17 April 2014

"Dookie" Meisters

When it comes to power punk, pop punk, f-you punk, and melodic punk,
no band does it better than the "Dookie" meisters.


L-R:  Tré Cool (drums), Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt.

Photo by Jessica Lehrman

14 March 2014

Lisa Sanders Riff: "Shiver" CD Release Party

The best way to describe an artist like Lisa Sanders is not to describe her at all.  Look - then listen.

Lisa Sanders
Lisa Sanders Music
Release Date: March 8, 2014

Photostrip photos 1-4:

Photostrip photo 5: © Chris Woolley

25 February 2014

Hair Riff

Rod Stewart and Ron WoodLenny Kravitz’s magnificent dreds.  David Cloverdale in his Whitesnake heyday.  Ziggy StardustSteve Perry’s old school shagalicious haircut, Heart’s 1980s blow-out locks; Bon Jovi’s moussed out 80s tresses.  When it comes to rock music, be it punk, hard rock or heavy metal it’s all about the hair.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Pocket Honore play the 2013 Afropunk Festival.

Wicked Wisdom Photostrip ©Dennis Manuel

18 February 2014

Book Review Riff

Off My Rocker: One Man’s Tasty, Twisted, Star-Studded Quest For Everlasting Music     by Kenny Weissberg, Sandra Jonas Publishing House (2014)

An aimless young Otis Redding fan crisscrosses the United States in an effort to quench his thirst for music.  Got it.  A music critic forms a band called Kenny & The Kritix in order to challenge himself and silence his subjects.  Ok.   An award-winning radio disc jockey becomes a famous concert promoter at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.  Check.  Drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll?  Oh-yeah. 

Woodstock, divas, drama and “Extortion Chuck Berry Style”.  It’s all there in San Diego-based author Kenny Weissberg’s memoir Off My Rocker: One Man’s Tasty, Twisted, Star-Studded Quest For Everlasting Music.    

If you’re like me, your reading adventure will begin with a double take of the jacket illustration.  Bruce Springsteen!?  Hold it.  Ben Stiller as Bruce Springsteen?  No, but in the image Weissberg is a dead ringer for Stiller who would be an excellent choice to play the lead in a feature film adaptation. 

Stiller is quirky enough to handle the comedy and brave enough to display the kind of intimate nuances Weissberg details in his personal relationships.   
The tenderest of those is a cannabis-aided proclamation of love for Helen Redman, an artist and married mother of two who eventually became his wife.  The account is endearing and real.  No overwriting to make the experience something more than it was.  Just a sweet story about soul mates who find the courage to acknowledge their love for each other. 
Gut level honesty is what makes Weissberg’s book even more attractive.  From the stalker-like attempt to meet his radio role model Jonathan Schwartz, to the in-studio interview with a wine-swigging Gram Parsons (Parsons was accompanied by a then unknown backup singer named Emmylou Harris that day), Weissberg tells the stories in a compelling, average-Joe-from-Jersey voice that invites readers to turn the page.

Where there’s page-turning honesty there’s bound to be hilarity.  The 65-year-old Newark native also devotes a brief chapter to James Brown in which he recalls one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard about Brown’s famously conked (permed) hair.  It’s laugh out loud funny and I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall during that exchange.

In his quest for everlasting music, San Diego’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll son allows you to tap into his passion and float along on the perpetually flowing stream of once in a lifetime adventures.  He doesn't try to win you over with gimmicks and the straight-ahead first-person narrative speaks with an understated tone to deliver the message. 

This self-described “magnet for crazy” may have begun his tasty, twisted star-studded journey as an aimless young Otis Redding fan, but once he set out on the path, he was driven by nothing more than an insatiable appetite for music.

Off his rocker?  Definitely.

Rating:  4 out of 5 guitars

Author Photo:  Ellen Weissberg Gould
Jacket Illustration:  Sandra Jonas Publishing House/Hans Teensma/Bill Warren

15 January 2014

Artist On The Rise: Magical Gypsy Photographer Jessica Lehrman

Alluring.  Mesmerizing.  Hypnotic.  Emotionally urgent.  Filtered through the purity of a child’s eye lens; one that isn’t corrupted by disappointment or the pain of life experiences.  

A lens that enables you to see the absolute truth of the moment in real time, Jessica Lehrman time.

Iconic creations of extraordinary purpose;  an emotional clarity that says the time is NOW.  See me, feel me, listen with your eyes to my story of this incredible moment. 

Scaled down, stop motion murals living in kilobit sized files draw you in and take you on an unwitting journey.

Jessica creates with a Hasselblad 503c

“My name is Jessica. I take pictures of people.  Sometimes...

All photos © Jessica Lehrman.

Background:  Wicked Wisdom playing the 2013 Afropunk Festival.  From top to bottom: Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon on Anti-Fracking trip; Green Day, Yoko Ono and Susan Sarandon on Anti-Fracking trip, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Garrett Stevenson and Jessica Lehrman.

07 January 2014

Guitar Of The Week: The Flying V

43 foot long Gibson Flying V.

56 years ago today a star was officially born.

The man-sized version of this legendary style was used by Jimi Hendrix
Lenny Kravitz, and  Kirk Hammett.  Grace Potter and Lonnie Mack use 
their own signature models.

Go spread some birthday cheer at the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center's 
new exhibit GUITAR:  The Instrument That Rocked The World

02 January 2014

Guitar Of The Week: Rickenbacker Frying Pan

Frying Pan c. 1932

A lap steel with a cast aluminum body and solid horseshoe 
pickup, the Rickenbacker Frying Pan A22 is said to be 
the oldest known electric guitar.

See it live at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center's newest exhibition 
GUITAR:  The Instrument That Rocked The World 
through April 6, 2014. 


Photo courtesy of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center