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Lick and a Promise

gene2.jpgThey're baaaaaaaaack!

Gene Simmons Family Jewels returns to A&E tonight for a second season. Gene's been in the news lately with pictures of his recent facelift circling the Internet (head over to if you'd like to see the gore for yourself).

Tonight, he and his blondiful partner Shannon Tweed are followed as they both prepare for their cosmetic procedures. Here's an encapsulation from A&E:

"Moments away from getting his facelift, Gene receives a call telling him the KISS publicity tour has been rescheduled. While he hops a plane to New York, Aunt Tracy takes Nick on an embarrassing shopping spree to get a pregnancy test for Shannon. Right before a live appearance on MTV's TRL, Gene realizes his Demon costume has gone missing, sending the hotel's assistant manager on a mad dash to recover 30 years of history and make sure Gene gets to his live TV show on time."

This, people, may make for some great television. First, let me say I love Gene Simmons Family Jewels and so does my husband. Neither one of us are particularly huge KISS fans except for the odd song here and there. There's just something about this show...I can't put my finger on it. In true journalism fashion, I must admit I never cared for The Osbournes even though Ozzy is a Metal god. I guess I like the way Shannon and Gene interact, and their kids seem pretty intelligent. Plus, you can actually hear and understand the dialogue because the producers don't have to bleep every third word like on The Osbournes.

Today, WESH-TV has posted a satellite interview with old Gene. It's fairly obvious the reporter conducting the interview has no interest in KISS whatsoever, but as a television producer I get that. I've made my anchors do satellite interviews on tons of topics, ranging from ways to prevent breast cancer to Queen Latifah's next big project. During the interview, Gene talks about the KISS legacy and their immense staying power and popularity. He also mentions that KISS will perform three shows this summer and that a full tour is coming...someday.

Say what you will but I like Gene because he flops his cards and the whole world knows he's about making money.

Back to the reality show. Tonight's episode will mark the first time a celebrity couple go under the knife for elective surgery, pre-operation to complete recovery.

The episode airs tonight at 9pm/8C on A&E.





Almost Famous

gunfire_dance.jpgAh, what might have been. You'll recall a few days ago I introduced you to the Gypsy Pistoleros (You See Your Gypsy), today, another band on the Evil Boy Records label.

Gunfire Dance were an 80s glam band closer to Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls than, say, Winger.  The boys in Gunfire Dance hail from Birmingham, U.K., and made a go of things here in the states at the dawn of the nineties.

Now Evil Boy Records is releasing a compilation of their best work on the 18 track album Archway of Thorns.

So, just who was this mythical band known as Gunfire Dance? The troubled Ant performed behind the mic, Jeff Ward ripped the guitar, Ray Birch strummed the bass and Ozzie slammed the drum kit.

Frustration after frustration led Gunfire Dance to an eventual break-up, but a surprise reunion in 2005 gave fans hope. Ant died in 2006, and now the album Archway of Thorns is a lasting tribute to this very talented group of punk/glam would-be idols.

You can check out some of the great Gunfire Dance tracks at If you really like Gunfire Dance, you can buy Archway of Thorns through

In honor of this new glam find, our song obsession of the week is "Suit and Tie" by Gunfire Dance. After all, no self-respecting glam god or goddess would willingly don a suit and tie with out at least copious amounts of hairspray and eye liner to offset the stuffy Wall Street look.









Gifted but Twisted

lightbulb.jpgGlam fans, research has confirmed what most of us have known for years: metal fans are smarter than the average bear.

British psychologist Stuart Cadwallader says the most gifted teenagers love heavy metal because it relieves the pressure of being smart.

Results of this study may very well shatter preconceived notions that metal heads are, well, dim.

According to Cadwallader's study, screeching guitar solos and arena rock anthems are finally getting their just desserts.

Psychologist Cadwallader is a doctoral student at the University of Warwick. He's very into metal, studying the link between genius and head banging for his master's thesis.

This is an academic study we can use people! It makes sense that loud music inspires a feeling of empowerment which spawns stress release.

Think about the last time you were in a mosh pit, or beside a stage at a metal show, fist in the air. Did you feel stressed out? Were you dwelling on work, bills, responsibility? More likely than not you were caught in the moment, living a rock n' roll fantasy.

For me, this study is both vindicating and liberating. I've always noticed a definite mood reaction in my body when I turn on my favorite metal. My spirits change, most notably for the better.

Back in 1990, rock legends Judas Priest were sued for allegedly adding subliminal messages in their song "Better By You, Better Than Me." A Nevada family sued after their son committed suicide, saying the song had coerced him to kill himself.

Of course this is hogwash, and the courts agreed.

Cadwallader says "Heavy metal can be scary for adults, or for people who don't appreciate it . . . It can sound very aggressive."

Any adult can tell you that the teen years can be both really great...and really terrible at the same time. For most teens, metal releases pent-up feelings of anger and frustration. For Cadwallader, these typical teen angst symptoms stem from societal pressures and expectations that come from being "gifted."

The glam mistress feels the need to crank some Skid Row. I'm feeling the pressures today, dear readers.







A Professional Pirate

pirate.gifRemember back in the 1980s when musicians could break huge records with album sales? Some of the sales records set by Michael Jackson and Def Leppard still hold up today.

An article in yesterday's online edition of the Wall Street Journal depicts the bleak outlook of modern day record sales.

According to journalist Ethan Smith, compact disc sales for the first three months of this year plunged 20% from the same period a year ago. Of course, analysts blame the decline of CD sales on the popularity of the iPod and downloadable music.

In the late seventies, Metal was still an underground phenomenon. Enthusiasts would create fanzines and dub cassette tapes with the latest music by their heroes. These tapes would travel around the world, effectively "pirating" music while creating a mainstream movement.

Of course, dyed in the wool music fans know that most causal listeners don't pay for their music by legal downloads, either. Many younger fans download pirated music without regard for an artists sales rank or royalty checks.

I don't pirate music, but I am guilty of downloading an odd song or two if I don't want to purchase an entire album.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, music moguls now consider CDs as a marketing tool to push sales of more lucrative items like concert tickets and band merchandise.

Sadly it seems there's just no money to be made from huge album sales these days. But is this really different than years past?

In the glam rock hey day of the 1980s, bands tramped up and down the Sunset Strip, posting flyers, selling tickets and begging people to watch their shows.

They made a living off touring, and the same is true today.

There's a reason why the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith tour constantly. World tours mean big money, and big money means less pressure to sell millions and millions of albums.

Back in 1987, Def Leppard released Hysteria . To date, that album has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide.  Let's say the Leps had a pretty good deal from Polygram that earned them a quarter for every album sold. This means the Brits earned four million, five hundred thousand dollars for their efforts. Def Leppard still earned several times more than this amount from their massively successfully "In the Round, In Your Face" world tour.

Nielsen SoundScan just posted some of the weakest sales ever recorded. In fact, this year has already seen the  two lowest-selling No. 1 albums since SoundScan started back in 1991. Incidentally, Skid Row's Slave to the Grind was the first heavy metal album to debut at the top of the Billboard charts. Slave to the Grind was released the first week Nielsen adopted the SoundScan sales tracking method.

So is all this talk about sluggish album sales much ado about nothing, or do we have a real  music crisis on our hands? Like most things, I think most people have become complacent. Yesterday's rabid fans are today's stock traders, doctors, and lawyers. Sadly it seems these careers just don't leave enough time for Metal.











Spring Forward

spring_flowers_T1669.jpgIt’s the first full day of spring, and that means warmer weather and driving with the top down.

Spring is a very important time for music, as many albums are released just before the summer concert season. There are also some great songs specifically written about spring and summer.

Remember, glam fans: there’s a reason Vivaldi wrote the symphony Four Seasons!

Some of the best summer friendly songs are those that instantly capture the carefree mood of everyone's favorite season. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades recently recorded the Seals and Crofts classic "Summer Breeze" for their Influence album.

Just hearing the lyrics to "Summer Breeze" takes me to another place of fun and laughter, warm days, shorts and sandals.

My first car was a convertible, great for listening to music while cruising in the hot July heat. I remember driving that car around my little hometown and cranking the radio. I usually had one or two girlfriends with me at all times,  and we'd play our newest CDs. Aerosmith was always in huge rotation in my car. I listened to the
Get a Grip album so many times all my closest friends knew every lyric to every song as well as I did!

Aerosmith's next album, Nine Lives, was released in 1997. I graduated high school in 1998, so that album was a major part of my senior year.

The bad boys of Boston released O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits in 2002. Included on that disc is the track "Girls of Summer."

I wish I still drove a convertible, but when I graduated high school, I inherited my mom's car and she got a new one. No more convertible for the glam mistress! Now,  I have my own money and a steady job and I suppose I could have a cherry red convertible again if I really wanted one, even if for the sole purpose of cranking Poison on the first 80 degree June afternoon.

So, bring on spring and summer!
Bring on the hot temperatures, massive concert tours, short shorts and sun block.

All this talk of summer fun makes me want to download David Lee Roth's "California Girls" to my iPod.

Do you have a favorite song about spring or summer?



Monsterous Teaser

supersonic.jpgA few days ago, I wrote an article about B-sides for my blog over at It's not coincidental that I recently purchased Supersonic Relics, a 1999 release by Motley Crue. The album includes a lot of b-sides, previously unreleased tracks, and songs recorded specifically for the now outdated releases Decade of Decadence and Greatest Hits.

Starting at the beginning, here's the track listing:

  1. Teaser
  2. Primal Scream
  3. Sinners & Saints
  4. Monsterous
  5. Say Yeah
  6. Planet Boom
  7. Bittersuite
  8. Father
  9. Anarchy in the U.K.
  10. So Good, So Bad
  11. Hooligan's Holiday
  12. Rock 'N' Roll Junkie
  13. Angela
  14. Mood Ring
  15. Dr. Feelgood  (live)

Of this list, "Primal Scream," "Planet Boom," "Bittersuite," "Anarchy in the U.K.," and a different version of "Hooligan's Holiday" are included on Red, White and Crue. "Rock N' Roll Junkie" is on the soundtrack of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

 Supersonic Relics is an uneven listen, still, the album provides more hits than misses for the die hard Crue fan. My favorite song on this album is "Say Yeah." To me, this track sounds good enough to be on a studio release, and would fit nicely on Girls, Girls, Girls or Dr. Feelgood. According to the liner notes, Nikki Sixx wrote the song early in the Crue's career when Matthew John Trippe was trying to steal his identity. Trippe was nuts, and it got to the point where fans kept asking Sixx if he was real or fake.

"Monsterous" is also a great track. I love the chorus and it makes me want to shove my fist in the air and scream "Yeah!"

I can do without "Mood Ring," because the boys are trying too hard to be psychedelic. Despite the copious amount of drugs, the Crue is not psychedelic. According to the liner notes, the boys were just goofing around and someone rolled tape. I'm not so sure I believe this because the track sounds awfully slick.

My top three favorite Crue songs all time are "Danger," "Shout at the Devil," and "Hooligan's Holiday." The version of "Hooligan's Holiday" included on this compilation makes me mad. It's over 11 minutes and includes a very long industrial interlude performed by Skinny Puppy. I don't like industrial music and I don't appreciate Skinny Puppy messing with such a great track written and performed by Mr. John Corabi.

"Rock N' Roll Junkie" is another great track. I've never seen  The Adventures of Ford Fairlane but the soundtrack looks awesome, including artists like  Queensryche, Billy Idol, and Richie Sambora.

The live version of "Dr. Feelgood" is a nice addition to this package of lesser-known tracks. I also really like "Teaser," including the smart lyrics:

"That woman's got a smile/
Puts you in a trance/
And just one look at her/
Makes you want to dance.

Those dark an rosy lips/
Only passify/
With just a hint of ruthlessness/
Sparkling in her eye."

It doesn't get any more glam than that, folks.

Overall, I give this album a B-.
It's not necessary unless you're a die-hard fan. Still, if you love the Crue, you'll get your hands on any recording that money can buy.

 [Teaser lyrics by Tommy Bolin and Jeff Cook. Copyright 1989].








You See Your Gypsy

gypsy.jpgYesterday, Chris Matthews of Evil Boy Records Limited dropped me a line about a great glam band he represents.

The band?

The Gypsy Pistoleros, a mix of glam, sleaze and...flamenco music. A unique sound indeed, the boys in the Gypsy Pistoleros use experiences obtained while living in Spain as a main influence for their music.

If you're not familiar with the U.K. based band, the Gypsy Pistoleros are:

Lee J Pistolero-Lead Vocals
Iggie Pistolero-Lead Guitar
Leeroy Pistolero-Drums
Angel Pistolero-Bass

This is not a gimmick people! The Gypsy Pistoleros start a European tour in a matter of days, supporting glam acts like Love/Hate, Bang Tango, Kristy Krash Majors (Pretty Boy Floyd), Faster Pussycat, the Bulletboys, L.A. Guns and Enuff Z'Nuff.

Now, here's the good news. The glam goodness that is the Gypsy Pistoleros will take-over the U.S. this summer. The boys in the band just finished recording Wild, Beautiful, Damned, produced by Joe Gibb. The album has a target release date of June 4, 2007.

On their official Myspace page,, band members cite Motley Crue, Hanoi Rocks and the Ramones as major influences.

Give the Gypsy Pistoleros a listen. You'll like them!