More On Danny Gans’ Overdose

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Before we get into the details and news let me say a few things.

Since news broke about what killed Danny Gans we have received some more information from our sources, plus we gained more sources who are now willing to divulge certain details they know being that the word is out that Gans used drugs. With the details we know, the information that has been provided to us, and what fact checking we could do, I will try to piece together exactly what we know at this point and answer some of the questions you have emailed, plus question we posed on our last update.

contrary to what you may have heard or read in a certain Las Vegas newspaper; Hydromorphone is NOT a commonly prescribed drug here is Nevada. The only thing common about Hydromorphone here in Nevada is it’s availability on the streets, mostly in Las Vegas.
It’s powerful potency, high addiction possibility, and high price make it a a well sought drug here in Las Vegas (despite it’s high price) for those who want to take things to the next level. With all pain medication, you build up a resistance to it. All of the sudden 1-2 pills isn’t getting rid of the pain and/or giving you a high/euphoria. So you have to increase the amount you are taking to get the desired effect. The euphoria you get from prescription drugs in the opiate family is not like the buzz you would get from marijuana, alcohol, or other street drugs.

One of the many areas/topics I have covered as a journalist is drugs – whether prescribed or not.
It started with an article and essay (years ago) on the differences and trends between drug usage between lower income neighborhoods and higher income neighborhoods -or- if you will, between Ghettos and Suburbs. I’ve spent a lot of time with all kinds of users. I’ve went to and stayed in areas of Las Vegas that no other journalist has gone or will go. with that said, one of the best descriptions I have heard about using prescription pills in the opiate family is that the euphoric feeling is similar to being high on marijuana or having a beer buzz except you don’t have the negative affects. Meaning your have the high but you are still able to function and carry on with your normal life. The only difference is everything feels so much better. You are happy, excited, energetic, and feeling good all over. This is the exact reason why so many have become addicted from all walks of life. Most people would be absolutely shocked if they knew who abused prescription drugs.

Now, lets get down to details on what we know.

First and foremost, lets call it for what it really is – an overdose

Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy’s “Death was accidental” + “No signs of drug abuse” have little to no merit. Being that key details have not been released and will most likely never be released (Gans’ Family would have to authorize it) secondly, Murphy has been receiving a lot of skepticism and criticism from many in the medical community. Publicly and Privately medical professionals have sounded off on local televisions, newspapers, radio, and even privately calling Murphy’s results without merit, vague, and possibly incorrect. Some have privately questioned his experience and credentials based on his final results in the Death of Danny Gans.

Another physician that was feeling the burn was Gans’ physician Dr. Michael Fishell. Knowing his name was quickly circulating after the coroner’s results were released, Fishell knew people would put the pieces together and assume that he recently prescribed Danny Gans the drugs that ultimately killed him which would tarnish his business badly. He quickly spoke with the Review Journal making clear that the only time he prescribed Gans’ hydromorphone was 5 years ago, He went even further by accessing all of Gans’ records and found that none of Gans’ other physicians in California or Nevada had prescribed him hydromorphone.
This pretty much dismisses the possibility of a malpractice issue but this also verifies are report that a source had told us Gans did not have a prescription for hydromorphone.

Gans has been addicted to Hydromorphone for over 5 years

A reliable source tells us that Gans became addicted around the time he first received the prescription for hydromorphone. The source was unsure how often Gans took the pills initially, and did not know when dosages were upped. As stated above, to get the effect you have grown accustomed to, you eventually have to take more then before.

Our source said that they were not sure if Gans knew himself that asking for more prescriptions and/or going to other doctors would cause suspicion and possibly an investigation or if a close associate told him.

Our source did say that very few people knew Gans was even taking it, let alone continuing to take it for so long.

As far as other drugs – our source says that Gans’ did dabble with steroids on and off – which started way back in his baseball playing days.
He also used and tried various pain meds, typically in the synthetic opiate family. When he started using hydromorphone, he liked it so much that it was almost always what he took because it trumped all the other pain meds he took and tried.

How and Where did Gans get the dillies (hydromorphone)

Our source was not a 100% certain on this, but with compiled details from all of our sources there are two possibilities. One being a close trusted associate of Gans that he trusted and this associate relied on Gans for something, most likely income, and this person most likely did not associate with Gans’ other friends. The second possible and more likely person would be Gans’ manager Chip Lightman. It’s quite common for mangers to provide their clients with whatever they want, sometimes including drugs and women. It happens in Vegas a lot. I have seen it personally and I have been approached by out of town Managers and associates of high profile people asking where they can get this or that, usually offering to pay me for such information. Everyone’s heard “What Happens Here, Stays Here” but the motto amongst locals is “It’s all about who you know”

Chip Lightman has been called a lot of things by a lot of people.
Some in the local entertainment industry despise dealing with the man.
His reputation for being a “pain” is pretty widespread.
He’s been sued, Danny Gans Fired him, only to rehire him later, he’s been accused of propping Danny up way higher then he should have been, and one source told us “Chip is a lying, bloodsucking asshole, which really means he his skills as a manager are sharp but he is no one I’d want to ever be friends with” another source close to Gans told us on the topic of Chip Lightman – “Chip’s comments in the RJ since Danny died are phony” our source went on to say “Chip gives the impression that he is real close with Danny’s family but that is not entirely accurate, and his comment about being haunted by who gave Danny the pills shows he is a incompetent manager or a flat out liar”. Lightman’s comments since Gans death, as well as comments from so-called friends of Gans have drawn criticism and speculation that Lightman is still playing PR Guy even after his clients death and the so-called friends were obviously not very close since they had no idea that Gans was taking scripts. I’ve received far too many emails saying that the comments from Chip and Friends are only making Danny Gans look worse and they should just “Shut Up”

The Signs Gans was using

Our source pointed that when Gans would tell reporters and friends about taking a Tylenol or a Motrin that those were Gans; “code words” and in actuality he was referring to Dillies (hydromorphone)
Our source also noted “With all the injuries Danny suffered over the years and the constant wear and tear from his performances, he’d still continue to do active things like play golf and more then once he’d hurt himself, agitate a muscle, and he wouldn’t stress about it like he used to; He’d say I’ll take a Tylenol, I’ll take a Motrin and I’ll be better. That kind pain would not be fixed by no over the counter pain medicine, his confidence in being better by the next day or so was because he had Dilaud.

Is there anything to Dr. Michael Fishell’s speculation that Gans may have taken what was left of the prescription of hydromorphone/Dilaud he prescribed Gans in ’04-’05?

Not likely, unless Gans had a good amount of pills left and took a lot of them all at once or within a very short period of time.
Dr. Fishell’s interview with the Review Journal showed how little he knew Danny Gans, which he wouldn’t be the first ‘friend’ on that list. Dr. Fishell saying he spoke because of rumors about Gans using is not the whole truth, he also spoke out for his own reputation as well. Anyone reading what he said to the RJ can clearly see that he is is denial.

What about Gans not using Dilaud or other pain meds because of his voice being affected?

Nearly every person who said Gans wouldn’t of used pain meds because they would damage his voice were the same people who denied or had no idea that Gans even took pain meds. Can prescription medications damage your voice? Yes and No. I’ve heard loss of voice associated with many different types of prescriptions, not as much with pain meds. However it is possible, yet the several sources we have spoken with said that it may have been a concern of his but it didn’t stop him from using.

Now, there have been celebs who have abused pain meds before, some of these people rely heavily on their voice. Whether they are singers, rappers, or host a radio show – yet where is the loss in their voice?

Will Gans’ Family Ever Consent To Releasing The Report?

The chances of Gans’ family giving consent are extremely slim.
The chances would be higher if there was a doctor involved in prescribing the meds because the family would likely want justice for the doctor’s malpractice. From what we have gathered, giving consent to release the results would only further tarnish Gans’ image because it is likely it would show other drugs, perhaps alcohol (which can be fatal when combined with hydromorphone) or perhaps in some medical circles it would show Gans did have drug abuse problems.

it is certain the meds were prescribed, just not to Gans’ himself.
Now whether it was prescribed to someone close to Gans or someone he never knew, we may never know.

Is The Review Journal Covering Up The Gans Story?

A friend, and Review Journal Employee has informed me that the RJ has been extremely reluctant to talk about Gans. They want to story to be gone as soon as possible. As also reported by Tabloid Baby The Review Journal has gone out of it’s way to bury details, not report specific facts, and rarely ask questions. Now this is not the first time the Review Journal has buried stories or reported as little as possible.

Las Vegas is a very transient town so many residents here are unaware of the history of the Review Journal, and do not remember some of the issues that had many Las Vegan’s furious. What you wont hear about from the RJ is the many letters, emails, and comments they have received whether phoned in or posted on their website (and then deleted)
What are readers complaining about?
They want to know whats going on with the death of Danny Gans. Some readers practically begging for more coverage. Last Friday in their ‘Letters To The Editor Section” you see a headline criticizing the RJ for looking into a public figure aka Gans. At a quick glance it appears that all of the letters to the editor are about this, but in actuality it is only one letter. My friend/RJ Employee told me that they did that as a response to all the criticism they have received from readers and abroad as a way to somehow justify why they haven’t been doing their job.

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With Danny Gans being propped up as this squeaky clean guy, evangelical christian, devoted family man… It has all now blown up and backfired.
On all levels, the general public feels it was all a sham.

The sad thing is that if Gans truly did have an addiction problem he could have got help. Although our source said that they were not aware of Gans discussing his problem with anyone in his church or his family – some now speculate that he was too afraid that going to anyone or even going public would absolutely ruin him.

The publics perception of Gans has turned dark. Whether he had a addiction problem or not, it is absolutely clear that he should not have taken hydromorphone. He left behind a wife and a child – some have called it “Selfish”, “Cowardly” and just plain “Stupid” – Words I thought I’d never see describing Danny Gans.

Alan (a DCB Reader) from here in Las Vegas wrote in an email to us

“Shame and Embarrassment is what Gans would have got if he had been open about his problem, he may have lost a lot but even so, it’s much better then dying and leaving your family behind to pick up those awfully jagged pieces”

MUST SEE – Taken, Valkyrie, Shameless, Peep Show

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Taken stars Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace and was directed by Pierre Morel (District 13, From Paris With Love)

From the minute I first watched the trailer, I knew this was a film that would be incredible and one I had to see. The idea of a father who stops at nothing to find his daughter who has been kidnapped by slave traders while traveling through Europe (with a naive friend) Of course it helps that character Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired CIA operative from their elite Special Activities Division. He describes his former job as being a “preventer” to his daughter. The film is like a combination of The Bourne trilogy and Man On Fire. One might think that already knowing what the movie is about from the trailers kills any surprises, but in reality it does not hamper the story/movie in anyway. The trailer in fact actually prepares you for what is to come. I don’t really want to give much away, but let me just say that you have to see this movie, it is currently the best film I have seen this year.

NOTE: After watching this great film, I started thinking about all the recent controversy surrounding Water boarding, Torture, Terrorist, etc,
And I thought of something someone had said on one of the networks
“Would you torture someone to save your child’s life?”
interesting. In this movie (Taken) Former CIA Op, Bryan does whatever he has to do (including torture) to get closer to rescuing his daughter.
what about this question.
“Would you torture someone to save someone else’s child?”
something to think about.
I wasn’t there at gitmo so I certainly can’t speak on what exactly happened. I will say this, as a Man who suffered through a lot of abuse as a child, I can say that I would rather have been water boarded multiple times then any of the other things I experienced. (and I actually know what water boarding entails) and another thing I can speak on is every friend I’ve had that also was abused as a child would rather be water boarded. Now I’m not trying to advocate torture, what I’m saying is that water boarding is way overblown especially when compared to what Americans have gone through while guests of other countries, what some children go through on a daily basis, and the fact that the principle of “We Do Not Torture” has it’s exceptions as many other principles do. Remember to question everything and look at more than one side.

Didn’t mean to get off topic and all….

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Valkyrie is a historical film based on the July 20th 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and put into effect Operation Valkyrie – a national emergency plan to take or retake control over the country. Tom Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg the man who really brought the plot into realization. The film tells an incredible story and although we know what happens you still find yourself hoping they succeed. Watching the film begged the question “Why hasn’t this story been told before?” Besides the controversy surrounding Cruise playing the role (some in Germany felt his playing the role legitimized Scientology which Germany recognizes as a cult) the film may have never gotten the attention it deserves if it wasn’t for Cruise’s involvement. Cruise was attracted to the role because of the striking resemblance between him and the real Claus von Stauffenberg.
Take a look at this profile comparison below
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The number of characters to follow and the plot itself had some viewers a bit confused so I recommend that when viewing you give it your full attention or just be prepared to skip back a few times.
However this should not detour you from seeing this film.
Although I wished this story would have been told in History Class when I was a wee lad; I’m glad it is now finally being told. Correct me if I’m mistaken but the Hitler Channel errr History Channel never ran the story either until the movie was about to come out. I called them the ‘Hitler Channel” because of all the stories and segments they do on Hitler/WWII. (Armageddon segments running a close second) Anyways, Pick up Valkyrie and see how History can be thrilling and entertaining.

One of my favorite classical composers is Richard Wagner.
Ride Of The Valkyries (beginning of Act III of Die Walküre) is featured in the film and is one of Wagner’s most recognizable pieces. (you may remember it from Apocalypse Now) It is truly a piece everyone should have in their music library.

Click to Play and/or Download
Richard Wagner – Ride Of The Valkyries

TRIVIA
This track and this composer has been said to be favored by Hitler himself and was played often by German Tank Commanders while going into battle.
However despite misconceptions, Richard Wagner and Frederich Nietzsche (both of whom Hitler loved) Were NOT Nazis, nor did they ever express anti-semitic ideals. Neither were even alive when Hitler came into power. Hitler took pieces of their great work and molded them into his cause much like he did with the symbol of the swastika.

Down Charleston Blvd contributor Chris Dandino has two fantastic reviews of two Brit-Coms you really need to check out

The Brits do some things right. Soccer, colonization, music and most of all comedy. My wife and I are big fans of Brit-Coms, and spend most of our tv time watching such things. I am always scouring the web for new shows and dvd’s that I may have missed and have definitely found some gems. DVDs from the UK are VERY easy to import, cost about the same as a comparable US release and are shipped to you in no time at all from sites like amazon.co.uk or sendit.com (my 2 go to sites). They will more than likely be Region 2 PAL format, but if you can find a code to unlock the region on your DVD player it is no problem (search Google under DVD Region Hack and include your DVD player make/model) With that in mind I am going to build you a bridge across the pond so you can enjoy 2 of my favorite shows with me. Both of these shows have new season releases on DVD. The Brits who run TV networks have a unique philosophy on TV production. Over there they will see a project they like, even if it is from a complete unknown (The Office comes to mind) and give it a chance to succeed. I know Peep Show was purchased as an 8 show project. Then if it succeeds it will be given more time/money to carry on. After you watch these shows you may never be able to go back to the predictable, laugh track laden shows you find on network TV over here. When I have this discussion with friends who don’t know Brit-Coms it is assumed everything is like Monty Python filled with weirdness and deadpan or quirky humor. That cannot be farther from the truth. Watch the 2 following shows and you will see exactly what I mean.

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The first show is called Shameless. They do show it uncut on the Sundance Channel, but they are well into the series and you definitely want to give this whole series a look, so start at the beginning. This show takes place in the public housing of Manchester, so the accents can be a bit difficult for the untrained ear, but you could quickly catch on and follow the action. Shameless follows a family of 6 children (the Gallaghers) and their dysfunction at home. The mother of the house disappears with a lesbian truck driver to find herself leaving the kids to fend for themselves. Sure they have a father (Frank Gallagher) but he is as useless a parent as the sofa they sit on to discuss the day. Frank is a drunk who often finds himself passed out on a bar stool at his local public house, and eldest daughter Fiona must raise her younger siblings. Frank does have another life though, as he lives with an Agoraphobic lady and her over sexed late teen daughter (who is always pushing the envelope with Frank). Fiona looks after Carl, Debbie and the baby Liam. She does receive most help from her two younger brothers Phillip “Lip” who is known for his street smarts and sharp tongue, and the actively gay but very private Ian. Each show is an hour format, so about 40-45 minutes of actual screen time. The things that happen on this show can sometimes be so uncomfortable that you bury your face in your hands, but still want to peek through your fingers to see what happens next. There are a ton of other characters that pop in and out of the series, and the cast has rotated quite a bit of focus in its first 5 seasons, but each time focus changes the new characters steal the show. To me, this is one of the best shows to ever be made. This is why I love Brit TV, as a show that displays this type of dysfunction and abuse of substances and alcohol would never see the light of day if it were being pitched in our PC society, not even HBO. If I am rating this show on a scale of 1 to 5 this is a definite 5. I cannot wait for Season 6 DVD to be waiting for me in my mailbox next week. This show is a Channel 4 production, the best that the Brits have to offer.

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The second show I am going to chat about is called Peep Show. As far as I know this show has never been shown stateside. I found it one night at 4AM on BBC Canada when my wife was out of town, and I was pulling an all nighter. The show revolves around 2 main characters; wannabe DJ/popstar Jeremy and a 20 something who acts like a middle aged man Mark. An odd couple if you will. The show is shot in a unique way as you usually take on the perspective of the person who is being talked to. It is very effective as the reactions to the many awkward moments are priceless. The show focuses on the big dreams of these two, and the very poor judgment these two use to try and get there. Love, drugs, alcoholism, sex and betrayal are all topics that happen regularly. There are also quite a few supporting characters that add depth to the storytelling. The show has seen 5 seasons and the 6th is due out very soon. Once again, it is an import so make sure you trick your region lock. I can’t really get too much deeper into this show than I have because although it does have focus it is very Seinfeld-esque in it’s a show about characters and not events. The accents are not too harsh so it is very easy to follow the dialogue, anyone who can understand a southerner can understand this show. If you watch it through you will be very satisfied and left craving more.

Gans Death Due To Hydromorphone

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Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy has finally provided the results of the toxicology report and has said Las Vegas Entertainer Danny Gans died due to a toxic reaction to Hydromorphone which is an opiate, narcotic, analgesic, used primarily in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is a semi-synthetic derivative of morphine. The drug can be injected, comes in tablets, capsules, oral liquids, Suppository form. and controlled release capsules to name a few.
Toxicology and microscopic samples showed that 52 year old Danny Gans death was said not to be an issue of drug abuse but toxic levels of the drug in combination with an existing heart condition as the cause.
Although no Alcohol was mentioned, Alcohol is said to have a bad reaction sometimes fatal if taken with the drug.
Mike Murphy is calling Gans’ death accidental.

Common names for Hydromorphone are Dilaudid; Hydrostat, Palladone, Palladone SR, and it should be noted that there are numerous other names.

No word yet on whether Gans had a prescription or not, however it wouldn’t be much of a shock to people if Gans got the drug from a friend or if a doctor prescribed it under an assumed name as this seems to be a common trend amongst celebs. Our source’s early reports are that he did not have a prescription which would make the most sense being that Gans’ doctor of all people should know that Danny and hydromorphone don’t mix well due to his heart issues and possible drug interactions with other medications he probably was taking.

Hydromorophone is one of the higher priced pharmaceuticals on the street and has it’s fare share of slang terms such as hospital heroin, drugstore heroin, M-80s, Dilly and Dillies, are just a few of the common slang terms used.

Our sources tell us that Hydromorphone does not show up in standard drug test or even extended drug testing being that Hydromorphone does not break down into morphine (like codeine and heroin do) and most test look for morphine. However Hydromorphone is possible to test for even though it typically only shows in your urine for a 3-4 day period.

So as a big piece of the puzzle is provided more questions arise.

How did Danny get the drug? Was this really accidental?
It gives the impression that Danny just popped a pill for the first time and happened to die, which is rather unlikely. Most users do not jump in to taking pills by starting with hydromorphone. Usually hydrocodone is what people start with and not just for reducing pain but also for the euphoric feeling, a euphoric feeling that is also felt with hydromorphone
Are authorities bothering to look into any of this or are they considering the matter solved?

With Gans now being linked with the tainted word ‘Drugs’ the perfect guy image, is gone. The Halo Gans Adorned (and probably hated) is gone.
I think now of the people like Alicia Jacobs and others who called themselves friends who were so quick to sit in front of a camera and paint a ‘holier than thou” image and to try and attach themselves to said image , an image only Jesus Christ could live up to (well, maybe not these days).
We all know no one is perfect, and (GASP!) Gans was a human being.
This ‘painting him like a saint’ only leads to disaster.
Pharmaceuticals/pills are quickly becoming the drug of choice for many.
People who would normally never touch street drugs are more open to popping pills being that they are prescribed by a doctor (although its sometimes someone else’s doctor) It is not uncommon to be at a social gathering, or a club, and get offered some pills by friends or patrons,
especially in Sin City. “I’m stressed” – have a zany bar (Xanax), feeling down? have a lortab, etc. Who really can point a finger when popping pills is becoming more common then using marijuana. Gans may have been in some serious pain, past reports of injuries and the amount of stress his body received from performances make this highly possible. Yet again we wonder who gave this drug to Gans? There are other medications out there that could help him with pain and have less serious side effects.
Sure, Danny was a grown man but when a doctor or a trusted friend tells you to take this “pill” it will help, you don’t really think about the possibility of dying from it. Someone out there, is to blame in part.

We will keep you posted and try to find answers to these questions and the ones you continue to send in.

Also, a special thank you to Tabloid Baby for praising the coverage here on the Death Of Danny Gans. see article here
We also commend Tabloid Baby for diligent coverage and calling it for what it really is. Something that is becoming increasingly rare in journalism today.

Joan Of Arc – Flowers (Album Review)

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Joan Of Arc have been around for over a decade, churning out experimental Indie rock gaining them fans from all over and pissing off some critics along the way. Really though, is a band worth anything if they don’t piss off some critics? For me it’s kind of a prerequisite. Most of the books I own were banned at one point or are controversial, and many of the albums I own and artist I love have pissed many in the music media off. Tim Kinsella (the only permanent member of the group) is a humble, well grounded genius in my opinion. He has been a part of numerous bands, Cap’n Jazz being one of the more well known and after it’s breakup – Joan of Arc was born. Often under-appreciated for the contributions to music and inspirations that Tim, Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc have given to many bands and artist. (We Are Scientists and Scary Kids Scaring Kids both named after Cap’n Jazz songs) The thing about experimental music is that it can be quite a risk, critics often do not get it, for fans it is either hit or miss and being that the music is not constructed in a typical fashion it can be difficult for the music to have a high replay value or a lasting impression. Meanwhile, other Artist get to pick out bits and pieces of what they like, incorporate them into their music and ironically get more popularity then the band/artist that deeply inspired them ever did. Add the fact that our society is all bout ‘Instant Gratification’ and we all have become at least a little ADD, people have less patience for music that doesn’t contain repetitive instruments and catchy hooks. Does that mean experimental music is on its way out? on the contrary I think it will grow, however it will become more competitive, only the better bands/artist will survive. Joan of Arc is one of those bands that makes music that will survive. The group first and foremost loves music and loves to play music; which you can hear in their albums, especially Flowers. I have to admit, I wasn’t someone you’d call a fan of Joan of Arc and I didn’t really know exactly what to expect when Polyvinyly Records so graciously sent this album over.

Tim Kinsella told Absolute Punk humbly in an Interview back in March that

“I don’t think Joan of Arc is going to win over any new fans”

Well Tim, I have to respectfully disagree with you because with this new album Flowers you have won yourself a new fan, and also, every person I have played the record for has become a fan as well and I expect more fans are to come.

The Biggest Surprise Yet in '09

The Biggest Surprise Yet in '09



Flowers is Joan of Arc’s 10th Album and is quite possibly their best effort to date. Despite being written off and dismissed by some in the music media (who frankly, don’t know what their talking about) Joan Of Arc respond with an album that delivers a critical blow. Flowers is a very collaborative record, as in the band members all having a strong input into the album. The group was said to have entered the studio hardly prepared, almost no songs written, no instruments. What Joan of Arc did though, was play music that felt right. The mantra being “if it feels good, do it”. Some would call this risky or lazy. Risky would be more suited for a band that was a billboard brat, headlining sold out shows across the world and possibly losing it all. Lazy? Flowers comes no where near the word. The only thing really risky about it is perhaps alienating your fan base. Although the record differs from Boo Human Joan Of Arc pull it off brilliantly with a well rounded record that if your ears were allowed to make one purchase this year, it would be Flowers. Employing various instruments rather well, and perfectly placed samples, this lush sonic journey that you embark on from the album’s opener ‘Fogbow’ pulls you in slowly, handling the listener carefully as not to frighten you away. When ‘Garden Of Cartoon Exclamations’ kicks in, your now immersed in what seems like a dream world – where thoughts find formation, contradictions collide, sound is stretched and molded into titillating rhythms and harmonies, typical song structures are thrown out the window and the album is peppered with witty, clever lyrics.
The song names, the fact that the tittle track ‘flowers’ is an instrumental, the way you can’t pin down this record – the fat bold middle finger to standard musical conventions, lyrics like
“Nothing bounces one’s step like hitting bottom”
are what make this album an absolute surprise, a sucker punch like one I received one summer from an older kid named Brandon. (whom I will track down one of these days) I’m trying to find something less praising to balance my review and the best thing I can come up with is this. The album may not be for everyone, sure it is different then what you may usually listen to, it’s Arty but Arty in a way that it should be, a way that you’d want it to be. The albums plural title suggest how it works on more than one level. How what I think ‘Flowers’ is best served with (summer nights, deep thinking, social gatherings) another listener may differ in his/her opinion and find something completely different for the album to soundtrack. What is universal is that each listen unravels the album more and more as if your plucking the petals of the “Flowers” – each ‘pluck’ is more rewarding then the last. The instrumental tracks initially worried me, and I expected to grow tired of them, yet I still find myself coming back to them as much as the tracks with vocals.
Flowers is best served in it’s entirety, however many of the tracks can hold their own. If your new to Joan Of Arc then set some time aside and listen to this album from start to finish. If it doesn’t catch you right away, give it a little time. This album has a strong ability to really grow on you in a way you wouldn’t expect, I certainly didn’t. If you are familiar with Joan Of Arc but abandoned them for whatever reason, now is the time to come back to them. This album may very well disintegrate any doubts you had about the band. If you are a current fan and haven’t pre-ordered the album then I highly suggest you delay no further and jump into this experience that musicians will be copying for years to come. Hear what happens when you throw out the plan and the formula and actually create something euphoric where others have failed.

Click to Listen and/or Download
Joan Of Arc – Garden Of Cartoon Exclamations

Polyvinyl Records Teamed up with Absolute Punk to bring you a Joan Of Arc Contest. Check the details below and enter today!

In celebration of Joan of Arc’s upcoming album Flowers, we’re throwing a contest where you’ll be eligible to win some great Joan of Arc stuff. The first prize winner will receive a signed LP and CD of Flowers, a T-shirt, some buttons, and six other Joan of Arc releases!

Joan Of Arc Contest

Joan Of Arc Official Website
Polyvinyl Records

Confessions Of A Music Geek + What’s In Rotation

I thought I’d do a small post about what we have been listening to.
Just to give you an idea of our rampant musical taste.
The music listed below is a combination of the music I listen to along with the music a few of our contributors, friends and family listen to. Since they sometimes use my iPod and music library.

Last.fm tracks about 55-75% of the music we play, what isn’t counted is the songs played on our iPods and the occasional track that is played on another website.

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Top 10 Artist (According to Last.Fm)

1. Ryan Adams
2. Marilyn Manson
3. Nine Inch Nails
4. Joan Of Arc
5. Hail Social
6. Ray Charles
7. Britney Spears (GASP!)
8. Johnny Cash
9. Led Zeppelin
10. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

KOLsxonfire
Top 10 Tracks/Songs (According to Last.fm)

1. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
2. Marilyn Manson – Food Pyramid
3. Chuck Berry – Maybellene
4. Zazie – Dans la lune
5. Ryan Adams – Color of Pain
6. Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
7. Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire
8. Hail Social – Heaven
9. Green Jellÿ – Three Little Pigs
10. Ryan Adams – Enemy Fire

Now I am a stat freak, always have been. Years ago I used to keep track of what I listened to and how often by hand via pen and paper (scary, I know) Thankfully, iTunes and Last.fm keep track so I don’t have to.
This didn’t help my addiction though, it just opened up new avenues.
I have a playlist/list that is currently called ‘The Hot 100′.
The Hot 100 includes songs that are played most often. A mixture of new and old songs that are being listened to frequently. It’s one thing for a song to get in the Hot 100 but for it to stay there it needs to continue to be played frequently or often enough because newer songs added will knock off songs that aren’t being played as often as they were.
Make sense? Are you thinking “What an effin’ weirdo!” well things like this probably keep me from washing my hands 10 times and flipping the light switch on/off a certain number of times before I can leave the bathroom (OCD) I am a self confessed music geek and stat freak. Think Rob from High Fidelity. I (like Rob) Would go through my record collection reorganizing them in various ways, better more advanced methods that only I could understand, now I do complex list making with MP3s based on many factors – some tell me it’s the coolest thing and some think I’m crazy.

Lots of similarities between me and Rob

Lots of similarities between me and Rob

below are a few songs (broken into two categories) from the ‘Hot 100’ List.

New additions To The Hot 100 List

Kidnap The Sandy ClawsShe Wants Revenge
TouchedVast
You and Me and The Devil Makes 3Marilyn Manson
My Heart is BrokenRyan Adams and the Cardinals
Fallen Angel (Acoustic)Lthrboots

Tracks That Are Rising Fast In The Hot 100 List

Another Way To DieJack White and Alicia Keyes
Jesus of SuburbiaGreen Day
Heaven Hail Social
If I Ever Feel BetterPhoenix
Hooplas Involving Circus TricksSay Hi to Your Mom

You may have noticed on the lower right hand side that there is a section called “In Rotation” What is listed there, are the albums that are being played most. We aim to keep it updated constantly to reflect what is currently being listened to. If you click the album covers, it will take you to where you can buy/listen to the album. There will be a few more additions to this blog added soon, so keep a look out. You can also check us out around the web – Last.fm and Twitter

If you have any suggestions, would like for us to check out a specific band /Artist, or happen to be a Band/Artist yourself – feel free to contact us at DownCharlestonBlvd@gmail.com

Look forward to some reviews over the next few days, and thank you for stopping by!

Real Hope Out Of Cairo

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Last night err in the wee early morning hours in Las Vegas I caught the President’s speech live from Cairo. In all honesty, I didn’t stay up to watch it or intend to see it at all. I was aware of the hype and importance surrounding the speech but did not expect much from it. As I prepared to compromise with my cat on which part of MY bed I could sleep on, the speech came on. I watched, planning to turn off the Television within a few minutes. Tired as I was though, my eyes stayed glued, ears and mind alert. I found myself very impressed with what the President was saying.

“Barack, is that you?” I said softly, full of hope that felt familiar.
The hope that I had felt when I saw a lankly, good looking confident man speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. After the speech, I told everyone I knew about this guy “Barack Obama” well before he was literally everywhere.
“This guy has to run for president, I just hope he will get a fair shot” I said in ’04 and ’05. Eventually he did get a fair shot and well… the rest is history.
I did though, find myself more and more in disagreement with this guy Obama. I would replay comments and responses from the democratic primary thinking I had misheard and/or misjudged what he said.
Fast forward – back to early this morning.

“Barack!” I thought to myself with excitement
“It’s you” as if realizing this man who is our President was the same man from the ’04 DNC.

The speech Obama gave in Cairo this morning, was easily one of his best speeches he has given. All these years of war and hate in the middle east, the threat of terror we face along with our allies and other countries, the huge gap between us and most of the middle east. There has really never been a President that could find common ground with Muslims the way Obama has. While some Presidents, before taking a trip to the middle east would be briefed on Arabic customs, and Islamic faith they (past Presidents) Never really understood it, connected with it, and in all honesty didn’t put much stock in it. Obama having family members who are Muslim, and growing up in or near Muslim communities have helped Obama understand Islam, and who Muslims actually are.

Now let it be said that it does bother me that during Obama’s campaign the Obama camp seriously downplayed any ties to Islam whatsoever, and here they are in the middle east doing the exact opposite. However, this does not indicate or prove in any way that Obama is a Muslim or was a Muslim.
I personally know a lot about Islam but I am not a Muslim, nor am I from Arabic descent. I studied various Religions extensively starting when I was in 8th grade. Islam happened to be one of the religions I studied very deeply. I wrote many stories, articles, and essays about it.

The tactics Obama used in his speech were appropriate and effective.
He managed to get the attention of not only young people in the region, but adults, and elders. All of whom play an instrumental role in politics, Islamic Law, Fighting Terrorism, and Peace. Tactfully stating he is understanding of their concerns, and struggles while also explaining what struggles America faces, and what our allies face. It’s almost as exactly as I would have scripted it myself. Obama’s speech has set the tone for a real possibility of progress all throughout the middle east. The beginning of the road has now been realistically paved for vital issues involving the Middle East and America. Now, more than ever there is hope that we may see some resolution to these problems that have never really had hope in the past.
What struck me the most was that Obama may have saved lives with this speech, he may have convinced some in the younger generation not to make America an enemy. He may have made some individuals who once proclaimed westerners as the ultimate evil, to take a second look, to think twice. Obama may have also reopened the ears of Adults and Elders who gave up on America years ago. Obama quoted the Qur’an, talked of the great contributions Muslims have made to Mathematics, Architecture, Poetry, and in many other fields. He spoke of his experiences with Muslims, and Muslim’s history in America all the way back in the beginning of our great nation. It was a great representation of America showing that those that hate and promote violence are in small numbers on both sides, and should no way represent all of us and all of them.
He pointed out our similarities, showed where common ground could be found.
This speech shows a strong area for Obama and we can only hope success and progress will come of it. I didn’t agree with everything he said, but I wont dissect the lines and words because I don’t want to take away from what I feel was a very effective and memorable speech. It doesn’t matter whether you or I agree with it completely, what matters is that real progress is made and surely, time will tell us whether it does or not.

Danny Gans Mystery Runs Deep

danny_gans_wenn
One Month Later
The mystery continues to grow larger, and as rumors are quashed or lose ground, new ones spawn from this dark uncertainty.

Due to the fact that news and details are extremely scarce; Rumors, rumblings, and things that were overheard are sprouting up like weeds. You have the coroner’s office, friends, and family of Gans irritated by it, but really, what do you expect?
People want to know what happened, and when there are contradictions, and strange/odd things happening it only makes the mystery grow larger, deeper, and gives it life.

We all know everyone has a side of themselves that most rarely see. Often a darker side.
Gans is well know as a man of unflinching faith and conviction, passionate about performing, and even more passionate about his fans. A charitable celeb that didn’t donate for the publicity, a father, a husband, a friend, and said to be the best at all three.
As much as we want to believe that there were no dark secrets, no drugs, steroids, affairs, and so on; That he (Gans) just died of something unforeseen, something perhaps related to high blood pressure. You’d think we would have found that out by now if that was the case. You’d think….

We have received many requests to address some of the more possible and/or popular rumors that have been circulating. Since Gans had many fans across the world and details are scarce outside of Vegas.. heck, they are even scarce here if you read the Las Vegas Review Journal or Las Vegas Sun (both owned by the same company by the way)
Gans19

Did Danny Gans Kill Himself intentionally, accidentally?

You have a friend/pastor saying he was depressed, down in the dumps the day he died. Yet you have his family saying he wasn’t depressed. Danny’s religious faith was deep, in one way this knocks down the suicide theory but if his image was just a long ongoing front, then emotions can run extremely high when someone can’t be their true self and drastic things can become the result. However there is nothing concrete to indicate that Gan’s faith, and devotion to family was at all fake. which leads to…

Did Danny overdose, have a bad reaction to Drugs and/or Steroids?

Folks have been making a connection with the Fact that Gans used to play baseball, suffered several injuries, and the fact that steroids has become more commonly used by stage performers, especially solo artist.
It has been speculated that Gans may have used steroids to help overcome the injuries while playing baseball and may have been using to keep up his act as he got older. Whether it has been all these years, occasionally, or just recently has been debated amongst insiders.
Performing on stage often can be more taxing on your body then one might think, although Gans dying at 52 is early, he wasn’t in his twenties/thirties obviously.
Last year, The Albany County District attorney David Soares launched a probe that indicated performers Mary J. Blige,
50 Cent, Timbaland, Wyclef Jean and actor Tyler Perry had allegedly ordered steroids or human growth hormone from doctors and pharmacists targeted in Soares’ investigation.
Was Gans using and did his heart become so weakened that he died or could have their been another similar reaction? or did he perhaps take too much? We contacted the Clark County Coroner’s office about this directly, and asked about rumors that there were marks on Gans’s body possibly indicating ‘track marks’ – or that needles were used by Mr. Gans. The coroner’s office denied these rumors and stated that there were no such marks found. We also asked for details of the type of testing that was done, to be more exact what exactly did they test for? we were told that all substances were tested for, even some of the substances that require more specific types of tests. There have been murmurings that the FBI has conducted their own test, we were told by the Clark Country Coroner’s office that unless the FBI did the testing at the hospital (where Gans was brought first from his home) then possibly, but she hadn’t heard anything of it and doubts that they (FBI) did. The Las Vegas division of the FBI did not return our inquires into this matter.
Gan’s friend and so called Vegas Queen of Gossip Alicia Jacobs told tabloid baby in an exclusive interview

I would find it hard to believe that he would (be a drug abuser),” she said. “I can’t imagine how he would be taking pain killers or doing any drugs and function the way that he did. I can’t imagine that he would be able to do what he did. He really was an athlete when he was onstage.

Which seems very naive, surely Ms. Jacobs being the ‘queen of gossip’ in this city knows that it is not difficult at all to hide drug use from friends and family, especially when the individual has a lot to lose.

Friends and associates have been said to believe that Gans was hiding his usage of steroids, and noted his facial characteristics changing as it took effect on him.

One Friend we spoke with shared an awkward moment he had with Gans when he told Danny that his head was getting big. “He (Gans) took it figuratively he said, but I meant literally“. he went on to say “I can’t say for sure if he took any kind of drugs or steroids and I honestly think if he did, very and I mean very few people knew about it; All I noticed was the change in appearance as others have, for me it was the size of his head increasing but I hate to throw salt of this wound, I can only imagine his family is going through a seriously rough time, more than we know.

As more and more rumors point to Gan’s using steroids, at this stage it seems to be the strongest theory as to what may have caused Gans to suddenly die at age 52.

Talks of murder dim, but lingering

The rumors of Gans being murdered haven’t completely diminished here in Sin City. They have only altered and shifted in possible details.
At first people thinking money being the factor, now have gone more towards rumors of Gan’s having an affair. The woman rumored that Gans was possibly having an affair with? Why Alicia Jacobs of course.
Again, in the exclusive interview with Tabloid Baby ( here)
Alicia said in response to the rumors of her and Gans having a relationship

No. Oh my gosh, no,
We were just very great friends.”

But you have a few out there saying something was odd about them. Those ‘few’ people have said that when seen together, they looked like a couple, or at least Alicia made it appear that way. “It was obvious how incredibly charmed she was by him” said one source. One source going as far as to call her “Gan’s biggest groupie“. The rumor of them having an affair has stuck around especially when Alicia shared her story about Gan’s giving her a bible, inscribing it, and how she cherished it every night. Plus other comments and Television appearances she has made seem to only add fuel to the rumor.
There was no doubt that her feelings for this man were deep but it could have been merely an infatuation that Danny never responded to, at least on the level Jacobs may have wanted. So the twist being slung is Gans possibly being poisoned in relation to the alleged affair. As we reported early on, this appears to be the weaker rumor that still happens to be floating.
Although Metro (LVMPD) has stated that they do not suspect foul play, a Metro source told us that “This early in the game, Metro will say that, even if they do suspect it. I know it’s not ruled out at this point

So where are the Feds in all this?

Early on it was said that the FBI was involved in the case which wasn’t too much of a shock, being that the death involved a celebrity and Las Vegas being a place where high profile individuals’ death often comes with a mystery attached. Yet they have been relatively quite.
As we pointed out above that it is pretty slim that the Feds did their own testing, so it may just be that the FBI are merely waiting for the highly sought “Toxicology Report” and in conjunction with Metro, go from there.
At the time of this posting, the FBI had not gotten back to us.

danny-gans-

So we wait… As irritation, and suspicion grow fiercer and it becomes clear that the delay in the Toxicology Results do not fit the time frame of other reports on other cases here in Las Vegas. Fans of Danny Gans along with writers/journalist (who are actually touching the story) share the frustration and anger. I’m sure even Mr. Gans’ family are eager themselves to find out. This mystery begs to be closed but something about it indicates that we may be far from it…

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