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Johnny Angel

Star for a Day

I’ve been commercial acting for about seven years, and so far every role has been as a second or third banana. But last week, I finally made it to the pinnacle and got the starring role in a VW commercial .?.?. as an unemployed, wild-eyed psychotic cabbie, à la Travis......
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Rock Docs Are Go! Rockumentary Recommendations

The digital age has become a major curse to the major labels: Album sales fell 4 percent last year, 4.6 percent in 2006. But for rock-&-rolling indie entrepreneurs with access to editing gear, digital cameras and life-rights, a brand-new art form has descended upon the industry’s carcass — the cult-band......

Big Bang Theory

I can’t sleep at night when I’m not in L.A. At first, I figured it was displacement anxiety, as Johnny is an uptight lad when removed from his familiar surroundings. But after a couple of weeks away this winter, it dawned on me: It’s the silence, stupid.Noise is life. Noise......

We Rule, You Don’t!

This town is our town This town is so glamorous Bet you’d live here if you could And be one of us. —The Go-Go’s, “This Town” Last December, I went back to my birthplace, Boston, to do two and a half weeks of AM drive on the big talk station,......
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The Muffs Grow Up

Photo by Kristen Shattuck The most Peter Pan–ish of rock & roll music, punk rock faces an eternal conundrum: how to grow old gracefully, stroking those three (or four, or even five) perfect chords over frenzy and more frenzy. When one’s métier is “loud and snotty,” it stands to reason......

Air Time

Photo by Slobodan Dimitrov You’ve probably never heard of Perry Michael Simon, but he’s often the source for much of what talk-radio hosts choose to use in their endless spieling or what direction a music station takes. Simon writes a column and edits the news/talk section of the industry Web......
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Anarchy in the Airwaves

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz Three things in life used to be certainties: The sun rises in the east, everyone dies someday, and commercial music radio in L.A. is overwhelmingly atrocious. The former are inevitable conditions of nature, the last a result of corporate consolidation, tighter-than-a-streetwalker’s-jeans playlists and the played-out state......

Harold Diamond, In the Clinch

Photo by Wild Don Lewis Retired athletes in the four major sports go into coaching, the front office or broadcasting if they wish to remain in the game, but what happens to a champion in the no less popular, but surely less visible, world of the martial arts? Kickboxer Harold......
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Deep Throat Queen For a Day

Because so many local stage productions begin and end in venues that are smaller than the den of a midsize manse, ambitious creator/producer types like to use L.A. as a tryout for off-Broadway and beyond. Creatively, the West Coast is known to be more open than the East, with cheaper......
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Monomania

PUMPING FARFISAS; GRAINY OR FUZZY and reverberant guitars; primitive quasi-surf drumming; Sky Saxon/Arthur Lee-derived Jaggerisms — the garage band has become a clubby institution. But nearly 30 years back, before paisley undergrounds and indie rock were the norm, fans of the genre had nowhere to turn till a tiny mass......