single

-Buddy Holly fans will love the jangly guitars and catchy choruses of the new single by JOE NORMAL, called “THANK YOU GIRL.”

It is a ” ’50’s retro-style tribute to all the women in our lives for keeping our world running and for the care and compassion they share as we strive to make it through these tough times together. – New Jersey Phonograph


LISTEN & FOLLOW HERE: https://open.spotify.com/album/08yJbf9ajELuFpwE0w4hEL?si=AWQ67SxoTfmPcMpxZSU2Jg

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Down To Rock #14

DTK in Los Angeles 2020

Hello from the streets of Hollywood, it’s been a minute, but I think things are finally kicking up again around town in the rock n roll scene, so here I am! LA has been surviving on Jam Nights and events put on by Jake from the Whiskey, in the Rainbow Bar & Grill parking lot and at the Whiskey a Go Go. I am most looking forward to one of my favorite bands, Rose Tattoo, coming in May and others like 69 Eyes, but mostly it is hair bands from the 80”s mixed with some punk bands like Fear, that are keeping things going on the Sunset Strip at these events. Cool bands continue to swarm LA and thanks to the Jake at the Whiskey A Go Go and the Rainbow Parking lot parties for stepping up! In the area of Heavy Metal, Metal Assault Productions are keeping things alive by booking weekly events all over the LA area, and putting out cassette/digital comps with the bands they feature, and hats off to Andrew B. for that.

Bands making noise around town, mainly off the strip in the downtown and Valley venues:

The Hots- Newish punk rock group headed by veteran guitarist Ronnie Simmons and his hot wife. Good punky hard rock n roll stripped down and dirty, with great punchy guitar playing and energetic live performances. Simple, Raw and Powerful, recently opened for Ace Frehley dates in Cali. and due to be the main support on the long overdue Rose Tattoo 2020 US tour. They have great videos and samples online on all the usual online media platforms.

Michael Des Barres and the Mistakes- Michael is back in the game strong with his new group made up of Hollywood music veterans like Loren M. from the Dogs and current big wig with Black Star Amps on guitar and Matt Starr on drums. Playing straight up catchy rock n roll with his British swagger, most recently at a weekly residency at the Redwood in Downtown LA, which I believe has yielded a soon to be released live release. Michael is one of my favorite singers, I always used to catch his cover band the Usual Suspects with Steve Jones and Mick from Slaughter and The Dogs back in the day, and of course the good stuff from Checkered Past. Keep an eye out and support the online sites.

The Darbies- Young Guns from the gutter!!!! Loud rock n roll band roaming the streets of LA and the US on recent tour in support of LA Guns. These guys are produced by Alex Kane from Life, Sex & Death, and they are straight up rock n roll like their Hollywood heroes that have come before. They got youth and drive on their side, and are reportedly living in their tour van in LA and on the road, so they got nothing to lose and everything to gain! Check out their sound and videos online and trip on the energy and excitement.

Steelwitch- Hot new NWOBHM band featuring Ed Gage on vocals/guitar and Tim Shelton on drums from the LA Death Dolls/Rebel Rebel and newcomer Bryan B. on guitar. Disclaimer now, I am playing bass for this badass group!! LOL But we are having so much fun blasting metal in the vein of Dianno era Maiden and Venom, that I had to give us a mention. I got involved due to my love of early 1980’s metal and loving to write songs in that vein. We have an EP on ITunes and are currently writing for a full release. Check it out if you like the bands that were on the NEAT Records label. We play the Rainbow Metal nights and a lot of the Metal Assault nights around town. ftwrecords.com

The Claws- Keeping the glam blues tradition of Hanoi Rocks and the Dogs D’ Amour and early Black Crows swagger alive in Los Angeles. New record out on DeadBeat Records and featuring singer Chad Cherry of the Last Vegas, these guys are playing every dive in LA to spread their glam rock message. Definitely worth checking out if your into the Faces and like minded bands of the 70’s.

Live Reviews:

Angel @ The Whiskey A Go Go
Legendary band from the 1970’s returned to LA with original members guitarist Punky Meadows and singer Frank Dimino. This gig was in support of the new release on Cleopatra Records, and the club was packed as Punky and Frank have not recorded or performed Angel music live together in decades. I had witnessed both of them perform solo in recent years in support of their solo records, but this was a rare treat for this massive Angel fan. The band featured great support players and the music was tight and they were clad all in white, like the old days. It was great seeing Punky and Frank play classics like the Tower, Wild & Hot, Don’t Leave Me Lonely and Can You Feel It, as well as running into the usual old school Hollywood Rockers like the Zeros, Chez from the Hollywood Stars, Tim from London/Spiders N snakes and Marky from Revlon Red. Punky still has his skills from his youth and Frank’s voice is as strong as it ever was, a must see if they hit your city!!!!

The Cocks @ Petie’s Place
This place has become the new go to place for live shows in the Valley, with everyone form the Claws to Pretty Boy Floyd jamming here recently. On this night I came to see the gay themed and Turbonegro influenced band led by singer Jay and guitar player Tchad, ex Pretty Boy Floyd. They are a scrappy trash punk rock band with songs almost exclusively related to sucking dick! They have songs about Jerry Cantrell’s supposed big dick and the like. LOL I dig them as much as the Impotent Sea Snakes back in the day, who had a similar theme and vibe, glammy punk rock attitude with catchy songs. These guys put out more energy into their live show than most bands around town, hands down, a must see when in LA. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram, or playing all the dive bars in the LA area. The band reports a debut release is coming soon!!!

Villains in Vogue @ Universal Bar and Grill
Another cool punky glam rock outfit ruling the scene currently, featuring veteran Hollywood and LA rockers. I’d previously seen this group as a five piece wit 2 guitars but this night they were stripped down to one guitar, and they sounded loud and full! Guitarist Justine Sane is the principal song writer and Mick Scott is the energetic lead singer, ex Anna Black, who is a modern day Iggy Pop/Johnny Rotten, throwing himself around the stage and venturing into the crowd via walking on the bar! Good voice and great stage presence, and the rest of the guys are top notch musicians with stand out songs being “Be One Of Us” and the cover of the Elvis Costello song “Pump It Up”. very good live act and waiting on the recorded product. See them on Facebook/Instagram.

The Hollywood Stars @ the Whiskey A Go Go
Another band from the 70’s that reformed to continue their local legend legacy! This band wrote songs for KISS and Alice Cooper in the 70’s, most notably “King Of The Night Time World”, penned by Marc Anthony, since deceased. Replacing him in the new lineup is New Mexico native and Hollywood survivor Chezz Monroe, ex Kids Of Chaos. The band put on a themed event, complete with glam retro support band and DJ’s, as well as being MC’d by Radio Legend Rodney Bingenheimer. The place was packed to the rafters, and the band was tight and clean, just like the major label records they released in the 70’s, but they are just not a retro act, they have a new release out of unreleased material, as well as plans for a new music release. There are also plans for a West Coast tour and upcoming local LA shows. Catchy songs and tight and polished live show, welcome back boys!!! See them on Facebook and Instagram.

Lizzie Grey Memorial @ Whiskey A Go Go
This event featured Rebel Rebel, Molly Vamp and Spiders n Snakes, as well as the Billtown Allstarts from Penn.
This was a memorial/ fund raising event for Lizzie Grey and his family and to bring awareness to Lewy Body Disease. The London/Spiders N Snakes legend lost his battle to Lewy Body Dementia Disease and the Hollywood rocker community wanted to show respect and honor him. Thanks to Jake @ the Whiskey for providing the venue, even when he could have booked a lucrative rap event that night. My group, Rebel Rebel, played our usual fast paced shock punk rock set, and Molly Vamp provided the gothic themed hard rock, both acts being vets of playing shows with Spiders n Snakes over the last decades. Billtown Allstars from Penn. provided the killer hard rock/metal cover tunes and the evening also featured a jam with past Spiders n Snakes/London and friends, and ending with Spiders N Snakes remaining members taking over Lizzie’s vocal duties for a roaring killer set, and featuring Betsy from Bitch and Jet from Rebel Rebel closing the night with the Lizzie penned Motley Crue song “Public Enemy #1”. Notably absent from the event was Nikki Sixx, who Lizzie gave his start to in the band London, but he did have time to attend Comic Con in Downtown LA that day to appear on a podcast, what a great guy. There were also other “famous” rock stars that Lizzie gave their start, that should have been there that were not, but a lot of money was raised for Lizzie’s wife and kids and awareness for Lewy Body disease as well, and the turnout of fans and supporters was awesome. I was personally disappointed by the lack of many local veteran rockers that played with Lizzie’s bands, and played on the same bills, from starting in the 1970’s to present, that did not bother to attend, but that I see out drinking at the Rainbow and the various Jam nights around town.

Frankie Delmane “Street Penetration”

Some of you probably know FRANKIE DELMANE from The CRAZY SQUEEZE but he has also been active in various rock’n’roll bands (including TEENAGE FRAMES) and as a solo artist. “Penetration Street” contains 18 songs from his 365 songs in 365 days project and offers us a wide variety of his musician and songwriter talents in songs that rarely exceed 3 minutes. The sound is real and raw, opening on a JOHNNY THUNDERS note with “Little Johnny” before Frankie shows us he can alwo write a good post punk tune with “Broken Eyes.” Proto-punk influences mix with hard rock in “When The Silence Breaks The Sound” or in “Thrown Away In Time.” You’ll also hear some good powerpop in “Feel That Far” and “Lost The Game (Start Again)’, 60s influenced psyche (“Under The Sun with You”, “Here with You Tonight”, “Talked About Yesterday”), old-school garage (“Problem”, “She’s In Love Every Single Night”) and some distorted “77 punk (“This Sick Beat”, “It’s Gotta Be Me”.) The song “Street Penetration” sounds a bit as if The BOYS were jamming with early AC/DC and “Uptight Daylight” could be an obscure gem from a 70s glam rock compilation. You’ll hear some VELVET UNDERGROUND and ROLLING STONES influences quite a few times on this album but they are always used sparingly with style. For once, 18 songs don’t sound too long to me on a record, and some of them are actually a bit frustrating because you wish they were longer, but this is part of the urgency! I like the imperfection of this album, and was hoping FRANKIE would release some of his songs from his “365 project.” Start 2020 with something real! /Laurent C.

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The Popravinas “Willy Nilly”

California pop rockers The POPRAVINAS have been playing for quite some time now since they started in the mid-2000s and released their first album (“Everybody’s Fault But Ours”) in 2008. Their music is a fine mix of powerpop and alt-country with a a bit of ROLLING STONES thrown in (“Talkin’ Out Loud”, “Did Ya”) and BEATLES influenced vocal harmonies (“Tim’s Basement”, “Had Way (To Make an Easy Living”.) The alt-country side of the band shows more in “Almost Sick” and in “Put It All To Bed” in which you’ll hear some melodies that also bring SOUL ASYLUM to mind, and a song like “Dun’ Me In” is catchy enough for you to remember and sing it for the rest of the day after you’ve listened to it. Check it out! /Laurent C.

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Joe Normal & The Anytown’rs “Entering Anytown U.S.A.” EP

JOE NORMAL AND THE ANYTOWN’rs are located in Los Angeles, but Joe is originally from New Jersey and you can fee lt in the songwriting. Melody and energy meets in a way that brings The REPLACEMENTS to mind in “Anytown” while “Nuthin’ (I Got Nothing)” has classic British rock’n’roll (STONES, FACES…) influences, and “Into The City Tonight” is a sunny 60s power pop song with great sounding guitars.The band’s biography says they’ve worked with IZZY STRADLIN, STIV BATORS, SYL SYLVAIN and DRAMARAMA among others in the past, so you know these guys can’t be wrong. This is short, but these 3 songs are a pretty good introduction to the band and this EP will definitely make you want to listen to more! /Laurent C.

http://www.joenormalusa.com
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https://www.rankoutsiderrecords.com/