Friday, October 11, 2013

Last Shot: Make A "Wish"

Check out my 31th Last Shot column about my battle with Stage IV colon cancer over at OC Weekly.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Last Shot: Shake The Disease

Check out my 29th Last Shot column about my battle with Stage IV colon cancer over at OC Weekly.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last Shot: In This Twilight

Check out my 28th Last Shot column about my battle with Stage IV colon cancer over at OC Weekly.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Last Shot: Getting a PET scan

Check out my nineteenth Last Shot column about my battle with Stage IV colon cancer over at OC Weekly.

Monday, July 01, 2013

FIrst City Festival in Monterey August 24 & 25 at the Monterey County and Fair Event Center

Earlier this year I ventured up to Monterey to catch How To Destroy Angels at the Golden State Theater. I instantly remembered how beautiful Monterey was and made a mental note to go back if they ever had a good show. Instead of a good show, Goldenvoice put together an amazing line up in the form of the First City Festival taking place August 24 & 25 at the Monterey County and Fair Event Center. A two-day pass is $149.50 with individual days tickets running at $85. Some of the bands that piqued my interest besides the headliners were Beach House, Washed Out, Okkervil River, The Black Angels, Father John Misty, Deerhunter, Neko Case, The Antlers, Bleached and Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks. Monterey's coastal climate will mean it won't be as scorching as it will be in Los Angeles and makes for a cool getaway weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Last Shot: Surviving with Quicksand

Check out my eighteenth Last Shot column about my battle with Stage IV colon cancer over at OC Weekly.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Fonda Theatre (6/11/13)

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers capped their stellar six-night residency at the Fonda Theatre on a high note. Having been fortunate enough to catch their second night at the Fonda for Stereogum, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to photograph the legendary band one last time.

The Fonda Theatre was completely transformed for this six night run as everything from the lighting, the stage monitors and the air conditioned vents that blasted air directly to Tom Petty were brought in to make Petty look, sound and feel great. Petty is a class act and was all smiles as he kicked into "So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" strumming away at his gorgeous blonde Fender Telecaster.

Mike Campbell's guitar tone was simply phenomenal. It was probably the best live overdriven tone I've heard in ages as he switched out through an assortment of valuable guitars. The flight cases containing their guitars were probably worth more than the cumulative amount of money spent by the audience to attend the show. Both Petty and Campbell switched to Rickenbacker guitars for the hypnotic jangle of "Listen To Her Heart".

Petty hinted that it would be a long night and that the audience may have to pay the babysitter extra which garnered some cheers from the appreciative audience. In another class act move, Petty offered refunds for those who attended the fourth night of their run which was cut short due to a fire marshall claiming the floor was too crowded.

While the setlist pulled from prior nights, it is hard to complain about hearing "Tweeter and the Monkey Man" alongside "Rebels" and "Two Gunslingers". The four song hit parade to close out their set is a practice in audience karaoke as everyone sang along to "Refugee", "Runnin' Down A Dream", "You Wreck Me" and "American Girl". Tom Petty will probably return to the arena and amphitheatre touring circuit but hopefully you were lucky enough to catch one of these memorable shows.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers setlist (6/11/13)
"So You Want To Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star"
"Love Is A Long Road"
"Listen To Her Heart"
"Baby, Please Don't Go"
"Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)"
"The Best of Everything"
"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"
"A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)"
"Kings Highway"
"I'd Like To Love You Baby"
"Tweeter And The Monkey Man"
"Two Gunslingers"
"Time To Move On"
"Image of Me"
"I Should Have Known It"
"Runnin' Down A Dream"
"You Wreck Me"
"American Girl"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Wiltern


Between all the chemotherapy and number of years that have passed, I have lost my count of Black Rebel Motorcycle shows.  I do remember a particular great show by them at Canes in San Diego during their second album. Since October of 2006 when I started my site, I have 11 accounts of seeing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club live and they all have been solid shows.

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It has been awhile since I caught up with thenewno2.  Fronted by Dhani Harrison, thenewno2 are touring in support of their latest release Thefearofmissingout. thenewno2 have three guitarists with a heavy arsenal of modulation effects, moody atmospherics and swirling keyboards that will inevitably bring comparisons to Radiohead. They worked through a strong set that included "Station", "Timezone" and "I Won't Go". thenewno2 are working on a soundtrack to the movie Beautiful Creatures as their next release.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are not known for having brightly lit shows. Two isolated flood lights provided just a sliver of light as the brooding bass of "Let The Day Begin" begun to echo throughout the Wiltern. In his trademark black leather jacket and hoodie, Robert Levon Been held up his red Gibson hollowbody bass and attacked it fearlessly.

It was a full on sonic assault for the rest of the evening as "Rival" and "Red Eyes and Tears" got the crowd worked up. Leah Shapiro was rock solid behind her drum, tirelessly pounding away without missing a beat. She is definitely one of the more underrated drummers out there in the rock world. Peter Hayes had his huge guitar setup of two Fender half stacks and a Marshall half stack blaring at a volume beyond ten to blend in perfectly with his bandmates.

"Hate The Taste" from their new album Specter at the Feast served as the perfect transition to a foot stomping and hand clapping version of "Beat The Devil's Tattoo". The hounds of hell were unleashed for a white hot rendition of "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'N' Roll (Punk Song)". The momentum didn't stop as their hits kept coming with "Ain't No Easy Way" and "Berlin".

Hearing old favorite "Love Burns" brought back memories of seeing BRMC in the clubs giving it their all. I eventually remembered that I saw them at the Wiltern back in 2007 during the Baby 81 tour. Things took a turn for the introspective as slower songs "Promise", "Some Kind Of Ghost" showed how BRMC can be just as powerful at lower volumes.

The trio of older gems "White Palms", "Six Barrel Shotgun" and "Spread Your Love" had me on cloud nine with their mix of razor sharp bass and super fuzzed out guitars. It was the perfect way to close out their main set. Even though they have been touring tirelessly since April, BRMC came back for an inspiring encore of "Sell It" and "Lose Yourself". They were just as good, if not better for their tour closer at the Observatory the next night with a red hot version of "US Government".

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Setlist at the Wiltern
"Let The Day Begin"
"Red Eyes And Tears"
"Hate The Taste"
"Beat The Devil's Tattoo"
"Whatever Happened To My Rock 'N' Roll (Punk Song)"
"Ain't No Easy Way"
"Love Burns"
"Some Kind Of Ghost"
"Fire Walker"
"Funny Games"
"Conscience Killer"
"In Like A Rose"
"White Palms"
"Six Barrel Shotgun"
"Spread Your Love"
"Sell It"
"Lose Yourself"