Thursday, September 13, 2007


In a city where live music is playing every night, it’s not too hard to find great music. Thursday night (9/6/07) at Safari Sams was no exception. I have to say that Safari Sams has got to be one of the best places to catch good music. Not only is it small and cozy with a DJ spinning great music between sets, it has, in my opinion, the best sound in Hollywood. This night brought out locals, “The Dollyrots,” “KILLOLA” and “Lots of Love.” First off:

Jessica: vocals, guitar, keys
JC: lead guitar
Blake: bass guitar
Phil: drums and cymbals

photo by JMHebron/405 east

Close your eyes and what you hear is something close to an early 1900’s vaudeville/cabaret style singer. Can you picture it? Sitting in a smoke-filled nightclub after hours as a singer stands center stage singing to no one in particular. Open your eyes and what you get is Lots of Love – a young quartet that sounds much older than how they look.

Lots of Love, according to their website, was formed by singer/songwriter Jessica Fleischer in the summer of 2005. Their first show was in August of last year and since then their songs have been featured on MTV’s dating show “NEXT.”

photo by JMHebron/405 east

Fronted by Jessica (vocals, guitar, keyboard) this band certainly has a unique sound – a sound that will, at first, keep you interested just enough until it catches you and reels you in along for the ride. Rounding out the group are Phil on drums, Blake on bass and JC on guitar. Their playful sound mixes in old vaudeville with poppy beats. But the treat in Lots of Love is listening to their lush melodies. This group is young and their sound fun but it’s Jessica’s voice and lyrics that show Lots of Love’s maturity as a band who can play and write great tunes.

Lisa Rieffel: lead vocals
Dan Grody: drums
Mike Ball: guitar/vocals
Johnny Dunn: bass guitar/vocals

photo by JMHebron/405 east

KILLOLA, an in your face, hard rock new-wave band took the stage in electrifying fashion! Driven by power guitars and high octane beats, KILLOLA energized the crowd with their new-wave rock and screaming vocals by the spark-plug of a lead singer, Lisa Rieffel who, if not for the confines of the stage, would’ve broken loose like a caged phoenix.

photo by JMHebron/405 east

Even when Killola’s raw and powerful performance seemed out of control and frenzied, they seemed in control at all times, managing to keep themselves from boiling over onto the crowd. So when they played their power ballad, “I Don’t Know Who,” we finally got to see them slowed down and take a breather. And what they showed us was that they can also weave beautiful, vibrant melodies without straying from their pulse-pounding foundation. Killola’s performance at Safari Sams was a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. So when it ended and I finally got off, I wanted to hop on for more!

Kelly Ogden: Vox/Bass Guitar
Luis Cabezas: Guitar/Vox
Chris Black: Drums

photo by JMHebron/405 east

THE DOLLYROTS brought this night to an exciting end with punk/pop rock at its best! With a commanding presence on vocals and playing bass, Kelly Ogden belts out her catchy lyrics so effortless that you’ll find yourself singing along with her AND, not surprisingly, along with the entire crowd. Recently named as one of BLENDER Magazine’s “Hottest Women of Rock,” Kelly just makes it look so darn easy and fun - all the while as she handles and abuses that bass guitar. Take for instance, “My Best Friend’s Hot.” Kelly’s pop-anthem lyrics are catchy and Luis Cabezas guitar riffs contagious. Don’t shy away from them for their bubble-gum poppie sound, evidenced by the fact that they get played on Radio Disney and a recent Khols commercial where pre-teens lip-sync to their single “Because I’m Awesome.” Live and on stage they are complete raw, energized, punk and it shows. This was the first time I’ve seen them play live and they did not disappoint. Currently The Dollyrots are on tour in support of their new album, “Because I’m Awesome,” which was released in March. Catch ‘em if you can.

photos by JMHebron/405 east

Here's a video of The Dollyrots performing, "This Crush" from their new album "Because I'm Awesome" at Safari Sams.

(for more photos and reviews of this show, check out )