Monday, May 17, 2010

Summertime fun!

The warm weather is starting to hit the bay area and with that comes a completely different aesthetic. As much as I'm a fan of the beach and the out doors, I just can't bring myself to rock the typical summer attire. Luckily there are a number of bands that have served as inspiration on how to "stay cool" in hot weather.

Exhibit A: Nikki and the Corvettes

I'm not quite sure why but nothing says summer to me like colored denim and horizontal stripes. Maybe it's the 1960's surfer vibe that Nikki, Lori and Sally have in most of their promo shots... or maybe it's just because their songs are about summer, boys and cruisin' with the top down, but for whatever reason I can't listen to their self titled album (1980, Bomp! Records) without feeling like I'm at the beach.

Exhibit B: The Barracudas

While the above album cover would suggests they hail from somewhere in sunny southern California, the Barracudas were actually a London based group. These Anglo-Americans did a remarkably fine job at writing songs about the beach and the breaks in the late 70's/early 80's even though it's hard to believe a group of guys from London had a lot of opportunities to surf...

The Barracudas "Drop Out..." album holds a permanent spot in my top 10 favorite summertime albums and, with tracks like "Summer Fun", "Surfers Are Back" and "His Last Summer", you can probably guess why.

Exhibit C: The Beach Boys

Need I even explain why they're on this list?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Still kickin'...

While looking for old videos of teenage Nederglam sensation "The Teens" I happened upon a video of them performing their 1978 "gimme gimme your love" as adults. This sparked an interest to dive a little deeper into the world of YouTube to find out what my other favs were up to these days. Let me just forewarn that some of this ain't pretty!

1. The Teens "Gimme gimme your love"

I've gotta say I'm pretty impressed by how good his voice still sounds but I was totally distracted by how awful that outfit is! I feel like every day I find a new reason to hate Bono and today's reason can be his influence over the fashion sense of what used to be one of the most adorable front men in rock'n'roll (see below).

2. Bonnie St. Claire "Clamp your hands, stamp your feet"

Bonnie, I love you, but did you really have to make this happen? I would have much rather remembered you as the sex kitten with the voice of an angelic siren that you were back in your prime. I kinda wish I could have heard what that voice sounds like now rather than just seeing you lip-sync to the original.

3. Suzi Quatro "She's in love with you"

Not QUITE as sharp sounding as she was in the 70's but Suzi still sounds pretty damn badass... and she looks pretty damn good in leather pants for being nearly 60 years old!

4. Mud "Tiger feet"

Lead singer Les Gray died in 2004 of a heart attack (while battling cancer) but I gotta say this video from '96 proves that he rocked hard even in his older years. RIP, Les. I'm sure you'd still be an amazing front man had you not fallen early.

5. The Rubettes "Juke box jive"

Not a lot has changed for these guys. Still lip-syncing, still wearing white flat caps and polyester suits. I was a little bit shocked to see that their energy levels in the newer video actually seem HIGHER than in the following video from 1975...

Monday, February 8, 2010

used to be a troublemaker, hated homework, was a sweet heart breaker.

With the release of the film about the Runaways just around the corner, I figured it was about time to pay homage to one of the most influential all-female rock'n'roll groups! I'm still not sure how I feel about Dakota Fanning playing the iconic Cherie Currie or Twilight's Kristin Stewart taking a stab at Joan Jett but I'll have to wait for the movie to premiere in San Francisco before I judge young Hollywood on their adaptation of one of my favorite bands of all time.

Anywho, onto the Runaways!

Formed in 1975 with the aid of Kim Fowley, the original Runaways lineup would set the path for all girl heavy rock bands for years to come. While the band's career as a whole was a short lived one (ending in April of '79), the girls of the Runaways would go on to bigger, more recognized projects and ultimately rule over the rock'n'roll scene of the early 1980's.

The most well recognized member of the Runaways, rhythm guitarist Joan Jett, went on to create her solo band "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts". Jett has gained infamy for her widely known cover of the Arrows "I Love Rock and Roll" as well as being the first female artist to own her first record label, Blackheart Records.

While never reaching fame with a band outside of the Runaways, singer Cherie Currie tried her hand at an acting career and appeared in several films in the late 70's and early 80's. While Cherie did release a duet album with her sister in 1980, her music career ultimately took a dive after the dissolution of the Runaways.

Other members of the Runaways played part in the female rock'n'roll scene of the 80's, most notably lead guitarist Lita Ford and original bassist Mickie Steel. Ford continued her music career as a solo artist, releasing several albums on Polygram Records. Her biggest, and most well known, hit was titled "Kiss Me Deadly" which still happens to be one of my favorite songs, mind you! Mickie Steel joined the all-girl group The Bangles in the 1980's, reaching great success with songs like "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Eternal Flame".

cover of Lita Ford's "Dancin' on the Edge" LP

The Bangles!

bonus fact: the bangles were originally known as "The Bangs" but had to change their name due to legal issues. The band released one single as "The Bangs" which included, in my opinion, one of their best tracks titled "Getting Out of Hand". They later re-released the single with the extra "les" at the end of their name, but the original EP is now worth a pretty penny!

While the band's last bassist Laurie McCallister never became a household name, the band she went on to do after the Runaways happens to be one of Kim Fowley's most unrecognized music "projects", the album she played on with the Orchids definitely is worth a listen. I picked up the album for relatively cheap many years back and there are a handful of good tracks that made it well worth the measly 3 or 4 bucks I paid for the vinyl copy. Hell, if nothing else, the cover sure has some good fashion inspiration. Check out all those color block outfits!

Monday, January 18, 2010

shine a light

While I'm stoked by what's going on with fashion right now, nothing seems to ever be able to top the look of this fine woman in her prime days. Words can't even describe how effing amazing Anita Pallenberg was circa late 60's/early 70's.

Unofficial Rolling Stone, official style icon, total dream boat.