November 29, 2023Debuts 3-Day Ticket Discount for SoCal Residents
November 29, 2023 by Bonnie Brusko
During this magical holiday season, Disneyland is hard at work. It is already looking ahead to an excellent year for the guests in 2024 and has announced a new offer for Southern California residents!
Each Southern California resident who lives in zip codes ranging from 90000 – 93599 and pays $225 will receive three one-park-per-day tickets for three different visits from January 2, 2024, to June 2, 2024. This discount works out to be $75 per day for each admission!
This three-ticket offer, suitable for adults or children, means guests can choose to visit either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure on different days each time they visit. The offer is valid for visits Monday through Thursday only, and these tickets will be blocked out on Fridays and weekends.
A Disneyland spokesperson clarified that guests wishing to visit the theme parks on a Friday, or a weekend can purchase the three-ticket package for $275 or $92 per day. In addition to the ticket, remember that park reservations are still required. These tickets go on sale starting December 5 until sold out. Upgrades to tickets, such as Genie+, which is a line-skipping feature, will be available at the time of purchase. The prices for any other upgrades have not been determined at this time.
Disneyland is also offering a special ticket for kids! This allows children between 3 and 9 to visit for $50!
This offer runs from January 8th through March 10th with no blackout dates but is subject to reservation availability.
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November 29, 2023THEJESUSANDMARYCHAIN + 40
New Album and Tour in 2024
November 29, 2023, by David Jackson
They are one of the biggest names of the ‘80s and ‘90s and they are still killing it, continuing to tour the world. In 2024, The Jesus and Mary Chain will drop a new album and launch The Glasgow Eyes Tour in support.
As a follow-up to their 2017 album “Damage and Joy,” and to mark the occasion of their 40th, brothers Jim and William Reid have announced the new album, “Glasgow Eyes,” and a UK / European tour. The album will be released on March 8th and the first single, “Jamcod,” is already creating buzz. No word just yet on the North American tour, but it is likely an announcement is coming soon.
About the new album, Jim Reid said, “People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what ‘Glasgow Eyes’ is. Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it take its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes. And there’s a telepathy there – we are those weird not-quite twins that finish each other’s sentences.”
About the new album, Jim Reid recent said “People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what Glasgow Eyes is. Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it take its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes. And there’s a telepathy there—we are those weird not-quite twins that finish each other’s sentences.”
In 2024 the band will celebrate their 40th anniversary of insanely cool music. Songs like “Head On,” “April Skies,” “Upside Down,” “Just Like Honey,” “Reverence,” and “Sometimes Always” captivated us and gave them a fanbase that spans the entire planet.
THE CHOICE OF A LOST GENERATION
Stay tuned for more information on The Jesus and Mary Chain!
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November 28, 2023“Pretty Vicious” New Album and Tour
November 29, 2023 by Jordan West
British rock band The Struts, have released their fourth studio album entitled “Pretty Vicious,” and are touring the world to support it. The new collection of songs is an outstanding blend of rock and pop, and as a longtime fan of the band, I am thrilled about having new Struts music on my music player.
“This record showcases each individual member’s strengths,” vocalist Luke Spiller said in a press release for the new album. “It’s some of my favorite music, hands down, we’ve ever conjured up. It’s the record everyone’s been waiting for.” This is a band that combines solid rock with a pop and plenty of swagger. They are also one of the most exciting live acts on the circuit. I have seen them on multiple occasions, and a more exhilarating rock show you would be hard-pressed to find.
The lead single from “Pretty Vicious,” the appropriately titled “Too Good at Raising Hell,” and its accompanying music video, shows the band in full “Rockstar Mode” and promises to be a fine addition to their already action-packed live show. The band is currently touring the US, and making lots of new fans along the way. The Struts will be appearing at the majestic Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles on December 10th, then heading to Europe in February, before returning to the US for more shows in April.
Los Angeles, California
December 10th, 2023
The band has been blitzing the press as of late, appearing on TV and radio on national programs such as “Good Morning America” and “The Howard Stern Show” where they performed, among other songs, their take on the Rolling Stones classic “Tumbling Dice.”
Again, I must stress, this band is one of the more exciting bands to see live. They are fun for all who like a good old fashioned, pumped up, sing-along, hands in the air rock show, with songs that sound great on your music player of choice.
“Pretty Vicious” is available on all music platforms. Get your copy or download today, you won’t regret it!
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November 27, 2023Coming to Segerstrom
November 28, 2023 by M.B. Edwards
This past August, “MJ: The Musical” (MJ) began its North American tour and the reviews have been… Well, let’s just say you can’t “Beat It.” It is set to debut at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood at the end of the year, and then Orange County in 2024.
Even with a year-long delay to its start on Broadway thanks to COVID, “MJ: The Musical” won over fans and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning four of those nominations, including Best Choreography and Best Actor in a musical.
This award-winning masterpiece goes behind the scenes with the King of Pop himself as he prepares for the Dangerous World Tour in 1992.
“MJ” showcases Michael Jackson’s creativity, signature dance moves, rise to stardom as a child, and includes some of his biggest hits such as “Beat It,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” and “Thriller.”
Fourteen years since his passing, Michael Jackson remains a cultural icon. After starting his musical career as one of the Jackson 5, he transitioned to a solo performer and was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not once, but twice.
His dance moves and videos were an instant hit, and he broke record after record with his albums “Bad” and “Thriller” – which spent an impressive 37 weeks topping the Billboard 200 charts.
TONY AWARD WINNING HIT
“MJ: The Musical” provides you with a quick overview of Jackson’s life, ensuring each milestone is recognized. The show has two acts and runs close to three hours, counting the 15-minute intermission.
If you love the King of Pop, you’re sure to enjoy this show as it gives you a front seat view of the creative genius at work behind the scenes as he collaborates and pushes himself and others to the limits in his quest to be more than a star – to be legendary.
CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Costa Mesa, California
March 10th -31st, 2024
The choreography in this musical is unlike any other; it seamlessly takes you back and forth from the past to the present, and shows just the right amount of expression and conviction. Each musical number has been given the upmost detail; the lights, sounds, backdrop, and attire is flawless while ensuring each step the dancers take summons the energy and essence of Jackson in that moment.
“Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery”
The performance goes into many of the rumors that surrounded Michael Jackson during his lifetime, but leaves the most unpleasant ones out of the spotlight, instead focusing more on his childhood struggles and some of the stranger stories that encompassed him during his career.
“MJ” will stop in Hollywood December 20th through January 28th at The Pantages Theatre, then head to OC and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts from March 19th through the 31st. Of course, SoCal isn’t the only destination on this tour; you can also catch it in Boston, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Denver, and many other cities.
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November 27, 2023Coming to The Coach House
November 28, 2023 by Bonnie Brusko
One of the iconic bands of the ‘80s not only continues to bring us amazing music, but they also put on a fantastic live show that you must see! As front-woman Terri Nunn has said, “From Berlin, the three original members are back together for a few years now, and there’s a magic that happens that inspires me because it’s there with the three of us. The fans can also expect that kind of alchemy happening.”
THE COACH HOUSE
San Juan Capistrano
December 15th, 2023
OC Music News caught them on Boy George and Culture Club’s Letting It Go tour this summer and they were incredible! Of course, they also gave an outstanding showing at Cruel World to kick off the summer. You can expect Nunn to look radiant – and sporting her trademark black and blonde hair – and the band turns it up a notch on fan favorites, giving each more of a rock vibe while holding onto the heart of the original.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Terri Nunn, bassist John Crawford, and keyboard player David Diamond founded the Los Angeles-based band Berlin in 1978. They will forever be recognized as the American progenitor of electro-pop music by making their national debut with the dance hit “Sex (I’m a…)” from the platinum-selling debut album “Pleasure Victim” in 1982.
Other songs, such as “The Metro” and “No More Words,” topped the charts, while “Take My Breath Away” helped raise the band’s popularity to a higher level. Few bands emerging from the Berlin era have achieved as far-reaching and long-lasting an impact and, rarely, such a timeless array of musical grooves. In fact, “Take My Breath Away” became such a defining song from the “Top Gun” movie, it helped solidify Berlin’s place in American pop culture. The song was a number-one hit and received the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1986.
But Berlin has not rested on their laurels and continues to create new material, keeping them together for more than four decades. They even put out two new albums back to back “Transcendance” in 2019, then “Strings Attached” in 2020.
Your chance to see Berlin in SoCal includes December 8th in Montclair, December 9th in Agoura Hills, and December 15th in San Juan Capistrano at the legendary Coach House. You will definitely want to catch this one!
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November 26, 2023Delivers on the Beach
November 27, 2023 Review by Jimmy Alvarez
Living in Southern California comes with a lot of perks, such as epic concert events. Some come to the L.A. Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, SoFi, The Forum. But the coolest one so far in 2023 may be the inaugural Darker Waves festival which took place on the sand in Huntington Beach.
With the who’s who of the music biz in attendance, the larger-than-life bands were set to entertain. As the day started, there was concern about the weather. The forecast was for some wind, but seriously… it was the rain we all feared.
Photo Courtesy of Darker Waves Festival
In the end though, all of our weather concerns turned out to be unwarranted. The winds were calm, and the rain never materialized; it was a perfect day for the sea of humanity that showed up ready to take in this insanely cool show.
The lines to get in were long, but they were dwarfed by the merch lines. Fans wanted their piece of memorabilia – electricity was in the air and there was a sense that this event would live up to the hype. The crowd was diverse – sex, age, ethnicity – with a good number of fashion hits and misses.
Despite all the great new music happening, fans have a keen sense of great timeless music, Music that sounds fantastic no matter when or where it is played. Evidenced by the most recent incarnation of the Cruel World Fest up in Pasadena. This time it was Huntington’s turn to shine.
As the crowd rolled in, the PA went live and fans ran to the front of the stages. There were three on site, with tons of vendors separating them. The talk was centered on headliners of course, The Furs, DEVO, Soft Cell, Echo & The Bunnymen, English Beat, OMD, Human League, B-52s, New Order, and Tears For Fears. We were in store for an insane day.
The stages were set up nicely for quick turnover with a rotating set that was noticeable because there was very little down time between bands. A few of the openers were literally eye openers. Christian Death, Urban Heat, and 45 Grave lit it up.
Openers that are more on the established side included legendary punkers – T.S.O.L. and X. There were The Cardigans, She Wants Revenge, and the much-anticipated performance of Chino Moreno and Crosses.
The only downside to these early performances was the abbreviated sets, even some of the headliners had them. Despite that small drawback, these bands brought their A-game and their fans let them know how much they appreciated them.
What was striking to me was the similarity to Warped Tour. There were so many great bands you found yourself literally running from stage to stage to get a glimpse of your favorite bands. For me, I had to catch my skamigo, Dave Wakeling and the English Beat.
Despite some technical issues, Wakeling and Toaster extraordinaire Anthony First Class worked together for a workaround which sounded fantastic. The crowd was treated to a good mix of EB and General Public songs. They loved, loved, loved the ska and new wave stylings as they skanked to “Rankin’ Full Stop,” “Mirror in the Bathroom,” (GP songs) “I’ll Take You There,” “Tenderness,” and closed with fan favorite, English Beat classic “Save It For Later.”
With a short intermission, OMD was up. Honestly, the crowd that showed up for Wakeling did not leave; in fact more people rolled in to see Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. These cats have been entertaining us for decades, and fans sang along to every word of every song. starting with “Electricity,” then, “Secret,” “Tesla Girls,” and “(Forever) Live and Die.”
Even though it was an abbreviated set, McCluskey mesmerized the crowd as he segued into some tunes they did for John Hughes, “If You Leave,” followed by even more classic hits “Locomotion,” before closing with “Enola Gay.” The crowd was amped from beginning to end, and OMD delivered.
There were just so many great acts on stage at the same time, I had to stick around for DEVO (who are on their “farewell” tour). I think most of Huntington had the same idea, the number of fans for this one was nuts. Wearing every bit of DEVO swag, they could find the spuds were pumped.
Playing from decades of a music catalog, DEVO took no prisoners. With a devilish grin throughout, Mark Mothersbaugh was on fire.
D E V O
Opening with “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man),” playing the typical kick-ass video element in the background while the band sported their classic look.
Other tunes that captured the audience were “Peek-A-Boo,” “That’s Good,” “Whip It,” “Uncontrollable Urge,” “Mongoloid,” “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA,” before they closed with “Gates of Steel.” What a set! Fans were insanely pleased and going out of their minds thanks to DEVO’s performance.
Another great act was Violent Femmes. Gordon Gano and crew came out strong with “Blister in the Sun,” as they played their eponymous album from front to back. The crowd danced and danced under the sun to the Femmes.
V I O L E N T + F E M M E S
Pounding out crowd favorites “Kiss Off,” “Add It Up,” “Prove My Love,” and “Gone Daddy Gone!” It was Just another epic set at Darker Waves!
Another showstopper was Soft Cell. Fans flocked to this stage just in time to take in the legend that is Marc Almond. He dazzled with “Memorabilia,” and “Tainted Love.” Reminding everyone to stop rewarding corporate greed, Almond took the crowd over the top with “Sex Dwarf.”
Before we had a chance to breathe, it was the Furs front and center. With Mars Williams on their mind, Richard Butler was in fine form. He came out ready and poised to take us to “Heaven.” Playing the songs the crowd wanted to hear, Butler was engaging. The crowd went nuts over “The Ghost in You,” and took it to another level to “Pretty in Pink,” and “Love My Way.” Not one to leave a crowd wanting more, the Furs closed with another epic song, “Heartbreak Beat.”
The heavyweights crushed it, that would be B52s – Fred, Kate, and Cindy are a beloved band, we know this, but this is also part of their farewell venture, and the crowd knew it. Set for an out of this world setlist, the crowd was treated to “Planet Claire.” Seriously, the set list was the soundtrack of my high school and college days. It featured some of their most epic songs, “Party Out of Bounds,” “Give Me Back My Man,” “Cosmic Thing,” “52 Girls,” “Roam,” and “Whammy Kiss.”
Photo by Ron Lyon Phtography Courtesy of HB Cult
Sounding great behind the mic, the trio took turns in their featured set, and were they electric – “Dance This Mess Around,” “Private Idaho,” and “Love Shack,” before they said goodnight to “Rock Lobster.”
With track shoes on, the sea of humans from the other stages made their way to see Echo & the Bunnymen. Playing a few tunes to warm up the crowd for Echo was the Doors’ Robbie Krieger. That gave everyone the proper mindset as the classic Echo logo appeared on the video monitor and out came Ian McCulloch belting out “Roadhouse Blues.”
By now the sun was setting over the Pacific, and the view was spectacular. As the skies turned into cotton candy-like as they rolled into “Bring on the Dancing Horses.” McCulloch pulled no punches; they went right to it with the hit parade. “Rescue,” “Lips Like Sugar,” and “People Are Strange.”
The crowd went orbital to “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo,” and “The Killing Moon.” If that wasn’t enough, the crowd went over-the-top as the opening of “The Cutter” bellowed over the PA system.
Another great performance was The Human League. Featuring a trio of professional entertainers, Phillip Oakey, Joanne Catherall, and Susan Ann Sulley, they provided another amazing set at Darker Waves.
With cool yet classy outfits, the trio took the stage to “Mirror Man” causing a roar from the crowd.
Oakey took control immediately and in a well-choregraphed performance, the crowd went off on songs like “The Lebanon,” “Human,” “Love Action (I Believe in Love,” and it was decibel level type of reaction to “(Keep Feeling) Fascination.”
It just wouldn’t be a flashback moment in time without “Don’t You Want Me.” There wasn’t one person in the crowd that didn’t know each word to that song.
The night wasn’t done and two more slayers were coming up. Up next was New Order, who has such a rich history that everyone at the festival was aware of.
With a wink and a smile, Bernard Sumner took the stage with Stephen Morris alongside. The crowd was ready to see history, and opening with “Regret,” New Order clearly defined the festival best class with a kick-ass soundtrack.
Playing th0ier larger-than-life songs, the hit parade consisted of “Age of Consent,” “Ceremony,” and “Sub-Culture.”
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how consequential this next song was to the ‘80s, “Bizarre Love Triangle,” was a call to arms for so many of the era. It launched the band and its fans into the strata with other classics, “True Faith,” “Blue Monday,” and “Temptation.”
Now, there are songs you close with and then there are songs you close out a set on a stage like Darker Waves. The band took us onto a journey back in time, to the Ian Curtis days as they covered their Joy Division roots with “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Wow, wow and wow is all I can say to describe that moment in time.
Hard to believe, the night had one more epic set, Tears For Fears was next. From Bath, England, this duo are living legends – Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were ready to close out Darker Waves. With new music in tow, the Darker Waves crowd were ready for one more larger-than-life moment.
Opening with “No Small Thing,” and “The Tipping Point,” the guys sounded primed and ready. Touring in support to their “Tipping Point” album, you could tell the band was in sync and tight. But it was when they went into their classic set that you really got to hear what the band sounds like today; they were simply amazing. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was incredible to see and hear and it was followed up by another fan favorite, “Sowing the Seeds of Love.”
Photo by Ron Lyon Phtography Courtesy of HBCult
The crowd went into overdrive to “Mad World,” then “Memories Fade.” It was a very funny moment when Orzabal joked about it being a Kanye cover. Then the segued into “Pale Shelter,” “Break It Down Again,” followed by “Head Over Heels,” before they closed the festival with the biggest ovation to “Shout.”
I have been to a lot of festivals, but this one took it out of me, and to so many of the fans there. It was an over-the-top experience that drew you in and you just didn’t want to leave. Yeah, this was a resounding success, I don’t think there was one fan who won’t jump at the prospect of buying tickets for the 2nd annual Darker Waves Fest – we’re all crossing fingers!
SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
by Green-Eyed Blonde Photography
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November 23, 2023Live at the Observatory
November 24, 2023 Review by Kevin Gomez
The sun set by 5 p.m., leaving the city in total darkness. Leaves covered the ground as the evening grew chilly. The holiday season is upon us as we anticipate gathering around family and friends. It must be Thanksgiving week, but that didn’t stop fans of all ages from coming together for a sold-out night at the Observatory as The Linda Lindas brought the last stop of their short tour back to Southern California.
Starting out the night was Los Angeles’s own illuminati hotties. Often you will find yourself showing up fashionably late, or if you do show up early, seeing a band that’s forgettable. This was not the case tonight. This was my first time seeing illuminati hotties, and it was a really fun and enjoyable set. Musically they are an eclectic mix of punk, indie, and alternative, almost bordering on the Pixies, at times. They are the brainchild of lead singer and backing guitarist, Sarah Tudzin.
To demonstrate the kind of range their songs take, they opened with “Joni: LA’s No. 1 Health Goth,” a high-paced in your face song, but followed up with the mellow “Knead.”
“The Sway” was a beautifully dreamy song that lulled you peacefully, while “Kickflip” ended in a nice slide-guitar solo. “content//bedtime” was frantic and took on several personalities before finally melting down into a heavy double bass drum outro.
They played a new song entitled, “Truck” and then Tudzin’s vocals really shined for “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA,” where she ditched her guitar and went off, in a rapid-fire style to close the song.
They closed with the high-energy “superiority complex (big noise),” which saw Tudzin standing on the riser at the lip of the stage to sing as she stood above the crowd.
The PA blared The Ramones’ “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” as The Linda Lindas took the stage to literal shrieks from a packed crowd.
Something unique about the Los Angeles band is every single member shares lead vocal duties. It’s not unusual to see dual vocalists, sometimes even the rare trio of vocals; but I can’t remember the last time I saw a band that featured four lead singers.
I debated whether to list their ages, as I did not want to focus solely on how young they are because that really should not overshadow how great they are as musicians and what a terrific live performance they have.
However, guitarist and singer Bela Salazar – who is 19 (“I’m old as fuck”) – included each member’s age when introducing the band during their set, so I figured I would as well.
They kicked off with one of their angstiest tunes, “Fine,” sung ferociously by bassist, Eloise Wong, 15. Spitting out each word with venom, Wong rocked a CH3 shirt, with whiskers painted on her face like warpaint. “Claudia Kishi,” an up-tempo melody, which was featured in a Netflix documentary of the same name was sung by guitarist Lucia de la Garza, 16.
The band then transitioned into one of my favorite songs, “Talking to Myself,” sung by Lucia’s sister, drummer Mila de la Garza, 13, with the chorus sung beautifully by both sisters. Salazar said she has two cats and the next song, featuring her on lead, was about her Siamese cat, Monica. (So as not to feel left out, later in the set Salazar sang a song named for her other cat, Nino.) Lucia introduced “Never Say Never” as one of the first songs she ever wrote, as Salazar, clad in a beautiful silver gown, climbed the right high-rise column and played guitar there for the song.
After “Too Many Things,” Wong said they were going to play a cover of a song, which itself was a song that the Ramones covered, “Little Bit o’ Soul.” Salazar sang two songs in Spanish, the unreleased “Yo Me Estreso” and “Cuántas Veces,” both of which featured her finger-plucking on guitar. Mila took lead vocals for a cover of the Go-Go’s “Tonite” that featured vocals from all four members for the song’s chorus.
What was infectious all night was how much fun The Linda Lindas were having onstage. They couldn’t stop smiling for their entire set, which matched the smiles across faces in the crowd as the band has accumulated a passionate and loyal fanbase in just a few years. Wong said they were so excited to be playing the Observatory, where just a few years ago she had attended a Christmas show with Adolescents and CH3, where she got the shirt that she was wearing. Their enthusiasm at playing for this sold-out crowd was evident.
Led by Salazar, they played “Oh!” a riot grrrl song dealing with life’s frustrations and sounds like it could be a B-side from Bikini Kill. They followed this up with “Racist, Sexy Boy,” a song that went viral in 2021 when Wong said a boy’s father told him to stay away from Chinese people. The song was sung full of rage and angst that harkened back to ‘80’s hardcore, as the band roared to finish off their regular set.
Their encore included my favorite song, “Growing Up,” featuring gorgeous vocals by Lucia. They finished off incredibly with a cover of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl,” featuring Tudzin from illuminati hotties on bass, as Wong took lead vocals and Salazar climbed down to play guitar standing on the railing. They brought the house down with the kind of no-holds-barred energy and attitude that would have made Kathleen Hanna proud.
SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
by Todd Markel Rock Photography
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November 22, 2023Live at YouTube Theater
November 24, 2023 Review by Steve Allen
On November 16th, Devo made their way to Inglewood’s YouTube Theater in what was supposed to be the southern California leg of the 50th Anniversary and Farewell tour. However, in perfect Devo form – as in a mix of satire, music, and humor – when word came that this isn’t actually a farewell tour, it made me laugh.
Apparently, an overzealous marketing rep released it as such and it somehow made it to press. I hope for all of us “Spud Boys” this isn’t the end, and they continue their journey of De-evolution.
D E V O | FAREWELL TOUR
Before our heroes from the future made their way on stage, we were treated to a montage of video clips from the past, kind of to give those not “in the know” a little historical perspective of the band’s history and music. Then before the band took the stage, a bit of Devo’s 1979 tour video played, featuring a comical record executive – Rod Rooter – trying to get the band to sell out for big cash. Fast forward to Rooter’s lament of today; an older, grayer, and balder Rooter appeared onscreen, riding an exercise bike and challenging the boys to be more like Kid Rock.
The message was clear: the mindless consumerism the band first targeted in the 1970s has only grown more desperate and insidious in the intervening half century. Soon Rooter begrudgingly introduces who we came to see – Devo!
The night started off with more of a message than satire or humor, courtesy of 2009’s “Don’t Shoot (I’m A Man),” but followed up with the strange but fun “Peek a Boo” and “Going Under.”
Those two got everyone up on their feet, and then singing along with “That’s Good.” With the band changing from their not-so-standard black button-up shorts, now in matching black shirts and iconic red energy domes, heading full speed through classics like “Girl U Want” and “Whip It.”
Devo really shook things up with their version of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” It’s like they took the original and cranked up the weirdness, throwing in glitches and all. Then there’s “Going Under,” which they stripped down and gave a cool twist. Then during a costume change came a video break where a glitchy Carl Sagan talks about the galaxy before the band switches into their yellow jumpsuits.
The yellow jumpsuits acted as kind of a segue way, or maybe a new segment in time, for us for the night. Heading into the latter part of the performance, it erupted into a cacophony of loud, frenzied guitar-driven songs which included probably their most energetic, true to the original performance of “Uncontrollable Urge” I’ve seen in the last three or so years.
Mark Mothersbaugh, acting as an enthusiastic cheerleader, brought a spirited rendition of “Mongoloid,” complete with pom-poms. Mothersbaugh, his brother Bob, and Gerald Casale kept hitting us with hit song after hit song. During “Jocko Homo,” Mark ventured into the crowd, repeatedly posing the question, “Are we not men?”
The main set reached its new height with a dynamic combo of a high-energy “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA,” followed by the anthemic “Gates of Steel.”
Devo exited the stage against the backdrop of the “Devo Corporate Anthem,” only to return for a final encore in coordinated tops that looked like floor mats as shirts, spelling out D-E-V-O on the front.
There wasn’t really what I would call an encore, but in their finale, they rolled out “Beautiful World” and gave the audience an extra treat with the appearance of Booji Boy, the band’s mascot, portrayed by Mark Mothersbaugh in a perpetually unsettling little boy mask.
Then a special treat as Terri Nunn from Berlin joined in, sharing vocals with Booji Boy and contributing harmonies to the entire affair.
All in all it was a night of pure fun; there were no attitudes, just smiles, dancing, singing. A night where you knew every song and every lyric. It was like “Cheers” where everyone knows your name – we were all friends just happily spiraling to De-evolution together.
SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
by Steve Allen Photography
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November 22, 2023The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of
A Conversation with Klein & Ally
November 22, 2023 by Jimmy Alvarez
In the immortal words of Vin Scully, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” Being in a town that loves spectacles, we love our heroes and villains. Like gladiators, we love to see them succeed just as much as we like to see them crash and burn. Every once in a while the lines get blurred, and we get a happy ending.
For this segment, we go back to world of radio broadcasting. We all know the story of the World Famous KROQ… or do we? It has been one of the most influential voices in the music business, this is true. Although, depending on whom you speak with, its origins can take you in a few different directions.
Before we go back in time, we need to address what is causing us to go down memory lane. This story takes us to the beginning then back to the future. There is no better place to put this pen to paper than a sit-down chat with the current morning show – KROQ’s Klein.Ally.Show.
Three words best encapsulate some emotions that have surrounded the station of late, specifically the morning show: HATE | TOLERATE | LOVE.
KEVIN KLEIN & ALLY JOHNSON
When we first arrived at the KROQ studios off Wilshire Blvd, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I remember the old studio in Pasadena off Los Robles, and the Burbank location. It’s been years since I walked through those doors when I worked there in the late ‘80s; it was a sort of homecoming. This facility was different but felt familiar. I still felt the echoes of Jed the Fish’s laugh, Freddy Snakeskin’s funny quips. Richard Blade’s Flashback Lunch, but, there was no Poorman running around like a madman. Instead, I felt the energy that Kat Corbett and Nicole Alvarez brought us.
Truth is, KROQ has seen dark days over the past few years; in all fairness – this shadow engulfed the entire radio industry. But what happened there over the last few decades is inspiring, maddening, and upsetting. Yet through it all, it is one of the best and most heartfelt stories I have come across in some time. To know where we’re headed, we have to look back to see why Klein and Ally are the lightning rods they are.
This story began a very long time ago; technically 1972. The station originally broadcast from two rooms at the Hilton Hotel (no really) before it moved to Pasadena.
LOS ROBLES STUDIO | PASADENA
Since then, we’ve heard a few voices that have also been part of the legacy that is our music landscape: Shadoe Stevens, Rodney Bingenheimer, Richard Blade, Dusty Street, April Whitney, Frazer Smith, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Carson Daly, Tami Heide, Doug the Slug, Swedish Egil, Spacin’ Scott Mason, Elvira, and yes… Kevin and Bean.
These are the voices that helped shape what we think of when we think of KROQ. The behind-the-scenes names are also just as important: Rick Carroll, Andy Schuon, Lewis Largent, Gene Sandbloom, and Kevin Weatherly. The names go on and on, but these cats collectively made KROQ an industry powerhouse. Sure, there are a lot more contributors (that’s a different story for another day), but you get the idea.
Before we get to Klein and Ally, we need to understand why longtime fans turned on the station. We don’t want to believe it, but it happened. With a changing radio climate, music programming changed; that’s a fact. Some liked it, while others did not. That’s the thing about KROQ; it was always a place where you could take big swings and try new things. It was something about this time around that fell short with the old-school KROQ listener. Then, when names like Ralph Garman exited the scene, it set off some alarms. Then Bean left, followed by what you can call a dark moment for the station as the exit of Kevin Ryder was not received well by many KROQ loyalists.
That moment in time was deemed “The End of the World as We Know It at the World Famous KROQ.” But was it? For a short period, yes, a drop in ratings and market share was expected, but the magnitude of the exodus that materialized was not in the forecast, nor was it expected… not like this.
Admittedly, when the programming changes were happening throughout radio, I was not a fan (that included KROQ). As names we knew for decades started to leave the radio landscape, it had a chilling effect on listeners. So-much-so, radio created a vacuum that music streaming platforms seized on. Once it sunk in that the Kevin and Bean era was over, it left a bruise that would take some time to mend. Before we knew it, the Stryker, Klein, and Ally era was upon us. As the music fates would have it, the station and the new morning team got an earful from the KROQ faithful.
Truthfully, I too wasn’t the biggest supporter of what was going on there. However, I knew that the staff had zero to do with programing and even less to do with the demise of Kevin and Bean. I then decided to tune in – and maybe subconsciously I wanted to hate them; just like everyone else. But the reality is, when I heard their show, it wasn’t bad. Then, as other pieces came into place in the form of other staff members, I found myself tuning in more and more. I listen to a lot of radio, and I found myself tuning in not because I had to; I did it because I wanted to. They made me laugh. And there it was; laughter. Finally, a reason to smile – courtesy of 106.7FM.
Kevin Klein and Ally Johnson became real people to me and to those who gave them a chance. This duo proved to be good, solid, seasoned broadcasters who were funny. They embarked on skits that worked – OK some didn’t – but, bottom line, they were trying new things. That was something I liked; they were trying, and people were starting to notice. That is the “TOLERATE” portion of the journey Klein mentioned to me.
One day I was reading an industry news mag when I saw a report that everyone I knew was hoping for – a familiar name would return to the station: Kevin Weatherly. He was re-named Program Director. Ironically, the next day, I was at a music festival where I ran into Richard Blade. We both thought this was great news, and we both thought if anyone could work out the issues that had plagued the station, it would Weatherly. We were both extremely hopeful.
Today, Klein and Ally are no longer getting hate mail; it’s quite the opposite. They have gained the trust from listeners through their humor.
Back in the lobby, I was with OCMN Editor, Rachael Contreras. We were greeted by morning show producer, Vanessa Garcia and she couldn’t have been nicer. Then out came Postmaster Johnny. That dude was friendly and made sure we were being attended to. Why is it important to mention all this? Well, because everyone at the station was that way. They went out of their way to make sure we knew they appreciated the fact we were there. Something that will be covered a little later.
We sat in the morning show office, and it is as you think it would look – insanely cool. After greetings, I asked the two, “What were those early days like when you started on the morning show?” I mentioned there were a lot of haters, yet “you two maintained a good balance and you all come off as good friends. How did you manage to pull that off with so much noise going on?”
They both laughed, Klein said, “It reminded me of when Tom Brady announced his retirement. I thought at the time it had to have sucked for whoever had to replace him… the guy was such a legend. When I got the call about replacing the morning show, I thought to myself, OK this is what it must have felt like.” We laughed and he continued, “In that space, people will try to find more reasons to hate you than like you because you’re replacing what they have grown to love.” This may be as accurate an assessment of what that experience was like. Unfair as it might have been, the entire staff did not let it adversely impact them – they kept swimming.
A shift in topic, we asked Ally where she was from originally and what drew her to radio. She answered, “I’m from San Jose and radio was really not on my radar. I was focused on acting, comedy and voiceover. Eventually I relocated to LA and Klein discovered my undeniable talent.” The two worked together in San Francisco at LIVE105 before coming to KROQ.
Back to the early days of the morning show: Despite the fact the staff had zero to do with what happened, many listeners didn’t care and they let the new morning show staff have it. That’s the HATE part of the story. It went on that way for some time; it was a daily thing. They got messages through e-mails, texts, all forms of social media – and it was bad, bad, bad. It didn’t help that management at the time seemed to make a series of decisions that in retrospect may not have been the most prudent course. It was so challenging, they both thought each day could be their last. It was as if that the saying “walking on eggshells” had come to life. I said, “That must have been a really shitty feeling?” They both smiled and giggled. “Yeah, it wasn’t the best,” Klein responded.
The response from listeners was not their only challenge in those early days. Previous management told them how they wanted their morning show to be put together. Klein and Ally both fought the suggestions on a regular basis. So much so, Klein said, “I was convinced I would no longer be here. I was at a point where I thought to myself, ‘If they don’t bring back someone like Weatherly, I can’t imagine anyone else that can right this ship.” Keep in mind, this was at a time of plummeting ratings and market share. He went on to say, “I grew up as a fan of KROQ back in DC. I listened to it even though I lived back there. I was a fan of ‘Loveline’ and any way I could pick up the station, I would. I loved everything about the station, and the music was it for me… I always wanted to work here, be careful what you ask for right? Anyway, I found myself asking who do I want to work for? When it was announced that Weatherly was returning, I was happy not just for myself, but for the fans of the station and those who were finding KROQ for the very first time.”
When asked about new segments, Ally laughed and explained, “There are so many we love, and some we wished would have went better.” Klein followed-up, “There’s an unpredictability when you try new things. It can go sideways – you just never know. The best segments are often those things you didn’t plan and it just happens. It’s that unpredictability that makes for good radio.”
I asked them to tell us about their process; is there a format? Ally answered, “Well, kind of. We have a playbook that we have discussed with Weatherly, but it’s more of a guide. A good radio host knows when to move away from it and go with what’s in front of you and go down the path that is opening. When it works it’s epic.” Klein chimed in, “The goal is for more hits than misses.”
“You have earned the respect of listeners, and they’re coming back. What are some things that make you laugh about your fans in general? I asked. Ally said, “You just never know what is going to happen, or what someone will say. I loved this guy who has a grandma who makes portraits of people with raisins (that person was later crowned weirdest relative). There’s another person who has an uncle who will eat off everyone’s plates with either two spoons or two forks.” Klein chimes in, “Like Wolverine!” causing us all to burst out laughing. Ally continued, “People are so open with us; they are willing to tell us everything, especially the little things about their lives – you know, the things that matter.”
When asked how much of a difference today’s music programing has made, Ally said, “The way we are doing things today is what people expect when you think KROQ – we’ve embraced the station’s legacy. Listeners get to hear the music they all grew up with, and we can play new cool stuff too, people are reacting positively to the music again.”
We asked them about the best comment they’ve received from a listener since the change in programming and the support from current management. Klein spoke thoughtfully, “There are a few, but this one really stands out. It really is the story of us so far. A guy wrote in and said, ‘I can’t believe I am listening to KROQ again. I was so mad at you guys for a while because you took away my friends. I listened to Kevin and Bean everyday and I went away for a while. I hated you at first because you were different and now I am listening two hours a day; I never did that before.’ That listener said ‘I gave you guys a shot and I am glad I did.’ That seems to be the consensus about us: love, hate, tolerate, and love again. That sums us up at the moment.”
Next I asked, “In the here and now, what do people get right about the Klein.Ally.Show and what do they get wrong?” They looked at each other, then Klein answered, “There aren’t a lot of places like KROQ, there aren’t a lot of PDs like Weatherly. This show is live, not recorded, we’re listening to all that reach out, we care about them, we are playing the music people want to hear, we’re willing to take chances. We are doing a lot of the things that made this place great originally. Bottom line, good content and good music are timeless. So what do people get wrong? Maybe not thinking about radio being a first choice. When someone turns on the radio today, we try entertain, maybe give someone something they didn’t know before, and Weatherly is programming great music. We engage with listeners; we are genuinely connecting with our listeners. That’s what’s right at KROQ today. “
He continued, “What do they get wrong? If it sounds like we don’t give an F, it’s not that we don’t, we just had a previous boss that didn’t support us and now we do. We went through the worst part of a breakup that wasn’t our doing, so it may be us trying to rise above it all.” Ally chimed in, “We hit our bottom,” causing us to laugh again. Klein added, “We have nowhere to go but up!” After another good laugh, Ally then said, “That may be what you hear – it’s the confidence that people don’t hate us; they gave us a shot and we are earning their respect.”
Rachael asked, “What’s the landscape like for morning shows that makes you scratch your head?” They both smirked, then Ally said, “I’ll take that one. There was this fear that podcasts were going to take over the world of radio. The problem with that was you couldn’t give anyone real-time information and you can’t take calls, or the fact everyone knew it was recorded. That was a big problem to build a connection if that’s all you were doing. Now, there’s a move to do live podcasts, which is radio when you think of it.”
“What are you doing that is getting people so excited about the morning show?” I asked. Ally said, “We are going out to the community, we are meeting people, we go to shows, sporting events, we grab a drink with listeners, we love hanging out with people. Turns out all the people we meet are people we would hang out with in real life. They are our people, and we relate to them.” Klein joined in and said, “I love the fact that people send us stuff, like a picture of them made out of sand and soundwaves of our show, or a picture of us as the Mona Lisa, or when people ask Ally to sing the national anthem at an event.” This is no joke; they put their money where their mouth is: Ally was asked to sing the national anthem at a dog park, and sing the national anthem at a dog park she did.
Monday through Friday
5 AM to 10 AM
Ally went on to say, “People trip out that we do the things we say we are going to do; the follow through just seems to surprise everyone. Sometimes we have ADD, but we always try to do the things we say we’re going to do.” Klein described a time when they got a message from a 23-year-old woman who was having a birthday party and invited them. He said that she said, “’You don’t know me, but I feel like you are my friends, so please come to my party!’ We plan to go to her party.”
We shifted to some of their on-air discussions, where they share a lot about themselves. Ally said that she thinks it helps people, not so much the big things, but the little things, the everyday things that people can relate to and feel they can share in the human experience. Klein ended that topic with, “Unfortunately, everything we say about ourselves on air is real,” which once again caused us all to laugh.
Rachael asked Ally, “As a woman, do you find it hard to work in the industry? Are you always treated as equals?” Klein jumped in, “I’ll take this one!” which made us laugh. Ally said, “I think the stereotypes I fight against is the female is the laughing box to support the male host. I’m there to support him and just say funny lines and laugh at all jokes and that I don’t have much creative input as far as content goes. It’s a box that too many women get put in. I work hard to not be that stereotype. We work together to make sure that’s not the narrative. The bottom line for this morning show is that it’s truly a team effort and we work together, we get our voices and ideas heard, that’s what makes us gel.”
Both Ally and Klein were like proud parents when asked what trends make them smile. Both chimed in on the growth of their podcast, the numbers, and the reach they are getting. The show has come a long way from those early days.
When asked what the future looks like for them, they both had a look of calmness. Klein said….
“We’ve been through a lot; we believe in what we’re doing. We never take anything for granted, and we are so appreciative to the people who stuck by us, the people who gave us a shot and continued to listen and new listeners that allow us to be part of their lives and allow us help create new memories of their experience listening KROQ.”
With that, we thanked them for their time; they both expressed how much they appreciated us coming down to chat with them. I could tell they were genuine, and I got that feeling from everyone at the station. They really do care about their listeners, and putting on the best show they can.
OCMN Staff with Klein & Ally
In the end, radio has evolved just like everything else in life. Some things we liked, some we didn’t. In Southern California, life is good when we have places like KROQ that are doing what it has always done best – entertaining us and playing great music. For Klein and Ally, I truly hope they will be around for a while; they are definitely what’s right about radio today. As for Kevin Weatherly, we need more Program Directors like him at the helm.
Swinging back to Vin, yes, the improbable took place, and what was thought to be impossible, well… The Klein.Ally.Show took that proverbial bull by the horns and they are living proof that there is always an exception to any rule.
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November 21, 2023Announce ‘Hackney Diamonds’ 2024 Tour
November 21, 2023 by Bonnie Brusko
Rock icons The Rolling Stones are embarking on a 16-date North American Tour called Stones Tour ‘24 Hackney Diamonds. The tour starts on April 28th in Houston and travels across the US and Canada, ending on July 17th in Santa Clara, CA.
The group last toured North America on the No Filter tour in 2021. Longtime drummer Charlie Watts passed away within weeks of the tour; Watts had only missed one concert since joining the band in 1962.
The tour will support “Hackney Diamonds,” their first album of original music in 18 years. The album’s celebrity guest’s contributions are plentiful. Paul McCartney adds a buzzy bass riff to “Bite My Head Off.”
Elton John plays piano on the songs “Get Close” and “Live by the Sword.” Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder show up for a bluesy ballad called “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.” At an intimate album release concert in New York, Lady Gaga even showed up to perform alongside the band for “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.”
On the new album, “Live by the Sword” is not written with the most potent lyrics; in fact, you could make a convincing argument that the lyrics hardly matter. However, it’s significant.
“Live by the Sword” is a blast that reunites the version of the Rolling Stones extant from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. The drums were recorded by Charlie Watts at his final sessions before he died in 2021; Bill Wyman is on bass with the addition of Elton John as a sideman, a role once occupied by Ian Stewart.
Not for the last time on “Hackney Diamonds,” it recalls the moment in the late ‘70s when the arrival of punk galvanized the Rolling Stones, whether they would have admitted it or not.
Tickets for the ‘24 Hackney Diamonds tour go on sale December 1st, but you can sign up for a presale on the Stones’ site.
They are hitting 16 major cities, including New Orleans, Las Vegas, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Vancouver, and British Columbia. The Stones will visit Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium on July 10th.
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November 21, 2023Lineup Announced
November 21, 2023 by Nancy Evans
After an electrifying Primavera Sound Los Angeles in 2022 – an event that included Nine Inch Nails, Artic Monkeys, and Lorde – music lovers worldwide couldn’t wait to hear what’s next. Well, the wait is over!
P R I M A V E R A | S O U N D 2 0 2 4
The 2024 Barcelona lineup is out and it includes Deftones, Lana Del Rey, and Vampire Weekend plus a host of incredible artists.
The 2024 edition of Spain’s famed event will take place in Barcelona May 29th to June 2nd, 2024. The festival also includes PJ Harvey, The National, Bikini Kill, Portishead, Phoenix, and Pulp.
Stay tuned for more announcements on other shows throughout the world, and crossing fingers… back to L.A.!
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November 21, 2023(May 29, 1955 to November 20, 2023)
November 20, 2023 by David Jackson
Sad news in the world of music today as we learned saxophonist extraordinaire Mars Williams passed away Monday at the age of 68. We all grew up listening to his music with The Waitresses and The Psychedelic Furs, and he just finished touring the US with The Furs and Squeeze.
Williams was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer (ampullary) last year and he had been fighting the good fight ever since. Sadly, his battle has come to an end. “It’s with great sadness that we send this message to let the many people who loved and supported Mars Williams know that he passed away earlier today after his year-long struggle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends, both in person and around the world, who held him close, and loved him dearly.”
The message continued, “Until the end, Mars’ inexhaustible humor and energy, and his love for music, pushed him forward. As it became clear in late summer that his treatment options were coming to an end, he chose to spend six weeks of the time he had left living as he had since he was a teenager — out on the road performing night after night. Those last performances with the Psychedelic Furs will live on with all of the other incredible contributions that Mars has made as a person, and as a musician, and that boundless energy will continue to inspire.”
The Furs also posted a tribute to their Instagram page, it said, “We’re heartbroken 💔. Goodbye to the great Mars Williams. Rest well.”
Williams is a DePaul University alum where he studied jazz. From there he went on to play with The Waitresses and The Furs. Over his illustrious career, he also played and recorded with Billy Idol, The Killers, Ministry, Jerry Garcia, Power Station, The Untouchables and so many more legends of the music industry.
In his passing, he leaves a legacy that is inspirational. Williams had been sober for over 20 years and was actively helping fellow musicians struggling through various aspects of life through the MusiCares program.
SID 231120 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...]Read more...
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