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The Star Spangles

The Star Spangles debut on Capitol Records, Bazooka!!!, explodes out of the gate much like its title suggests
Photo - Dustin Pittman
Can’t Wait to get our grubby hands on the first full album from punk ‘n roll band, the A.K.A.s. White Doves & Smoking Guns was due out as we were going to press … After hearing the demo “On And On” from Coppermine, can’t wait to see what seems to be a powerful alt rock band live … Can’t wait for Missi St. Pierre’s latest music project, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. Habituates of the Luna Lounge will know Missi from her many guises at that venue … Also can’t wait to finally check out the Wheelies – a band I’ve been trying to see for months, but by now the Fates seem to be against it. A serious bike accident laid up bass player Eben for an extended bit, but they're back out and gigging on a regular basis once again ...

Sorry to see the Monday nights Garageland at Dick Manitoba’s come to an end … Also sorry to see that the Luna Lounge has started booking comedy on that same night of the week. Wish 'em luck, but think maybe we already see enough jokers on the streets of NYC, and yeah some of us like to rock on Mondays, too … On Tuesday nights the place to be may be
Sin-é when web fanzines and host the monthly Vicious shows with rising bands and celeb DJs …

Happy to see the Living Room has re-opened on Ludlow Street (right next to Pianos). The place still smelled of fresh paint when we stumbled in, and although the (very apologetic) bartender got my drink wrong it’s still a nice, comfortable place for a low key break ... Happy to see the Downbeat 5 contracted some of their tunes to MTV for Surf Girls. The band (who have a great debut album) is led by Jen along with hubby JJ Rassler, the guitarist who co-founded the notorious 70s punk 'n roll outfit DMZ and was a one-time member of the Queers ...

More Band News: Willard have changed their name to the Weekender, but you can still find them at and also holding forth at a number of this city’s finer rock ‘n roll dives … The energetic and eclectic Ben Carroll Band has just about a full album’s worth of recorded material ready for imminent release, but they may also be about to change their name – stay tuned … Ride the Mole’s Marc Scarano also tells me they have some 14 new songs ready for release and no, they have no plans to change their strange name … Earlymay, who’s excellent Stay Off Your Heels was released earlier this year, continue to rack up both great reviews and shows … Collider have released their debut, WCYF. It has a Ramones feel and no wonder. It’s produced by Tom Erdelyi, the Ramones first drummer and also that band’s long time producer…  Tarted up punk ‘n rollers, Girl Harbor seem to be in a major state of transition – again, stay tuned.
New York City Buzzz contributors:
Jeff Rey, Malcolm Sane, Michele Falk, Bonnie Tagate
Club Pix photos by Jeff Rey
Copyright 2003 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
Hey, it's the Fall Issue of NEON and the first at ... lot's going on, so let's get this started ... That ol' platinum haired, radio-ready punk, Billy Idol made a recent swing through town with Steve Stevens in tow. Guitarist Stevens is now prominently showcased within the Elvis-lipped one's show, not really the case when the two first did the Rebel Yell thing together ... David Bowie, a resident of Lower Manhattan along with the Iman and young daughter, has a new one out, Reality, which he warmed up at The Chance, an intimate 300-seat club in Poughkeepsie. It all made me think of seeing the many-imaged one years ago playing piano in Iggy Pop's back-up band at a rather small venue. The low-key Bowie didn't sing a note that night and wasn't even acknowledged by Iggy (check out the newly posted concert pix of Bowie and Idol in the NEON Archive Gallery in this issue) ... In a similar vein, Mercury Boy has been playing all over the city of late, showcasing his own special brand of sci-fi infused glam/punk. He's got an EP out called Get It Goin'....In the Did I Read That Right? Dept.: Came across a 100 greatest guitarists list in Rolling Stone (for sanity's sake, a publication I usually try to avoid). They had all the slingers you'd expect (albeit, in strange order), plus deserved props to Johnny Ramone and Joan Jett, and (to be kind) lesser 'masters' of the axe ... but, no Johnny Thunders? Sure, Keith got it from Chuck and Johnny got it from both, but how many, HOW MANY got it from Johnny?! Jeez, guys ...
Photo - Drew Goren
NEON Club People PIX - Fall '03
The bar at the Luna Lounge can go three deep as the night wears on, but  Paul Widdowson handles the chaos skillfully and along with the pints and drinks, serves up wit, charm and wry (or is that Rye?) words of wisdom.
Kerri Sweeney (aka Black) of KerriBlack Promotions, whose penchant for creating the buzz that makes 'em buzz bands (the Strokes, Longwave, Wheatus, Stellastarr*, etc.) is something of a legend on the downtown music scene. As of late, Kerri's been the promoter behind some memorable shows all over the city.
Missi St. Pierre (see Can't Wait article in Buzzz column) chats with Daniel Stampfel of the Inevitable Breakups at the Luna. (see the band's feature in this issue of NEON)
Just finishing up their travels through Japan, Australia and the U.K., Longwave is back in the States to kick off another cross-country jaunt starting this Fall with an Irving Plaza gig in New York on October 24th. This band’s been around for a while now (Luna Sea put out Endsongs in 2000), but it wasn’t until they started touring with the Strokes that things really started to happen for them. Of course, they now boast a massive international following of their own and radio has been falling under the spell of songs like “Everywhere You Turn,” “Wake Me When It’s Over” and now “Tidal Wave.”

Six months after releasing The Strangest Things on RCA, Longwave is still in the throes of intensive touring
It’s a cool album for three reasons: (1) it rocks; (2) it rolls; and (3) it’s New York City rock and roll. Which probably means the rest of America (more specifically those who control music in America) will hate it. Never mind that all of England and the rest of the world are nuts over this brash outfit. But, what do the English know? Besides, the Beatles, the Stones and all the rest from that little British Invasion thing, all they ever did was see NYC’s Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell and the Ramones in the 70s and turn it into their own music revolution with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, that’s all. Anyway, the Star Spangles picked the perfect producer for this venture in Daniel Rey who knows a thing or two about retaining the rawness of this music and still making it presentable in a recorded format as displayed on songs like “I Live For Speed,” "Which of the Two of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down" and the Thunders/Wayne Kramer penned "Crime of the Century." The Star Spangles are making their presence known (including an appearance on David Letterman and a recent benefit show at the Knitting Factory), but as of press time there were no tour plans.
Those folks who seemed to be waiting for the Strokes to fall on their asses (and drag down the NYC music explosion with them) are in for a BIG disappointment. Room On Fire is the follow-up to 2001’s Is This It and is due for general release on October 21. But you’ve probably already heard the first single, “12:51” and/or seen the Roman Coppola video and you’ll be hearing much more from the album which is again produced by Gordon Raphael, after an initial misstep with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. Apparently, the Strokes wanted to get their sophomore effort right and all indications are they did with songs like the up-beat “Whatever Happened,” the moody “Under Control” and an old club favorite we can relate to, “Meet Me in the Bathroom.” Initial touring kicks off prior to the October release with two shows at the Madison Square Garden Theater scheduled for the 29 and 30th of the month. The Strokes then head to Europe beginning in December.
The Strokes

The Strokes have nothing to prove, but Room On Fire proves they're still hot
New York City Seen