Jesika von RabbitJourney Mitchell LP on Dionysus Records / Royal Order
exclusively available at shows until official street date via ILD Distribution July 14!
CD available now at this link– Digital via iTunes available now here
There will be LPs, CDs, and T-Shirts for sale at the shows!
On Wednesday, May 27, 3-5 PM PST, DJ Senon Williams, bassist of Dengue Feverwill guest on Over Under Sideways Down, LuxuriaMusic.com, with show host Lee Joseph. Senon will be bringing in everything from strange thrift store scores to psych from around the world and stuff he grew up with that made him love music. Tune in for a fabulous two hours of sounds!
We with great sadness announce that the great Robert Drasnin passed away in the afternoon of 5/13/15, after about a year of failing health. He was 87 years old.
Bob is now mostly known for his two masterpiece exotica albums, Voodooand Voodoo 2, but those are only two highlights in a long and multifaceted career as a player, composer, executive, and teacher.
He joined the Musicians Union at the age of 14 upon being hired to play in the Canteen Kids big band on Hoagy Carmichael’s radio show. He first made his way as a player through the forties, playing alto saxophone and clarinet with a great many big bands, including Les Brown, Freddie Slack, Tommy Dorsey, and others. He studied composition and conducting at UCLA, joined a bebop era Red Norvo Quintet (with whom he recorded), and evolved into a film/tv composer and also a very well regarded sideman (on clarinet and alto saxophone).
As a television composer, he was prolific. Twilight Zone, Wild Wild West, Mission: Impossible, Man From U.N.C.L.E. all boasted great Drasnin scores, and such giants as Johnny Mandel and Jerry Goldsmith considered him an equal. Rightfully.
He eventually became the head of music for CBS television, until his position was eliminated (mostly because the vast majority of shows were made by outside production companies, not the network).
He took to teaching film/tv music, first at the Dick Grove School, then at the UCLA Extension, and he was an excellent teacher, beloved by his classes. I sat in on many of them, and he was inspired, inspiring, insightful, and generous with to everyone to whom he taught.
In the mid nineties, the resurgence of interest in exotica brought him back to public musicmaking. Unlike any of the other first generation exotics, Bob’s powers as a composer and conductor were undiminished. The 1996 reissue of his Tops Records 1959 gem Voodoo returned him to composing and playing. He played on a great many records of mine and toured in my jazz quartet (teaching me more about music than I can ever estimate in the process). He played on my music for Dexter’s Laboratory, Flintsones On The Rocks, Tilt: The Battle To Save Pinball, and theBernie Mac Show. And he was playing at least as well as he had in the fifties.
In 2007, he returned to the studio as composer and conductor with Voodoo 2, a record that did more that just pick up where the first one left off, but rather showed a greater, deepened command of composing and orchestration. It was cut almost entirely live in two days in an auditorium at Pierce College in the Valley. The cast of musicians was stellar, and his brilliance in those sessions was truly awesome to all who witnessed it. In 2008, he was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, an honor that meant the world to him.
There were a few exotica performances after that, but the last years of his life were devoted mostly to teaching. In many ways, his energy flagged as he went into his eighties, but not when it came to teaching. I saw him conduct pieces composed by his last group of students, and his energy as a conductor, his incredibly facile judgement as a music editor, and his unbelievable insight as a teacher served everyone in that room as a lesson on how a classy elder statesman gets the job done.
The last year or so of his life was a lot of health problems. He lived a healthy life — rarely drank, always ate smart, played tennis innto his late seventies — but he became increasingly frail in his last months.
Work was started on a Voodoo 3 (as many of you know). It is not as now releasable, and the family is going to need some time to deal with the immediate facts of his passing, so it would not be in good taste to start asking questions about when and if V3 will be released.
Bob is survived by his devoted wife Marlene and their three children, who loved him dearly. To say he was well-loved by his friends is an understatement. He was generous, insightful, funny, and ridiculously smart, and passionately concerned about the world around him. He’d also take your hand off at the wrist before he’d let you pick up at the check.
His legacy as a great Hollywood composer is huge. Less known but no less enduring is his incredible body of work as a teacher, which is ongoing in the work and methods of the composers he taught so well.
This year’s Tiki Caliente in Palm Springs returns to its original home at the Caliente Tropics hotel and kicks off on Thursday, May 14 with a special art show from Claudette Barjoud a/k/a Miss Fluff – accompanied by the “the Exotic Sounds of DJ Lee” – Thursday Night Tiki Caliente entertainment features The Martini Kings and The Jimmy Psycho Experience!
The soft, warm breeze carries the sound of rustling palms and sensuous exotica music to your ears. Before you, your glass, filled with a fine rum libation, clinks together with new friends. Heartfelt calls of “Aloha” awaken in you a long-buried memory of primitive excitement. This has been your dream. Are you on some far-off tropical island?
Yes… and it´s called Tiki Caliente.
Jesika von Rabbit’s iTunes, vinyl LP release, and June 2015 shows including an appearance at Portland Gay Pride on June 13
Photo by Marina Chavez
Joshua Tree’s Jesika von Rabbit has released her new LP, “Journey Mitchell”on iTunes. The album will also be available on vinyl (including a vinyl only bonus track) as a co-release on Dionysus Records and von Rabbit’s own Royal Order label, early summer, exclusively at live shows, until its’ official street date via ILD Distribution – to be announced soon.
The lead singer, keyboardist, and songwriter of Gram Rabbit’s first solo outing is a playful, poppy, and psychedelic “sextronic” experience, and includes the track “Psychic Spice” which is the subject of von Rabbit’s first video off the new album. The video, directed by Jessica Janos, starts with von Rabbit auditioning to be a new Spice Girl and unravels into a cornucopia of outrageous imagery featuring a warehouse of weirdos which von Rabbit refers to as her “prairie gangsters”.
After trailblazing high-desert rock as the front woman in her band Gram Rabbit, Jesika now steps out on her own with solo project, “Journey Mitchell.” Her album, music video, and stage show debut this month, with release parties in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Part pop princess parody, part desert gypsy, Jesika takes us on a strange trip. “Journey Mitchell,” is laden with New Wave influenced synths, keyboard melodics and infectious dance beats. But make no mistake — this is not a collection of pop songs that induce a brief sugar high; Jesika von Rabbit wants to penetrate and disturb you. The undercurrent of gothic industrial baselines, ghostly echoes and Jesika’s hallowing voice, leaves resin in your system that will bewitch you long after the music fades. — Coachella Magazine
von Rabbit will be appearing main stage at Portland Gay Pride on June 13th, 2015 and has also booked shows in San Francisco and Olympia around that date. The show specifics are:
June 11: DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh St., San Francisco, CA 94103
June 13: Portland Gay Pride, PortlandOR, main stage, 5:30 showtime
June 14: Cryptopia, 421 4th Avenue East, Olympia, WA 98501
and July 18 at Club Undergound(atGrand Star Jazz Club, Chinatown)943 Sun Mun Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Writers and DJs can contact lee (at) reverberationsmedia.com for digital, a CD, images, etc.