“Check Out The Fashion Slaves” by – you guessed it – The Fashion Slaves!

The Fashion Slaves started as a side project when Emily Jayne was singing and playing guitar with The UPTONES in 2011. We got home from a little tour and she’s rarin’ to go so we decided to make a four-piece rock band. I called Eric Knight whose bass playing I loved in ENGINE 88, and young Pete D’Amato completed the combo on drums. This live album contains one of our earliest performances. Our producer Matthew King Kaufman encouraged us to play the Millard Fillmore High School dance, and sent Michael Rosen out with his mobile recording setup to capture it. The opening cut is our cover of “Psychotic Reaction” which was so damn fun to play as it has two (!!) extended guitar solos, so I went completely nuts right at the beginning of the set. Here’s a video Emily made for the song.

Available at iTunes

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Fashion Slaves
L-R Eric Din, Emily Jayne, Eric Knight, and “On the Beat” Pete D’Amato. Photo by Pat Johnson

The Fashion Slaves at de Young Museum after-party

One of my favorite gigs with The Fashion Slaves was at de Young Museum, as part of the finale for their Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition in 2012. Aidin Vaziri interviewed our lead singer Emily Jayne and wrote a preview for the event, which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate:

The Fashion Slaves at de Young Museum after-party

Thanks Aidin, and thanks de Young for including us in this unique and fabulous occasion!

Here are some pics from the show:

FASHION SLAVES Went Insane with WILD ASS and The RAVEUPS

Had a great time at Starry Plough on Saturday night, here’s my recollections and raves.

WILD ASS!

wild-ass-300pxI admit I was predisposed to liking WILD ASS before seeing them, because they are called WILD ASS. But they exceeded my wildest ass expectations. Fronted by the formidable young Carla Selvin – resplendent in black satin bell bottoms, platform heels and a shiny red microphone – this sexy sextet delivered a choice set of 70’s rock covers to feather your hair to. From their scorching opener with Heart‘s “Barracuda” thru their epic closer, “Free Ride,” their show was seamless, tight, and relentlessly fun. Their lead guitarist, Jesse Cobb, is one of the best young 6-string rockers I’ve seen in a while. Dude can seriously play a Strat, and like the rest of the band, he’s also really fun to watch. Bassist Theresa Sawi (AKA Girl Named T) is always great onstage in her various acts, and she was right at home in this material. I love the hard rock / pop tunes and style from that era, and this crew owns it hard. Look for ’em!  Their version of Van Halen’s “Dance The Night Away” was amazeballs.

The RAVEUPS!

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Man, you can’t find a heavier bunch of bay area rocker vets delivering 60’s covers with such precision and warmth. The guys in The RaveUps have all played over the years as members of Santana, The Rubinoos, Psycotic Pineapple, Dick Bright’s SRO, and too many other local champs to list. Turns out Chris Solberg – bass player extraordinaire, music educator and stalwart keeper of the rock flame – is also a superb guitar player. Known him all these years as a bassist, but Saturday night he was rippin’ some gorgeous guitar work, while Kit Newkirk held it down heavy on a vintage 1964 Epiphone Rivoli bass. Dave Seabury fronted it all beautifully on lead vocals while putting the cherry on top of their sound with a double tambourine attack. On drums was the magnificent Donn Spindt. What can you say about Donn? Drummers like that do NOT grow on trees! He was a great drummer as a young star in The Rubinoos, and now he’s a seasoned vet, doing EVERY little rock drumming thing just so right. He’s the kind of drummer singers dream of singing over, and bass players try to kidnap. It was such a joy to hear him play again. Needless to say these guys completely rocked the house. You’ll have another chance to catch them, when they play with The UPTONES at Ashkenaz, this Friday!

The FASHION SLAVES!

This was a fun night for The Fashion Slaves. Our lead singer and frontwoman Emily Jayne had just escaped from the asylum, so when she showed up at the gig, we had to help her out of her strait jacket. I have no idea how she even made it to the venue, and when we tried to ask her she yelled “JUST SHUT UP AND ROCK!” and we complied.  Eric Knight and Pete D’Amato laid into a bass n’ drums groove, while Emily greeted the audience, and we swelled into the only reasonable opener we could do under the circumstances, “Psychotic Reaction.” Then we launched into “Astral Plane,” “Your Toy”  and “Suffer For Fashion,” from our new EP, appropriately titled “Go Insane.” “Suffer For Fashion” was composed by Emily, with help from Payam Imani, the aforementioned Theresa, and myself.  It’s the song that inspired the creation of the band, and gave us our name. Miraculously, at the end of the night I still had my lab coat and guitar, and somehow, no one ended up back in the looneybin this time. You can hear these tunes on our EP, available on iTunes and other mp3 stores, or you can get a limited edition CD directly from the band.

Thanks Starry Plough Audience!!

The audience deserves the biggest applause, they were great and they stayed the whole night. I rarely see a club fill early and stay late thru three bands these days, but wonders never cease. The Starry Plough is a great venue, especially now with their Meyer Sound system and Michele Kappell-Stone‘s exemplary booking instincts. Great folks, great music. What more ya want?

Left at 1:00 AM, and I swear I saw Nurse Ratchet lurking just across the street. Just paranoid, I guess.

The Fashion Slaves “GO INSANE” EP

This 4-song studio recording is the latest from The FASHION SLAVES. The band name was originally inspired by the song “Suffer For Fashion” which I co-wrote with young singer Emily Jayne. Recorded “live in the studio” old school style at East Bay Recorders, produced by Matthew King Kaufman and Michael Rosen, this also includes a cover of “Goin’ Down!” Written by Emily and Paul Jackson and myself, this straight-ahead rocker was originally recorded by The UPTONES for our East Bay Orbits album. Eric Knight on bass and Pete D’Amato on drums, with Emily on rhythm guitar myself on lead, made for a pretty monstrous little combo. We played a bunch of shows and made a couple of CD’s in two years or so and then, we went insane. This EP tells the story.

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Available at iTunes and all the other digital gizmos.

The Fashion Slaves Go Insane (And So Can You!!)

I’m thrilled to announce The Fashion Slaves new EP, “GO INSANE” is coming out soon.
Here’s one track on SoundCloud:

The story behind that song is fun. Fashion Slaves’ singer-guitarist Emily Jayne brought in a great tune called “Your Toy” to rehearsal one day and we learned it. It was by a ’77 punk-pop band called Chelsea, with some guys who went on to play with Billy Idol and other new wave era greats. Emily changed up the lyrics a bit, and the original writer James Stevenson (from Chelsea, Generation X, The Alarm and Gene Loves Jezebel), shared credit with her on the new version! Then the strangest coincidence, Stevenson’s current band The International Swingers played in San Francisco a week after we uploaded the EP for release. So of course Emily burned a CD of our version, went to the show and gave it to him. Here’s a pic of them backstage at the Red Devil Lounge. Small world and who woulda thunkit!

The EP is available at iTunes Store or Amazon.

Experience A Psychotic Reaction

I recently started a new band with young singer-guitarist Emily Jayne. Emily had joined The Uptones for the 2010 Warped Tour, and we started writing some songs. Producer Matthew King Kaufman liked the stuff and encouraged us to start a band. I recruited Eric Knight and Pete D’Amato to play bass and drums. Michael Rosen recorded an early show, and the result is “Check Out The Fashion Slaves” – our first CD. You can buy a copy direct from the band at www.thefashionslaves.com. It’s also available at iTunes. Here’s the opening number – our cover of “Psychotic Reaction” – along with some visuals by Emily herself. Hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing it.