The Sexy Armpit has always been a little bit comic book geek, a little bit rock and roll. Through over a decade on the Internet, one of the staples featured on the site has been the reigning kings of New York City’s rock scene, The Dirty Pearls. They’ve amassed a monstrous, loyal fan base, tour the country, and even show up at swank clubs to sing and play with the rest of their NYC crew known as The Rivington Rebels, whose legend precedes them. Am I jealous that there’s no Route 9 Rebels? No, because I just invented it, and I’m Master of Ceremonies of the New Jersey Chapter, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to score this interview! Just ahead of their upcoming tour and forthcoming new album, our friend and lead singer of The Dirty Pearls, Tommy London, took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some of those classic “Jay” questions that I always have.
The show at the Brighton Bar was basically a warm up for the band. When you’re prepping for a workout, you might want to stretch first so you don’t pull a muscle. Some people choose to contort themselves, others jog in place. Occasionally, you’ll see some crazy bastards doing thousands of jumping jacks. That’s all good if you’re exercising, but what if you’re a rock band preparing for a bunch of concerts in support of your new music? You can do all the vocal exercises you want, but you better be on point when you come to New Jersey. In this case, the crew from the lower east side of New York City, The Dirty Pearls, brought their A-game to The Brighton Bar – no arm circles necessary.
On our way to the show, I realized that I hadn’t been to The Brighton Bar in about 10 or 11 years. This fact was shocking to me, and after the night was through, I already wanted to go back because it’s such an awesome place to see a show. The layout is perfect for seeing bands and the bar made me want to plant myself next to it for a few hours. I felt at ease there which is rare for me since I’d rather watch the concert via my couch at home.
The Dirty Pearls flawlessly incorporate sleek guitar riffs and headbanging drums with pop hooks and serve it all up on a grand scale. Every time I witness them on stage it’s as if they are a masterful arena rock band who skipped a grade. To top it off they pull a Springsteen and refuse to leave the stage until you are 100% in awe.
Although they are primarily known for their NYC shows, once in a while, they’ve thrown New Jersey a bone. Over the years, they’ve played down the shore in Asbury Park at The Saint, The Stone Pony, and The Wonder Bar, and even up in North Jersey at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. They’ve opened for KISS, and so many other giant acts, but their New York City shows are iconic.
The original version is some badass bombastic bluesy bar rock, you might pick out an early Aerosmith vibe and some booze fueled sleaze in the vein of Faster Pussycat. There’s also a brilliant breakdown that calms the mood only to leave you primed for the chorus again. The newer version, still great, lacks the natural flow of the predecessor and has a noticeable pop sheen, which is never a bad thing, but the irony here is that this song is actually a sequel to their song about being suckers for a sequel. If you understand that, then great, either way, I’m still a sucker for the original!
Not sure if frontman Tommy London will get mad at me for even writing about this, but they played this track at the Stone Pony back in May 2013 and I have no idea if it will surface on their upcoming sophomore full length album, but I’m really hoping it does. I recorded the song at the Pony so I’ve been able to hear the live version often, but for the masses, I’d love if you could hear a studio version! It’s a simple, energetic, hard rocking pop gem with a dash of the ’80s. Imagine a harder rock version of The Romantics if they were produced by Ric Ocasek. The result is nothing less than “Dynamite.” With the refrain “…Your love is like dynamite,” this one is sure to be the soundtrack to think about your crush, if it surfaces.
2. “Static” from Whether You Like it or Not
The video for this song was directed by Matt Weckel and filmed with an Xbox Kinect! It’s one of the coolest videos since The White Stripes were big. The sick visuals merge perfectly with this track that’s a pounding pop rock assault with some sick grooves. Put this on when you’re alone and you’ll be singing and dancing in front of your mirror like a silly asshole in no time. I know from experience.
1. “New York City Is a Drug” – Whether You Like it or Not
Take Sinatra for instance, sang about New York City. Old Blue Eyes was from Hoboken, just a short swim across the river, but still, Hoboken wasn’t the pounding heart of the world. Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” is bar none unbeatable, but it’s not inspiring any headbanging as far as I know, unless you do some serious audio editing. That brings me to KISS. They sang about Detroit, but they were from New York City, so go figure. Thanks to The ‘Pearls, we have our quintessential rock tribute to NYC. This atmospheric track will make you envision all that late night debauchery in the lower east side of Manhattan, but with a bit of drama and bombast.
The rest of my favorites list includes tracks like “Caffeine and Gasoline,” “Whether You Like it or Not,” “Bring on the Night,” and “Love Sick Love.” Get their track on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, and their videos are on YouTube. Click Here for their official site!
The Dirty Pearls are LIVE! Tonight at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ
*What makes this show different? A lottery will take place throughout the night to determine the lineup of bands taking the stage! That’s some exciting shit right there! Who’s on first? I’m on the edge of my seat already! This approach adds an element of intrigue that you won’t get at any other concert!
This summer, why waste your time taking your significant other to the boardwalk to play a silly wheel game just to win a giant box of gum that’ll just lose its flavor in under a minute? Take your shot at winning tickets to Barnstorming the Bowery – right here…NOW!
All you have to do is correctly match each band to their song! It’s that simple. Send your answers to email@example.com and include your full name and the subject BOWERY. All correct answers will be pooled and a winner will be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by e-mail. Contest ends on 8/1 so get those answers in!
August 21, 2014
Doors open at 7PM, show starts at 8PM
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancy St.
New York, NY
The ‘Pearls pounded their hits out to the audience as if it was a good ol’ fashioned Scut Farcus beat down session. They didn’t chintz out one bit as they included all the tracks they’re known for including “Who’s Coming Back To Who,” “Static,” and their big one “New York City Is a Drug.” Toward the middle of “Sucker for a Sequel,” they tore into an awesome break down which featured Tommy Mokas literally shredding his guitar while going back and forth with Tommy London and special guest Brian Newman on trumpet.
After blasting through a speeding bullet of a set, the gang, also known as The Rivington Rebels, departed the stage. Nobody in the audience moved a muscle because they knew there was a gift in store. Personally, I was positive the band would perform a Christmas tune, but which one? Would it be the rocking “Run, Run, Rudolph,” or the often covered by rock bands “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)?” Ultimately, their selection was a true gift, especially for me!
Personality plus drummer Mr. Marty E. asked the crowd if they wanted to hear more. Judging by the shrieks and applause, obviously they did! The band returned to the stage. When amped up front man Tommy London began hinting at a Christmas song, my mind started running through all the possibilities. I hoped it wasn’t just a quick bar of “Frosty the Snowman,” as a joke.
I was enthralled when guitarist Sunny Climbs started into the opening notes of Springsteen’s CLASSIC version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” The Dirty Pearls made this song their own by adding their own rock edge while still remaining true to The Boss’ version. With little nods to the original, this was truly a phenomenal surprise gift for their fans! Of course, I loved it even more since Springsteen’s Christmas songs are legendary around these parts.
We’ve got a bit of a dilemma. It’s not a bad one, in fact it’s a pretty rock and roll sort of dilemma. Our friends, the New York City rockers The Dirty Pearls, called Sludgey and I backstage to help them sort this all out for them. What’s the problem? Well, their awesome fans have sent them 5 wrapped gifts for the holidays, but we don’t know what band member gets which gift because they aren’t labeled! Luckily, I used my x-ray sunglasses to see what’s inside the boxes, now all I need you to do is help me figure out what member of the band gets each gift!
All you need to do is e-mail your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject PEARLS
Which of the following bands played at CBGB’s?
1) Big Time Rush
3) The Wiggles
4) The Misfits
Answer the question correctly and a winner will be chosen at random to win tickets to the show! Remember, if you don’t have The Dirty Pearls debut album Whether You Like It or Not – get it now on their official website: http://thedirtypearls.com/store.html
If you’re buying tickets, go here:
In his writings, Nostradamus once prophesied that there would one day be a mass of people who will experience full-length phonic exhilaration at the hands of five defiled gems. Ages later, actually, as of last night, the prophecy has come true. The five defiled gems Nostradamus spoke of were The Dirty Pearls and the full-length record finally came. Okay so Nostradamus didn’t predict any of that, but lead singer Tommy London has been promising a full length record for quite a long time and now it’s finally available! On Saturday night, the band celebrated the culmination of all their studio work with a huge concert at The Gramercy Theatre. London described the album to the packed house as “…our f*cking Chinese Democracy…but it actually sounds good.” It was a big night for The Dirty Pearls and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
Not only did I try to squelch my insatiable lust for Mexican cuisine all night, but I was also missing Eli Manning hosting Saturday Night Live. See, Rock and Roll is all about sacrifice my friends…and DVR’ing shit. Only the hard working bands were playing out that night, all the others were stuffing their face with quesadillas and mainlining Patron. All the way across the country, The Black Keys were playing a concert in Sacramento. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing in Newark at The Prudential Center, (a venue I’d love to see The Dirty Pearls play at, but one step at a time here) but the most monumental show in the entire country was happening on East 23rd Street in NYC.
My ability to really go out and rock hard has decreased exponentially since entering my 30’s. For instance, my tolerance for annoying people is very low, hence I drove rather than took the train. Cinco De Mayo indicated to me there might be a lot of drunken idiots on the train. It turned out to be the right move because the night began with one of the quickest and most stress free rides into Manhattan I’ve ever driven. Emptying the bladder was first on my to do list, as I said, at this advanced age rocking can only happen after all these details are taken care of. Next, I set up Miss Sexy Armpit, our friend Lori, and myself up with a beer. As we caught the tail end of Ariana and The Rose’s last song, we found ourselves in an overwhelming predicament. I stood in a crowd of people and Miss Sexy Armpit’s gaze was fixated on the rows of stadium type seating in the back of the theatre. We were now faced with a huge decision. Do we completely lose our credibility and get our rock licenses revoked by sitting in those seats like a bunch of geriatrics? When the opportunity presents itself, we usually choose seats. Unless it’s Gwen Stefani and she might have her crotch in my face.
The “Super-Moon” was supposedly out on Saturday night, but it was Star Killer that stole its thunder. The band, lead by Jasin Cadic, exploded onto the stage bringing their usual madness. They tore it up with all their tracks from their EP and then some including “As The Sky Is Falling” “Out of Range,” “Too Wrong” and “Picture Perfect.” The winning element to Star Killer’s songs is their ability to transport you to another world. You really get the feeling you’re in some sort of apocalyptic planet when listening to their music. Cadic’s enigmatic style and the aura that the band evokes is almost haunting and resonates in your mind long after their performance is over.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder. It’s not often that you see one guy come out with no band and no crazy lights and merely sing along with a backing track. Whether it’s budgetary or just the way he wants to present himself, Breedlove made a statement. You don’t need all the glitz, you just have to sound great and be original. During his impressive vocal set, the long-haired, bespectacled free spirit Breedlove mentioned that it’s not all the time that he can get a gig as grand as opening for The Dirty Pearls at Gramercy. Pull up his song “I Never Had” and you’ll hear what Breedlove is all about.
As evident on the bill that night, there’s quite a scene going on in the lower parts of Manhattan. A pretty large chunk of credit for that needs to go to The Dirty Pearls who have no problem welcoming fellow bands and singers into their world. During the show, the ‘Pearls frontman Tommy London mentioned that they are all about mutual respect and helping other bands in the scene. Recently, London started up his own label, Rivington Records, which will be spotlighting bands from the New York scene and beyond.
For the long time fans they threw in a medley of some old school ‘Pearls tracks like “Rockstarlivin’, “Hollywood La La La,” and one of my all-time favorites “Gimme, Gimme.” After their set was over, fans in the crowd resoundingly chanted “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG,” and The ‘Pearls did not disappoint. They indeed came back to give us one more, but it wasn’t theirs. They performed a cover that was indicative of what they were feeling at that moment and that was Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.”
All these paragraphs aren’t enough to express how perfectly The Dirty Pearls capture the raw emotion of rock and roll. If Elvis is The King, Frankie is The Chairman of the Board, Bruce is The Boss, then The Dirty Pearls head up New York City’s Department of Rock and Roll in the 5th Precinct.
1. My 2nd favorite film of the Marvel franchise is Thor. My future mom-in-law got me this awesome Thor Pez dispenser! I have a small collection of Pez dispensers and this one fits in nicely beside Captain Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader, and The Incredible Hulk.
2. For my birthday my Dad got me the entire collection of The Muppet Show on DVD! Watching these shows is going to bring back so many memories!
3. Who doesn’t like stuffing their face once in a while? The absolute BEST place to do that in New Jersey is at Harrah’s Resort Waterfront buffet in Atlantic City. That is where you will find The Absolute Greatest Brownies of All Time (among other delicious offerings.)
4. This might fall into the “why the hell did you buy that” category, but I’ve actually been following the production of The Witches of Oz for a long time. I tried watching it and it really isn’t that good, but as a fan of Wizard of Oz and Return to Oz, I thought I might like this. Until the upcoming 3-D production of Dorothy of Oz comes out in a few years, I’ll take what I can get. Clearly it shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same paragraph as those previous films since it’s on the level of The Asylum productions, but alas, I took a chance on it anyway. If you’re thinking of checking this out, take into consideration that I saw Wicked on Broadway and didn’t enjoy that either.
5. The Batman Files. When this ultimate book of Batman first came out it was priced at upwards of $100 dollars at some book stores. I’ve splurged more cash on sillier things, but for some reason I was hesitant on picking this book up. It was wise to wait because, as always, there was a pretty hefty price drop on the book. I got the book at less than half price. If you’re interested – type it into Google shopping. Well worth it for hardcore Batman fans.
6. You know how people say “There’s no such thing as bad pizza?” Well, I feel the same way about Doritos. Even the lamest gimmick Doritos, like the mystery flavor a few years back, were fine by me. I can’t really get behind Doritos Jacked though. The whole idea behind them negates what Doritos are all about. They made these chips harder to create more of a crunch, but I’d rather not break my teeth, thank you. And even though they amped up the amount of Dorito dust on these suckers, the actual chip is twice the size of a normal Dorito chip. They are more like the size of a restaurant style Tortilla chip. You need to take a few bites of one chip rather than stuff a whole chip in your mouth. Bah. Whatever. If you’re going to try them, I suggest the Smoky Chipotle BBQ flavor if you’re into that type of thing.
7. Mighty Man and Yukk. One of my favorite cartoons of my childhood. The concept is completely insane. This dudes dog is so ugly that the dog has to wear a doghouse on his head and the the dude shrinks down to a super tiny size and becomes a superhero. Totally ridiculous, but I love it and have been looking for it literally forever. Found a collection of every episode on DVD taped off of Boomerang. I’ll take what I can get considering there hasn’t been an official release.
8. Finally my friends in one of my favorite bands The Dirty Pearls are celebrating the release of their debut full length album at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on May 5th! The Dirty Pearls will be performing along with Star Killer and other special guests! If you don’t have plans for Cinco De Mayo or you are tired of the typically mobbed parties at the local Jose Tejas. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: http://thegramercytheatre.com/event/000048677B6062DE
3. Include Name and Address
The Dirty Pearls and the Official Cinco De Mayo Party Commission have come to an exclusive agreement to combine the two most powerful forces in partying into one huge mega event. Cinco De Mayo is cool, and yes, you’ll most likely be on an alcohol fueled bender, but the only way to experience both the supreme 5th of May style drunkenness AND The Dirty Pearls LIVE in person that night is to have tickets to their first ever record release party on May 5th, 2012 at The Gramercy Theatre in NYC.