Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Album Due Out By Every Lady Rocker's Rock Idol


Ann and Nancy Wilson of the 70s rock band Heart have stuck it out through the decades. Sure, they've had their ups and downs and lived to tell the tales. Now they have a new album coming out, purportedly in stores at the end of August, entitled, "Red Velvet Car".

I am one of their fans who came on late in the game, I was a zygote when Crazy On You and Magic Man were hitting the charts. So it wasn't til the late 80s or early 90s that I really began to grasp their awesomeness. But I can honestly say they are one of the main reasons I first picked up a guitar at age 15, alongside Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Rush and yes, Liz Phair, among others.

I will not dis my heroes. I know they've come a long way and perhaps even strayed in a slightly different direction since "Straight On" and their other rock classic hits, and I still look forward to this new album like a christian kid looks forward to an Easter basket.

From wikipedia:

The 20-track Red Velvet Car DVD setlist is:[citation needed]

  1. Barracuda
  2. Never
  3. Kick It Out
  4. Straight On
  5. Love Alive
  6. Mistral Wind
  7. Back to Avalon
  8. These Dreams
  9. WTF (new song)
  10. Hey You (new song)
  11. Red Velvet Car (new song)
  12. Sifonia's Mark (new song)
  13. What About Love
  14. Alone
  15. Love Reign O'er Me
  16. Crazy on You
  17. Sand
  18. Your Long Journey
  19. There You Go Again (new song)
  20. Magic Man

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Alpha Women Attack the Lower East Side FREE festival in Tompkins Square Park!
2-6 PM, a huge line up of great peeps. Check out the info on the Facebook invite now and go!

Monday, June 7, 2010

HIM 4/22/10

HIM is touring in support of their new release, Screamworks: Love in Theory & Practice. I've seen HIM multiple times, but I'd never had the privilege of photographing them, and I was definitely looking forward this San Diego House of Blues show (despite the murky lighting typical of all HOB venues). This was the first time I'd seen them since the lead singer, Ville Valo, went to rehab, and I was curious to see what a sober Ville looked and sounded like. Was the booze an integral part of a HIM performance?

Well, I can tell you that the band has never sounded better. They may not be wasted onstage, but they're still having a great time up there, and it shows. The songs are tight and the audience rapport as wonderful as ever.

A big part of a HIM show is atmosphere. There are oriental rugs laid out onstage, and the lighting is dramatic. Unfortunately, it's not so great for photography, but then again that's not what the lighting is for. It's for the audience, and they seem to love it.

Ville is older now, and forgoes the eyeliner, but he still looks great. He swaggers all over the stage as if he's not in front of thousands of people. He seems completely at ease, stopping to chat with audience members between songs with his trademark, almost manic grin.

The audience, also, has matured. Not just young teen girls (though there certainly were some there), many in the audience were clearly longtime fans and sang along enthusiastically to both old and new material. The set was a nice balance of songs, and the packed house seemed wholly appreciative.

HIM is alive and well, and I hope they continue to make music for years to come!

More info here: www.heartagram.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AFI Again

Previously, I'd photographed AFI in a small, intimate venue. Then, they were set to play New York City's Roseland, and I wondered what difference that would make in the whole atmosphere. Not only that, but the lighting scheme had been significantly changed, so I wanted to have a new take on the Crash Love tour.

The lighting was much more sophisticated, less harsh and definitely more dramatic. It was also a hell of a lot harder to photograph, but that was my problem, not theirs. As their lighting director says, the lights are for the audience, not the photographer. We work with what we get.

The band, however, was just as energetic, giving their all with new songs and old. Davey Havok is the quintessential frontman, flamboyantly interacting with the crowd as if they're all old friends. And some of them are! Many AFI fans have been devoted to this band since their inception back in the 90's. Davey's look has changed many times, from punk to glam to his current Morrissey-esque 'do. His voice has also strengthened, as well as his lyrics. Jade Puget on guitar is a virtuoso, the melodic driving force, effortlessly shredding while pirouetting around the stage. Hunter attacks his bass with a savage force that still produces an epic counterpoint, grimacing at the crowd. And last but not least, Adam is a beast on the drums, pounding out the brutal rhythm like a man possessed.

The new songs may not be what old-school fans call "AFI", but they're unarguably tight and catchy, showing off the band's range. They do play a good share of their older material as well, and though the shows are short, usually not over an hour, they definitely give the audience their money's worth.

Not many bands have the kind of connection that AFI has with their fans. Go see an AFI show if you have a chance at all. It will be a show you won't soon forget.

AFI fans are colorful and patient:

Upcoming Tour Dates:

February 20 Brisbane Soundwave Festival 2010
February 21 Sydney Soundwave Festival 2010
February 26 Melbourne Soundwave Festival 2010
February 27 Adelaide Soundwave Festival 2010
March 1 Perth Soundwave Festival 2010
March 12 Nashville, TN Rocketown
March 13 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
March 15 Jacksonville, FL Plush
March 16 Tampa, FL The Ritz
March 18 Pensacola, FL Seville Quarter Party Plaza
March 19 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
March 27 Anaheim, CA Festival Grounds at Angel Stadium
April 5 Nottingham, UK Nottingham Rock City
April 6 London, UK Brixton Academy
April 8 Glasgow, UK ABC
April 9 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
April 11 Newcastle, UK 02 Academy 2 Newcastle
April 12 Birmingham, UK 02 Academy 2 Birmingham
April 14 Hamburg, Germany Grosse Freiheit 36
April 15 Munich Give It A Name,Tonhalle
April 17 Milan, IT, Italy Alcatraz
April 20 Vienna Outdoor Arena
April 21 Warsaw, PL Stodola
April 24 Meerhout, BE Groezrock Festival
April 25 Dulsburg T-Mobile Extreme Playground


Friday, January 8, 2010


RAY's on AVE A may have to say laterzzz
by Jessica Delfino

The local NYC joint is on the skids due to the financial catastrophe of oh nine. A victim of the modern age and money issues, Ray, in his 70s, is facing a crisis.

More HERE from Gothamist too

So many have been lost in the money crunch. I saw Love Saves The Day hit the dust, which
just broke my heart because I loved that dusty little hell hole. Other spots which beat
it were the awesome Good World (though I heard that place just 'moved' but STILL, it's no longer four steps and a hop away from my place anymore) and a few other places that are skipping my mind just like they skipped town.

Turns out a small gathering of local art-ctivists are going to stand in front of the place and form a human wall to keep the body guard from bolting the doors shut, as the landlord promised to do later today. I tried to find a phone number and I can't, so if you want to help, just show up at Ray's around 5 pm on Ave A between 7th and A.

Another quick and easy way to help: Eat at Ray's today and tell everyone you know to eat at Ray's today! Order food for your office there today! And then donate a little extra, too.

Photos of Ray's, and more information HERE

From my friend's FB post:

PLEASE repost to help save Ray's on Ave A (btwn 7th & A) Ray Alvarez is in his 70's & owns & operates Rays. You can get truly amazing egg creams, rasberry lime rickeys, pomme frites (which I ONLY like from here!) from a true neighborhood character & institution. It would be HEARTBREAKING to see this place go...

Jeezuz Christ he's 77 yrs. old & has been there since 1974 according to EV Grieve. It will be horrible for him he can't work @ his place or stay open @ all...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ars Nova Ant Fest

In midtown, there is this very interesting club that puts on really weird and neat shows. Maybe they aren't as weird or interesting as Ultrabunny or Haunted Pussy, but they're weird and interesting in their own ways. They have lots of "gay" shows, and other undefinable show topics.

It is called, "Ars Nova," and right now, a festival is going on there called the Ars Nova Ant Fest which features tons of crazy wacky shows. Music, bands, plays, dirty perverted folk songs --- wait a minute, did someone say dirty perverted folk songs? That's MY show!

That's right, my show is in the Ars Nova Ant Fest. Tickets are $10, which is not super cheap for those of us on a holiday budget, but if you buy your tickets in advance online, you get a free drink at the show, and $10 for a show and a drink isn't so bad. You can order your tickets RIGHT HERE.

I've toured this show across the US and UK, this past summer in Scotland, Ireland and England and as part of the Reading & Leeds Festival, Latitude Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and more. These songs (and I) were publicly denounced by the Catholic League. This is one of the last times I'm going to perform this collection of perverted, twisted songs live, as I've been doing them for a few years now and I'm getting ready to retire them and move them on to something different. Of course, I will keep you posted about that project when it is ready.

Show info:

Thurs Nov 12 @ 8 PM
Jessica Delfino's Dirty Folk Rock
Ars Nova ANT FEST!
511 W. 54th St.
With her lewd songs and unconventional instruments (rape whistle!), Jessica Delfino is a self-described brunette Britney Spears--with balls.
Tickets: $10
For tickets: http://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/691205
SPECIAL OFFER: If you buy a ticket online to my show, you get a free drink at the show (which nearly covers the cost of the ticket!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

AFI is back!

After a long wait, AFI is finally back with its eighth CD, Crash Love. Decemberunderground came out way back in June 2006, and though the band toured heavily in the interim, it still seems like ages since we've heard from them. The new CD is once again a departure from their past work, something AFI seems to specialize in; they never seem content to stay with one 'sound'. At first listen, Crash Love seems poppier than previous efforts, but that's just a first impression. The songs grow on you, as good music does, and more and more layers open up on further listens.

Of course, AFI never shines as much as when they're onstage, and that hasn't changed one bit. AFI shows may be short (usually just over an hour) but they're packed full of energy and sincere showmanship. Davey Havok seems totally at ease and confident, chatting with the crowd as if they're old friends. And most of them are. For the kickoff of the Crash Love tour, AFI played Minneapolis on October 2nd. Davey mentioned playing the same city way back in the 90's, and an audience member immediately professed to having been there. AFI is the kind of band that attracts diehard, devoted fans. Fans who will line up for hours in cold, miserable weather in order to be front and center. For their efforts, they'll get crushed by fans behind and abused by crowd-surfers, but to them its well worth a close-up view of Davey, Jade, Adam and Hunter.

I attended three shows in two weeks: Minneapolis, Sayreville NJ and Pittsburgh. The setlist varied a bit, but was heaviest on Crash Love (of course) and Sing the Sorrow. At least one very old song was included in each show ("Ny-quil", "Half-Empty Bottle") and of course their MTV hit "Miss Murder". All in all, the crowd seemed extremely pleased, singing every word as loud as Davey.

The stage and the band were resplendent in black and gold; they look great and sound better. If you get a chance, check out AFI when they come to a town near you. They're touring the US and Canada for the rest of the year, then they'll be off to Australia in early 2010. Then they'll likely hit Europe, and then come back for another swing through the US. Here are the announced dates:

10/17/2009 Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Hampton Beach, NH

10/19/2009 The National Richmond, VA

10/20/2009 Gallery of Sound Scranton, PA

10/21/2009 Scranton Cultural Center Scranton, PA, United States

10/23/2009 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD

10/25/2009 House of Blues Boston, MA

11/3/2009 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK

11/4/2009 The Pageant St. Louis, MO

11/6/2009 Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO

11/7/2009 Riviera Theatre Chicago, IL, United States

11/9/2009 The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI

11/10/2009 The Sound Academy Toronto, ONT, CA

11/12/2009 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA

11/13/2009 Roseland Ballroom New York, NY

11/15/2009 House of Blues - Myrtle Beach North Myrtle Beach, SC

11/16/2009 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA

11/18/2009 Pompano Beach Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL

11/19/2009 House of Blues Lake Buena Vista, FL

11/21/2009 Verizon Wireless Theater Houston, TX

11/22/2009 Stubbs Austin, TX

12/15/2009 Winnipeg Convention Ctr. Winnipeg, MB, Canada

12/16/2009 Prairieland Park Saskatoon, CAN

12/18/2009 Shaw Conference Center Edmonton, CAN

12/19/2009 Big Four Building Calgary, AB, CAN

12/21/2009 Save On Foods Centre Victoria, BC, CAN

2/20/2010 Soundwave Festival Brisbane, AU

2/21/2010 Soundwave Festival Sydney, AU

2/26/2010 Soundwave Festival Melbourne, AU

2/27/2010 Soundwave Festival Adelaide, AU

3/1/2010 Soundwave Festival Perth, AU

Please check out http://www.afireinside.net/ for more info, and go buy Crash Love!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

girls, gore, robots and geishas, and geisha robots!

American movie trailers have the baritone voiceover guy going for them, and generally not much more.

The voiceover guy here is pretty lame, BUT the movie certainly seems to make up for it.

RoboGeisha (Japan 2009 coming soon)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VNV Nation Review and Pics

VNV Nation has been around since 1990 in one form or another, and now, 19 years later, Ronan and Mark prove they've still very much got it.

Saturday night's LA show (6/27/09), was the kickoff of their tour to support their newest release, Of Faith, Power and Glory. The venue was packed with goth, alt, and rave types, and just plain fans of one of the best-known electronica bands in the world.

The energy was palpable, and the crowd threw themselves into the songs just like the band did. Though this tour is for the new CD, Ronan didn't skimp on the crowd favorites, even going back to 1999's Empires for Darkangel, to the audience's delight. The crowd favorite had to be Beloved, though, with Perpetual a close second.

Though the CD just came out on the 23rd of June, the audience seemed to have no problem with the lyrics and dance moves to the new material. The new tracks are pure VNV, and I predict "Sentinel" (misspelled on the album cover, FYI) will be the next big track. Introspective, emotional, yet uplifting; somehow VNV manages all of it while still being danceable, and not overdramatic. Quite a feat.

VNV is touring heavily in support of the new CD: North America in July, Europe in September, and a promise by Ronan to be back in the US late fall.

Check out their website www.vnvnation.com for tour dates and more info. Also please see my interview with Ronan Harris, coming up soon!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Prima Donna Review and Photos

I recently caught the band Prima Donna at Hollywood's historic Knitting Factory. When the band first struts out onstage to the accompaniment of some severely retro riffs, you'll wonder if you've stumbled into some sort of 80's time warp. Lycra, animal print, and lots of big hair and guyliner will make you feel like a virgin again. Or maybe not. At any rate, these boys know what they're doing, and they're ready to rock your face off. They work together like a well-oiled machine; singer Kevin has all the moves to win over the ladies, and Aaron doubles on keyboard and sax to give the music its unique blues-inspired feel. David wails on the drums, and the combo of Erik and Daniel on guitar and bass work together perfectly.

They just got back from a tour across the USA, and they're doing some SoCal shows in the next month or so. Catch them if you can; you won't regret it!