By Lisa Burke
June 20th 2016, Crazy Girls, Hollywood CA: Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll has been the taboo of this nation in a music sense since its heyday in the ’60s and ’70s when these items were much more free to go hand in hand. The music back in those days, no matter how much sex and drugs were behind it or involved in it, was still always primarily about the music. Today it is more common to find sex and drugs as a primary reason to join a band while the music becomes secondary. That said, why not enhance the mood of a rock n’ roll show by adding in that extra splash of sex by playing in a strip club on none other than the most conservative night of the week, Monday night? That is exactly what I attended on Monday June 20th 2016 at Crazy Girls strip club, which is hosted by Nick Fucco who runs the Metal Mayhem Mondays, and is supported by Lost Anarchy magazine as well. On this night, Nick was not in attendance because he was in New York managing his own yearly rock n’ roll and heavy metal festival called Nickstock.
Crazy Girls has recently added some new stage accommodations such as a better equipped sound booth as well as two giant pimped out lounge booths on each side of the stage. The overall sound is now a few miles better than it used to be, although the obstacles that bands have to dodge to load in and out of this stage that includes strippers, just got more intense. It is highly recommended to load into this venue as sober as possible to avoid any unnecessary encounters with pointy furniture, in my opinion. Monday nights here are free if you are special enough to know the password which you can acquire from Nick or one of his friends, and on this night with the bartenders they have had in attendance as of late you may find yourself waiting twenty minutes for an expensive cocktail when there are two girls working the bar with only five customers waiting, and you’ll be asked to tip before the drink is rung up. Whether this is a new policy or just someone trying to cover their ass, despite the fact that this is a strip club so quite the opposite will grant more tipping, I’ve seen much more crowded bars serve better experiences to their customers.
Moving on to the actual music, because that is what’s most important here, I arrived shortly after 9 PM to see three bands Icarus Landing, Heavenly Trip To Hell and The Drama, in that order. Icarus Landing is a quartet of alternative rock who played a Misfits cover of ‘Die My Darling’ that was fitting with their personal style more so than the original, which is an interesting way to go with it. I found the songs with the faster tempos and specifically faster paced drum beats to be the most entertaining, yet all the songs had something to offer and the singer/guitar player commanded the stage nicely. During this group and this group only, most of the strippers were out dancing. Everyone who shows up late usually complains on lack of strippers, which is definitely true the few times I’ve attended. They seem to disappear perhaps off to bigger things later in the evening. Regardless, Icarus Landing got their fair share of booty shaking during their set while the focus still remained on the music and there is a reason why people have two eyes and two ears.
Next on deck was a six-member industrial band that took about as much time to set up and tear down as a carnival would, and for good reason. This band is called Heavenly Trip To Hell, and they were loud, fun and crazy on stage. The one stripper up on the side stage was a portly tough girl with an oddly placed chest tattoo who was highly entertaining with her moves and flipping off the audience during some of the songs. Back to the band because that’s what’s important here, the singer had that slightly guttural, harsh, tough voice that was reminiscent of Rob Zombie, or perhaps Johnathan Davis of Korn. The music was along those lines as well, but unique with a carnival vibe and experimental noise additions as well. The keyboards/backing tracks were interesting at all times, and even when it got high pitched and slightly painful to the ear, it was an appropriate vibe for the act. The red flying V guitar was really flying out the industrial grooves and was certainly a creative highlight of the band. The name pretty much explains the total experience, and I definitely recommend checking them out if you get the chance.
The headliners of the evening The Drama took the stage, and while the odd balls out in the line up on this bill happened to be the previous band in terms of style, they also made for a hard act to follow. The Drama is a modern-day rock band with a very classic seventies vibe and very natural in sound, despite the uniquely enhanced vocals crafted on a special wooden voice box at times. To me it was appealing to hear after such an oppositely driven band, however, some people may not have understood it that way. The singer made a few jokes about them playing Rolling Stones covers for almost every song, which was not the case at all, but lightened the mood for sure. This band has been known to pull stage antics out of the blue that are shocking and unexpected and also beautiful in all their glory, and it is definitely part of the charm this band brings to the table. For their last two shows they have taken a more somber and straightforward approach mainly due to the locations that speak for themselves, and therefore the antics aren’t as expected to begin with, given the setting. Now we are left to enjoy the quality of the music, because that’s what it’s all about, remember? Also, there were only two strippers available during their set who mostly didn’t understand how to dance to the tunes, as is usually the case there these days. It does make a difference, however minor, to see the dancers understand the music, or at least something other than hip-hop, and it helps out everyone in the end.
My favorite from the night was the tune ‘Down By The River’ with its retro vibe and catchy lyrics and jamming. One of the newest tunes ‘Mother Superior’ is also a favorite and has more of that classic Beatles vibe in the guitar and vocals, while the bass and drums take on a creatively more modern approach that carries into a few other tunes as well, but they always possess the originality that is The Drama in everything they craft up. Another always interesting moment is the interlude where all the members leave the stage and only singer Ashley Winters is left to as he said ‘whip his dick out’ or in other words perform his most vulnerable and beautiful solo piece with him on the guitar. This current lineup is the strongest ever and they are all just as silly as they are professional, which is a great combination, especially in the world we live in today. If you are in the market for some high quality rock n’ roll with a super creative and talented vocalist that sometimes unleashes wildly dramatic surprises in the right setting, check out The Drama who will be returning to the Loaded Rock Bar live venue every other Thursday night and will be in charge of the rest of the lineup on those nights, which will ensure that we keep rock n’ roll alive and kicking, which is the way I like it best.
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