Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 29, 2012 08:06pm | Post a Comment

BROKEN SPOKE, Austin, TX 2010 Color coupler print 20 x 20” © Rhona Bitner

BROKEN SPOKE, Austin, TX 2010 Color coupler print 20 x 20” © Rhona Bitner


Art and rock fans should check out STATIC NOISE: The Photographs of Rhona Bitner showing until April 15, 2012 at University Art Museum Cal State University Long Beach (UAM CSULB) -- concurrently with Lou Reed's Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe and Split Moment. All are reflections of museum director Christopher Scoates's particular interest the intersection of art and music-related pop culture (as previously evinced by 2009's Brian Eno exhibition, 77 Million Paintings). 


New York
-based photographer Rhona Bitner previously spent years with a circus and with stage lighting and her earlier photography and surroundings evince a taste for colorful performers and dark, warm shadows. The jump from garish clowns to raffish rock musicians probably wouldn't have been much of a leap but the subjects of Bitner's latest are America's iconic rock music venues and recording spaces themselves, not the musicians and engineers who made and make the music happen.

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Those only live to get radical - or - Little hand says it's time to rock and roll

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 17, 2012 09:36am | Post a Comment

A new compilation of SoCal bands titled Who invented the Mirror has just been released and is available exclusively at Amoeba. One of the bands featured thereon, Those, recently released their debut, We Cure Nothing, just before Christmas.

The name of the band, Those (assuming it's the plural pronoun of "that" and not the village in Nepal), seems calculatedly obscure and at the same time reminiscent of Them, The Who, The The, They, Them, Them! or It. The they behind those are John Cason (guitar), Eric Spolans (ex-The Not Today and 000 Records - guitar), JJ Watson (bass and horns), Brett Strobridge (drums), and Emily Grant (keys). It was recorded and engineered by Chris Reynolds at Dangerbird Studios in Silver Lake.

The song titles are all quotes taken from mainstream films of the 1980s, cult-classic films of the 1990s, and Billy Wilder's 1950 classic Sunset Blvd. The title of the album, We Cure Nothing, is possibly a reference to a 1971 Arthur Hiller film, The Hospital. It would seem, then, that movies are on Those's mind(s).

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The unsung heroines of Punk/Post-Punk/No Wave/New Wave

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 13, 2009 05:46pm | Post a Comment
Since its beginning, rock music has been a male dominated affair. Women, such as Wanda Jackson, were not just anomalies but curiosities. By the '60s there were plenty of girl groups, female soul singers and a few female-fronted rock bands, but the few actually female-dominated rock bands like Ace of Cups, Fanny, The Girls, Goldie & the Gingerbreads (the first all female rock band to sign to a major label) and even the Shaggs aren't exactly household names. That seemed to change in the '70s, when Suzi Quattro and The Runaways seemed to lessen the shock of seeing girls wielding instruments. Whether he was joking or not, Roger Ebert took credit for the girl rock revolution by creating the Carrie Nations in his screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Things really began to change with onset of the new wave of the late '70s. Not only were there female-fronted bands like Siouxise & the Banshees and Blondie, but there were also bands integrated in various ways, like Talking Heads and later The Mekons, Gang of Four, &c. Now, although you could still listen to the radio for a year without hearing an all-female rock band, it's not entirely out of the question. These bands aren't all entirely comprised of women, but they definitely broke the mold.

The Au Pairs "Come Again"

The Bloods "Button Up" (audio only)