Black and blue vengeance

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Marina and the Diamonds' second release is "Electra Heart" and it's on once potent Elektra Records, now an alias of mighty, mighty Atlantic Records. It starts with a propulsive rocker - like a sugar locomotive, "Bubblegum Bitch." I'm guessing that one is going to be a dedication favorite. Singing to young adults who have angst and puppy love issues, Marina joins the ranks of countless other young female singers who have this whole techno pop, New Wave for the New Millennium, bouncy plastic pop thing figured out, but then you listen to the lyrics. All of them come in pretty packages but most deal with love lousy and the phony baloney nature of everything and "...the wasted years, the wasted youth, the pretty lies, the ugly truth..." Marina is the nihilist filling in a jelly donut. Hope no one comes over and catches me listening to this stuff... 

Guitar god on the rise, Gary Clark Jr.'s major label debut is "Blak and Blu" and  it's on Bugs Bunny's old label, Warner Brothers. Clark is channeling Jimi, Stevie Ray and a lot of his own stuff on a number of slashing, bashing, crashing and positively incendiary guitar solos. "When My Train Pulls In" is more powerful than a locomotive, the title tune is a clunker and there's even a mellow reggae tune, but the guitar shredding is what everyone came to hear and Clark does not disappoint. Then again, just here in the 805, Guy Martin, Alastair Greene, Randy Rich and Teresa Russell are just as good with a guitar but with smaller checking accounts.

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Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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