Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vintage Trouble : Lighting Up The Edison

Vintage Trouble is a band that used to play every Tuesday night at Harvelle's in Santa Monica.
That's where I first saw them.

Within a year of their formation they released their first CD (The Bomb Shelter Sessions) and scored big time management (Doc McGhee). They finished the year by playing a few shows in the UK, whetting the appetites of the Brits enough for them to return - this time appearing on the TV show "Later with Jools Holland" - a twice weekly music hour featuring bands of varying genres. VT appeared alongside Fleet Foxes, k.d. lang and actor Hugh Lorrie (wtf?), [episode details] and performed "Blues Hand Me Down". This appearance led to an encore at week's end returning to the "Later" studios and performed "Nancy Lee".

They spent the next few months showing England, Ireland, Germany and Scotland how it's done when you're the hardest working band in show biz. Playing 80 gigs in 100 days, they tightened up their groove  playing everywhere from small pubs to festivals supporting the likes of Queen's guitarist Brian May, Bootsy Collins and Bon Jovi. In Scotland the demand was so great for tickets to their show, that the gig had to be moved to a bigger venue. That night, 1000+ Scottish "troublemakers" sang along enthusiastically which led to the band's collective realization that success had come their way in the form of fans on the other side of the globe.

Several videos, radio sessions and gigs later - plus an invite for Ty to take part in the London Freddie Mercury Birthday celebration "Freddie For A Day" - they returned to L.A. and last night, played a show at The Edison.

A lack of quality control closely associated with popular music makes me want to cancel my subscription to Rolling Stone; rap isn't hip-hop isn't funky isn't interesting. Rapping and repping about things they have and things they want - all this flossin' and flashin' is so 1989 that I just can't stand it! Can you say "Young M.C."?

And Foo Fighters are a GREAT rock band??
I think even a music fan like Dave Grohl would concede there are generations of guitar based rock bands that are better than his. (He was in one of them.) I dig the Queens Of The Stone Age and even Kings Of Leon (a bit) but don't even bring up Coldhead and Radioplay - those overhyped artists are well meaning I guess and they have contributed enough but I am old enough to remember being excited by Cheap Trick and Led Zep and Kiss and Aerosmith and The Cult and Guns n Roses and even Elton John who put out solid rock 'n' roll at one time (check the triple LP Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player, Rock Of The Westies or Caribou).

But I digress.
Back to Vintage Trouble.

The first concert I ever went to was Angel - a ridiculous response to KISS - also signed to Casablanca Records, they wore all white and had crappy synthesizers - and when I saw them - my first concert ever -  the opening act was Quiet Riot - not the radio-friendly metal-lite act they became - but an exciting rival to the then little-known Pasadena band called Van Halen -  with a secret weapon in guitarist Randy Rhoads - a charter member of the 27 club - probably most famous for teaming up with Ozzy (he co-wrote "Crazy Train") - a rock 'n' roll royale upgrade which gave him the opportunity to live excessively and ultimately die in a completely avoidable plane accident.

I did it again.
I digressed.
Back to Vintage Trouble.
They give me the same rush I had back in the day, when knowing the words and wearing the t-shirt to school the next day to show allegiance was an important part of being a fan.

And let's talk about the fans for a minute!
The aforementioned "trouble-makers" are a worldwide collection of people of different ages from different backgrounds with one thing in common. In their clique of friends, they are that person who knows the coolest bands before anybody. They are they one going out on weeknights because the live music experience is - for them  for US - the ultimate experience.

The Vintage Trouble experience keeps hope alive.
No hype. Just listen.
And if you're cool you'll catch 'em now!
(they're heading back to Europe)

Video from The Edison:

Program note : Singer and troublemaker Brenna Whitaker joined the band onstage for a version of Ike and Tina Turner's "Baby Get It On". Brenna performs at the W Hotel in downtown L.A. on Sundays.

 I dedicate this blog entry to John Paul Jones, Kurt Cobain, Josh Homme, Punky Meadows, Rick Nielsen, Axl Rose, Rudy Sarzo, Starbaby, Michael Hutchence, Dakota Moon and Bernie Taupin!

Special thanks to Dorthea L.P. Winnet.

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