Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders “…there’s pretty things in Palookaville…”

PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS are back with a 16 track album (mine on beautiful pink vinyl!) on Hound Gawd! Records. Opening song “All The Years #1” is actually the first version of “All The Year” that was featured on “14th & Nowhere” and is definitely a great, faster version! You’ll be able to read notes about each song on the insert, which is a really cool thing. “Cheap Nostalgia” takes us not very far from DR.FEELGOOD‘s pub rock but you’ll still find the band’s own high energy punk rock’n’roll with a country touch in “The World Don’t Care & Neither Does She” or in “Nothing But Excuses”. “Read ’em & Weep” slows things down bringing Californian road images and DYLAN to mind. The country influences can clearly be heard in “To Get That Monkey Offf My Back” and you’ll also get to listen to a good cover of soul classic “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (TYRONE DAVIS)! If you like your rock’n’roll with more guitar riffin’, then “Money’ will be the one for you and the band summons LITTLE RICHARD‘s spirit with “Little Jael”! Side 2 opens with “True Romance”, a great punk rock song full of melancholy just before the catchy rocker “I Will Lie To You.” “Theda #2” is another new version of an old song, originally faster, it has more of a ROLLING STONES vibe here. Guitarist Nick Alexander sings on “Hello To Mystery”, a cool punk rock song with a bit of DEAD BOYS and JOHNNY THUNDERS thrown in for good measure and then things slow down again with country ballad “Get Up On It”. While the record is almost coming to an end, you’ll get one of the best songs on it, ‘Way Deep Down In Your To Heart”, you’ll sure have the chorus of this one in your head after listening to it! The last song “They’re Wrong/Dead Wrong” slams the door shut in our faces punk rock style! This album should have been released earlier but got postponed because of the pandemic and the talented Richard Duguay re-mixed and mastered it. On more good reason for you to get it! /Laurent C.

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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.

The Guilty Hearts “S/T”

Los Angeles garage rock’n’rollers are back with a 3rd release on Voodoo Rhythm Records. As soon as “Too Far Down” starts you’re sure that this album won’t make you fall asleep. Fuzz, distortion and primitive rawk’n’roll songs is what you’ll get! “Turn It Off” mixes 60s garage with noise rock while “Satisfied” brings some furious punk speed rock to our ears and “Him or Me” shows us that these guys also enjoy good catchy choruses. You get a little rest with the very cinematic and dirty blues Western song “Ghost In My Room”, you’ll probably think of The GUN CLUB while listening to “Pine Box Ritual” or “Jack On Fire” and you’ll hear a bit of STOOGES in “Gimme Some Water”. Blues trash garage punk for the wild at heart! /Laurent C.
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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


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Black Market Heart “Transfusion” EP

4 new songs and a cool cover art-work by Los Angeles dark rock band BLACK MARKET HEART. “Feed Me Poison” opens this EP with some fine venomous post-punk full of energy while “Tidal Wave” has more to do with proto-punk and The STOOGES. Male and female vocals are mixed and give an interesting melodic effect to the songs, sometimes close to The PIXIES. The biggest surprise on this EP is a great cover of The TOILET BOYS‘ glam punk hit “Another Day In The Life”, here played with a garage rock twist. “Reach Out” closes this EP in a CRAMPS meets grunge gloomy rock’n’roll way. Short, but definitely worth checking! /Laurent C.

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Superlegend Frankie Delmane – Spontaneously Crafted Music!

TEENAGE FRAMES and The CRAZY SQUEEZE are two good reasons for us to have a little talk with Frankie, but his solo album “Street Penetration” has made us even more curious…

Can you tell us how you first got into music? What were the first records you bought? The first band shirt you wore?

“Music was always a part of my household when I was a kid- mainly old rock n roll and country. I didn’t become obsessed with music until I was about 12 years old, and at the time was really into anything on the radio or early days of MTV, and I collected 45s (singles) exclusively- my first being Dolly Parton “9 to 5”, soon followed by ABC “Look Of Love.” First bands that ever made me love rock n roll was Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones– ubiquitous stars of classic rock radio. The first band shirt I think I ever wore was probably a 1976 Jefferson Starship “Spitfire” Tour shirt I stole from the lost and found at my Junior High School. I thought the design was so cool.”

When did you realize that you wanted to play in bands and not just listen to them?

“I recall watching an episode of New Wave Theater that featured a band called Unit 3 and Venus, with an 11 year old girl as lead singer. And then I saw an expose on The Plasmatics showing Wendy O chainsawing TV Sets and smashing shit up, and it hit me that this was something I could do and be a part of and have fun and be creative with, so I immediately started a band- a two piece with a neighbor. We called ourselves The Mental Cases. We used to make cassettes, which I would then play for my fellow students at school, who must have thought I was insane- just me and my friend banging on drums and acoustic guitars, shouting things like “My Baby Eats Dirt” and “Running With The Angel.” From that point onward I was hooked and have never stopped performing, writing, and loving every minute of it, the good and the bad.”

Can you tell us a bit about the TEENAGE FRAMES?

Teenage Frames have been one of the most satisfying disappointments of my musical life. We really felt- at one point were delusional enough- to believe, absolutely, we were gonna be a MAJOR band. Not the biggest, but you know- on the level of Primal Scream or Social Distortion. We certainly believed we had a more interesting take than all of the pop punk junk in the 1990s. We made a valiant attempt at this. Unfortunately, our egos were too distorted at the time to see the whole picture, face our own deficiencies, and comprehend how these things unfold- and then coming to grips with that made the failure more painful. However, it also makes you recognize what is there- even what you may have missed or dismissed initially, and poses the question of where next to go. I love writing with Eric Vegas so much, and recording with Jim and Aaron has just gotten better and stronger, so we’re still a band producing material, working on a new full length LP (our 3rd in 20 years! HA!) that has so far- quite easily- reaffirmed why I stuck with this- I am in the midst of my greatest creative period, and just loving it.”

You then joined The CRAZY SQUEEZE, can you tell us how it all happened?

“Johnny Witmer had already formed The Crazy Squeeze while The Stitches were on a break- or things had slowed down for a minute, gone through a few line up changes, and was possibly looking for a simple, direct player who was reliable and could write and sing and would not be drama or hassle (I can be a little of both, but far less than your average musician).
I was reticent at first because I am a front man- lead singer- main songwriter, action man- and had never, ever played an instrument in a band. I barely could tune a guitar. But Johnny assured me all he needed was me to do very simply stuff so he could wail and flail and do all the fancy guitar mangling, and to sing/write half the songs. It was an easy fit. I slid into his concept quickly- as we are both very centered around 50s rock n roll and R&B and 1970s Pub Rock and Proto Punk and early Punk in general- and we were off and running. It’s always fun playing with those guys, and even more so touring. I think touring in The Crazy Squeeze has been my most favorite part of the band, and some of the greatest experiences of my life. We should be out on tour again soon, with a new LP or single.”

When did you have the idea to write a song each day for a whole year? Was it easy to do when you were on tour in Europe with The CRAZY SQUEEZE?

“I got the idea in December 2014. I had just finished writing and recording over 80 songs that year that had no place to go. I felt if I just kept writing I could use the initial songs for the first 2 months, and by the time they were depleted, another batch would have been written and ready to go. And that’s how it worked in total, though certain weeks I made sure I wrote for THAT day, just to keep the thing somewhat fair and balanced. The entire project was life changing. Certainly from a creative stand point. I had my good friends over at Sex Tape Records- Stacy Ellen Rich and Eric BigArm (from Die Group and Tenement Rats)- post all the videos/songs for me while I was in Europe- I made sure I’d done them before I left. However, the final month was all stuff written to order- that morning to post that night. I am in the middle of doing a similar- albeit less extensive- project, NEW SONGS for 2020. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and see them everyday!”

Were you thinking some of these songs could end up on vinyl?

“NO! I treated them as demos, nothing more. Raw ideas eventually graduating to better conditions. But I am a sucker for Lo-Fi, 4 track, spontaneously crafted music- so when Bill Xero approached me with his idea for English Disco Records, and his vision for putting out a collection of certain songs on vinyl, I was stunned and over joyed. It’s turned out to be what I hope will be a series of LPs collecting my demos- the sound, style, and presentation- though not entirely Hi-Fi- is as close as I’ll ever come to getting that gritty, raw, immediate energy and thrill of the best 1960s records.”

I remember I watched JOHN COOPER CLARKE’s “What’s In My Bag?” and he actually talked about you. Were you surprised he did?

“Shocked!!! Absolutely shocked. Working at the record store I was at- in that time frame- I gave CDs of my music to every entity I saw that I admired or thought was interesting- and did not care the outcome- if it went in the trash, etc. I am a tireless advocate and champion for my own cause. Tom Petty refused a CD from me once!!! HA! I wasn’t bothered. So John Cooper Clarke was no different. Didn’t give it a second thought. I could not stop giggling once I saw it. It was simply an honor to be mentioned by the man.”

Can you choose 5 albums that are important to you and tell us why you like them?

THE WIPERS– Over The Edge: I spent all of my teenage years in Portland, Oregon. The Wipers were the first ‘local’ punk band I heard that changed my life and influenced me, this LP in particular. Greg Sage was very accessible in those days, so he became my one and only musical mentor. His music will always have a deep place in my soul.

VELVET UNDERGROUND– White Light, White Heat- LP: Though the first LP with Nico may be my favorite, this one simply melted my face off when I first listened to it, LOUDLY, on headphones. It’s punk as fuck. Wild, anarchic, poetic. ANY deconstructed thing you heard bandied about afterwards has a direct line to this. And you do gotta listen to this at FULL BLAST. Let it surge through you. It’s filthy, ragged, unclean, undisciplined, layered audio magic.

NEW YORK DOLLS– LP- At this juncture it’s almost comical to name check this thing, but it truly is one of the most absorbing rock n roll records ever made, and as pure a definition of the style as Chuck Berry‘s guitar licks. It’s also somewhat progressive and unique in what they did with the form, and the lyrics are hilarious and smart. AND they were basically teenagers. Everything about this band was perfect, and the legend should grow bigger every year, they are that worthy still, as much as Warhol or DuChamp or Dali- they put art into rock n roll with out being overly pretentious or condescending or self congratulating- or even fully aware- they’re natural state of being so cool and collected, tight and on point. LOVE them to bits!

BUDDY HOLLY– 20 Greatest Hits (MCA)- I was lost in this record for years, and patterned so much of my songwriting style after this master of the hook. As important and as much as Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard and Charlie Rich and Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra do for me in similar- yet separate ways- it’s Buddy Holly‘s relationship to melody and projection that I feel allows my writing to flourish with strength and purpose.

JAMES BROWN– Live At The Apollo- LP- Just about every rock n roller’s favorite LIVE R&B record- it is THEE record that ill keep giving, an R&B throttle train of rhythm and power and immediate soul. With the best back up band on the planet you hear the frame work of transcendence and grace, and James Brown‘s theatrics- his raw and nasty vocals and funky personality, all wrapped up beautifully in this legendary recording that I can put on any time and it’ll instantly make me wanna dance, sing, get wasted, and write music. So many other records I love don’t give that- cause this sucker is special.

Last great live band or artist you’ve seen?

“Best, most recent shows I’ve witnessed- Bobby Caldwell, Jack Jones, The Hangmen, Robert Forster, The Fleshtones.”

Any new exciting bands in L.A. at the moment?

Savoir Faire & the Voyeuristics, Hot Licks, Tenement Rats, Double E & Bad Business, The Reflectors.”

What are your projects for 2020?

“Continuing my NEW SONGS for 2020- either until I run out of ideas, songs, or energy- or the year itself ends, new TEENAGE FRAMES LP fully recorded, new stuff by THE CRAZY SQUEEZE– either a 45, a full length- or both, writing about music for various blogs or publications, and selling my music to every outlet I can- from film to TV to audiences- this will be a year I exploit myself to the fullest. So come check it out- I am chronically producing content that I hope will be titillating and thrilling to those who encounter it. At least that’s the purpose.

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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.

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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