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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
New York City Buzzz by Jeff Rey with contributors:
Malcolm Sane, Michele Falk, Bonnie Tagate
Club Pix photo by Jeff Rey
© Copyright 2003 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
The cold days of winter may be with us, but New York City’s nightlife is as hot as it’s ever been as you’ll see throughout the pages of this issue of We’ve even got a new feature called HotNites/CoolNites with lots of pix and direct links to some of the places where you can experience your own hot and cool nights … One time when Ralph Kramden’s stage-struck ego was getting the better of him on what he thought was his rapid and sure-fire rise in show biz, he was admonished by his old pal Ed Norton with the wise words “Hey, Ralphy boy, just remember to be nice to the people you meet on the way UP ‘cause it’s gonna be the same people you meet on the way DOWN.” I thought of that old Honeymooners episode and had a chuckle when I heard that former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy as well as Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil were touring these parts in an attempt to revive their brain dead careers. NEON interviewed Pearcy when he was still pretty much on top of his game. He had stated publicly at the time that he was straight and sober so I never quite figured out if he was being arrogantly uncooperative during his talk with Lorry Doll or if he was in fact just really as stupid and out of it as he appeared to be. It was one of Lorry’s only unsuccessful interviews. But we managed to significantly edit it with talk-overs and still shots so it was just barely usable on NEON TV.  For Vince Neil, Lorry and I had schlepped our gear out to Long Island for our scheduled meeting prior to his show with guitarist Steve Stevens at that horrid outdoor venue they have out there. Neil blew off our appointment much to the embarrassment of his publicist and record company promo people. Maybe he was just tired or in a bad mood ‘cause his show was certainly tired and his “singing” was definitely bad. Lorry opted out of taking any photos of the gig and he never did get any coverage in NEON. I hope both these guys still remember what it was like when they were long ago on the way UP instead of spiraling steadily DOWN.

Great to see the
Strokes on a series of Conan O’Brien shows showcasing the songs off their latest album Room On Fire … The folks at the Luna Lounge have launched a broadband radio site featuring the likes of Longwave, the Star Spangles, Helicopter Helicopter, Nada Surf and lots more – give a listen at … The corner of 2nd Street and Bowery is now known as Joey Ramone Place. A dedication ceremony was held at CBGB on November 30 with featured speakers that included John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil of Punk Magazine, long-time Ramones publicist Ida Langsam, Dictator’s Dick Manitoba and Andy Shernoff, Marky Ramone and Tommy Ramone, Jesse Malin, Little Steven, brother Mickey Leigh and many others who were an important part of Joey’s life. Joey not only influenced a lot of bands that followed the Ramones’ lead, but remained a staunch supporter of the New York music scene who never forgot his beginnings – so it’s most appropriate that a musically historic part of New York City now officially bears his name.
Band Notes: The Everyothers recently held a record release party for their self-titled new Hautlab album at Sin-é. Check out their write-up in the Holiday 2003 issue of (!!) Hustler magazine … Last month NEON had a feature on the quick rising Orange Park and we weren’t alone - no lesser a publication than the old gray lady – The New York Times had a lengthy article on Justin Moore and the other guys in the band … Earlymay continues to be active all over the downtown scene, but they also could be heard recently on Hunter College’s WHSC when they played a live acoustic set … After tallying the votes of their fans, the Minors has now become the official name of what was once the Ben Carroll Band. When I ran into Ben Carroll, himself, a few weeks ago, he told me they were working on a new recording (to be titled Not So Shy) as a follow-up to their excellent 2002 EP. You can still find the Minors at

Daniel Stampfel tells us that recorded versions of the hot, hot, hot songs “Stephanie” and “All I Want” will soon be available from the hot, hot, hot Inevitable BreakupsThe Wayward Saints have been a bit low-key lately, but that doesn’t mean that its members aren’t still very active on the scene – John Washburn recently played guitar with singer/songwriter Courtney Kaiser at both Southpaw and the Knitting Factory, and another of the wayward boys, Bick continues to be an important part of Clara Venus who are in the throes of intense recording. All that’s well ‘n good, but when are we gonna get the Saints again? … If you like your rock on the harder side, pick up a copy of Be My Ex-Girlfriend the full-length CD from Evil Jake – details at … David French continues to showcase his forthcoming release All the Difference at select venues across town. By all means, catch a set of this talented, introspective artist if you can … Tiger Mountain is about to complete the final touches on their Jesse Cannon produced album. It’s a mix of new and some older material and we can’t wait to hear more from these masters of power pop … Since last time, Billionaire Boys Club have completed a West Coast mini-tour, debuted on national TV as the Last Call with Carson Daly houseband - where they got to gyrate, cavort and otherwise carry on with the Last Call Dancers who were attired in very skimpy BBC t-shirts – they also got snowed out of the big Dramarama reunion gig, have been playing non-stop all over the city and  … well, isn’t that enough?

Spent a Friday night grooving to the cool pop and punky sounds of that fabulous, female five called
Boobytrap at the Mercury … then ran around the corner of Ludlow to the Luna Lounge to catch a few high-energy songs from Weekender (who sound even better than when they were named Willard), but had to quickly split to dash up the street to Piano's … and caught a bit of a very heavy duty band, the Neverlands, with a very soulful female bass player … we’ll have pics and profiles on all three of these shows in the next issue of NEON … Last, but not least - ‘cause we’re a legitimate, dues-paying  gossip column, damn it - Paris Hilton.
The White Stripes - three sold-out shows at the Roseland Ballroom
Photo - Candice Lawler
NEON Club People Pick Winter '03
If you want to maintain the vibe in between live shows and set the groove for the joint you better have an A-List DJ. Brian Molloy may best be known as the man behind the sounds of Ready! Steady! Go! and Boys and Girls, but he's manned turntables all over this city with his great mix of Brit Pop, indie, 60's, and new wave tunes. The night he spun at one of the Kerri Black hosted shows at Tribeca, he even played the original of "Another Girl, Another Planet" an often covered, but still powerful classic by the English group The Only Ones, who once upon a time opened for my own band on their only American tour way back when. It's typical of some of the the great obscurities and oddities Brian always manages to come up with.
The White Stripes
The White Stripes blew into New York to host three sold out shows at Roseland Ballroom in November. This came on the heels of their tour of Japan with the U.S. dates being make-ups for the series of summer shows that were postponed when Jack White broke a finger in an auto accident. The White Stripes latest album Elephant continues to be a strong seller with a ton of airplay and the late year touring should be an added boost, especially since their latest round of shows have been so critically well recieved. For those who have either tired of the album or worn out their copies, Jack can also be heard on the soundtrack to the Christmas blockbuster Cold Mountain. He contributes five tracks to the Civil War epic, including two originals, but what we’re really looking forward to is hearing his cover of Howling Wolf’s “Sitting On Top of the World” which should be a strange fit. The film stars Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Rene Zellweger, with White featured in a small role as a traveling musician. The White Stripes finish out the year with a New Years Eve show with the Flaming Lips at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.
tellastarr* is maintaining a high profile having come off their recently completed U.K tour with Jane's Addiction. Besides the dates with that band, stellastarr* also headlined a bunch of the Brit shows themselves. Then they jumped on tour with Placebo for U.S. dates including Webster Hall in NYC on December 16th. They've also recently premiered the video for "In The Walls" on MTV2's Subterranean. The song is off their acclaimed debut RCA self-titled album. The visually unique, low-tech video is directed by Peter McCoubrey, who along with the band was a one-time artschooler at Pratt. And speaking of art, singer/guitarist Shawn Christensen exhibited a selection of his paintings - "The Robin Series" - at downtown gallery Cassis just before the trip to England. They had also put in an appearance on Last Call With Carson Daly as well as a show at the Union Square Virgin Megastore just before departing.
New York City Seen