Thursday, April 16, 2009


Of course, I've never been to the NEW Lamour's in Statan Island, only the old Lamour's in Brooklyn (I'm sorry I'm allergic to hairspray), but I hope Lamour's is doing well, as there are a few entries about Lamour's in this journals archives. Check your local newspapers, as metal never died, and Lamours still exists. FROM SILIVE.COM:
Metal is back -- but for the Staten Island faithful, it never went away
by Ben Johnson/Staten Island AWE
Thursday April 16, 2009, 8:30 AM

The unlikely survival -- & mainstream revival -- of music's most maligned genre

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Donnie Tranchina may be the only guy in history to wear his mullet with apparent dignity and, one might even say, grace.

"I've been doin' this since I'm 10 years old. It was huge when I was a teenager," says the wirey musician and show promoter, sitting in the VIP area of L'Amour just after 9 p.m. on a recent Saturday.

If you've seen pictures of Tranchina's numerous hairstyles as the frontman of the band Deceiver, you know the 43-year-old is not talking about the mullet. He's talking about the metal. Tranchina has been around long enough to see metal music both push the boundaries and be the butt of jokes. Anyone who has seen the classic 1984 mockumentary, "This Is Spinal Tap," knows that fashion fads, a strict adherance to epic solos and druid-peppered lyrics rendered the genre both unique and comical. That's what makes its survival -- and current mainstream revival -- so unlikely.

But Tranchina's increasingly popular Saturday showcase at L'Amour (2354 Arthur Kill Rd., Rossville) proves both old and new forms of the genre are alive and kicking on Staten Island. Whether you trace its origins to Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, circa 1969, the genre -- defined by most as a mix of technical virtuosity and blugeoning volume -- has reached an age where its denizens are as varied as its sub-genres, able to look forward and back. Examples are everywhere: From the Broadway hit "Rock of Ages" to the critically acclaimed arthouse doc "ANVIL! The Story of Anvil."

"I think it is sort of the first popular music that really pushed the envelope," says S.I. native Brian Cogan, 42, co-author of the new "Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music & Culture" (Greenwood Press; $69.95). "There's always been a huge metal subculture, and Staten Island was always a very fertile place for it. The joke I used to make was that I could tell the progression from hard rock to metal evolution on Staten Island when I saw the same guys' denim jackets change, from Rush's '2112,' to Iron Maiden's 'Number of the Beast,' to Metallica's 'Master of Puppets.'"
This week's cover of AWE.

Evidence that the genre's value is rising again in the mainstream market

Record sales
In an industry that's suffering more losses in record sales every month, Metal had the most retention of every genre tracked last year by Nielsen Soundscan, with a dip of only -4.7%, while popular genres like country and R&B music dipped as much as -24%. Metal also came in 4th in sales, beating out even the behemoth of country music. Metallica's "Death Magnetic" was the best selling internet album of the year with 144,000 sales.

ANVIL! The Story of Anvil
Musicians and the people who love them: See this film. Why? Not because Slash, Lars and Lemmy are interviewed. Not because Anvil singer Steve "Lips" Kudlow was known for playing his Flying V guitar with a dildo. Only because this is perhaps the greatest movie ever made about the trials and tribulations of the rock 'n' roll everyman. You'll laugh, you'll cringe, you'll throw the devil horns, and you may even shed a tear for this Canadian band that never gave up. Now playing: Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St., Manhattan; 212-995-2570; Read Ben Johnson's review of "Anvil!" here:

Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music and Culture
S.I. native Brian Cogan used to be a punk rocker scared of the metal girls whom he imagined "could beat you up." Now he's a professor of music and pop culture lecturing at Molloy College, NYU and CSI. Cogan's latest book, co-authored with William Phillips, traces the development of heavy metal, speed metal, death metal, hair metal and its myriad subgenres.

Rock of Ages
Hair metal is metal, too, people, and one of the best ways to remember without breaking out the man makeup and leather tights is heading to this Broadway hit ( that tells a familiar story of young love and ambition with the help of music from the genre's best: Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Poison, Whitesnake and more.

Concert films
British heavy rock legends Iron Maiden will be releasing a feature length documentary film into cinemas worldwide on April 21st 2009. "Iron Maiden: Flight 666" follows the band on its 2008 tour. Circumnavigating the globe, the band flew in a customized Boeing 757 airliner with their crew and 12 tons of music and stage equipment on board, playing 23 sold out stadium and arena shows in 13 countries in just 45 days. Details:

Headbangers Ball
The MTV music video show, which launced in 1987, introduced legions of music fans to metal acts both mainstream and obscure before getting pushed out by grunge and alterna-rock in 1995. Now it's back at the very "metal" hour of 2 a.m. Saturdays on MTV2.

Coming soon
Director David Fincher ("Fight Club," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") is reportedly planning a remake -- slated for 2010 -- of the 1981 cult film "Heavy Metal," based on the sexually charged comic books of the same name.

On this particular Saturday at L'Amour, evidence of fandom appears in the form of Sharai Flores, a decked-out 24-year-old who commuted from Elizabeth, N.J., to flash devil horns with a big group of friends.

"L'Amour brought it back, telling people what's up," she yells over No More Tears, a local Ozzy tribute band which could probably play all night without complaint from anyone. "They're not bringing new metal to the masses -- they're bringing it old school."

In the case of L'Amour, this is often true. In 2007, club owners George and Mike Parente transplanted their landmark rock club here from Bay Ridge, where it had been a bastion for metal since the 1980s, when it hosted early gigs from Guns N' Roses and Metallica. But the Parente brothers were having trouble luring fans and acts to the new location. That's when Tranchina stepped in.

"They said, 'Hey listen, we're dyin' over here,'" says Tranchina, whose forearms are encircled by snake tattoos. "This is like a no-man's land; far from everything. But it's getting better every weekend."

Since Tranchina started utilizing a long list of connections built over years of playing, he says the joint has drawn large numbers -- sometimes as many as 400. Part of this is a booking policy that regonizes the broad-reaching strength of underground community in metal music. Take Rosebank's Anthony Gonzalez, the 20-year-old lead guitarist of Betrayal, a local thrash and progressive metal quartet playing L'Amour April 25.

"I was at Chevy's in Jersey just the other day, and some guy came up to me and my friend and said 'I'm diggin the long hair, that's f***in' thrash,'" says Gonzalez, whose band is finishing up a record with Biohazard guitarist Billy Graziadei. "Then we started talking about all these old bands. It depends on the people. Some people who aren't into it, they just don't understand."

Scientific research supports Gonzalez's feelings. Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, conducted a random survey of 38,000 people about which personality traits are affiliated with fans of 104 genres of music.

"One of the most surprising things is the similarities between fans of classical music and heavy metal," professor Adrian North, who orchestrated the study, told the BBC. "The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and being a danger to themselves and society in general, but they are quite delicate things."

Or maybe just a little nostalgic? Many still in attendance at L'Amour are fans from the club's storied past, groupies and roadies-turned-parents, are now making the trip from Brooklyn, Jersey and Staten Island to keep living the dream -- if only for nights when the baby-sitter is available.

"George and Mike are the godfathers of the metal scene in New York City," says Phil Dieli, 37, of Prince's Bay, an ex-roadie who has toured with the likes of Kiss. "L'Amour gave lots of kids a reason to enjoy life, and I can speak on behalf of most bands I've toured with that they wouldn't be where they are without this club."

Older fans aren't ashamed, either -- somebody just dedicated "Mama I'm Comin' Home" to all the mothers in the audience. It's all still pretty "metal," too. One guy who won't give his name -- and I didn't ask twice -- has an industrial wallet chain that must weigh 50 pounds. A woman who dances in the front row all night rocks leopard-print spandex, a black tube top and a large silver cross around her neck that dips into her cleavage. Hair and leather are in abundance.

Unlike some other spots on the Island, Tranchina's metal night seems to prove even the most discerning fans can unite around a place and a sound that is conducive to head-banging. Cover bands and original acts share the stage under a tangible air of brotherhood. Laidback bikers sip drinks alongside the sober, both nodding in approval.

Altough is heyday might be past, L'Amour is again a destination for bands and fans -- a place where metal lives on.
Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-