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Let Me Be Your...Animal!

A special award for Tesla frontman Jeff Keith. The Animal Rescue Foundation presented the glam rocker with the Evie Award for work related to animal charities. Keith said the award is the most special he's ever received.

Tesla recently completed work on a cover album of their favorite 1970s songs. An April release date is planned.

The band is planning a short tour to support their sixth studio release. The first three scheduled dates are:

2/22/2007 - Kewadin Casino - Sault Sainte Marie, MI
2/24/2007 - Route 66 Casino - Albuquerque, NM
4/21/2007 - Pima County Fair - Tucson, AZ

A lot of glam fans regard Tesla as a highly underrated band. While most bands of the era used synthesizers to distort their sound, Tesla stayed true to rock with just guitars and drums. In fact, Jeff Keith says that the band didn't even use Pro Tools while recording their latest cover album, therefore giving the disc a "live" sound.

"Love Song" from the Great Radio Controversy remains Tesla's most famous song. If you turn on a classic rock radio station and wait awhile I guarantee you'll hear the hit.




Good to Be Alive

Slash.jpgBig news for Slash (Guns n' Roses, Velvet Revolver) today. He and Ronnie James Dio (Dio, Black Sabbath) will be inducted into the Hollywood Rockwalk in Los Angeles. The induction is set for today at 7 p.m. in front of the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard.

The RockWalk honors artists who have made a significant contributions to
rock n' roll. Other inductees include Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, and Van Halen.

Right now, members of Velvet Revolver are working on their sophomore album.

You'll be able to see Ronnie James Dio perform live with former Black Sabbath bandmates under the name Heaven and Hell. According to a recent Billboard article, Heaven and Hell will play 10 shows in Canada, then head to New York for several gigs. The band will also play several European festivals, and many UK fans are speculating the group will headline the 2007 Download festival at Donnington Park in England.  Heaven and Hell will tour America in the fall.





Paying Our Dues

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was penned by Heather, my co-conspirator in bringing back glam. Enjoy! In the spirit of the last four articles, our song obsession of the week is Lit Up/Let Down by none other than Vains of Jenna.

As Allyson has been sharing with you, we set out on a cold, rainy Saturday night in search of glam. Instead, we found gloom. While Allyson has been telling you about the god-awful "music," I'm going to concentrate for a moment on the audience and the venue.

When we first entered "Sudsy Malone's," a ripple of terror went through me. Surely this is not the right place. There was no sign of glam here. I mean NO sign. I found myself standing inside what can only be described as an empty storefront with a stage set-up and a small bar to one side. Upon further review, I was standing on a concrete floor, and there were wires dangling above my head. In the back of the "club" there were several washers and dryers. None of them appeared to be working, but they did provide seating and a place for a trio of total strangers to hook up.

This brings me to the crowd. Now make no mistake, Allyson and I were decked out in our "glam gear" thinking that we would fit in. We could not have been more wrong. Thank goodness Allyson has black hair, but I am a redhead and stuck out in the sea of darkness like a sore thumb. My hair and her hot pink shirt were the only signs of color anywhere in a crowd of at least 300. We're talking black hair, black make-up black platform boots and black corsets…and that was the guys! The women were worse with their micro-mini skirts, fishnet stockings, striped socks and black leather bustiers. This crowd was obviously not in search of glam, but perhaps in search of a ritual sacrifice of some kind. I saw women wearing the above described outfit who had no business doing so. One pour soul had about 4 inches of fat oozing out above her micro-mini and below her corset. Another was wearing a floor length black leather skirt and looked like two pigs wrestling under a blanket. Now, before you judge me, I am not an idiot stick figure with no soul. I too am a plus size girl but just because they make something in your size doesn't mean you have to wear it.

We saw tattoos and piercings on every available square inch of skin, including faces and hands. I shudder to think what was hidden under some of those clothes. One nut-job had actually branded himself. Now, I believe in freedom of expression, and if these people choose to look like side show freaks, that's their business. I just don't understand what exactly they are trying to express. Perhaps "this music makes me want to cause myself great pain?" That I would understand, because at several points during the evening, I would have gladly stuck burning needles in my eyeballs to distract myself from the hellacious noise coming from the stage.

Despite all of this, it was worth it when Vains of Jenna took the stage.

You see bands, as they are starting out, must play dive clubs and sacrifice a lot in order to make it big. So it only stands to reason that we true fans must sacrifice as well. We must trudge out to these sleazy bars, and fight our way through crowds that seem to have come from the 7th circle of hell in order to hear the sweet sounds of glam rock. We must show these emerging young bands that we do support them. We must encourage them to soldier on in the fight to bring back glam. In short, we must pay our dues.

And friends let me assure you, that is exactly what Allyson and I did Saturday night.


Hell on High Heels (part duex)

When we last left, the fearless twosome were on a never ending quest for glam.

Now, back to regular programming:

Instead of Vains of Jenna, Drugstore Valentine took to the stage. The Akron-bred, Cincinnati based group wasn't nearly as bad as their predecessors, and that's saying a lot. Their lead singer played dress-up, wearing a fur coat on stage just like Kid Rock. Old Kenny Ozz (he's the infamous lead singer) wasn't afraid of moving, and he liked crowd interaction. He jumped on the bar, ran around the room. He probably can't afford a gym membership. Drugstore Valentine is an odd mix of "music," and they were trying to be a little glam. To bad they fell short of the goal. A highlight of their show was a Poison cover of I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (But Mine). Too bad our friend Ozz doesn't sound (or look) anything like Bret Michaels.

It was during the intermission that we noticed the boys in Vains of Jenna milling around the club. They looked uncomfortable, but not nervous. They were probably afraid the crowd would attack them if they sang songs with intelligible lyrics. As the bassist, JP White walked by us, Heather grabbed his arm and asked when they were playing. He laughed -er - cackled and said "Next, ladies. Next, after these people." And the flipped his arm toward the stage. I laughed, for I'd just had another postmodern moment at the expense of glam.

My boy JP was wrong.

After Drugstore Valentine, it was time for a holiday, a Pagan Holiday (1313) evidently. The Cincinnati based band has a fairly local following, and a huge chunk of the crowd was there to see the horror metal band. Just like the other bands, I thought these guys were pretty vile, but I have a specific beef with Pagan Holiday 1313: they like to rip off Motley Crue. As anyone who reads this blog knows, Motley Crue - especially Nikki Sixx - is sacred territory in my book. Bassist Mike Pagan bears an odd resemblance to Nikki Sixx (except he's about 100 pounds heavier). Pagan rips off Nikki's hair, eyeliner, stage mannerisms, he even had on a MC Shout at the Devil shirt! To put the final nail in the coffin, Pagan spit blood during their "show." Please. Nikki Sixx and Motley Crue have been spitting blood at shows for two decades. Give me a break. It might not be such an insult if the band sounded 1 percent as good as the Crue. Sadly, Pagan Holiday 1313 is an abortion of music. It's a good thing I'm all about choice.

At one point we left the club and went to the bar next door. It was just too much bad for two good girls to take. I mean, bad.

And then, to the victor goes the spoils. It was time. Vains of Jenna finally took the stage at 12:45 A.M., more than five hours after we originally entered the club.

After waiting so long, risking life and limb for glam, we pushed our way to the front row and waited, and we were not disappointed. When Vains of Jenna finally started their show, Heather and I were thisclose to the action. Our new friend JP posed for pictures, and generally the young Swedes just rocked,  hard. Unfortunately, they didn't perform the title song off their debut album Lit Up/Let Down, which also happens to be my favorite VOJ track. They played through all their fast songs with a frenetic energy the goth crowd seemed to actually enjoy. If the boys had attempted the slower Lit Up/Let Down, beer bottles probably would have been hurled toward the stage, and since I was basically on the stage I'm glad there was none of that. Their portion of the evening was fun, and people were actually smiling.

After the performance, Heather and I decided to look at the merchandise table. As we were browsing the customary concert swag, I inquired about the price of a shirt to the man sitting at the booth. He blinked and said he was just watching the booth. I blinked back. Was I speaking Greek? Apparently, Vains of Jenna sell their own merchandise, and sure enough lead singer Lizzy Devine trotted over to the little table to shirts and photos. I bought a shirt for a very reasonable $15 and Heather a necklace for $10. When I handed over my cash, poor Lizzy looked like he was going to cry. "Thanks for buying this. We really need it," he said. The band kept their money in a jar. On top of the jar was a yellow sticky note that read "We need gas money." Every member of the band is heinously thin. I hope their little indie label gave them a big enough advance that covers a stop at McDonalds once a day.

After this, we were out. Called a cab, skipped the headliner Wednesday 13. Of course, we had to wait more than 30 minutes for a cab. During our wait,  we we're fortunate enough to witness a full on domestic dispute outside the club. As we stood just outside the club door, Wednesday 13 took the stage and played a song that sounded very familiar to me. During the bridge, it hit me: Wednesday 13 blatantly and unabashedly ripped off Shout at the Devil, (the song, not the entire album). These people are bigger Crue heads than me! As I voiced my disgust over the finding to Heather, the domestic dispute stopped and starred at me. Apparently, it's sacrilegious to speak ill of Wednesday 13. Whatever.

During the never ending wait for a cab, two members of Vains of Jenna trotted out, walked up the street, and then returned. They milled around us for a while, both Heather and I were on respective cell phones, trying to get a cab, desperate to get away from the Jerry Springer scene unfolding around us. Finally, they gave up and went inside. I suppose had I not been on my phone, I'd have an interview with the band to post here. The world may never know.

Tomorrow, some comments from Heather, a special contributor to Bring Back Glam!



Hell on High Heels

Kids, it's time for a concert review. We're not talking about your run of the mill, average joe, this was a great concert, great band sort of review. No, we're talking about a down and dirty no holds bar look at the human condition set to music.

So we shall begin.

Heather, a co-conspirator in bringing back glam and I made our way to Sudsy Malone's in Cincinnati. It's a dive of a venue complete with a laundromat where none of the machines really work. There's also six seats at the bar and two random tables. Great. There is one lit exit sign, and random power cords hanging from the ceiling. In short, all the markings of a club that could be the spot where new rock is born. Or the next nightclub tragedy, depending on your luck.

Heather and I went in search of glam, excited to see Vains of Jenna, our best hope in the resurrection of sleaze glam. When we purchased our tickets at the door we noticed their name wasn't included in the roster of five bands scheduled for the night so we assumed VOJ would play first. We were wrong. Oh so, so wrong.

First up was the God-awful excuse for a band, Only Flesh. The Columbus based band is a mix of goth, sleaze and techno. The lead singer wore a spiked codpiece and acted like he was high on coke. That's hot. They started 45 minutes late, complaining the sound wasn't loud enough. I noticed they were using off-brand equipment, perhaps that was the issue. After waiting for what seemed like days, we suffered through six of their "songs." It was during their set we noticed a soccer mom who came in with her two teenage sons. We were proud of this woman for her bravery. She sat quietly in back, drinking a Coke and looking at her cell phone. She never took off her coat despite the fact that it was 900 degrees in the club. A salute to moms everywhere!

As we waited for the next band, who must be Vains of Jenna, we were once again disappointed when The Vladimirs took the stage. I had a postmodern moment with the Vladimirs, so I have to rewind to explain.

Heather and I got downtown early because we wanted to eat dinner. We dined at an Italian sports bar next  to Sudsy Malone's and looked over at a big group of people all wearing black. We assumed they were going to the show. We figured out a few minutes later they were part of the show. The band members left their wives to load in their equipment, blowing them kisses. One of these wives was about a million months pregnant and her husband (who turned out to be the bass player) seemed more than a little concerned about her.

Why is this postmodern? Let me fast forward back to the concert. The Vladimirs take the stage, and the lead singer apologizes for their music and they start on some god forsaken sojourn into the depths of hell. They were trying to be thrash metal, but succeeded at neither thrash or metal. To make matters worse, some loony tune thought it would be fun to start a mosh pit in a club the size of my living room. Heather and I got the hell out of there  faster than you can say pussycat.

So, the next band was Vains of Jenna. Oh, wait. I lied. By this time it's 11 and we're only on band three of five.

Tomorrow, part two of the review, starting with the band Drugstore Valentine and my reaction to finally seeing and meeting Vains of Jenna, plus pictures of the show to boot!









On the Hunt

vains.jpgTonight, I go in search of glam. I hope I find it in a little dive club in Cincinnati. Vains of Jenna kicks off their U.S. tour in the Queen City tonight, and I'll be there. I think it will be interesting to see such a young, unknown band as they embark on their first tour of America, the world's biggest and most powerful music market.

Wednesday 13 is also on the bill. They are not so much glam, more sleaze horror. Wednesday 13 rose from the ashes of the Murderdolls, who seem to be on perpetual hiatus. 

Stevie Rachelle is a huge Vains of Jenna fan. He was the lead singer of Tuff, and also owner of The site keeps pretty close tabs on VOJ, and now I want to see what all the hype is really about.

Tomorrow, expect a review of the show. We shall see if the Swedes know how to rock, American style.





I'm So Postmodern (Part 1)

If you're not familiar with postmodernism, you should be! Here's a very quick definition, courtesy of

Post*mod*ern (adjective)

"Noting or pertaining to architecture of the late 20th century, appearing in the 1960s, that consciously uses complex forms, fantasy, and allusions to historic styles, in contrast to the austere forms and emphasis on utility of standard modern architecture."

Last night, glam intersected modern culture via network primetime television. The Office is a Thursday night staple of NBC starring Golden Globe winner Steve Carell. Characters in the The Office work at a Scranton, Pennsylvania based company that sells paper. In last night's episode, members of the Dunder Mifflin sales team paired off, each trying to sell the most paper. At the most obscure point in the show, the most obtuse character locks himself in his company car and blasts Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart. This was postmodern for multiple reasons, first being that the song based on a drug overdose was used to "pump up" a local sales geek, preparing to hock one of the world's most mundane products. Secondly, Kickstart My Heart is a song wrought with passion, aggression and frenzy. These are not three words you would typically use to describe the paper industry. Nikki Sixx wrote the song after he died from a heroin overdose and a paramedic shot his heart with two sticks of adrenaline. They literally kickstarted his heart.

I guess if every worker listened to a little Kickstart My Heart before heading to cubicles, ditches, hospitals, government offices or wherever we humans slog away at a living, our lives might be a little more interesting and a little more postmodern.