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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Blonde Ambition

March 30, 1997|Steve Hochman

Another rock reunion? No. That's not how you should interpret the upcoming album "Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals" and the House of Blues concert May 5 featuring Concrete Blonde, the prized L.A. band that went out with a bang of "farewell" concerts in 1994.

This is the same Concrete Blonde--two-thirds anyway, with founders Johnette Napolitano and Jim Mankey. But it's not a band reunion per se. Instead, it's a one-time project in collaboration with fellow '80s-rooted L.A. band Los Illegals.

"If people are going to the show with the impression that it's a real Concrete Blonde show, that shouldn't be," says Napolitano. "This is all new material, in both English and Spanish. We may do a few older songs from each band, but definitely reworked drastically. We did a gig like this over Christmas at the Cultural Center in Tijuana, and it was great. But we don't want people to be misled that there's a new Concrete Blonde record. It's not."

There will be a new Napolitano album, though. The singer returns to L.A. in April to finish work on a project on which she is doing most of the playing and writing herself. She'd originally intended to make her solo debut right after the Concrete Blonde break-up, but that became a new band, Pretty & Twisted, which released its one album in 1995.

Napolitano has also just finished producing an album by East L.A. band Maria Fatal, a group she hopes will back her up on tour after her own album is released.

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