The Kidz Are Alright, Mate!
There was an Aussie Assault at the Troubadour earlier this week, and I got hit, hard! The night started smashingly with a literal rock star parking space: none other than Seal was sitting in a Ferrari convertible outside Dan Tana's, so my uber rock chick friend Laurel chatted up the silky-voiced Mr. Klum while he waited for a friend to pick up takeout for dinner. But really, Heidi, we only wanted his spot! Once inside the club, the bluesy punk duo The Mess Hall made me wanna get dirty with their raw, Iggy-meets-the Gun Club caterwauling (and good lord the singer was nice lookin'). With The Flairz, though, it was love at first riff. This garage rock trio from Perth consists of Dion and John Mariani, 12-year-old cousins who both play guitar and bass and sing (Dion is pictured), and 13-year-old drummer Scarlett Stevens, whose dad Philip is the band's manager. The Flairz (with a z for "zing," said Scarlett) have been at it for the last two-and-a-half years, and were passing through L.A. on their way to SXSW, with most of their parents in tow and the full support of their teachers back in Oz. The trio has a 4-song EP called Rock and Roll Ain't Evil, and Scarlett has already guest-drummed for the likes of Jack Johnson. Thanks to parents with good taste, The Flairz have a list of influences that includes Led Zeppelin, Creedence, and of course, AC/DC, and they're also into current bands like Kings of Leon, the White Stripes, the Datsuns, and Wolfmother! Dion was totally jazzed to see the singer of Jet in the crowd, and he told me so with a big grin. The band's tunes - get a load of "Rockin' On" and "Black Fox" - are as basic as they come, but they're delivered with so much style and gusto that the power of the package is undeniable. It doesn't hurt that Scarlett looks like a young Kirsten Dunst in Minnie Mouse earrings, and Dion is about the most virile young four-foot-tall lad I've ever laid eyes on. I mean, come on. Look at these faces. Can you not love them? We missed the headliners, The Living End, instead rushing to the Fonda to catch Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's set. Underneath the cover of dry ice, some dork pushed his friend into me in a pathetic attempt at flirtation. "What is he, twelve?" I asked Laurel, but then I had to correct myself, because twelve-year-olds are way cooler than that.