L.A Guns founder and guitarist Tracii Guns has seemingly obtained an advantage over his “nemesis” Steve Riley with respect to the dispute over the L.A. Guns name since Guns recently obtained a trademark in the United States of America for the words “L.A. Guns.”
The guitarist posted on his Facebook account earlier today that he received a certificate from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the words “L.A. Guns” that were registered on January 5, 2021 and which indicates that he has been using those words since sometime in 1983.
Without any explanation, one might think that Guns has won his legal battle over Riley over the L.A. Guns name.
However, it appears that Guns and Riley are still 50-50 owners of the original L.A. Guns logo given that there is a trademark in that regard that was filed back on March 30, 1998 and registered on October 19, 1999 with the first use dating back to 1987. The logo trademark was renewed for a second time on June 6, 2019.
While Guns has yet to publicly reveal what advantage that he has obtained through his trademark registered on January 5, 2021, and Sleaze Roxx is no legal expert, it appears that Guns may now have gained more flexibility with the use of the words “L.A. Guns” while Riley might be restricted to using those words within the logo for which he is a 50% owner. You can obtain more information through various websites including Trademarkangel. Only time will tell in the presumed ongoing legal battle between the two L.A. Guns camps.
The Florida-based duo, BATAVIA has just released their new album, Batavia And Their Friends.
This new album is a cacophony of voices who give their individual interpretations on BATAVIA’s previously released EPs from 2020. You will find reimagined works from the likes of GRENDEL, MACH FOX, SPANKTHENUN, SYINX, BETA VIRUS, and more.
Adding to the works of the guest remix artists, BATAVIA have provided several remixes of their own with additional mixing work provided by Joy Thieves Productions.
Batavia and Their Friends is available now through Tigersquawk Records as a pay what you want via their Bandcamp.
BATAVIA is less about the band, but more about the people behind it. The two had been acquainted years ago and reconnected only by chance. The chemistry between them was immediately apparent and scarcely has there been a day where they have been apart since. They were married in November of 2019 in a retro arcade in downtown Jacksonville, before an Addams Family pinball machine, in true nerdy-goth fashion. Both being musicians, having strikingly similar musical tastes and already doing everything else together, it was a natural step to form a musical project. BATAVIA is a gothic industrial band from Jacksonville Florida. The band is comprised of husband and wife duo Terri and Ed Cripps.
Terri’s comeuppance was in the Madison,Wisconsin scene. She began playing piano and singing from a very young age. Ed spent most of his formative years playing in bands in the Providence and Boston area. He had been recording from his teenage years on, starting with primitive tracker software and thrift shop synthesizers to score video game mods.
They both came into the punk and industrial scene during its 90s stride and draw much of their inspiration from the music of that era; Skinny Puppy, 16Volt, C-Tec, Godflesh as well as goth and post-punk bands The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths and a litany of other influences.
BATAVIA’s music is an amalgamation of all those influences, using those textures as a framework and building into new directions, painting vibrant pictures, exploring new ideas and to make more of the music they would want to listen to themselves.
Producer Phil Spector, the legendary studio revolutionary of the ’60s and ’70s who ended his life imprisoned for a sensational 2003 murder, has died. He was 81.
“Phillip Spector, 80, was pronounced deceased of natural causes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at an outside hospital. His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office,” read the statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
TMZ reported that he had recently been hospitalized with COVID complications.
Biographer Richard Williams noted that Spector single-handedly “turned the producer from an obscure backroom boy…into a figure whose function paralleled that of a film director.”
His medium was a series of bombastic, cavernous-sounding singles that turned angst-ridden Brill Building love songs into highly orchestrated three-minute operas – or, in Spector’s own memorable description, “little symphonies for the kids.” His extravagant style — dubbed the “Wall of Sound” — influenced contemporaries like the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and later acolytes like Bruce Springsteen.
Spector’s lucrative run of ’60s hits on his Philles label with the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Darlene Love, the Righteous Brothers and the Ronettes led Tom Wolfe to dub him “the First Tycoon of Teen” in a celebrated 1964 profile.
The resounding flop of his 1966 magnum opus, Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” threw his career off track, but he rebounded with a controversial remix of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and productions for John Lennon and George Harrison.
Spector, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, did little work from the early ’80s on, as tales of his increasingly erratic and violent behavior spread in the industry. On Feb. 3, 2003, he was arrested after actress Lana Clarkson was found shot to death in his home. After a 2007 mistrial, Spector was retried in 2009 and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.
He was born Harvey Phillip Spector in the Bronx. When he was 8, his father killed himself, and his mother later moved the family to Los Angeles, where he began attending Fairfax High in 1954. The school’s alumni included songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who would play an important role in his early career.
Spector’s musical vision developed early: He took guitar lessons from Barney Kessel and Howard Roberts, both of whom would become members of the Wrecking Crew, the powerhouse studio band on his most famous recordings. While studying at L.A. City College, he began hanging out at Gold Star Studios, the Hollywood facility famed for its echo chamber, which would be the site of his epoch-making sessions.
In 1958, Spector scraped together $40 for a Gold Star session with his vocal trio the Teddy Bears, which included friends Marshall Leib and Annette Kleinbard. A breathy ballad, with lyrics inspired by the inscription on the tombstone of Spector’s father, was recorded; issued by Dore Records, “To Know Him Is to Love Him” reached No. 1 that fall, selling an estimated 1.4 million copies.
Other Teddy Bears hits failed to materialize on Imperial, and the act splintered. Spector recorded briefly for L.A. producer-publisher Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood as the Spectors Three. Sill recommended Spector to Leiber and Stoller, installed in New York’s Brill Building as hitmaking writer-producers, and the 19-year-old headed east.
During his two-year apprenticeship in the Big Apple, Spector co-wrote Ben E. King’s 1960 hit “Spanish Harlem,” worked as a session guitarist, produced Ruth Brown and La Vern Baker for Atlantic and briefly served as Atlantic’s head of A&R. He also produced Gene Pitney’s “Every Breath I Take” for Musicor and Curtis Lee’s “Pretty Little Angel Eyes,” a No. 7 hit, for Dunes.
In 1961, Spector returned to L.A., where he produced the No. 5 single “I Love How You Love Me” by the Paris Sisters for Sill’s Gregmark imprint. Spector and Sill subsequently set up the label Philles as an outlet for Spector’s production output.
Spector cracked the top 20 in 1962 with the Crystals’ “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” and “Uptown” but vaulted to No. 1 with the vocal group’s ode to teen outlawry “He’s a Rebel.” By the time the latter record hit the apex, Spector had bought out Sill’s interest in Philles and established his signature production sound — immense, percussive, densely orchestrated (usually by arranger Jack Nitzsche) and over-the-top.
The hits kept coming. Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” (No. 8, 1962), an idiosyncratic cover of a song from Disney’s “Song of the South,” introduced former Blossoms member Darlene Love as a lead voice; she would also power the Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” (No. 3, 1963) and “Then He Kissed Me” (No. 6, 1963) and have some minor Philles hits of her own.
Spector’s Wall of Sound found its ultimate expression in the work of the Ronettes, a familial New York-bred trio fronted by Veronica “Ronnie” Bennett, whose puissant, quavering lead vocals defined them as much as their beehive hairdos and Cleopatra-style eyeliner. The group leaped to No. 2 in 1963 with “Be My Baby,” the most dramatic and thunderous of Spector’s early productions. (Director Martin Scorsese unforgettably used the song under the credits of “Mean Streets” in 1973.)
The Ronettes landed some lesser top 40 hits for Philles — “Baby I Love You,” “The Best Part of Breaking Up,” “Do I Love You?,” “Walking in the Rain” — and were prominently featured on Spector’s 1963 seasonal album “A Christmas Gift to You,” which stiffed on release but later became a yuletide standard. In 1965, they appeared in “The Big TNT Show,” a filmed concert produced by Spector.
Philles struck major paydirt for the last time with the Righteous Brothers. The blue-eyed soul duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield had recorded without distinction for Moonglow Records. But they scored immediately with Spector in 1964 with the huge No. 1 smash “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” — BMI’s most performed song of the 20th century. It was succeeded in rapid order by “Just Once in My Life” (No. 9), “Unchained Melody” (No. 4) and “Ebb Tide” (No. 5). (“Unchained Melody” returned to the top 20 twice in 1990 after it was used in the hit feature “Ghost.”)
However, in 1966, Spector and Philles began to hit the skids. The British Invasion — led by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the latter of whom invited Spector to their sessions — had pushed girl-group pop off the charts (some obvious impact on soul’s Motown Sound notwithstanding), and Spector’s opulent style had begun to sound dated. Even his devotion to monophonic sound was being challenged by the growing acceptance of stereo recording. However, the producer envisioned a personal renaissance in the form of a single by the husband-and-wife R&B duo Ike and Tina Turner.
Cut at great cost with an army of session musicians at Gold Star, the volcanic “River Deep, Mountain High” was released with a flourish in May 1966. However, while it managed to reach No. 3 in the U.K., the single bombed domestically, peaking at No. 88 and falling off the charts after just four weeks.
Philles issued its last single in October 1966. The Righteous Brothers, the Ronettes and Darlene Love, whose careers were embodied in their work with Spector at the label, were all later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2003, 2007 and 2010, respectively.
It would take a few years for Spector’s career to reignite. In the interim, after divorcing first wife Annette in 1966, he married the Ronettes’ Ronnie Bennett. (The couple’s tumultuous life together, circumscribed by Spector’s terrifying jealousy, ended in divorce in 1974; Ronnie Spector recounted her side of the story in her hair-raising 1990 book “Be My Baby.”) In 1969, Spector took a wordless cameo as a dope dealer in Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider.” A production deal with A&M landed him the No. 13 hit “Black Pearl” by Sonny Charles & the Checkmates in 1969.
In 1970, Beatles manager Allen Klein summoned Spector to London, where he produced “Instant Karma,” John Lennon’s first solo single under his own name. Tasked with remixing the Beatles’ log-jammed back-to-basics project “Get Back,” the producer slathered strings, horns and choirs onto the tracks “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road.” Though the latter number became the Fab Four’s last No. 1 single, Spector was universally attacked when the “Let It Be” album was released in 1970.
Despite the criticism, Spector enjoyed strong creative relationships with two ex-Beatles. He produced George Harrison’s luminous three-LP 1970 solo album “All Things Must Pass,” which reached No. 1, and the all-star 1971 live set “The Concert For Bangla Desh,” which won a Grammy as album of the year.
His work with Lennon was similarly fruitful, albeit less consistent and considerably more fraught with tension. Spector helmed Lennon’s albums “Plastic Ono Band” (No. 6, 1970) and “Imagine” (No. 1, 1971), the latter of which contained the much-beloved title song. He also produced the cheery Lennon-Yoko Ono single “Happy Xmas (War is Over).”
Spector also tracked the politically flat-footed Lennon-Ono collection “Some Time in New York City” (1972). Sessions for Lennon’s throwback album of rock ‘n’ roll covers during the musician’s L.A. “lost weekend” of 1973 devolved into chaos and reports of occasional gunplay by the producer. Spector absconded with the tapes; after a protracted legal clash, an album, “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was released in 1975, employing just four of Spector’s tracks.In the mid-’70s, a deal with the international arm of Warner Bros. kept Spector in the studio producing singles by Cher and Harry Nilsson and a set by Dion, “Born to Be With You.”
Spector’s life, already deeply colored by paranoia, continued to darken, and employing him became perilous. As a freelancer, he produced Leonard Cohen’s 1977 album “Death of a Ladies’ Man”; during the sessions, Spector reportedly drew a gun, pointed it at Cohen’s chest and said, “I love you Leonard,” to which the singer-songwriter coolly replied, “I hope so, Phil.” Firearms were also displayed during the arduous recording of the Ramones’ 1980 album “End of the Century,” Spector’s last major production. He was credited with work on Ono’s 1981 release “Season of Glass,” but his contributions were reportedly minimal.
Except for production of a pair of tracks for the English band Starsailor in 2003, an increasingly reclusive Spector had virtually disappeared from view before the shocking Lana Clarkson murder that year.
The producer had picked up the former B-movie starlet at House of Blues in West Hollywood, where she worked as a hostess, and drove her to his Alhambra mansion, where she was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. At trial, Spector’s defense team maintained that Clarkson had killed herself. A hung jury — 10-2 for conviction — forced a retrial, at which Spector was convicted. Higher court appeals were rejected.Not long after Spector’s conviction, Sony Music’s Legacy division announced a deal to license the producer’s long-out-of-print Philles catalog; a series of compilations and a boxed set followed in 2011.
An HBO docudrama focusing on the Clarkson case, starring Al Pacino as Spector and written and directed by David Mamet, aired on the cable web in 2013.Spector is survived by his wife Rachelle, a vocalist whose 2010 debut album, “Out of My Chelle,” he produced while free on bail between his two trials; three children adopted during his marriage to Ronnie Spector; and a daughter born to ex-girlfriend Janis Zavala.
LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE have just released their newest single entitled “Up to the Flames,” accompanied by a lyric video that offers stunning visuals that are intensified by the song’s poignant lyrics. This goth tinged metal opus is a reflection of our times, where a world set aflame proves inescapable. This is the second single released from their forthcoming full-length album “Haunted People.” Bringing his dark mystique to goth industrial metal, Ben V-, along with his band Ludovico Technique, showcase a thoughtful depth and complexity unmatched by many bands. With haunting music accompanied by beautiful, cinematic visuals; Ludovico Technique is the very embodiment of the Gothic aesthetic in its purest form. In the beginning, the band drew inspiration from goth industrial bands such as Skinny Puppy and Marilyn Manson, yet now, the future for Ludovico Technique moves towards a world more akin to fans of Type O Negative, Rob Zombie, and Slipknot, bringing a taste of the underground to the forefront of what goth industrial metal can achieve.
Since the early 80’s, FRONT 242’s ever-growing fanbase has always proven to be the 5th member of the band. A unique communion and interactive relationship between fan and artist that has grown and matured over the course of 4 decades. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all missed the numerous FRONT 242 concerts planned in 2020. Well, now we let the FRONT 242 live shows come to you – anytime anywhere… The 1991 “Tyranny For ” tour has never before been the subject of any official live release. However, this tour was one of the most spectacular in terms of scenery and its exceptional track listing. Remastered from personal recordings, we are presenting the best versions of these live tracks and some rare gems across 2 releases. We suggest that you all get back into the atmosphere and the excitement of these intense moments spent live in concert with FRONT 242 for some of you, or to simply discover an exciting period of the Belgian pioneers of electronic music – for others. With this “91” release, we hope that these 2 different live recordings will bring you a little closer to better days when we’ll all come together again! “91” Double Color Vinyl Box (recorded in Europe)
Strictly limited to 1242 copies worldwide, the “91” double-LP version holds 14 tracks recorded live at various locations during the European tour in 1991. The 2 cream-colored vinyls are inserted in a luxury carton slipcase packaging with soft touch varnish. The 20-track “Sounds From The Matrix 022” Alfa Matrix compilation is also inserted in each deluxe box. The first 300 ordered copies of the double-vinyl edition set will receive a numbered exclusive FRONT 242 live carton photo (210x140mm). All these live recordings were mixed from tape and assembled by Thierry Herremans (Hills Music) and mastered by Daniel B. “USA 91” Digipak CD version (recorded in the USA)
The “USA 91” 6-pannel digipak CD version holds 14 tracks recorded live at various locations during the North American tour in 1991. The first 1000 copies of the CD edition are printed with soft touch varnish on the packaging. All these live recordings were mixed from tape and assembled by Thierry Herremans (Hills Music) and mastered by Daniel B. Available formats:
Founding member of FRONT 242, Daniel B. celebrated his 66th birthday with the DANIEL B. “six+six” release on which he revisited songs from his repertoire, re-filtering them through his limitless sonic kaleidoscope anno 2020 and bringing them to the next instrumental level. Trance, electro, intelligent techno, and body music merged to make one! While the COVID-19 pandemic keeps raging, disrupting the whole world, and also continues heavily impacting artists who are now unable to perform live and unite with their fanbase, we challenged the “Devil B.” himself, adding a third “6” to his age by releasing a second chapter to his re-filtering exercise exactly 6 months later. The 66.6 concept was born… DANIEL B. of course took the challenge with open arms, joined hands with his good old friend Elko Blijweert who added some hypnotic psychedelic guitars to the work. He this time reinvented solid FRONT 242 classics like “Welcome To Paradise” and “Funkhadafi”, but also turned “Sfr. Nomenklatura” into a stunning mesmerizing hammering club hit, while offering us a new grinding and oppressive DANIEL B. cut aptly titled “The End Of The End”. Over half an hour of messy addictive electronics in a luxurious darkish 4-panel digipak release for your ultimate pleasure. No constraint, no restriction for a full dynamic and hi-energy sonic impression! Welcome once again to the Electronic B. Music universe… and don’t tell the Devil! Available formats:
808 DOT POP – The Cubic Temperature CDCD / download
“The Cubic Temperature” is the fruitful result of a unique collaboration between 808 DOT POP (aka Passenger S of METROLAND fame) and Belgian electronic music veteran Franky Deblomme and his new CUBIC project. What was bound to be a one-shot remix collaboration when CUBIC remixed the track “Kelvin” for 808 DOT POP’s last 7” vinyl release, turned into a full sonic adventure! Fascinated by the new electro dimensions that CUBIC injected into his own songs, Passenger S started wondering how it would sound like if one and the same artist would entirely remodel one of his albums. Appropriating and morphing every song into his own musical universe while keeping bits and pieces from the original versions. The originality of the concept seduced Franky Deblomme and CUBIC embarked on this challenging sonic journey, reworking tracks from the much applauded 808 DOT POP album “The Colour Temperature” and related singles. Songs like “Ultraviolet”, “Illuminants”, singles like “Blackbodies” and “Kelvin”, but also B-sides like “Seeing Heat” or “Cie 1960” were entirely remodeled, stretched towards a more LEFTFIELD / ORBITAL kind of sound while showing the biggest respect and keeping the right identity and original sound flavors from 808 DOT POP’s characteristic warm melodic vintage synth style. From the first note onwards up until the last, the listeners get immersed in a bath of luscious electronics. Musically taken on a ride where after each crispy note another vibrant joy is waiting, clearly holding the CUBIC watermark, with a tiny 808 flavor. “The Cubic Temperature” proves that a daring concept, simple in set-up, has so much to offer once the magic operates and two talents unite and demonstrate that 1 + 1 can make 3… Available formats:
Sylvain Mizrahi, better known as Sylvain Sylvain, songwriter and founding member of the NEW YORK DOLLS, has died at the age of 69.
The news of his passing was confirmed by former PATTI SMITH GROUP guitarist Lenny Kaye, who wrote: “Sylvain Sylvain, the heart and soul of the NEW YORK DOLLS, bearer of the Teenage News, passed into his next astral incarnation on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
“Syl loved rock and roll. His onstage joy, his radiant smile as he chopped at his guitar, revealed the sense of wonder he must have felt at the age of 10, emigrating from his native Cairo with his family in 1961, the ship pulling into New York Harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.
“It was he who looked across Lexington Ave. and saw the sign for the New York Doll hospital. Syl and a high school friend, Billy Murcia, were in the rag trade then, the aptly named Truth And Soul, handknit sweaters with a side of rockattitude. Hooking up with another classmate, John Genzale, and then, as bands will, Arthur Kane, and David Johansen, and Jerry Nolan, they became a quasar in the rock firmament; embodying trash, glam, garage-to-punk, the ambisexual affirmation of music played louder.
“His role in the band was as lynchpin, keeping the revolving satellites of his bandmates in precision. Though he tried valiantly to keep the band going, in the end the DOLLS‘ moral fable overwhelmed them, not before seeding an influence that would engender many rock generations yet to come.
“THE NEW YORK DOLLS heralded the future, made it easy to dance to. From the time I first saw their poster appear on the wall of Village Oldies in 1972, advertising a residency at the Mercer Hotel up the street, throughout their meteoric ascent and shooting star flame-out, the NEW YORK DOLLS were the heated core of this music we hail, the band that makes you want to form a band.
“Syl never stopped. In his solo lifeline, he was welcomed all over the world, from England to Japan, but most of all the rock dens of New York City, which is where I caught up with him a couple of years ago at the Bowery Electric. Still Syl. His corkscrew curls, tireless bounce, exulting in living his dream, asking the crowd to sing along, and so we will. His twin names, mirrored, becomes us.
“Thank you Sylvain x 2, for your heart, belief, and the way you whacked that E chord. Sleep Baby Doll”.
In April 2019, a fundraising campaign was launched for Sylvain, who revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
“I have not been able to work since last year,” he wrote, “and have more surgery scheduled. I love life! As hard as life has been to me these past two years, I want to live and I know with your love and support I’ll have the best chance that I could ever have.”
The NEW YORK DOLLS were called many things — glam, proto-punk, hard rock — but are probably best understood as a “dirty rock and roll” band. Combining an aggressively androgynous style with street-smart New York attitude and campy humor, the NEW YORK DOLLS ushered in the era of CBGBs, heroin chic, loud guitars and referential lyrics which gave rise to Patti Smith, the RAMONES, TELEVISION and many more. Fans of the band range from GUNS N’ ROSES to Morrissey, who organized the reformation of the band when he curated Meltdown festival in 2004.
Sylvain remained the NEW YORK DOLLS until the group’s breakup in 1977. He later worked on various projects, including a band called THE CRIMINALS and another group called THE TEARDROPS. Sylvain reunited with NEW YORK DOLLS in 2004 and played on the band’s last three albums, “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This”, “Cause I Sez So” and “Dancing Backward In High Heels”.
Sylvain‘s autobiography, “There’s No Bones In Ice Cream”, was released in 2018 via Omnibus Press.