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Thursday
Mar082007

Like a Rolling Stone

lizzy.jpgThere's a weekly writing contest running right now over at www.rollingstone.com. Each week, the editors develop a new topic and would-be rock writers submit their best work.

Last week the topic was something along the lines of selling a band on the cusp of making it big. I decided to enter the contest, hopeful of a win because the prize has life-changing possibilities: a 3 month gig with Rolling Stone.

Shockingly, I didn't win. Part of me wonders if my submission simply wasn't good enough. The other part of me wonders if the editors actually read every entry. I must admit the semi-finalists didn't impress me.

Naturally, I chose to write about Vains of Jenna. I decided to post my losing article here since I try to do whatever I can to publicize my favorite Swedish rockers:

“I’ve got a bad reputation just from having fun” warns Vains of Jenna front man Lizzy DeVine during the song “Set it Off.”

Guitarist Nicki Kin, drummer Jacki Stone, bassist JP White and DeVine make up the Falkenberg, Sweden born and Los Angeles based rock band.

Formed at the dawn of 2005, the quartet knew they had a rare combination of skill, bravado and drive to become big in the often cutthroat music industry.

Fast-forward one year and the boys are discovered by Tuff lead singer Stevie Rachelle.  

A deal with Filthy Note Records soon followed as did the full length debut Lit Up/Let Down.

Touring relentlessly with the likes of Wednesday 13 and Hookers N’ Blow, Vains of Jenna continue to amass a steady following, thanks in part to strong media coverage. In their young career the Swedish rockers have created a press splash, appearing in Metal Edge, Spin, Rock City News, Strutter and many more. On the MTV series Bam’s Unholy Union the track “Don’t Give a Damn” plays during the opening credits. Peppered throughout the series are many Vains of Jenna references, appropriate considering Bam Margera owns Filthy Note Records.

At each live performance, Vains of Jenna usher in a new wave of glam metal goodness fueled with a reverence for the past. Sounding like Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses and a touch of Faster Pussycat, Vains of Jenna rock the stage with a unique sound that is both classic and inventive.

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By the way, VOJ are featured in this month's issue of Classic Rock magazine. I figure Rolling Stone was put-off by an actual rock band. Heaven forbid we publicize music that the magazine is built on. After all, we've got trends to follow and emo bands to immortalize.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Mar072007

I Smell a Rat

vincejpg.jpgSomething funny is going on inside the Motley Crue camp, and I don' t like it one bit.

Allow me to back-up and start from the beginning.

I had big plans to see Quiet Riot this Friday night. When I went to www.rhinoslive.com to buy my tickets, I was less than pleased to find the show CANCELLED.

Then, this bulletin:

"Hi Bob - We just got back from vacation and the first message I heard was from the management of Quiet Riot....They need to reschedule the date. They were to play the day after your date in Owensboro KY with Vince Neal, however, Vince is in the hospital and Owensboro would not take the show with just Quiet Riot because they had advertised for both acts....so they rescheduled. They want to know if you can do July 12...same price (and more time to sell it out!). Please let me know so I can get back to them. Thanks.
Linda Walker SPEER ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES P O Box 2620 - McDonough, GA 30253 770-957-0768 Fax-770-914-2278 www.SpeerEntertainment.com"

Notice how the promoter incorrectly spelled Vince Neil's name.

Then, today the news bulletin that Vince Neil has cancelled  his Australian tour.  From www.blabbermouth.net

"According to Ticketek, Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil's previously announced "first-ever" solo tour of Australia — which was scheduled to kick off late March — has been cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation."

I believe the tour down under was canned because of poor ticket sales. Unless, of course, my Vince is near death in a random hospital.

Now, fans all over the Internet are speculating what is wrong with Neil.

The cynic in me can't help but wonder if "hospital" means "rehab."

Plans are still in the works for the 11th annual Skylar Neil Memorial Golf Tournament set for May 4, 2007.

If you're not familiar, Skylar Neil died from cancer at a very young age. Since her death in 1995, Vince has raised more than a million dollars for cancer and AIDS research.  

Whatever the case, I hope Vince recovers and that he really isn't sick. Part of me feels guilty for caring about a perfect stranger so much. On the other hand, the music of Motley Crue has brought me a lot more enjoyment than most of the people I know or work with!

Motley Crue is managed by 10th Street Entertainment (www.10thst.com). Neither that site, or www.vinceneil.net has an official release about Vince or the tour cancellation. Your intrepid reporter is on the case. If I learn new information, I'll post details here.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 



 

 

Tuesday
Mar062007

Anti-Christ Supercenter

Tuesday means music and movie releases and today I went in search to two new albums.

The first being Vh1 Classic Metal Mania Stripped 3 the other Shaw-Blades Influence. Commericals for both albums are running like crazy on VH1 Classic, and both are advertised for sale at Wal-Mart.

First let me say I hate Wal-Mart. I try to avoid shopping at the low-price mecca. Remember glam fans, you get what you pay for.

Now a confession: I went to a local Wal-Mart Supercenter in search of both discs. I've been wanting both for two weeks, and I thought some new music would lift my spirits and help get me through the day.

When I finally made it to the electronics department I searched high and low for the new discs. I couldn't find a stand for new releases anywhere. In fact, I didn't even see a stand for new DVD releases. So I searched and walked in circles desperate for my new music.

I couldn't find either CD.

On my last ditch pass of the music section, I saw The Best of Slaughter for 5 bucks. I snatched the disc and took off for the cash register. After all, if I lower myself to Wal-Mart I'm going to come out with something.

Now, I only had a few minutes to listen to my new Slaughter CD because the Wal-Mart is fairly close to work.

The album includes the tracks:

Up All Night
Mad About You
The Wild Life
That's Not Enough
Out For Love
Days Gone By
Dance for Me Baby
Gave Me Your Heart
Desperately
Killin' Time

I am a little baffled that "Fly to the Angels" isn't part of the compilation. I'm also confused that the album is on a Capitol Records imprint, distributed through EMI. Yes, Slaughter was on Capitol Records back in the day, but of course this isn't the case now. I assume this was some sort of contract fulfilment deal.

This affordable best-of package was released October 17, 2006.

Expect reviews of Influence and Metal Mania Stripped Volume 3 in the days ahead.

 

 

 




 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

 

 

Monday
Mar052007

Breaking News...

A small announcement, glam fans. I've joined the review crew of Norway based Metal Express Radio. 

Listen at www.metalexpressradio.com.

Metal Express boasts the largest inventory of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal music on the Internet.

As part of the review crew, I'll get to write about some of the best - and newest - metal music on the market.

When I submit a review over at Metal Express, I'll post a bulletin on this site.

Expansion is another way to spread the movement and spawn the revolution!

 

Monday
Mar052007

Girls, Girls, Girls

Being a radical feminist, it's time to shine the spotlight on some girl rockers. vixen.jpg

Today...bad girl quartet Vixen.

Vixen was formed in Minnesota in 1980 by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund while still attending high school. She moved to L.A. hiring and firing several musicians along the way. It wasn't until the late 80s that the Vixen line-up was secure, featuring singer Janet Gardner, bassist Share Pedersen and drummer Roxy Petrucci.

In a male-dominated industry, the girls in Vixen had to prove their musical chops time and time again. Gender is constructed, but in the 1980s the lines that divided the sexes were much different than today. While the girls in Vixen look beautiful in their video for "Edge of a Broken Heart," their male counterparts went on the defensive, competing for chart placement, record sales...and bigger hair.

For the ladies, hairspray, pantyhose, high heels and eye liner were acceptable. For men, a form of rebellion. The male rockers played electric guitar with ease, and used their axe skills to impress the ladies. If a woman can outplay (outwit! outlast!) a man on stage...then what was the point?

Ironically enough, Vixen played their biggest shows in support of hugely popular male acts including Bon Jovi. The girls in Vixen and Richard Marx shared a manager, which eventually led to their most popular single, "Edge of a Broken Heart."

After their self-titled debut Vixen the girls hit the recording studio for their 1990 follow-up Rev It Up. Tensions boiled over and the band broke-up. Lawsuits and reunions later, a new Vixen album hit store shelves at the end of January. Live & Learn  features a new Vixen line-up, again fronted by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund. Other members of the new Vixen are singer Jenna Sanz-Agero, bassist Lynn Louise Lowrey, and drummer Kat Kraft.

Ironically enough, while I was doing my Vixen research a story crossed the Blabbermouth newswire. During an interview on The Classic Metal Show,  Jan Kuehnemund addressed the "real" reason behind the Vixen break-up. Some people say there was a physical dispute which left original singer Janet Gardner knocked on the floor. Of course, Kuehnemund denied the account so we'll probably never know what caused the split of the greatest all-girl metal group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Mar042007

Rexx in Effect

rexx.jpgThe glam mistress was poking around www.rockdetector.com last night and came across quite a few "forgotten" bands.

One of the most unique sounding is Diamond Rexx.

Formed in Chicago in 1985, Diamond Rexx are a band infused with Motley Crue good looks and thrash metal  sensibilities. Make no mistake dear readers, the boys in Diamond Rexx like their music hard and fast.

Diamond Rexx  scored a major label recording contract with Island and released  Land of the Damned in 1987.

Singer Johnny Cattone, guitarist S. Scott Priest, bass player Dave Andre and stick man Nasti Habits jammed  on this debut disc.

After a slew of personnel changes, Diamond Rexx released Rated Rexx in 1989 and Golden Gates in 1990. As grunge swept across the nation, Diamond Rexx fell off the face of the earth.

Or did they?

Surprising everyone in the music business, Diamond Rexx reformed and released the aptly titled Rexx Erected in 2001. Evil soon followed at the dawn of 2002.  The newer discs are much harder than their debut.

Why are so many glam bands obessed with consonants? Diamond Rexx features a double X, and the name "Nikki Sixx" is a veritable cornucopia of alliterative consonants.

The glam tribute band "Metal Skool" mock double consonant use with the bassist choosing the stage name of Lexxi Foxxx (he says the spare "X" is for extra sex). Ironically enough, the band's name ignores the double consonant rule and instead opts for double vowels. Scandal!

Other glam bands to observe the double consonant rule are Alcatrazz, Ratt, and Roxx Gang.

I have to point out that Diamond Rexx  drummer Nasti Habits shares the same name as the former back-up singers for Motley Crue. I highly doubt this is coincidental, even though the Crue's Nasty Habits spelled their names phonetically correct.

Believe it or not, Diamond Rexx enlisted the help of black metal  drummer Bill Schmidt for their turn of the millennium comeback. I don't understand how a man with such a vanilla name was involved with the likes of Mayhem, Master, or Warcry...but it's true.

Diamond Rexx is again on hiatus, but you can hear some of their later work on iTunes.

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Mar032007

They Tore My Intentions Apart

skid.jpgI've got a new theme song today, glam fans. Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind" pretty much sums it all up. Consider the lyrics:

"You got me forced to crack/
My lids in two.
I'm still stuck inside this rubber room/
I gotta punch the clock that/
Leads the blind.
I'm just another gear in the assembly/
Line - oh no."

And later:

"A routine injection, a lethal dose/
But my day in the sun ain't even close.
Theres no need to waste/
Your prayers on me.
You better mark my words/
cause I'm history."

The track appears on the album of the same name. Slave to the Grind is the first heavy metal album to hit the top spot on the Billboard chart.

Seething after a horrible work day, I was pleasantly surprised to find a countdown worth watching on VH1 Classic. Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach hosted to the Top 40 Metal Songs of All Time. Not surprisingly, "Slave to the Grind" is on the list, coming in at number 18.

If you're wondering, the music network considers Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" as the best Metal song of all time.

You see, dear readers, it really is true that you can't be king of the world if you're slave to the grind. The fact makes the glam mistress wonder why so many of us slave (pardon the pun) away at daily jobs we hate, creating a miserable existence when our talents are wasted elsewhere.

A New Jersey band formed in 1986, Skid Row earned the acclaim and help of mega-star Jon Bon Jovi. Their first studio album -  simply called  Skid Row -  was released in 1989 and spawned the hits "18 and Life," I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild."

Of course, it seems all good things must come to an end and Bach was fired in 1996. Don't worry about Bach. He's been dabbling in music, television and Broadway. Most famously, he has a recurring role on the CW series The Gilmore Girls. Of course, you can learn more about Bach's current projects at www.myspace.com/sebastianblog.

The "new" Skid Row keeps the rock rolling with their most recent release Revolutions Per Minute. That disc hit stores on October 24, 2006.

The Vains of Jenna debut Lit Up/Let Down was released on the same date.  Coincidence? I think not. It's just merely one more sign that the revolution has begun.

["Slave to the Grind" lyrics by Bolan, Bach, Sabo. From the 1991 Atlantic Records release Slave to the Grind ]