Lilith schmilith . . . If Nightranger were putting together an all-female tour, it would feature hurricane heroines like Juliette Lewis, Carina Round and Aimee Echo, all of whom played from new albums around town last week. Yes, it can be dangerous to lump music-making ladies together, but there’s an energy that only women rockers emanate, and it’s yet to be celebrated to its full potential. And for our dream dame tour, Joan Jett, whom we wrote about — and worshipped — last week, would headline. (All of the babes above owe a bit of their bite to her — and really, what female rocker doesn’t?)
First up, we caught the arty acoustic aggression of Round at the party for New Angeles mag at Bordello. Though there’s been some controversy about the publication’s definition of “East Los Angeles” — which it aims to cover and cater to — one thing’s for sure, they know a good bash: groovy (Eastside) venue, greasy grub and a true talent onstage. Carina crooned emotional ditties off her latest CD, Slow Motion Addict, and though she’s probably sick of PJ Harvey comparisons, the songbird brings the same kinda dark love to the stage.
After the party, we headed to Spaceland, squeezing past swarms of sweaty S’Lakers both outside and in, to see Juliette and the Jicks. We ended up standing near actress Karen Black, who watched Lewis like a proud mama (she’s a family friend). This was the second time we’d seen Julie live (the first time was a very raw early show at Knitting Factory), and we gotta give the girl credit, she’s definitely grown as a performer. J-Lew was always spastic and elastic onstage, but she’s been accused of playing rock star like a “role,” something she referenced during her set. She ain’t acting now. Her vox was razor sharp, and her wiry frame, covered in skintight vinyl pants (so Joan!), was everywhere — even in the crowd. Loved the new material from her upcoming sophomore disc, Four on the Floor, which fulfills the promise her overproduced debut didn’t quite deliver on.
Janis Joplin came to mind at times, and we started thinking, 20 extra lbs. and she’d be perfect to star in the upcoming biopic; too bad for Lewis, Zooey Deschanel has already been cast. Interestingly, the chick connected to the Janis role for years, Pink, happened to be in the Spaceland audience that night with hubby Cary Hart, and we hear the pair (pals through songwriter Linda Perry perhaps?) kept the party goin’ later at Key Club, where each joined Metal Skool. Pink sang Skid Row’s “18 & Life,” while Juliette sang Van Halen’s “Aint Talkin’ ’Bout Love.” Finally, women jumping the Skool’s stage to show off their chops, not their boobs!
Our week of fiery femmes was capped off last Thursday at Safari Sam’s, where The Start played every song on their new album, Ciao Baby. “I saw The Teddybears at Coachella just for you!” yelled one adoring fan to singer Aimee Echo, who often rocks with the cuddly ones. He wasn’t the only one enthralled: Though the record had only been out for a week, giddy goth types knew every word. The tunes were damn catchy too. In fact, this could be the band’s big breakthrough. If it’s not, it’s definitely a fresh start.
There were no female contestants at Guitar Center’s King of the Blues contest last Saturday night at the Henry Fonda, but there were plenty of luscious locks onstage, especially when The Black Crowes played after winner Aaron Loesch was announced. (Chris Robinson is more hippie-dippy than ever since his split with Kate Hudson, but even his woolly-Jesus look beats Owen Wilson in our book!) The band showed off its bluesy side for the event, with Chris spewing his soul and rocking the harmonica, while his bro, Rich Robinson, served up some sultry slide guitar. And, as the band is always apt to do, it veered into jam territory on nearly every song. Hosted by Cheech Marin, and featuring a Crowes introduction from Billy Bob Thornton, the show also had Kenny Wayne Shepard doing his best Jimi Hendrix impression with blues badass Hubert Sumlin. As winner, Loesch got a new car, a computer, $2,500 in Levi’s, and a bunch of guitar stuff, plus a week in the studio with Grammy-winning producer Greg Anderson. Might be hard to play authentic, down & out blues now, huh?
Santa Monica Boulevard has been hetero-fied. Okay, Rage will always be Rage, but check this out: First, Bar Lubitsch takes over the Parlour Club, then the notorious leather dive The Spike transforms into the tangled celeb web Winstons. Now, I Candy (the ill-fated bi boîte and subject of a reality series) is Seven, a sexy and sleek new space drawing hipster hookups. Saturday, DJ C-Town rocked the decks for a new weekly hosted by Anthem mag & Kin boutique, bringing out actress/model Devon Aoki, artist Tofer and jewelry jedi Han Cholo. Seven owner Noah Silverman, a former rave promoter (remember Pippi’s Playhouse?), told us he’s got big plans for the place, but for now, we recommend weekends there and Wednesdays with DJ Morty. In other S.M. club news, Peanuts/7969 is finally closed (it will probably go straight too), and Underground — which left Tempest recently — pops up at The Echo this Friday, June 22. Westside. Eastside. Who cares? This Brit-pop party rocks.