The Record Parlour, at the corner of the trendy Cahuenga boulevard in Hollywood, is a cool spot where you can find anything pre-digital entertainment, from records to rare Jukeboxes, restored vintage audio gear, and music Memorabilia. They were having their Record Store Day on Saturday, and Alexandra and the Starlight Band played a raucous rock & roll show, for the vinyl browsers’ great entertainment. The band was fronted by Alexandra Lee, a woman who brought in a few minutes, the term of frontgirl to a new level of swagger. With a raspy and strong voice that evoked the great female figures of the history of rock, blues and soul – I thought about a cross between Etta James and Janis Joplin, but she has also been compared to Tina Turner, Joan Jett and Amy Winehouse! – surrounded by her Starlight band, she gave a performance that could have been the work of some famous rock star. To continue with comparisons, guitarist and collaborator Zachary James was as tall as Joey Ramone and kind of looked like him too. Alexandra’s own look, a mix of a 70s hippie/Glam rock (the blue/purple hair, the flower print shirt, the oversized sunglasses matching the hair) and 80s punk/new wave (the torn-up black tights, the Madonna upside down cross) was reflecting her approach of music: it’s all about style and attitude.
If their style was classic rock and blues, with a large dose of soul, or even a gospelic twist assured by the vocals of their back up singer, their attitude was a powerhouse. They seemed to be well aware they were playing the real thing, rockous, R&B, a bit Rolling Stones-ish, retro and modern at the same time, with some dynamism and energy to sell. Alexandra was commanding the crowd to clap or sing as if she was the next female blues sister, which brings me to the next point,…‘Who the fuck is Alexandra Starlight’, I would not dare to say such a thing if it hadn’t been written all over the t-shirts worn by the fans present at the show, Alexandra’s mother included. When I think about it, even Alexandra was wearing one of these shirts, and that’s bold.
They even covered Johnny Cash and June Carter’s ‘Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man’, an appropriate cover considering Zachary’s physic, and their version was largely more raucous than the original. Their last song ‘T.T.M.F.’(Two Timin’ other Fucker’), was having a more funky/soul twist, and lasted almost 15 minutes as she was calling the crowd inviting girls and guys to participate in a singing contest. Personality is key for Alexandra and the Starlight band, she is a stage machine, knowing all the tricks and using them at her advantage; I guess they have already conquered Hollywood, now they have to see if the rest of the world is ready.
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