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Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Out of the ashes of The LOVE ME NOTS comes a new all girl garage-psych-rock band: The DARTS (US)! The quartet is featuring  Nicole Laurenne: Vocals/organ; Michelle Balderrama: Vocals/guitar; Christina Nunez: Vocals/bass and Rikki Styxx: Vocals/drums. 

Their two E.P.'s are so brilliant yours truly had no other option than to have a chat with Nicole who told us everything: how the girls met, the release of the two E.P.'s; the deal with London based label DIRTY WATER and the forthcoming Eurotour.

1) Nicole, you are no newcomer to the Arizona Rock'n'roll scene. We would like you to tell the viewers of this blog your full story. And first, does your presence in the Darts mean the end of the Love Me Nots or are the Darts a side-project of yours.We want to hear it all from you!

You want to hear it all, huh? Be careful what you wish for…I started playing classical piano as a kid, eventually traveling and competing pretty seriously throughout my school years. In college, I accompanied opera students with their voice lessons and dabbled a little with pop bands in Michigan. Eventually as I got busier as a law student in Arizona, my classical chops began to fade a little, so I started a jazz trio that performed regularly for a few years at the resorts in Tucson. My first experience playing keys in a busy gigging rock band was a hilarious cover band called Sidebar, made up of judges and lawyers in Phoenix, that would somehow pack every show they played. That led to my first ‘real’ rock band, called Blue Fur, which did original new-wave-tinged stuff and put out a couple of records on our own. Michael Johnny Walker, guitarist for The Sonic Thrills at the time, saw Blue Fur and we eventually started up The Love Me Nots together - which is how I met Christina, the bassist for that group. Michael and I got married a few years later and The Love Me Nots signed with a label in Paris, so we got to tour Europe and all over the US many times, in addition to putting out 5 albums and a bunch of other amazing opportunities. We started our own record label, Atomic A Go Go, and also put out other records as Zero Zero (electro-fuzz-pop) and Motobunny (garage-pop) over the years., along with an album by Le Zets (rock).

The minute I saw Michelle play, I told her I wanted to be in a band with her; that was years ago at a show in San Diego actually. In late 2015, Michelle was at a Love Me Nots show in LA and I finally point-blank told her to send me a song or two that we could work up together. She sent “Running Through Your Lies” and “Revolution” and I was immediately hooked on her songwriting talent. By mid-2016 we had recruited Christina and Rikki, who were as excited as we were to finally put together an all-girl awesome garage project, and the first EP was written and recorded across two states without all four of us ever being in the same room at the same time. Bob Hoag mixed all the tracks together and we all fell in love with it. We did the second EP the same way a couple of months later.

During all of this, The Love Me Nots had been touring Europe and working on a new record, but Michael and I ran into hard times on a personal level and separated in the summer of 2016. As sad as it is to admit, The Love Me Nots are presumably over at this point. Thankfully, I have never felt more fulfilled and excited about things musically and personally as I do right now.  Maybe that’s naive, but it’s true. I just love this new band and my bandmates so completely.

2) Although the musical styles of both bands are very different, Are you girls not afraid that the name of the group might cause some confusion with the UK rock'n'roll revival band of the end of the 70's?  

We were a little concerned until we realized they aren’t doing much currently, and we added the “(US)” to our name for official purposes to avoid any legal confusion. So far it hasn’t been an issue. We just loved the fact that ‘darts’ on a shirt are what separates women’s from men’s shirts. Men don’t have darts. It’s a girl thing, without being necessarily girly.

3) About the 2 Ten inch records E.P.1 and E.P.2. I can hear a great unity of sound there, as if all the songs were recorded during the same session and then slip on two different records. Is this the case? And if so, are they gonna be reunited in the future on one CD? 

We recorded the two EPs the same way but at different times. But that’s surely why they sound similar - same songwriters, same recording, mixing, and mastering processes exactly.  When we signed with Dirty Water Records (London) in December 2016, they decided to re-release the EPs as one full digital album simply called “The Darts”, which is available on all digital outlets now. We decided not to release CDs at this point; the market doesn’t seem to be demanding them so much anymore now that streaming is so popular. The vinyls are selling well though!

4) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenage girl and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenage girl? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

I was pretty oblivious to pop music growing up, since I was working so hard on classical piano at the time. But I remember the first pop tune I ever really loved was “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates. Later I fell in love with the piano parts in Journey songs (hey, it was the 80s). But, even though I was no aficionado, I also remember really liking certain tracks by Prince, the Kinks, Sinead O’Connor, and a few other artists that were in the mainstream then. I honestly didn’t discover garage rock until years and years later when I first heard The Animals, The Seeds, The White Stripes…maybe it was just the right time in my musical life, but they struck a serious chord in me and sort of launched me into my own world of trying to find garage rock that spoke to me. The Darts’ sound grew out of my huge love for Thee Tsunamis, Death Valley Girls, and Ty Segall. You can hear all three influences pretty clearly once you know that.

5) Are you the main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?  

Michelle and I have done all the writing so far, although Christina wrote one that is coming out on the next album later this summer. I’m hoping we all have more of a hand in writing as time goes on. Michelle and I both have a ton of songs we’ve written - that were never released by our other bands - which we are having massive amounts of fun doing with The Darts.

6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the 2 e.p's?   

We have two official videos out so far, “You Got Me” and “My Heart Is A Graveyard”, which I threw together myself using footage shot by the band, our stylist Kelly Sahr and our tour manager Justin McGrath. A third one, for “Evil Wayz,” will be out next month, shot and produced by Ryan Kohlman, who did my favorite Zero Zero video a few years ago.

7) What can concert goers expect at a DARTS gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

We play one cover song right now, which has kind of become our anthem: “Batteries” by the Trashwomen. It has long been one of Christina’s favorite songs but when we heard them play it at Burger Boogaloo last summer in Oakland, we instantly knew it was perfect for The Darts to finish every set with. So we do. Darts shows are sweaty, super loud, punk rock events, with all of us wearing vintage slips and going mostly barefoot. Sometimes there’s a dog pile on stage. Sometimes Rikki will spontaneously jump onto the crowd. We don’t really know what’s going to happen. We just try not to break too many things. Not too many. Our goal as a band is literally just to have a blast and travel as much as we can; it’s like a long insane slumber party with your craziest, most fearless best friends.

8) When you perform with the DARTS, does it happen that you play an impromptu version of a song from the Love Me nots? 

Nope! It might be awhile before Christina and I feel like doing that. We’re having way too much fun putting that behind us and starting fresh right now.

9) What are the plans for 2017 as far as the DARTS are concerned? Are you girls coming to Europe soon?

We will be in Europe starting May 25, for performances in England, France, and Italy, including a Dirty Water Club show and the awesome Cosmic Trip Festival in Bourges. We are also already in the process of recording another full-length record, for release at the end of this summer hopefully, and have US tour dates lined up with The Jackets (Switzerland) and Weird Omen (France). This band absolutely loves to do things, to be in constant motion, so there will be much much more I’m sure.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Come see our shows and say hello! Nothing makes us happier than to hang out with fun people!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Hentchmen - Three Times infinity

The Hentchmen - Three Times infinity
In WAV - Scans are included

1 Straight Up
2 Makin' Out
3 Brain Power
4 Broke Down
5 Shimmy Shake
6 April
7 LeSabre Radar
8 Front Porch Entertainers
9 Ate The Phone
10 Beat That
11 Pack Up & Go
12 Teenage Letter

While not given the press they truly deserve, The Hentchmen have crafted their own solid style of rock and roll, which has the potential to be enjoyed by anyone who loves to hear catchy, simple, well-written songs. The Hentchmen bust out with an album-full of absolutely fun tracks, all of which are loud and fast paced.

"Three Times Infinity" opens up with a speedy garage-rock tour-de-force, "Straight Up" and keeps up the intensity through the rest of the album. The Hentchmen continue to sing about girls and cars for the next 11 tracks in a most entertaining fashion, complete with plenty of organ fills and 50's style "doo-wah" choruses.

Notable Songs on "Three Times Infinity" include the slice of teenage life: "Makin' Out", an energetic rendition of Devo's "Shimmy Shake", and a slightly slower, contemplative, organ-heavy piece called "April".

Thanx to Limburg for this contribution

Sunday, February 19, 2017

THE JIM JONES REVUE - Burning Your House Down

THE JIM JONES REVUE - Burning Your House Down
In WAV - Scans are included

1 Dishonest John
2 High Horse
3 Foghorn
4 Big Len
5 Premeditated
6 Burning Your House Down
7 Shoot First
8 Elemental
9 Killin' Spree
10 Righteous Wrong
11 Stop The People

The noble art of the 12-bar boogie has gradually been devalued over the years. Fifty years ago, it was one of the most vital, life-affirming forms of musical expression known to mankind, but it has since been watered down by a million rubbish bar bands playing ‘good time rock’n’roll’ with neither the energy to rock nor the sensibilities to roll.

But there are still a few snake-hipped firebrands determined enough to trace this form of beefed-up blues back to its primal, screaming essence. This second long-play offering from east London quintet The Jim Jones Revue specialises in boogie with the speaker-ripping rasp of a Little Richard.

There’s a noble lineage of this back-to-basics approach, dating back to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s swamp rock, and carrying on through bequiffed 90s stompers like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Rocket from the Crypt. But frontman Jim Jones’s raw, tonsil-eviscerating delivery is less stylised than those latter two, and the 21st century production, courtesy of Bad Seeds/Grinderman drummer Jim Sclavunos, make it sound considerably fiercer than John Fogerty’s blue collar bawling.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


The German label COPASE DISQUES recently released two new great garage albums

1° THE NO-THINGS - Here Come The No-Things. 

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, The No-Things are a primitive 60's garage quartet composed of Laurent from Les BOF! (main vocal, harmonica and percussions), Alex ex Carpet Sellers, No Whisky for Callahan (guitar + vocal), Edinburgh legendary drummer Calvin from Carbona and The Thanes and Scott from Dabster Production, ex The AMs (bass). 

The band formed in 2015 and already opened for The Thanes, Les Grys-Grys, The Wildebeests, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages or King Khan BBQ. 

Their debut full length "Here Come The No-Things" was recently released on COPASE DISQUES. The album features 14 original songs that will make you immediately realize this band is like no other.

From the first chords of the opening track "Don't Get On My Tits" till the last notes of "I'm All Alone" it is obvious that the numerous gigs has made the band tighter than ever and The No-Things have become an unstoppable rock and roll machine churning out an impressive collection of primitive hits that will appeal to every fan of The Flight Reaction, The Royal Flares, The Ar-kaïcs, etc.....

Purchase it here

2° The Royal Hangmen - Hanged Drawn and Quartered

Hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, The Royal Hangmen are a Garage Beat quintet featuring Vasco: vocals, guitar; Patrick: organ, guitar, vocals; Dani: guitar, harp, percussion, vocals; Luca: drums and Basil: bass

These fine gentlemen describe themselves like this : "fuzz-driven guitars, a grinding Vox organ, a stompin' backbeat and some high energy screaming vocals, mix that with some real dedicated sixties attitude and you dig what The Royal Hangmen are all about". 

The band plays vintage instruments with a sound reminiscent of The 60's but with a style and energy all of its own.The Royal Hangmen have played with groups like The Sonics, Wild Evel & The Trashbones, The Montesas, Boonaras, The Mean Things, 60 Second Swingers, Giant Robots and The Bahareebas, just to name a few.

Their new full length Hanged Drawn and Quartered will please to every fan of Chesterfield Kings, Miracle Workers, Pretty Things, Who, Small Faces, Beatles, Stones.

Purchase it here :

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators - Keep Reachin' up

Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators - Keep Reachin' up (re-up by request)
In WAV - Scans are included

1. Feeling Free
2. If This Aint Love (Don't Know What Is)
3. Keep Reachin' Up
4. Blues Downtown
5. My Four Leaf Clover
6. A Perfect Kind Of Love
7. Invisible Man
8. Holdin' On
9. No One's Gonna Love You
10. Soul Investigators Theme (Instrumental)

2007 release of the passionate but suave Mod-Soul collaboration from the lovely and talented vocalist Nicole Willis and celebrated Finnish Funk collective The Soul Investigators. In the cold far North dance underground, they have created a uniquely hot record of romantic grooves! The Brooklyn-born Willis has worked with both Curtis Mayfield and the Brand New Heavies and done crucial work for Mo’ Wax, while the Finnish-bred Soul Investigators have crafted two previous full-lengths. Fans of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will find much to love on Keep Reachin’ Up. Adored by the UK’s Northern Soul DJs and fans, international momentum for the full-length has been primed by a BBC Top Ten Track of the Year list for 'If This Ain’t Love' and world famous DJ Gilles Peterson making opening track 'Feeling Free' the 2006 Worldwide Winner Song of the Year.

Saturday, February 11, 2017



Singer/guitarist Danny Kroha certainly made a name for himself as one-third of groundbreaking and influential band The Gories. Kroha is now fronting Danny & the Darleans a powerful stripped down to the bone rock'n'roll trio also featuring Richie Wohlfeil (Detroit Cobras) and bassist Colleen Burke.

A couple of months ago, IN THE RED Records released  the band's sophomore album "Bug Out", One of the last things recorded by Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recordings in Detroit before it closed.

To celebrate this mono masterpiece, we had a very instructive chat with Danny who told us everything we ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

1) Danny, you are no newcomer to the Detroit Rock'n'roll scene. We would like you to tell the viewers of this blog your full story. Your early days in the Gories, The Demolition Doll Rods episode and now stepping in the light as the front man of the Darleans.We want to hear it all from you!

This is a pretty broad question, but I'll try to make it brief! I started out as the lead singer in a mod band called The Onset in 1984 and 85. I began playing guitar around that time. It was in '85 that I met Peggy, and began spending a lot of time with her, then I met Mick and we all started hanging out together a lot. The Gories started at the beginning of 1986 and we lasted until 1992. After The Gories got back from our European tour in the spring of '92, I started jamming with a local punk band I liked called The Nervobeats. That band evolved into Rocket 455. I was with that band long enough to play on two singles, but the Doll Rods had also started and I started having scheduling conflicts between the two bands, so the Rocket 455 guys made me choose one band or the other and I chose the Doll Rods. The Demolition Doll Rods put out a bunch of records and singles and toured a lot between 1993 and 2006. I then left that band and joined up with a band that was backing the vocal group The Ultimate Ovation. My old band mate from Rocket 455, Jeff Meier, was in that band. I stayed long enough to record one single with them and then I started a band called The Readies this was in 2007 or '08. We put out one single and then I lost interest in that band. I started playing solo shows at this time. Just playing covers of songs I liked, but leaning more towards old gospel and folk material as I did more shows. Along with playing solo I also started Danny and The Darleans around 2010. We have a single and two albums out. I also played with Andre Williams for a while and recorded an LP with him in 1998.

2) Your previous album contained a track called "Les Fleurs du Mal". Are you a big fan of Charles BAUDELAIRE?

I've read some of his stuff. I like it, but I made that the title of the song because it worked. I didn't know what to call the song. The first title of it was "Prussian Blue", but that just wasn't working, then Les Fleurs Du Mal popped into my head and I sang it, and it worked and after that the rest of the words came to me easily.

3) About the new record "Bug Out!", can you explain the choice of the title and the very strange/funny artwork? Is this a black and white beast/graffiti of the same thing/beast that was on the front of the first record? If so, do you think this new album is darker than the previous one and therefore deserved a black and white cover?

Well, the title of the LP is of course the title of the lead off track. The words were based on survivalist culture. In that milieu there is something called a "bug out bag" which is a bag you fill with a few of the most crucial items you need for basic survival, so if a sudden disaster happens you can grab this bag and "bug out" or quickly escape.
The cover art is by the same artist who painted the image on the cover of our first LP. Both covers are photographs of murals. He paints variations of this same monster all over. It's his theme or signature. I love this monster because it looks like a sixties style Big Daddy Roth monster, but updated, more modern, and it fits with the music very well, in my opinion, as the music is sixties style garage, but we're not trying to be a recreation of the sixties, but a modern version of that style which is rooted in tradition but also reflects current times.  I don't think this LP is darker. I wanted to use and image by the same artist so I chose that image because I liked it and the artist happened to have a high quality photo of it. He didn't have good photos of all the murals of his I liked, so that particular image was chosen mostly for convenience, but it also works. It's gritty and crude and it's a nice contrast to the color image on the first LP.

4) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Recently a list made the rounds on Facebook. It became quite trendy with all of my friends. “List 10 albums that made a lasting impression on you as a teenager, and don’t think too much”. I didn't join in on the trend, but I interpreted this to mean albums you liked when you were 15 or 16, not albums you liked when you were 18 or 19. So you ask me, "What kind of music did I listen to as a teenager" I think it's fair to tell you the music I liked at 15 or 16 and not at the age of 18 or 19 when my tastes became a bit more sophisticated (and I discovered The Velvet Underground).
At the age of 15 and 16, I mainly listed to cassette tapes. I had tapes of these LPs: The Animals Greatest hits, The Kinks Greatest Hits, The Doors Greatest Hits, David Bowie - Low and Ziggy Stardust, The Who - Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, The Who - Quadrophenia, Elton John - Madman Across The Water. I also really liked the song, For Your Love by The Yardbirds and that stuff got me into discovering more 60's music. At the age of 18 or 19 I found a copy of Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds and that LP turned me on to the songs of Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters because I had the LP in my hands with all the information on it, and I could see by reading the label on the record that none of The Yardbirds wrote some of my favorite songs on the LP. They were written by C. Burnett, E. McDaniel, and M. Morganfield, the proper names of the artists mentioned above. All the artists mentioned continue to have an influence on me. I always liked Elton John's singing and I still stand by that choice as well!

5) Are you the main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?

I am the main composer in the band. The others generally make up their own parts, but if one of the others doesn't know what to play, or comes up with a part I don't like, I will ask them to play something else or give them an idea of what I'm looking for. I'm lucky in that what they instinctively do is often great, and if I have an idea or suggestion they are both very cool about listening to it and trying it.

6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest LP?? ? 

7) What can concert goers expect at a DANNY AND THE DARLEANS? Besides "Leavin' here" -which is brilliant by the way- Are you playing any famous cover songs?

We don't play any cover songs that aren't on the record, but I like doing covers and we will probably learn some more fun ones to play live. The latest cover we are working on is "Don't You Just Know It" an R&B classic that was covered by many!

8) When you perform with the Darleans, does it happen that you play an impromptu version of a song from your previous bands? 

I haven't done that with The Darleans, but the Doll Rods used to play Thunderbird ESQ sometimes.

9) What are the plans for 2017 as far as DANNY AND THE DARLEANS are concerned? Are you guys coming to Europe soon?

We plan on touring Europe some time this year.

10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?

Thanks to all who dig what I do!


Sunday, February 5, 2017



On my left:

Javier Escovedo - Kicked Out of Eden
In WAV - Scans are included

1 Downtown
2 It Ain't Easy
3 Beaujolais
4 Drivin' Around
5 Just Like All The Rest
6 This Side Of Nowhere
7 Bad And Good
8 Gypsy Son
9 Searchin' For You

Kicked Out of Eden is the second solo release by Javier Escovedo, founding member of The Zeros and The True Believers and a pioneer of the 70s West Coast punk movement.   The new album is pure pop inflected rock'n'roll that remains true to Javier's love of 60s garage and 70s punk and glam. The album was recorded in 2015 and features great backing by Brad Rice (Keith Urban Band), Hector Muñoz and Cornbread (Billy Joe Shaver). Kicked Out of Eden is a must for folks who love great songs delivered with passion and punch.

On my right : 

Alejandro Escovedo - Burn Something Beautiful
In FLAC -Scans are included

1 Horizontal  
2 Heartbeat Smile  
3 Sunday Morning Feeling  
4 Suit Of Lights  
5 Redemption Blues  
6 Shave The Cat  
7 Johnny Volume  
8 Beauty Of Your Smile  
9 I Don't Want To Play Guitar Anymore  
10 Beauty And The Buzz  
11 Luna De Miel  
12 Farewell To The Good Times  
13 Thought I'd Let You Know

Alejandro Escovedo is a former member of The Nuns, Rank & File and Buick McKane.Produced by Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5) Burn Something Beautiful is Alejandro's 12th solo studio album and most definitive album to date. The album was written, arranged and performed as a true collaboration with Peter and Scott in Portland, OR. The band is rounded out with guitarist Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks), Decembertists' drummer John Moen, Los Lobos' saxophonist Steve Berlin and singers Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Kelly Hogan (Neko Case).

So, Javier or Alexandro? It's up to you to let us all know which ESCOVEDO is the winner of this battle!