A Look Back at the Depeche Mode Riots

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 11, 2015 07:43pm | Post a Comment
Depeche Mode

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion, depending on your point of view). In that riot, 3,438 Anglenos were arrested, 1,032 were injured, and 34 died. This year (but not today) is also the 25th anniversary of another, less serious uprising, the Depeche Mode Riots, in which five people were treated for injuries.


Southern California has hosted its share of riots; there was the San Gabriel Mission Riot in 1785, the Chinese Massacre of 1871, the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, the Cooper Do-nuts Uprising of 1959, the Sunset Strip Curfew Riots of 1966, the Black Cat Riot of 1967, the Huntington Beach Surf Riot of 1986, the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, the San Bernardino Punk Riot of 2006, the Anaheim Riots of 2012, and the another Huntington Beach Surf Riot in 2013. Some (most) were exacerbated by the authorities, and several were fueled by civil rights aspirations and/or racism. Only one that I know of was fueled by hormones, Anglophila, and ARP-2600s.

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One Album Wonders: April 16th

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 3, 2015 03:29pm | Post a Comment
April 16th promo photo

English hard rock/heavy metal band April 16th formed in London in the summer of 1985. The members were Chris Harris (guitar), Dave Russell (vocals), Eric Puffet (bass), John Fisher (drums), and Lawrence Mills (lead guitar). They released just one album, Sleepwalking, in January, 1989. It was recorded at Cherry Studios in Croydon and released by High Dragon Dragons, a subsidiary of Parisian label, Black Dragon Records. The sleeve painting was done by Mike Stick

April 16th - Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking garnered the April 16th some attention. Radio 1 invited them to record a session with the late Tommy Vance, influential host of The Friday Rock Show and champion of heavy metal. They also appeared in a feature on ITV's London Weekend Television. There was a review in Kerrang! A second album was tentatively planned for release in 1990 but never saw the light of day. The band broke up in 1991.

One Album Wonders: Bigstorm

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 27, 2015 02:55pm | Post a Comment

Bigstorm – Living In Exile (1989)

Bigstorm were an Australian band comprised of Bjarne Ohlin (Guitar, Vocals), Don Miller-Robinson (Lead Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Huey Benjamin (Drums, Vocals), and Stewart D’Arrietta (Lead Vocals, Keyboards). They released on album, Living in Exile, on WEA in 1989.

Bigstorm Living in Exile

The members of Bigstorm came from varied backgrounds. Ohlin had appeared as an actor in episodes of Bluey and Case for the Defence in 1976 and ’78 and played guitar with Divinyls from 1980-1986. Miller-Robinson had also acted, appearing in the 1982 film, Monkey Grip, and releasing one single as a solo performer, “There Was A Girl,” b/w “Ghosts Of Love” the same year. Benjamin had moved from Canberra to Sydney to play drums with G Force and later the Tasmanian band, The Innocents. D’Arrietta had released a solo album, Side Effects, in 1985 and had also been a member of The New Republic.

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One Album Wonders: Billy Satellite

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 20, 2015 08:16am | Post a Comment


Billy Satellite formed in Oakland in 1983. 
 The members were Danny Chauncey (lead guitar, keyboards and vocals), Ira Walker (bass and vocals), Monty Byrom (lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards), and Tom Falletti (drums). Of the members, Chauncey had the most recording experience, having previously performed in Mistress, a band which had released two albums and a single, “Mistrusted Love” in 1979.

Billy Satellite

In 1984 Billy Satellite released their only record, Billy Satellite. It was mixed and engineered by Greg Edward and Don Gehman at Rumbo Recorders and Gehman also produced. It’s pretty typical hard rock of the era, equally at home in county fairs and roller rinks. "Standing With the Kings" would've been not at all out of place during a montage showing someone training, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately triumphing in an '80s sports drama.

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New Release: Lulu Jam's Temporada Alta

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 13, 2015 02:35pm | Post a Comment

Lulu Jam - Verano de amor
Still of Lulú Jam!'s video for "Amor de verano" 
Directed by Roberto Doveris, filmed by Valentina Sáez for Niña Niño Producciones

After a seven year recording hiatus, Chilean electro-pop group Lulú Jam! have a new album out called Temporada AltaThe path of my discovery of Lulú Jam! is, I think, kind of amusing in that reveals something about the changing landscape at the intersection of technology and recording. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and one of the first bands I heard on the now-defunct Spanish indie station that I liked was “Tren al Sur” by the by-then-disbanded Chilean group, Los Prisioneros. More than any other band, Los Prisoneros opened me up to South American pop — not sweaty, clenched fist, sing along with the jukebox, pirate-shirted “Rock en Español,” but pop. 

A Venezuelan contacted me via LiveJournal and sent me a jpeg (this was before YouTube) of a video by Argentine band Miranda! and I caught a video for another of their songs, "Romix," on LATV. When Myspace launched, it's only obvious improvement over Friendster was that there bands could have profiles and Miranda!’s “Myspace friends” included several bands, the most interesting of whom were Lulú Jam!, a Chilean band with which they’d more than once shared a stage. 

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