Category: Rock & Roll

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs are cruising in vintage style

2009 Tour Promo 

Twenty years ago, when Los Fabulosos Cadillacs made their L.A. debut at the Latin Rock Festival at the Sports Arena, “they were greeted by flying beer and nachos thrown by hard-core Mexican fans who were there to hear legendary blues band El Tri,” according to an L.A. Times account.

Last Friday, at the Gibson Amphitheatre, the Argentine ska-punk-reggae-rockers received a very different reception from a sold-out crowd, most of whose members appeared far too young to remember the Cadillacs’ tumultuous 1989 appearance.

Pogoing, moshing and singing along vehemently with practically every verse, the audience paid exuberant homage to a band that has survived through numerous personnel shifts; creative upheavals; a seven-year hiatus while founding members Vicentico (lead vocalist Gabriel Fernandez Capello) and Senor Flavio (bassist Flavio Cianciarulo) pursued solo projects; and a recent tragedy, the sudden death of percussionist Gerardo Rotblat, of pulmonary edema, at 38.

Performing at the Gibson, this now middle-aged ensemble showed that they have attained a new level of artistic maturity. A touch of gray and a few extra kilos become them. Always urgent (and occasionally frenzied) in their delivery, the Cadillacs now have added a welcome solidity to their collective persona.

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Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay on Buffalo Springfield's Dewey Martin

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay have issued a statement on their former Buffalo Springfield band mate Dewey Martin, the group's drummer, who died last week at age 68 at his home in Van Nuys.

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Heartless Bastards: Erika Wennerstrom moves 'The Mountain'

Erika Wennerstrom Heartless Bastards Erika Wennerstrom didn't have the most auspicious start to her rock 'n' roll career. When the acoustic guitar from her father showed up under the Christmas tree when she was 16, she looked at it without any particular desire to play. She finally made a go of it, but before the calluses could form she gave up, frustrated by how painful it was to press down on the strings.

It wasn't until two years later that the Dayton, Ohio, native, then a high school dropout working at a sub shop and looking for some sort of creative outlet, picked up the guitar and really started playing. She learned bar chords first and eventually forced herself to learn open chords.

"I'm still not sure I know any real chords," Wennerstrom, now 31, says in her throaty, Midwestern drawl. "I still tell people I don't really know how to play guitar." Onstage, partially hidden by a Les Paul Gold Top re-issue or a Gibson ES-125 hollow body (writers frequently mention her small stature as if amazed that a voice that big could come out of a body that small), Wennerstrom seems like a natural, simultaneously swaggering and at ease.

If her musical proficiency is in doubt -- and let it be noted that it's mostly Wennerstrom doing the doubting -- her musical instincts are not. Aside from sporting the best band name this side of Black Sabbath, the Heartless Bastards have the good fortune to ride the whirlwind that is Wennerstrom's voice. Low and husky in a range that's closer to that of a male tenor than a traditional female singer, it packs enough power that it can feel like a plague of locusts devouring a field and has enough subtlety to add ache to soft, bluesy tunes. Combined with Wennerstrom's canny ability for crafting throbbing hooks, it's lifted the Cincinnati-spawned Heartless Bastards to the level of top regional band, a label they're likely to transcend with their latest album, "The Mountain," out on Feb. 3.

Download the title track of "The Mountain" after the jump....

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