October 22, 2011

Blitch 66 and The Americana Deth Cult

Finally, we all get to see Blitch 66, Nathanial John, Gary Martin and Keif Robert together on stage. I had the chance to catch Nathanial and Keif at one of the Big City Rebels shows. Big City Rebels is an annual sleaze rock festival run by Sam Valentine, one of the earliest and leading revivalists of ballsy, glammed out, sex-driven rock n roll in New York City. I went to the show to catch my friends The Last Vegas, whom Sam booked as the headliners.

Opening for them were Nathanial and Keif, who were both in separate bands. Nate was on drums for The Party Death and Keif was on guitar for Wildstreet . I spoke to Sam about the vision of his party promotion activities. He kept telling me how he wanted rock n roll to be about rolling into a party and grabbing the hottest girl there, then if anyone fucks with you, you punch him straight in the face. I can see why he booked Nate and Keif at his show.

Later that year, Kelle Calco booked The Dirty Pearls at Don Hill’s (before it sadly closed down). The Master of Ceremonies that night was non other than Blitch 66 himself. That was the first time I ever saw Blitch. Nick Vivid mentioned him in Kelle’s blog and spoke highly of him. Alright, let’s see what this guy is all about.

The moment Blitch stepped on that stage, he had everybody’s attention within seconds. He was a force of nature in charisma and charm. Everyone that night started out standoffish and a little too shy to be social, but when Blitch had a microphone and a spotlight on him, he made hormonal animals out of us. Everybody stopped being afraid of yelling and cheering and all the girls got really horny. Getting laid that night got a thousand times easier, for everyone. After that party I always wondered, what kind of charisma would Blitch bring if he was in an active band? I wanted to steal him for myself but I was too busy with film school.

Blitch, Keif and Nathanial all moved to LA this year. Wildstreet got Jonny Prince from Dirty Penny to fill in for them when Keif moved here. And after a long run, The Party Death broke up. I remember all those late LA conversations I had with Jack, Dave and Nate whenever we’re at an ihop after all the bars close down. They were all telling me how they wanted to take the time off to focus on practicing their instruments and evolving as musicians. Dave moved back to Maine and Jack wanted to escape away to Philadelphia. They wanted to be away from everything. Like Shaolin kung fu fighters on top of a deserted mountain, training in a place away from distractions.

Nate stayed here in LA. Without a band. Keif was here. Without a band. Blitch. Without a band. “I wanna get back to music. I just started a new band with Nate and Keif”, Blitch broke the news, as I visited his DJ booth at The Rainbow Bar & Grill. My response: “Whoa … interesting.”
They called the band “The Hollywood Hounds”. If you know Blitch, he’s a really busy guy. And I’ve been in bands where all the members are too busy to put any time to work on writing. Nothing really good comes out of it. I was very pessimistic about The Hounds. I was almost certain that the lack of thought and effort is gonna come across if I ever hear their music.

One morning I was browsing around in facebook. The Hounds posted their first song. Hmmm. Click … A heavy Chuck Berry intro. Hanoi Rocks progressions. Thin Lizzy inspired Irish Folk riffs.. Vocals that remind me of Cinderella’s Tom Kiefer. A bunch of vocal harmonies that feel like Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. Then a randomly arranged ballsy, burn out, messy, street punk, bluesy Guns N Roses outro foreshadowed with a harmonica. Well ... that was pretty bitchin' ...

It’s one of those songs that make you feel that everything is gonna be ok. Heavy, yet cheerful and soothing at the same time.

“Blitch! Holy shit dude! Who’s the singer?”, I shouted. “That’s Gary, he wrote the Thin Lizzy style riffs too”.

The Hounds are gonna play that song live for the first time ever this Monday. And I can’t wait to finally see them play. They haven’t developed a full set of songs yet, but they were just dying to play live, so Blitch put together a bunch of his favorite songs: Originals, covers and surprises. He’s calling this one-time set: “The Americana Deth Cult”. Not only will we see Blitch play bass with The Hounds, we’re gonna see him as a front man for the rest of the set. I’ve been anticipating Blitch as a front man ever since Don Hills in New York City. And now, I finally get to see him do it.

The Americana Deth Cult will be playing live at
The Dragonfly this Monday Oct 24 along with The Nuclears and Nothing Sacred. Make sure to make it for this one. It’s a special one. Two bands playing their first show in LA. Don’t miss it...

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